30 Years of Shows and Magic at Disneyland ParisPublished: May 9, 2022 / Last Updated: May 9, 2022 / By: Arvid Bux
For 30 years now, breathtaking shows, enchanting parades, and dazzling nighttime spectaculars have been offered day after day at Disneyland Paris. This is an opportunity to carry out a more in-depth review of the variety and outstanding quality of the shows that people can discover at our resort. Shows are an integral part of the experience delivered by Disneyland Paris. And a little touch of Disney magic is always added to them, so as to make them unique.
From Frontierland Theater to Studio D, the various auditoriums of the resort are the perfect places to perform all kinds of musical theater productions. Therefore, at Videopolis Theater, Disney Classics, the Music and the Magic (1997-1998) – which featured different scenes that represented iconic moments from Disney classics – was reminiscent of the most beautiful Broadway shows, while The Legend of the Lion King (2004-2009) was more inspired by the musical, as it was a stage adaptation of the story of the animated film.
At Disneyland Paris, interaction is always very important, whether when it comes to singing in unison with one’s favorite Characters in Frozen Sing-along (2015-2018) or learning how to handle a lightsaber in Jedi Training Academy (2015-2017). Sometimes, the experience is not limited to the stage. For instance, in Disney Junior Dream Factory at Walt Disney Studios Park, countless smoke bubbles soar in the auditorium, which smells like cotton candy. And at Animation Celebration, Guests are the ones who move around – in Frozen: A Musical Invitation, they get to travel from Kristoff’s barn to Elsa’s Ice Castle.
Sometimes, acrobats join singers, dancers, and musicians to participate in shows, like Tarzan, The Encounter (2000-2012), or The Lion King: Rhythms of the Pride Lands, which is currently playing. The same goes for ice skaters. For instance, the show Mickey’s Winter Wonderland (1998-2012) featured ice-skating performances.
Circus arts are also honored at Disneyland Paris, whether it be through the show Mulan The Legend (1998-2002), which told the story of the young heroine thanks to the talents of performers from various Chinese troupes, or Disney’s Toon Circus Parade, which was a unique combination between circus arts and a parade, and which ran on Main Street U.S.A. in 2001.
As for the magic, it is naturally a part of the show Mickey and the Magician, which has been offered since 2016 at Walt Disney Studios Park and was staged in collaboration with world-famous British illusionist Paul Kieve.
Each parade at Disneyland Paris is also unique. The very first one – Disney Classics Parade (1992-1994) – was already innovative, as it featured a unique audio system that made it possible for each float to have its own theme music. For the new millennium, Disney’s ImagiNations parade (1999-2001) comprised the tallest floats ever designed for Disneyland Paris – up to 11 meters high! Regarding Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade (2007-2012), it called upon the five senses, and each of its floats was decorated based on two animated Disney classics – instead of one. Therefore, an unprecedented number of films were represented in that parade.
Concerning nighttime spectaculars, while Tinker Bell’s Fantasy in the Sky (1998-2004) lighted up Disneyland Park in an exceptional way, by spreading pixie dust over the various Lands, the projection mapping technology was introduced for the first time in the Park on October 31, 2004, as part of the Phantom Wedding event. Images were projected on Phantom Manor. This paved the way for the creation of numerous projection mapping-based shows, such as the iconic Disney Dreams! (2012-2017) and the current pre-show of Disney Illuminations – Disney D-Light – on Sleeping Beauty Castle, or even Star Wars: A Galactic Celebration (2017-2020) on The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
And today, “Dream… and Shine Brighter” combines parade and show in a unique journey, to the rhythm of two new songs and about twenty pieces of Disney music, in the company of numerous characters gathered around, particularly creative floats. In the spirit of the 30th anniversary of Disneyland Paris, the floats have a resolutely contemporary style, with abstract shapes and iridescent and transparent materials, which sparkle in the sun’s reflections and further enhance this unique show.