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Oo la la! A look at Disney in France
Disneyland Paris 10th Anniversary
Official celebrations for the tenth anniversary of Disneyland Paris begin today, but Disneyland Park executives started the party a month early to take advantage of the captive audience of journalists on scene to cover the grand opening festivities of Walt Disney Studios Paris.

Roy Disney and Disneyland Paris Ambassador Christophe Commin inaugurate the 10th Anniversary Celebration. Photo  Disney
Roy Disney and Disneyland Paris Ambassador Christophe Commin inaugurate the 10th Anniversary Celebration. Photo Disney

The kick-off event for the 10-month-long birthday celebration, scheduled to end January 5 next year, featured Roy Disney and Disneyland Paris Ambassador Christophe Commin in a short ceremony on top a giant birthday cake placed in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. [I was quite grateful that Disneyland Paris chose not to turn the Castle into a cake as Walt Disney World had done at its Magic Kingdom.]

Original plans had the cake / stage remaining up through today in order to be used throughout the birthday celebration for various events. Unfortunately, the foam decorations were in trampled ruins by the end of the very first day because dozens of guests, looking for unusual photo opportunities, encouraged their children to climb over the barricades and around the cake.

Leading the parade, a giant cake
Leading the parade, a giant cake

A giant birthday cake float has been added to the daytime Wonderful World of Disney Parade. One child from the park is chosen by the "head baker" to ride on the float during the parade, and lead the crowd in blowing out the "candles" on the cake during the many show stops along the parade route.

A giant "10" lights up the Castle at night.
A giant "10" lights up the Castle at night.

Minnie's Birthday Surprise replaces the Mulan show on the Videopolis stage in Discoveryland. In the show, Minnie has prepared a surprise birthday performance for Mickey. Guests are invited to watch the final dress rehearsal of the show, which features short dance numbers set to classic Disney songs.

The whole thing reminded me of Steps in Time, the now-defunct show at the Hyperion Theater in Disney's California Adventure. At the end of rehearsal, the director asks 10 children in the audience to come up on stage to participate in the big finale. Of course, Mickey decides to make an early appearance in the theater, and everyone scrambles to hide backstage.

Minnie's Birthday Surprise - even more cake...
Minnie's Birthday Surprise - even more cake...

The "real" show begins, and where it only slightly resembled Steps in Time before, it now looks like a full-fledged reincarnation of the final number. Nothing, however, prepared me for the next song: the "Dream our Dreams" segment from Disneyland's unlamented Light Magic parade! Goodness, we now know where Disneyland entertainment sends shows for burial. The show ends amid a shower of confetti, as the 10 children reappear on stage atop of a giant birthday cake.

Castle during the fireworks

While the Main Street Electrical Parade, which runs nightly during the high season, is unchanged, a giant glowing "10" appears on the Castle after dark. Flashing, multicolored lights are visible on the Castle during the parade and fireworks.

A birthday party is planned for today, the actual 10th anniversary of the opening of Disneyland Paris. Park event planners say that the day will be filled with "many unexpected surprises, courtesy of the Disney characters." I hope our French readers are having a blast!

You can e-mail Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix at: avp@mouseplanet.com

Disneyland Paris 10th Anniversary


An American in Paris: Update - Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix just got back, and offers some updated tips & info (4/12/02)

An American in Paris: Part One - A two part journey from America to Disneyland Paris (6/7/01)

An American in Paris: Part Two - Lani Teshima with some helpful advice (6/7/01)

Parenting at Disneyland Paris - Adrienne Krock with some helpful advice and tips (6/6/01)

Disneyland Paris Access Guide - Tony Phoenix explores disabled access at Disneyland Paris (6/6/01)

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