Disneyland Paris Update: Halloween 2002
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A Summer to Remember?
I must admit that even I was surprised by the fact that I had not filed an update for Disneyland Resort Paris ("DLRP") since the June launch of the Disney Cinema parade at the Walt Disney Studios Park ("WDSP"). However, there has simply been little to report. The Resort threw its extensive pan-European marketing and promotional muscle into action for the March launch of the WDSP. There was simply nothing left for the peak summer season. DLRP hoped that the new park would attract enough unique guest visits without the need for any new attractions or shows. Both parks have had a highly successful season with hotel occupancy hitting new heights and guests extending their stay to explore the new park. Guests purchasing the new 3-day park hoppers and the trial of the WDSP day passport that grants access to the Disneyland Park ("DLP") for the final three hours of operation have been major drivers for growth at DLRP. The availability of the latter park passport is not been extended into the off-peak season, largely due to the shorter opening hours and the absence of the Main Street Electrical Parade and Tinkerbells Fireworks as evening entertainment at DLP (until Christmas).
September was always the first hurdle for the newly re-christened Resort as the WDSP will celebrate its sixth month anniversary and DLRP is due to publish results next month. Therefore the resort has recently announced some changes to the Winter season for 2002 to ensure guests return to the Resort.
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The decision to celebrate Halloween at DLRP remains one of the most inspired in the resorts short history. The Resorts first October in 1992 saw a precipitous drop in attendance figures and DLRP quickly realised that a bridge between the essential peak seasons of summer and Christmas was essential. A month-long celebration of the American holiday tradition of Halloween was the key to driving guests, especially annual passholders back to DLP. Each year, the park has added new features and weekends during October sees guests returning to see Frontierland become HalloweenLand!
This is the sixth season of Halloween at DLP and is due to kick off on October 1 until November 3 2002. In previous years, DLP has restricted the "makeover" to Frontierland. However, in 2002, Halloween is expanding to include Fantasyland for the first time ever! At selected times during the day, an all-star cast of Disney Villains will get up to all sorts of mischief as they try to take over Fantasyland. Only the Disney heroes and some very brave guests stand between them and complete possession of the home of Disney fairytales and storytelling. Guests can expect to see the medieval battlements of the stunning Sleeping Beauty Castle to be overrun with some spooky new adornments, especially pumpkins.
Up to five times a day, Merlin the Magician will gather children around him to teach them some magic spells, but each time, the lessons will be interrupted by an invading group of Disney Villains! Merlin enlists the help of his young apprentices to help defend Fantasyland, but are they strong enough? Happily for them, Mickey Mouse and his friends, the Disney heroes, arrive just in time to help fend off the Disney Villains, bringing peace to Fantasyland once again. At the end of each show, the Disney characters will meet and greet guests for souvenir photo opportunities and autographs. The dormant Fantasyland Festival Stage will host as series of face-painting workshops for children of all ages!
The daily bonus parade, the Halloween Happening will return to entertain guests, as this musical event featuring witches, skeletons, bats and the infamous Disney villains winds its way up Main Street, U.S.A., towards its new destination; Fantasyland.