DISNEYLAND Paris today unwrapped a spectacular Christmas season boasting a host of family favourites – and a sci-fi twist from a galaxy far, far away.
The festivities begin on November 13 and run all the way through to January 9 next year, and include a new parade, a visit from Santa and the return of The Lion King.
Oh, and yes, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle will be besieged by Star Wars Stormtroopers as the Disney Illuminations son-et-lumiere show blasts back into night-time action.
Starting from November 13, the park will be decked out in seasonal style with a huge 24m tall Christmas tree glittering with a thousand lights on Main Street, USA, on the road to the Castle.
There’ll be new 78 real Christmas trees in all, 7km of garlands, 11,604 Christmas ornaments, 37,000 seasonal flowers and 200 new costumes for parade performers.
The forecast is good for a traditional white Christmas, too – because the Disney special effects team will ensure it snows at least 12 times a day on Main Street.
Iconic characters such as Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Stitch will head up the party atmosphere, and a new parade will wend its way through the park by day and by night.
Disneyland Paris teams have secretly been developing Mickey’s Dazzling Christmas Parade! for several years, and promise the spectacle will be different to past incarnations.
Five huge floats, featuring not only Mickey and his friends, but also Disney Princesses and Santa, accompanied by Tinkerbell, will each represent a traditional Christmas scene.
“This new Parade is a surprise because there is a daytime version and it becomes a new show come nightfall with hundreds of thousands of lights that illuminate these floats and tell a new story,” says show director Emanuel Lenormand.
Making a comeback for the Christmas season is fan favourite show The Lion King: Rhythms of the Pride Lands, which will open on October 23, while the Disney Illuminations run from December 21.
The latter features state-of-the-art technology and incorporates sounds, lights, projections, fountains and pyrotechnics, all of which play out stories on the walls of the Castle.
It features The Little Mermaid, Frozen and Finding Nemo as well as a pirate ship battle on Captain Jack Sparrow’s Black Pearl and the Millennium Falcon, TIE Fighters and those Stormtroopers.
For more information, Covid safety advice and bookings see www.disneyholidays.co.uk or call 0800 169 0737.