As part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations Disneyland Paris retired their old parade Disney Magic on Parade which made it’s début for the 20th anniversary and replaced it with Disney Stars on Parade. A lot of people were really sad about this and Disney Stars on Parade still gets way too much hate but Walt Disney was all for progressand I think Stars on Parade is definite progress. Personally as much as we loved Magic on Parade, we adore Stars on Parade and feel so thankful we’ve already seen it. But incase you haven’t and you don’t mind spoilers, here are my thoughts on each unit and the parade as a whole.
The parade starts out with Alice, Hatter, Mary, Bert, Pinocchio, Tigger, Aladdin & Genie on foot who do choreography the whole way along the parade route. Although I love this start I do feel sad that they have no time for any interaction like they did in Magic on Parade but there is no denying how good they look so in sync and the music sounds great. Behind them comes one of the newly made units especially for Stars on Parade. It’s a giant book with Tink and all the magic escaping from it followed by a giant telescope. On it there is Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Chip & Dale and Pluto. All dressed in steam punk outfits and looking amazing, they’re supposed to be explorers from the future. It should be noted that each unit in the parade represents an important part of Disney magic. This unit with Mickey & co is called Discover the Magic which I think fits perfectly.
A note on the song. Unlike Magic on Parade, I’d say the English to French ratio is 60%-40% split favouring French. I have absolutely no issue with this. The park is in France. My only problem with the song is how fast it is. Because of the speed I don’t find it as catchy Magic Everywhere and I do find the units move faster to keep up with the music. Although I do love that there is different music for each unit seamlessly join together like Festival of Fantasy in Walt Disney World. It gives the parade a much more modern feel.
Next up there is Discover Friendship which is represented by the characters of Toy Story. Lead by a mixture of green army men and cowboys and girls this unit was built especially for Stars on Parade. Buzz sits atop in his rocket with a green alien below blowing bubbles. Jessie is on one side and Woody on the other and he sits on top of Slinky. There is also a big mechanical wheel with two performers inside. All in all it’s pretty fantastic looking and I love the bright colours. Although Buzz is really high up, Jessie and Woody are at perfect crowd level for interaction. Woody signed “you’ve got a friend in me” and then made a heart at Little Miss which made her day, she also really loved the bubbles.
The next two units are actually made up part of Tokyo’s Jubilation Parade (where the front & back parts of Festival of Fantasy comes from) first up Discover Adventure which features The Lion King and Jungle Book. The unit is lead out by some monkeys that remind me of the Tumble Monkey’s in Festival of the Lion King an some exotic bird dancers. The unit itself is fronted by a baby Simba and Rafiki with Timon on one side an King Louie on the other. The back is a giant Baloo and Kaa with Mowgli riding high. This made me SO HAPPY, Mowgli isn’t ever in the parade so it was so much fun to see someone different. Again I adore the bright colours of the unit and the performers out front have the most amazing costumes!
The second unit from Jubilation is Peter Pan. This of course is LM and my favourite unit especially since it’s lead out by our girl Wendy and the Lost Boys. The costumes of the Lost Boys are my favourite, unlike the ones they wear in Festival of Fanasty which are based on the musical Newsies, these are more keeping in with the original 1953 movie. My favourite is Tootles because he’s wearing Mr Darlings shirt front with the map on it. It’s an awesome touch and I practically screamed with glee when I saw it. I love that Wendy is regularly in the parade too and on foot so she can run over to LM. The unit itself has Captain Hook sat on Skull Rock with Mr Smee on one side. Behind it there is a moon with the ship hanging from it. Peter is on the ship which swings along with two of the Lost Boys. Although Peter is up so high he can still see the crowd and was able to wave to LM. The ship swinging in the sun looks absolutely amazing. The Peter Pan unite represents Discover Imagination which couldn’t be more apt for Peter Pan, without Imagination you would never be able to get to Neverland.
Another new unit follows and this one is Discover a New World and features Finding Nemo. For me this is my least favourite unit although I do love the ladies as sea lushes. The unit was specially put together for Stars on Parade and is lead out by fantastic looking sea lushes along with Nemo, Marlin and Dory who are puppets that remind me very much of Finding Nemo the Musical in Walt Disney World. Following this mixed up in a sea of bubbles is Crush and Squirt.
Next is the unit everyone was looking forward to, the fire breathing mechanical Maleficent in her dragon form. They have it at Walt Disney World and it’s proved very popular so when it was announced here I was very exciting especially since the centre piece of Disneyland Parc is Sleeping Beauty castle. It didn’t disappoint and although people have been complain that she hasn’t been breathing fire she breathed fire on all three of our days. Preceding her is Prince Phillip fighting the thorns and I love what he wears over here, including a kick ass cape. Carrying her tale is one of her minions who quite frankly gives me the absolute creeps, I doubt we’d ever see something like that in the US, he seemed very European folk law-ish. I love the slight differences that make it unique to Disneyland Paris. I cannot wait for LM to watch the parade as Briar Rose this month. This parade unit is aptly named Discover Enchantment.
As ever, good always triumphs over evil especially in Disney. The next unit is Discover Romance and is rumoured to be having a complete make over in the next year. Just now it features the carriages from Disney Magic on Parade upcycled carrying Rapunzel and Flynn, Belle and her Prince and Cinderella and Prince Charming. On foot you have Aurora along with the three good fairies, Snow and her Prince, Ariel and Eric & Tiana and Naveen. I am SO SO SO glad Aurora gets the spotlight on her. She waltzes between her three fairy god mothers looking so graceful and beautiful. In Festival of Fantasy her unit was cut in favour of Frozen as they felt she was represented by the dragon. If they’d done the same in DLP where her castle stands t would have been sacrilege. Thankfully she’s there and I possibly cry every time she walks past. I love this unit, it’s my second favourite after Peter Pan.
And if you hadn’t had enough man candy, my personal favourite Kristoff leads out the final unit with some very fancy snowflakes. Yes, Frozen brings up the rear in Discover Wonder. Yeah I’m so done with Frozen and was so glad that this is the only way it’s represented in the 25th Anniversary Celebrations. I do love the float itself though, the pastel colours are a lovely contrast to all the other brightly coloured units. It was created especially for Disney Stars on Parade and is compilled of Sven in the style of a rocking horse with Olaf sat on top. Then Anna & Elsa behind. My least favourite thing about it is the “snow” that comes out the back that is actually bubbles and could be really deadly to your expensive camera and lens, eek!
You can see the rest of the photos I took of the parade over our three days in the parks on my Flickr.
Over all, I love this parade. I do wish it went a little slower, had more time for interaction and was a few more units long but having seen it in person it’s fantastic and deserves as much love as it’s Magic on Parade. It makes you want to dance, to clap and to sing along. It’s the kind of parade Disneyland Paris needed to bring them into the modern age of Disney entertainment. I look forward to enjoying it for many years to come.