Winners from this year’s Urdd Eisteddfod will get the chance to take part in a Welsh Festival at Disneyland Paris. Mickey Mouse dropped into the festival in Cardiff last weekend to announce an exciting deal between the Disney organisation and the Urdd.
Five of this week’s winners will be offered the opportunity to jet off to Paris next March to take part in the Welsh Festival. Eisteddfod Director Aled Siôn said the finalists will be selected from the best of Wales’ performers participating in song, drama, dance, poetry and arts.
“This is a very exciting collaboration and a wonderful opportunity for our members to display their talents to a new audience. The Urdd Eisteddfod is well known for the opportunities it gives the children and young people of Wales.”
“Here is yet another example of how taking part in this event can give those youngsters new experiences which will help them develop as individuals. This collaboration with a long-established name in the entertainment industry is something I’m looking forward to developing over the coming years.”
As Mickey Mouse was mobbed by exited children on the Eisteddfod Maes Peter Welch of Disney Destinations UK said: “Being a proud Welshman myself, I am delighted to be able to forge a relationship with the Urdd Gobaith Cymru.
“It celebrates the fantastic talent the youth of Wales has and make some of their dreams come true, by enabling them to participate at Disneyland Paris. This year is all about celebrating, with Mickey’s Magical Party taking place in the Park, so we are delighted to be able to bring some of the celebrations to Wales and would like to wish all the participants good luck today.”
For the past four years, Disneyland Paris has celebrated all things Welsh at its annual Welsh Festival, where Mickey and Minnie appear in their traditional Welsh outfits, St David’s day fireworks lighting up the sky over Sleeping Beauty Castle and guests can have their face painted whilst enjoying an extensive array of festivities over the three days.
The Urdd have organised trips to Disneyland Paris for several years. Mr Siôn said: “Two trips are organised and we take about 600 excited youngsters each time. This collaboration further cements our close ties with Disney. But the Urdd’s mascot, Mr Urdd, will not be making the trip to next year’s Welsh festival. He doesn’t travel very well.”
Yesterday’s Disney announcement marked the most successful international Urdd Eisteddfod for years. Mr Siôn revealed the Urdd are expecting competitors from as far away as Singapore this year. A regional Eisteddfod for competitors outside Wales was held at the end of March with preliminary rounds for those wishing to compete in the National Eisteddfod.