The First Disneyland Paris Half Marathon Medals

In under 80 days time runners from all over the world will descend upon Disneyland Paris to take part in the inaugural Half Marathon weekend, and today the resort released the first official images of the medals that will be distributed to everyone that crosses the finish line.

Half Marathon
The gold medal of the half marathon which will be run on the 25 September 2016 features Mickey Mouse and  the Sleeping Beauty Castle of Disneyland Paris.



5 km Race
Little chef Remy features on the medal of the first 5 km race to be held at Disneyland Paris. Does this mean that runners will be running thought  Place de Rémy at Walt Disney Studios Park on 24 September 2016?



runDisney Kids Races
For the younger runners taking part in the Kids Races being held on the 24 September 2016, they will receive this colourful medal which features  Mickey Mouse.



Bonus Medal for the participants of the “Castle to Castle” challenge.
This special award will be given to the competitors who have completed the Disneyland Paris  half marathon as well as  one of the runDisney races at Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World in Florida, in the same calendar year.

The gold  “Castle to Castle” medal showcases the castle of the french park and the  flags of America and France.



If  you have not registered to take part in the Disneyland Paris marathon weekend, there is still time to do so at



First official interview with Catherine Powell


Here is the first official interview with Catherine Powell the new President  of Euro Disney S.A.S.

In the interview she talks about her career with The Walt Disney Company and we learn that when she was  five years old she asked her parents to change her name to Aurora, and  when she was eight  wished for a glass slipper from Father Christmas.



Terry Pratchett’s “THE WEE FREE MEN” to be developed into a feature film by The Jim Henson Company

The Jim Henson Company the creators of the Muppet’s has announced  the development of a feature film based on the late Sir Terry Pratchett’s “THE WEE FREE MEN,” part of the  popular Discworld series.

The long-awaited film adaption will be written by his daughter Rhianna Pratchett, an award-winning scriptwriter for videogames, comics, film and TV.

Her work includes the 2013 smash hit reboot of Tomb Raider, the BAFTA nominated Heavenly Sword and the Writers’ Guild winning Overlord and Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Pratchett, co-director of independent production company Narrativia, has regularly been named one of the top 100 most influential women in the games industry and won the Women in Games Hall of Fame award in 2013.


“THE WEE FREE MEN,” is the first in a series of Discworld novels starring the young witch Tiffany Aching. A nightmarish danger threatens from the other side of reality. Armed with only a frying pan and her common sense, the young witch-to-be must defend her home against the monsters of Fairyland. Luckily she has some very unusual help: the local Nac Mac Feegles—aka the Wee Free Men—a clan of fierce, sheep-stealing, sword-wielding, six-inch-high blue men. Together they must face headless horsemen, ferocious grimhounds, terrifying dreams come true, and ultimately the most powerful force of all – the Queen.

Brian Henson of The Jim Henson Company will serve as producer. Rhianna Pratchett, Rob Wilkins and Rod Brown of Narrativia and Vince Raisa of The Jim Henson Company, will serve as executive producers. WEE FREE MEN is a co-production with Narrativia.

“I’ve loved the Jim Henson Company’s work all my life, so it’s a great honor to team up with them and bring Wee Free Men to the big screen.” said writer Rhianna Pratchett.

“As a family owned company, we fully understand the importance of legacy properties,” said Brian Henson, Chairman of The Jim Henson Company. “The Discworld series is a richly developed world with devoted fans, myself included, and there is no one better than Rhianna to bring Terry’s beloved project to life on the big screen.”

The President of Euro Disney meets the Mayor of Paris

Yesterday (12 July 2016) Catherine Powell, the new President of Euro Disney met with the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo.

Mickey Mouse was on hand as Powell and Hidalgo posed for photographs on the stairs of the Disneyland Hotel as children from   the day-care centers of Paris visited  Disneyland Paris.

Catherine Powell commenced her new role as President of Euro Disney S.A.S. on Monday replacing Tom Wolber who has  returned to the United States to take on operational responsibilities of the Disney Cruise Line.

Powell said on Monday that “I’m thrilled to join Disneyland Paris & work with the wonderful Cast Members who bring the magic to life”.

A mother of two, British expat Catherine studied politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford University was previously Disney’s Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand and has more than 12 years of experience in global roles throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia. 

In her previous role, Powell was  responsible for leading all of Disney’s business divisions, overseeing global franchises, and expanding existing and new business in Australia and New Zealand.

Catherine Powell from Sydney to Disneyland Paris


On Monday 11 July 2016  Catherine Powell starts in her new role as President of Euro Disney S.A.S. replacing Tom Wolber who will return to the United States to take on operational responsibilities of the Disney Cruise Line.

Earlier this month the Australian Financial Review Magazine published  a very interesting interview with Powell – new head of Disneyland Paris.

From Sydney to Euro Disney, Catherine Powell’s charmed path to Paris

Catherine Powell had the briefest of stints running Disney Australia before she was appointed president of Euro Disney SAS, which runs Disneyland Paris. It sounds like a dream job, but the theme park has been unprofitable for much of its life since opening in 1992, despite being Europe’s most visited tourist attraction. In 2015, the Walt Disney company bailed out Euro Disney to the tune of $US1 billion ($1.5 billion), in return securing a controlling stake.

Powell has chosen not to speak about her new role at Euro Disney as she hasn’t started yet, but the task in Paris will likely be far more challenging than her Australian role.

A rising star at Disney, Powell started her career making corporate videos, after studying politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford, and then moved on to producing news documentaries, before following her husband Hugh Powell, then a British diplomat, to Paris, where she worked in TV rights for the BBC.

“I’d never really thought of myself as a sort of businesswoman. But I discovered quite quickly working in France, in TV distribution, that I loved negotiation, I loved rights, I loved the numbers, I loved the commercial side of it.

“Studying philosophy really taught you how to structure an argument and in negotiation, it’s basically an argument. And I think there’s a beauty to negotiations when you have complicated deals and you’re trying to craft something, particularly if you’re trying to craft it so that both parties feel good about it.”

After her move to Disney, it was Powell’s career that dictated the family’s moves. She says she told her husband: “I followed you around the place for 10 years. The next 10 years are mine.” While husband was British Prime Minister David Cameron’s deputy national security adviser, she ran distribution for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, at a time rights negotiations were becoming far more complex due to burgeoning digital technology.

“The clients that we were dealing with were no longer the BBC or RTZ, it was iTunes, Google, PlayStation and Microsoft.” There was a proliferation in the channels to deliver content and Disney was “at the cutting-edge of these deals because we had the content that people wanted on these new devices, all these new platforms, all these new products”.

Disney found itself, with its store of valuable content, in a position of power. “We were incredibly open-minded and curious about what technology could bring and the commercial opportunities that it opened up for us. The new revenue streams. You could look at the way in which programs were sold; could they be sold to one person on one platform for one experience and then later to someone else for a different experience?” For example, Disney was the first company to put long-form episodes on the iPod.

“We leverage technology in how we create all the amazing content that you see,” she says. “Technology defines how content is created, how it is distributed and how it is consumed.”

“For any content supplier, it was an absolutely wonderful time,” she says. Not so for legacy media companies, tied to one expensive platform. “If you had a platform that couldn’t respond to the sort of digital expectations of the consumer, you were in trouble.”

Disney she says, has a reputation for being tough. “We have a premium that goes with our brand.” But, she says, “We try to go for a win-win.” As a leader she has learnt – especially in the Australian role, where she was running nine lines of business including stage shows, retail and licensing products, theatrical release of films, programming and distributing television channels – that she has to delegate more.

“I have been a perfectionist, I have been somebody who enjoys mastering details, I’ve been somebody who absolutely needs to be prepared, I still think you need to be prepared all the time.” But as a leader, your definition of perfection has to change, she says.

Australia was a nearly saturated market with little growth expected. So Powell had to leverage the brand better across the business.

“It’s about one voice of the consumer, one brand to the consumer and that brand experience should be the same wherever you are. It was about taking our partners with us and saying, ‘Use the brand, lean into it, let us show you how we can bring the magic of Disney to retail or in the products, the experiences that we create.’

“We’ll make sure that we all know what each other is doing. If there’s something happening in the TV space, they will know what is happening at the retail space and vice versa, they will know what’s happening online, what other partners are doing. You connect it and it becomes a much bigger noise. And then consumers notice it and they spend more, and then our clients are happy and it becomes a virtuous circle.

“There were discussions that we’ve had with partners from all businesses where they would worry about value and saying, ‘You know, the Disney premium, we can’t afford it’, or ‘You’re too expensive.’ I would say, ‘Value doesn’t mean cheap. Value means that people feel good about what they’re paying for.’

“People don’t like being told the things are going to cost more. At the moment there’s a lot of sensitivity around the economy. It’s defining value as something where you bring something special and consumers feel good about it, and also helping our partners.”

She’ll miss the drive across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to work but retains a strong Australian connection. Her son is studying here, and she will keep the coveted role as director of that other icon, the Sydney Opera House Trust, chaired by Nicholas Moore, the chief executive of Macquarie Group, who employs Powell’s husband.


Source:  Australian Financial Review

Royal Albert Hall hosts Disney’s Broadway Hits concert


The Stage are reporting that Composer Alan Menken is to lead a concert of Disney hits at the Royal Albert Hall, London  in October.

Disney’s Broadway Hits will feature songs from shows including Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Mary Poppins, Tarzan and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

It marks the first time the Hunchback of Note Dame has been performed in Europe.

Menken and the West End cast of Aladdin will perform alongside the BBC Concert Orchestra in the one-night only event on October 23.

Lucy Noble, director of events at the Royal Albert Hall, said: “For the first time in Europe, audiences will be able to enjoy all of Disney’s Broadway hits in one incredible concert, in the company of a world-class symphony orchestra and a galaxy of stars, led by the legend, Alan Menken.”

The BBC Concert Orchestra will be conducted by Keith Lockhart, while further casting is yet to be announced.

The concert is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions.

Source: The Stage

The Mickey and the Magician show premieres at Disneyland Paris


Disneyland Paris premiered its newest show ‘Mickey and the Magician’ at the Walt Disney Studios Park this weekend.  Housed in the 1,100-seat  Animagique Theater in the Toon Studio section of the park, the show is the  replacement for the very popular and much loved Animagique which ran for fourteen years.


The duel language Franco-English show which runs for approximately thirty minutes features Mickey Mouse as an apprentice magician  who causes some magical mayhem one evening after he is set the task of tidying up the magicians attic workshop before sunrise.


With the help of a magical hat Mickey is transported into the worlds of the classic Disney films Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin and Frozen.  With appearances from such characters as  LumièreBeast, Genie and Olaf & Elsa along the way.


The show features the songs Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo (The Magic Song) from Cinderella, Be Our Guest and Tale As Old Time from  Beauty and the Beast, Circle Of Life from The Lion King, Friend Like Me from Aladdin and Let It Go from Frozen, which  were all specially re-orchestrated at London’s iconic Abbey Road Studios by Joel McNeely, who also created the music for Disneyland Paris’ nighttime spectacular Disney Dreams!


For the Disney character fans, appearing on stage with Mickey Mouse in the show are the Fairy Godmother and Cinderella, Lumière, Belle and The Beast. Rafiki,   Genie, Olaf and Elsa and the magical broom from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.


The Mickey and the Magician show has been created and  produced by  Associate Show Directors Katy Harris and Louisa Kriouche.  Kriouche started at Disneyland Paris in 1996 and worked in the Characters & Parades team until 1999.


After spending a year at Epcot in the Walt Disney World Resort, Louisa returned to France and joined the Ciné Folies acting troupe for the opening of the Walt Disney Studios Park, from there she went one to become a master of ceremonies at many of the park’s stages. In 2008 Kriouche became  an Artistic Director at Disneyland Paris and since October last year she joined Katy Harris as Associate Director of Mickey and the Magician.


Louisa Kriouche said “The idea for  Mickey and the Magician came from  Katy Harris who had wanted to combine the world of magic and illusion in a show at Disneyland Paris for a long time. For this show, the resort have  called upon specialist talent from outside of Disney, choreographer Tatiana Seguin and the famous illusionist Paul Kieve”.


To illustrate this return to where the magic all began, the creators of Mickey and the Magician draw inspiration from the great illusionist Georges Méliès and the famous magician Robert-Houdin.


Disneyland Paris has called on the acclaimed magician Paul Kieve to create the illusions in the show. “It’s hard to think of the word ‘Disney’ without also thinking of the word ‘Magic’. I became fascinated with magic when I was 10 years old and was always inventing ideas in my head. One of the great things about working on ‘Mickey and the Magician’ is that I can bring some of these ideas into reality!” said Paul Kieve.


Mickey and the Magician is an amazing magical show, and one families of all ages will thoroughly enjoy.

The Franco-English Mickey and the Magician show is being presented  in the Animagique Theater in the Walt Disney Studios Park daily at 10:30 / 11:35 / 12:40 / 15:10 / 16:15.

Photo Credit: Disneyland Paris