Adding sparkle to a Main Street

Star Wars may be dominating the goings-on within Disneyland Paris at the moment, but with the resort’s marketing team there’s another celebration on their lips. As the 25th Anniversary loops closer and closer – now only 2 months away – you can expect more from the hype machine that is the Disney online community in the build up to 26th March. Today could be seen as the true beginning of that anticipation with the reveal of the new decorations that will soon don Main Street U.S.A. for the annual (or let’s be honest, two year) celebration, as well as a few surprises hidden away.

Serving as a pilot to a new web series, ‘My Sparkling 25’ promise to tease the upcoming 25th Anniversary through interviews, demonstrations and showcases all while being hosted by some of the biggest DLP fans in French blogging. Unfortunately, my French is not anywhere near good enough to fully follow the entire video without the help of subtitles, but that’s not the reason we’re here. The true content in this episode is in the visuals rather than dialogue – the new decorations.

As with pretty much every celebratory season of the past 6 or 7 years, Main Street Station will once again get a new lick of paint and get a dress up to mark the occassion. Fitting firmly in the blue and silver colour scheme we have seen several times now in promotional material, infographics and mock-ups, management has taken a much more subtle approach to the station as compared to previous seasons. The light blue hanging ribbons are a very nice touch and while I’ve never been a huge fan of the windows being boarded up, particularly for an extended time period, it is nice to see those gorgeous constellation designs be put to use.

The centerpiece I’m not so sure on. It was inevitable that a giant 25 would appear slap-bang in the middle of the station, though placing it inside a big circle (almost giving the appearance of a button?) is a bit tacky. Perhaps it would have been a smarter move to just have the 25 with Tink, much like what was done during the 20th anniversary.

That being said, it’s still a damn sight better than the mutated daisy, but the less said on it the better.

Another place you’ll find this “25th Button” will be on the Main Street lamp posts, with Tinkbell hanging out atop. Now these I unanimously like. The addition of Tink is a great touch, and beautifully tying in to the “let it sparkle” theme the whole celebration is building towards. The decision to have everyone’s favourite fairy in different poses depending on the lamp post is a nice touch too, adding a little variety while possibly creating some very nice opportunities for those creative with their cameras.

While the blue button may be reminiscent of a stop sign, I shall save judgement not only on when I see it in person, but also when I see it at night, as the lamp posts are rumoured to “shine with pixie dust” once the sun sets. A sight that could be quite breathtaking when looking up Main Street towards the castle.

The lamp posts don’t seem to be the only decoration set to sparkle either in day or night, if this texture sample is anything to go by. Using a sequin-like effect, this design will I presume be used on the previously mentioned Main Street Station as well as possibly elsewhere in the park and perhaps even in banners around the resort? A very clever approach that will surely help promote that sparkle idea we discussed before.

A staple of Disneyland Paris seasons – particularly recently – are the temporary meet & greets that pop up all over the resort to tie in. Although I’m sure more will be announced in time, today we saw concepts of a Minnie meet set up outside the Liberty Arcade entrance, along with a possible Donald location at the other end of Main Street at the Casey’s Corner side.

I have never been a huge character guy I cannot really get into the nitty gritty of the costumes and such, but I can say they do certainly look nice and I would love to meet them if these outfits make it into their 2017 wardrobes. The backdrops once again fit in very nicely with the blue and silver theme of the 25th celebrations, providing enough subtly to not be garish when exploring Main Street but interesting enough to be memorable.

Another spot often used for meeting characters of late has been the Town Square gazebo, which unsurprisingly will also get the blue and silver treatment once March roles its way in. Nicely keep synergy with the station and lamp posts, Town Square and indeed all of Main Street looks to be treated very tastefully and with the respect such an already gorgeously themed land deserves. This is one area I am very interested to see at night too, as lit up it could be something very special indeed.

Looking upwards to the castle side of Main Street, another regularly themed spot for these celebration seasons is Central Plaza. This is no exception for the 25th Anniversary where, once again, Tinkerbell will take center stage along with Mickey and Minnie blatantly ignoring the “no walking on the grass” policy. Although it is hard to determine through concept art (and concept art on a board, on a video no less), if these follow the same vein of the Tinkerbell topiary we saw during last year’s Swing Into Spring then we will really be in for a treat.

The biggest surprise from this reveal was something I haven’t actually seen discussed all that much, nor I believe was even mentioned in the video. In just a glancing look, we see three images once again in the familiar blue and silver 25th design: a train, Dumbo and a very stylish horse. At first, I thought this was concept art of the Character Express Train that has been wheeled out year after year after year since 2007, though on close inspection (and some correction on Twitter) it appears to be a Big Thunder Mountain train. As ED92 mentions in their tweet, these actually appear to be photo opportunities much like those we saw during Disneyland Resort’s 60th Anniversary. If that be the case then I would imagine these – much like their American counterparts – to be dotted all around Disneyland Park outside their corresponding attraction. So, the Big Thunder photo-op outside the coaster, Dumbo near the attraction’s queue etc.

Although this isn’t really something I would normally give a lot of time to, as they are usually a pretty cheap and uninspiring backdrop with little character, Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion photo-op was fantastic cleverly incorporating an iconic scene from the attraction. If we were to get a copy of this under the Phantom Manor label (with the appropriate changes made, of course) then I will happily queue for that photo-op, as I suspect many more will.

It’s still early days, and it should be noted that these are all merely concepts, but after this reveal I am very confident in the direction Disneyland Paris’ silver anniversary is going with their decorations. By keeping a subtle yet noticeable approach to the Main Street additions at least, it should be sure to keep the true beauty of the land while not becoming too loud and distracting to the eye. Indeed, this has the potential to be some of the most beautiful decorations to ever populate Disneyland Park’s entrance, particularly depending on how they will appear once night falls. Alas, it is only a matter of weeks until we know for sure and the blue and silver will begin creeping up the lamp posts and into the station; signalling all the additions and celebrations of the Disney’s 25th year in Paris.

What do you think of the 25th anniversary decorations? Do you think the blue and silver colour scheme fits with the park or would you have done it differently? I’d love to hear your thoughts both in the comments below and over on Twitter!

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