Season of the Force to debut at Walt Disney Studios

Duffy and I could not contain our excitement following the leaking of images and information about the new ‘Season of the Force’ being held at the Walt Disney Studios Park next year by a UK travel agency last week.

After days of waiting and lots of fan speculation –   Disneyland Pairs has finally released some official information about the ‘Season of the Force’ on its PR News website today.

The new Season of the Force event will be held at the Walt Disney Studios Park between 14 January to 26 March 2017 and according to a Tweet by French fan site ED92 Guests will be able to see Chewbacca, Vador, C3PO, R2D2, Kylo Ren, Cap Phasma, Darth Maul, Jedis, and Stormtroopers on stage during the  Season of the Force nigh time show which will include projections onto the parks iconic Tower of Terror ride.

Reliable sources have confirmed that the new night time show will be held at park closing allowing  Guests plenty of time to be able watch Disney Dreams! at the Disneyland Park as well.

Is this the start of the turn around of the often forgotten Walt Disney Studios Park?
I do hope so.

The Season of the Force is obviously an attempt by Disneyland Paris to cash in on the popular Star Wars franchise after the success of the Star Wars Night party held last December at the resort,  and increase the much needed visitor numbers the resorts desperately needs during the quiet January and March winter months.

Are they cashing in on the back of the release of the latest movie in the Star Wars franchise  Rogue One: A Star Wars Story scheduled for December 2016?  – Of course they are!  And I hope it continues.   Walt Disney Studios Park desperately needs a ‘season’ to call its own and I hope the Season of the Force is it, and it becomes successful for the resort.

The official press release which gives some information about this new season is below and more information is expected to be released on 1st September 2016.

Soon, in a future not so far away, Disneyland Paris will awaken the Force with an all-new and exclusive celebration of the Star Wars saga featuring live characters and stunning entertainment.

For a limited time only, in early 2017, Disneyland Paris will be gripped by the Season of the Force:

The Walt Disney Studios Park will present a giant night-time spectacular, which will transport guests into the heart of the Star Wars saga. This show, only available at Disneyland Paris, will combine live entertainment, breathtaking special effects and an epic sound and light show projected on the Park’s most iconic architecture.

Throughout the day, guests will also come face to face with heroes from the Star Wars universe. Encounter a patrol of Stormtroopers, face some of the most powerful members of the Dark Side or join the rebellion with the friendly Chewbacca.

This experience is guaranteed to dazzle everyone, from the youngest Padawan to the wisest Jedi. From 14 January to 26 March 2017, come to the Walt Disney Studios Park and let the force be with you with Star Wars, Season of the Force.

More information coming soon…..

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Spanish Policeman assigned to help tourists at Disneyland Paris

A Policeman from the Spanish port city of Valencia has been assigned to join French Police as they patrol the tourist areas of Disneyland Paris, La Vallée Village and the center of Val-d Europe as part of an international Policing cooperation program created by the French Police Force.

Spanish Police Officer Israel Gil-Amador said  “I was chosen because I already speak French well”.

He expressed his wish to undertake a mission in France to his superiors and  was  assigned to Chessy.

His main mission is to help Spanish or Spanish-speaking tourists. 

During the evacuation of the Marne-la-Vallée TGV train station after three suspicious packages were found  on 10 August, he was able to help and inform Spanish-speaking tourists on the steps to follow during the evacuation.

“Visitors have  found my presence reassuring and are far more grateful for my work here than in Spain” he said.

In addition to joining French Police officers on their patrols, he also helps with interpreter assignments. “It is very valuable to our staff when dealing with challenged or Spanish-speaking victims,” ​​explains Georges Jerome of the French Police.

Source: Le Parisien

Fantasia and Pinocchio win 1941 Retro-Hugo Awards.

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Two classic Walt Disney animation films,  Fantasia and Pinocchio were awarded with Retro-Hugo Awards yesterday (Thursday August 18th 2016) at MidAmeriCon II the 74th World Science Fiction Convention being held in Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A.

The World Science Fiction Convention or Worldcon for short is the oldest running  science fiction and fantasy convention in the word, and has been in existence since 1939.

The Hugo Awards have been  presented annually since 1955 are  one of the most prestigious awards in science fiction and fantasy.  Named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, they were officially named the Science Fiction Achievement Awards until 1992.

Retrospective Hugo Awards, or Retro Hugos, were added in the mid-1990s. These awards are given by Worldcons held 50, 75, or 100 years after a Worldcon where no Hugos had been awarded.  Therefore this years Worldon hosted the ceremony for 1941.

fantasia

Yesterday, 76 years after the release of Fantasia, Walt Disney Productions was awarded the Retrospective Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form).  The film faced competition from the likes of ‘Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe’ and ‘Dr. Cyclops’. 

 

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At the same ceremony Disney’s 1940 classic Pinocchio was awarded with a Retrospective Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) beating off some stiff competition from the likes of ‘The Invisible Man Returns’, and  the Tex Avery classic ‘A Wild Hare’.

Here is a full list of the finalists for 1941 Best Dramatic Presentation Retrospective awards.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) Finalists 

  • Dr. Cyclops written by Tom Kilpatrick, directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack (Paramount Pictures)
  • Fantasia written by Joe Grant and Dick Huemer, directed by Samuel Armstrong et al. (Walt Disney Productions, RKO Radio Pictures)
  • Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe written by George H. Plympton, Basil Dickey, and Barry Shipman, directed by Ford Beebe and Ray Taylor (Universal Pictures)
  • One Million B.C. written by Mickell Novack, George Baker, and Joseph Frickert, directed by Hal Roach and Hal Roach, Jr. (United Artists)
  • The Thief of Bagdad written by Lajos Bíró and Miles Malleson, directed by Michael Powell, Ludwig Berger, and Tim Whelan (London Films, United Artists)

 Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) Finalists 

  • The Adventures of Superman: “The Baby from Krypton” written by George Ludlam, produced by Frank Chase (WOR)
  • The Invisible Man Returns written by Joe May, Kurt Siodmak, and Lester Cole, directed by Joe May (Universal Pictures)
  • Looney Tunes: “You Ought to Be in Pictures” written by Jack Miller, directed by Friz Freleng (Warner Bros.)
  • Merrie Melodies: “A Wild Hare” written by Rich Hogan, directed by Tex Avery (Warner Bros.)
  • Pinocchio written by Ted Sears et al., directed by Ben Sharpsteen and Hamilton Luske (Walt Disney Productions, RKO Radio Pictures)

 

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To bring us back to the present this year two  Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures films have been nominated for the 2016 Hugo Awards, ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’  and of course ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’.

Both films this year face very strong competition from the likes of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, ‘The Martian’ and ‘Ex-Machina’.    The winners of the 2016 Hugos  will be announced on Saturday, August 20, at the MidAmeriCon II Hugo Awards Ceremony.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) Finalists 

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron written and directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
  • Ex Machina written and directed by Alex Garland (Film4; DNA Films; Universal Pictures)
  • Mad Max: Fury Road written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, and Nico Lathouris, directed by George Miller (Village Roadshow Pictures; Kennedy Miller Mitchell; RatPac-Dune Entertainment; Warner Bros. Pictures)
  • The Martian screenplay by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott (Scott Free Productions; Kinberg Genre; TSG Entertainment; 20th Century Fox)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens written by Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt, directed by J.J. Abrams (Lucasfilm Ltd.; Bad Robot Productions; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

 

World Science Fiction Society”, “WSFS”, “World Science Fiction Convention”,
“Worldcon”, “NASFiC” “Hugo Award”, the Hugo Award Logo, and the distinctive
design of the Hugo Award Trophy Rocket are service marks of the World Science
Fiction Society, an unincorporated literary society.

 

 

LEGO Disney Castle is yours for 349.99€


The recently released LEGO Disney Castle is now available at the LEGO Store in the Disney Village.  The 4,080 piece castle which includes five Disney figures is on sale for 349.99€ / £303.


Standing at over 29” high and 17” wide this replica of the Walt Disney World Resort Cinderella Castle is going to take a fair bit of time and space to build.

I wonder if LEGO is ever going to release a copy of the Sleeping Beauty Castle from Disneyland Paris?

Halloween at Disneyland Paris – Funny or spooky?

 

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For Halloween, the Disneyland Park is getting a makeover, as a strange and spooky atmosphere creeps over the Park. For just one month, guests will be amused, spooked and surprised by Disney Characters. This Halloween season, both the goodies and the baddies at Disneyland Park, will create unique experiences for guests, making them laugh and tremble.

In all their finery, Disney Villains will meticulously prepare their most spectacular tricks to tease guests. This is their chance to take the lead, providing laughs and ghostly Moments. Mickey and friends will still be around, so expect pranks and chuckles from them this season!

FROM A JOYFULLY FUNNY ATMOSPHERE…

From 1 October to 2 November 2016, Disneyland Park will run on laughter and shivers.

Despite allowing the Disney Villains to plunge guests into a spooky world, Mickey and friends will be here to help making mischief at Disneyland Park. Mickey, along with his fellow adventurers, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Scrooge McDuck and many more will be celebrating the harvest at Mickey’s Halloween Celebration. Bursting with colour and fun, the parade is the climax of the seasonal celebration, which takes a villainous turn soon enough.

Also, to make the most of the celebration, head to the Halloween Costume Corner  to discover the costumes Daisy is showcasing for the occasion. Stitch also promises to make a few appearances to create a spectacularly mischievous Halloween for guests.

Guests can expect to meet plenty of Disney Characters for monstrously funny souvenir photos.

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TO A SIMPLY CHILLING UNIVERSE…

Then it is showtime for the Disney Villains…

Maleficent, queen of the Disney Villains will take possession of Castle Courtyard, claiming it as Maleficent’s Court . This fearsome fairy will pose beside her unnerving bramble bush: a captivating encounter for half-amused, half-frightened guests.

Maleficent’s spell will extend to Royal Castle Stage where the Disney Villains will challenge the most audacious guests to attend their show if they dare: It’s Good to Be Bad with the Disney Villains! 

Because this year, the Disney Villains have planned even more surprises for guests.

Jafar (Aladdin), Cruella de Vil (101 Dalmatians), as well as Gaston (Beauty and the Beast), the Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland), and Captain Hook (Peter Pan) will be there. The Witch from Snow White, Frollo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and even Dr Facilier (The Princess and The Frog) will also be coming to wreak havoc.

Guests looking for a bit of adventure will also love the Park attractions, which provide thrills throughout the year. The loops of Space Mountain: Mission 2, the frightening track of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril and the delirious speeds of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith will send shivers down the spines of even the most seasoned rollercoaster fan. And for  more unusual thrills, guests will be able to venture off towards The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. This aptly named attraction will allow guests to rediscover their love of fear, as the elevator plunges them down. One thing is certain; the view is worth the detour.

AND JITTERS AMONG THE PUMPKINS…

The Halloween spirit will stretch its ghostly arms throughout Disneyland® Park, from Main Street, U.S.A.® up to Sleeping Beauty Castle. Sinister and comical, Disney’s Funky Pumpkins will oversee this transformation, amusing and intriguing guests. Meanwhile, the smiling phantoms of the former inhabitants of Main Street, U.S.A. will invite guests to pose with them, allowing them to immortalise the moment.

The most daring guests can go to Castle Courtyard, which has been taken over by an imposing bramble. Its worrying form, resembling a strange dragon, will change colour when night falls, transporting guests to a mysterious world, where they can enjoy a spooky experience.

DISNEY’S HALLOWEEN PARTY

The most daring guests at Disneyland Park can enjoy the culmination of the season, Disney’s Halloween Party 2 on 31 October 2016 until 1 am. When night falls, they will be able to continue to relish the atmosphere in the Park with fun, frights and surprises, as part of a unique and original experience at the mercy of Mickey and his friends and the tricks they have in store.

The Disney Villains will be happier than ever before, determined to provide thrills and chills.

With humour, frivolity and a healthy dose of mischief, Halloween will make guests laugh and tremble at Disneyland Paris, from 1 October to 2 November 2016.

Euro Disney S.C.A. 2016 Third Quarter Results

Logo_Euro_Disney_SCA

Euro Disney S.C.A. published their Q3 results for the fiscal year 2016 which ended on 30 June 2016 yesterday, and as expected following the recent terror attacks in the French capital attendance deceased at Disneyland Paris from all the Group’s key European markets.

Q3 saw an 11% drop in attendance and resort revenues dropped by 13% to €182 million. Hotels and Disney Village revenues decreased 6% to €132 million and hotel occupancy saw a drop of 2.4%. The decrease in hotel occupancy was attributed to fewer room nights being sold compared to the prior-year quarter. Theme parks revenues decreased 5% to €522 million due to a 7% decrease in attendance.

The resorts negative performance in Q3 has had a major impact on the Group’s liquidity position during the quarter forcing Euro Disney to draw an initial €40 million from the €350 million standby revolving credit facility granted by The Walt Disney Company. Subsequent to the third quarter, Euro Disney drew an additional €90 million from this facility.

The resort did see an increase of other revenues by €3 million to €30 million primarily due to an increase in booking cancellation fees.

The full press release for the third quarter results can be downloaded here.

 


EURO DISNEY S.C.A.
Fiscal Year 2016
Announcement for Third Quarter and Nine Months Ended June 30, 2016

Resort revenues for the third quarter were €324 million, a decrease of 10% compared to the same prior-year quarter. The decrease was due to lower volumes, mainly driven by the adverse events in Paris and Brussels

For the nine months ended June 30, 2016, Resort revenues decreased 3% to €924 million compared to the same prior-year period

(Marne-la-Vallée, August 9, 2016) Euro Disney S.C.A. (the “Company”), parent company of Euro Disney Associés S.C.A., operator of Disneyland® Paris, today reported revenues of the consolidated group (the “Group”) for the third fiscal quarter and nine months ended June 30, 2016.

As announced in April, Catherine Powell assumed the responsibilities of Présidente of Euro Disney S.A.S. in July succeeding Tom Wolber. Commenting on the quarter, Ms. Powell said:

“The third quarter faced difficult external factors impacting Paris tourism, including strikes, exceptionally poor weather and floods, as well as acute public security concerns following the events in Paris and Brussels.

In this difficult context, Resort revenues are down 10% for the third quarter and 3% for the nine months. Costs have increased, driven by our continued investment in entertainment experiences and hotel refurbishments, particularly as we prepare for our 25th Anniversary next year. Additionally, the Group incurred incremental costs related to security measures.

While our long term investments in the guest experience have begun to show improvements in guest satisfaction ratings on our most recently completed projects, the short term impact on increased costs in combination with the decrease in Resort revenues has resulted in a degradation of the Group’s financial performance for the period. In addition, as of now, we are unable to predict the potential impact on our business from the political uncertainties in Spain and the United Kingdom, as well as the recent event in Nice.

The security of our guests and cast members remains our highest priority and we continue to ensure we provide a safe environment for our guests to enjoy the magical moments that only Disneyland Paris can create.”

Resort operating segment revenues decreased 10% to €324 million, compared to €359 million in the prior-year quarter.

Theme parks revenues decreased 13% to €182 million due to an 11% decrease in attendance and a 2% decrease in average spending per guest. The decrease in attendance was due to fewer guests visiting from all the Group’s key European markets. The decrease in average spending per guest resulted from lower spending on admissions, merchandise and food and beverage.

Hotels and Disney Village® revenues decreased 6% to €132 million due to a 4% decrease in average spending per room, a 2.4 percentage point decrease in hotel occupancy and a 2% decrease in Disney Village revenues. The decrease in average spending per room was due to lower daily room rates and spending on merchandise. The decrease in hotel occupancy was attributed to fewer room nights sold compared to the prior-year quarter, with fewer guests visiting from most key European markets, partially offset by more guests visiting from France and Spain.

Real estate development operating segment revenues increased €2 million to €3 million. This increase was due to higher land sale activity than in the prior-year quarter. Given the nature of the Group’s real estate development activity, the number and size of transactions vary from one period to the next.

COST AND EXPENSES FOR THE THIRD QUARTER

During the third quarter ended June 30, 2016, the Group’s operating performance was impacted by an increase in costs and expenses compared to the prior-year quarter, driven by investments in the guest experience, including hotel refurbishments, incremental security costs and other operating cost increases, partly offset by lower volume-related resort costs.

REVENUES BY OPERATING SEGMENT FOR THE NINE MONTHS

Resort operating segment revenues decreased 3% to €924 million from €950 million in the prior-year period.

Theme parks revenues decreased 5% to €522 million due to a 7% decrease in attendance, primarily offset by a 2% increase in average spending per guest. The decrease in attendance was due to fewer guests visiting from most key European markets partially offset by increased attendance from Spain. The increase in average spending per guest was due to higher spending on admissions.

Hotels and Disney Village® revenues remained relatively flat at €372 million.

Other revenues increased €3 million to €30 million primarily due to booking cancellation fees.

Real estate development operating segment revenues increased €6 million to €7 million. This increase was due to higher land sale activity than in the prior-year period.

COST AND EXPENSES FOR THE NINE MONTHS

During the nine months ended June 30, 2016, the Group’s operating performance was impacted by an increase in costs and expenses compared to the prior-year period, mainly due to investments in the guest experience, including hotel refurbishments, labor and other operating cost increases. In addition, the Group incurred incremental security costs and costs associated with higher real estate activities.

LIQUIDITY

The negative performance discussed above had an impact on the Group’s liquidity position during the quarter and it drew an initial €40 million under the €350 million standby revolving credit facility granted by The Walt Disney Company. Subsequent to the third quarter, the Group drew an additional €90 million. Depending on future performance, the Group could further draw on its facility.

UPDATE ON RECENT AND UPCOMING EVENTS

New and Enhanced Attractions and Entertainment Offerings

The popular Frozen Sing-along show returned in June to Disneyland® Park and a new production, Mickey and the Magician, was launched in July at the Walt Disney Studios® Park.

The Group continued its refurbishment program in preparation of the celebration of Disneyland® Paris’ 25th Anniversary in 2017. To date, the Group has completed refurbishments of “it’s a small world” and Peter Pan’s Flight, which re-opened in December 2015 and July 2016, respectively. Big Thunder Mountain and Star Tours are currently scheduled to be completed in January 2017 and March 2017, respectively.

Catherine Powell assumes the role of Présidente of Euro Disney S.A.S.

As announced on April 12, 2016, Catherine Powell assumed the responsibilities of Présidente of Euro Disney S.A.S., effective July 11th .

Catherine Powell replaces Tom Wolber, who will return to the United States to take on operational responsibilities of Disney Cruise Line to oversee the expansion of that business.

Next scheduled release: Half Year Report on the Liquidity Contract in October 2016

Eurostar staff set to strike for seven days in August

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Eurostar rail workers are to take seven days of strike action this month in a dispute over their work-life balance, the RMT union says.

Eurostar staff in the United Kingdom will walk out from 00:01 BST on 12 August until 23.59 BST on 15 August, and for three days over the Bank Holiday weekend from 27 August.

The union says the dispute is over unsocial hours and duty rosters for about 80 train managers.

Eurostar said all passengers with reservations will be able to travel.

A spokesman said: “On the days of the strike we have made some small changes to our timetable to ensure that all passengers booked to travel will be able to on those days. Passengers affected will be notified in advance.” 

The company added it has been planning for possible strike action and is still in discussions with the RMT over the dispute.

‘Quality time off’

The RMT says Eurostar has failed to honour an agreement from 2008 over conditions for their staff.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Our train manager members at Eurostar have a heavy commitment to shift work and unsocial hours and are sick and tired of the company’s failure to honour agreements.

“Our members have every right to have a fair work-life balance that fulfils the operational needs of the company while guaranteeing quality time off for friends and family.

“It’s now time for Eurostar to come to the negotiating table with a set of proposals that honours our agreements and guarantees our members a genuine work-life balance.”

The RMT announcement comes amid strikes by its members on Southern and Virgin Trains East Coast.

Southern Rail staff are in the midst a five-day strike over the role of conductors, while the RMT announced on Tuesday that its members on the Virgin East Coast line voted to walk out in a dispute over staffing changes.

The RMT says the action on Southern Railway workers will be suspended on Thursday and Friday if the company agrees to urgent talks without pre-conditions.

Source: BBC News