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Oo la la! A look at Disney in France
Christmas at Disneyland Paris - Photo essay by Ian Parkinson

Special Events

As for special events in the park, there are many:

Mickey's Winter Wonderland - Shown 4 or 5 times a day in the Chaparral Theatre, Frontierland. Mickey, Minnie and Friends thought they had found the perfect place to spend their winter holidays, but the plot twists and turns and there's a surprise around every corner!

The Wonderful World of Disney Parade - This has been brought back for the winter season, the main reason being that the Imaginations Parade will not fit down Main Street with the Arches in place. The world of the greatest Disney classics come to life in three dimensions thanks to the magic of the floats, the Disney characters and the dancers. Come and relive the wonder of your favorite animated films!

Christmas Parade - Every day at 3 pm during the season, which runs well into January 2001. The Christmas parade comes to life to the tune of the famous "Nutcracker" ballet. Open your eyes wide, children, and catch a glimpse of Father Christmas who's come all the way from Lapland in his sleigh!

Main Street Electrical Parade - Every night over the winter at 7:30 pm, a good crowd puller in the cold evenings. When evening falls on the Magic Kingdom, mysterious floats wend their way up Main Street USA in a joyous swirl of multi-colored glowing lights. Let them lead you to an enchanted place unlike anything you've ever known.

Tree Lighting Ceremony - Every night a 5:45 pm a child is invited to meet Father Christmas, Mickey and other Characters to turn on the lights of the Christmas Tree. It is a magical event, a small parade arrives carrying Santa and his friends, the child presses the switch, Main Street darkens and the magic begins. The music swells and the Town Square Christmas Tree is illuminated in all it's glory.

Next the lights on the arches spanning Main Street start one by one to illuminate, slowly moving down Main Street towards the hub.

As the lights reach the hub and the music reaches a crescendo all eyes fall on the darkened castle. Suddenly the castle starts to twinkle with lights and finally illuminates fully as fireworks launch into the night sky.

"it's a small world" international festivities - Having seen some of the photographs from Disneyland California and how they transform "it's a small world", you may be a little surprised at the Paris version. "it's a small world" is transformed to honor holiday traditions from around the world, with new costumes, new decorations and new lighting, this attraction is dressed to the nines for the Christmas season.

Outside the ride there is very little to indicate that anything has changed inside, no lights, just a sign at the entrance.

it's a small world

Inside the ride there have been a number of changes, you will see a lot more lights and a feel for Christmas in all the countries. There is also a new sound track featuring a mix of the "small world' song and traditional Christmas music.

it's a small world

Overall the park has made a good effort to give us a different experience, and with the cold weather and probably some snow later in the year we should have a Merry Christmas.


Ian Parkinson may be reached at ian@mouseplanet.com


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