The special event lineup for 2018 at Disneyland Paris has been quite impressive. With the park hosting a year and a half long celebration for their 25th anniversary, guests have been treated to new events, shows, and characters. This year, the Park debuted the Princess and Pirates festival, the exceptional FanDaze, The Summer of Superheroes, Rendez-Vous Gourmand, and Disney Loves Jazz.
Disney Loves Jazz Soiree
Much like FanDaze, Disney Loves Jazz was a one-night hard ticket event, this time featuring jazz concerts throughout Walt Disney Studios Park, character meet and greets, Le Rendez-Vous Gourmand, attractions, and more. Guests could also purchase a premium ticket that included a separate hour and a half jazz concert called Jazz Loves Disney. Jazz Loves Disney would perform with a full band/orchestra, and highlight the singing talents of six jazz artists. Standard tickets were 49€ and premium tickets were 69€. I decided to wait until I got Paris to purchase my ticket, and then wait until I had my Annual Pass just in case I could get a discount.
From our experience with FanDaze and those tickets seemingly not selling out, I figured it would be ok to wait. When I inquired about tickets at Parc Disneyland’s City Hall, the Cast Member wasn’t sure if there were any left. This was troubling for a moment as this event was one of the reasons I came to Paris. Fortunately, tickets were available and a premium one too! I even saved 10€ thanks to my new Annual Pass.
The Disney Loves Jazz event started at 8 pm and went until 1 am. I didn’t get to the park until a little after 8 pm and had to wait about 15 minutes to get inside. As I was walking over I assumed that I’d be able to walk right in, especially since the FanDaze crowd moved quite quickly. However, for DLJ, premium ticket holders needed to be given a wristband prior to entry. Add to that guests entering in waves instead of one long line making entry seemingly longer.
Unlike FanDaze, there was nothing going on in the front courtyard. I asked a Cast Member for a program for the night and learned that seating for Jazz Loves Disney would begin at 8:45 pm. I quickly walked around the park to see what characters were out, but mostly I was looking for Edgar from The Aristocats. He hadn’t stepped out yet, so I headed towards the concert. I could have waited in line to purchase a limited edition pin to celebrate the event, but I fear that would have come at the expense of the concert.
Jazz Loves Disney Concert
The concert was held on the Moteurs… Action! stage and guests were already lined up by the time I got over there. I managed to get a decent spot in the line and once seating opened, we moved through pretty quickly. I was extremely fortunate to find a single middle seat in the front row of the bleachers. The concert was supposed to start at 9:30 pm but there was a 10-minute delay before the band actually began performing. Once we were all settled in, the Emcee greeted us and the full band came out to get the evening started. They played—and then the spotlight performers came out.
Fans were treated to the musical stylings of:
- Hugh Coltman
- Robin McKelle
- China Moses
- Ben l’Oncle Soul
- Myles Sanko
- Selah Sue
Five of the artists performed several songs and I was beginning to think maybe Selah Sue couldn’t make it. We got through nearly the whole concert before she came out to sing one song. Still, it was a lot of fun. The emcee seemed pretty silly and while I didn’t understand any of what he was saying, the audience around me did and they were having a great time.
A few times throughout the night one of the musicians would accompany the singers and play a solo portion of the song. Then, there were a few times when the emcee would highlight a section of the band and we’d applaud for them and their amazing talents.
The concert itself was the biggest highlight of the evening, and I’m really glad that purchased the premium ticket. I took a special liking to China Moses, because she was super energetic, seemed so happy, and she had an awesome pair of gold pants. Then the following day, I saw her walking around Walt Disney Studios Park and went up to say hello. She graciously let me take a picture with her. So, yeah, I’m a little biased.
Character Meet and Greets
After the concert I walked around the park to catch a picture with Edgar and hopefully Marie, Berlioz and Toulouse. I managed to get pictures with both, but the Kittens photo is super blurry. A couple of things about these meet and greets:
1. I was shocked and slightly pleased that Edgar was a face character and didn’t have a giant plastic head. While I didn’t wait in line to meet him, he was very involved with his character and interacted well with guests. He was also really funny and everyone loved taking the loud and exaggerated “SHHHH the kittens are sleeping” photo.
2. In my opinion, the meet and greet for the kittens was not laid out well. They were tucked in a tight corner and the line to meet them cluttered the walkway.
Unlike FanDaze, getting pictures of the three of them without waiting in line was not easy. At FanDaze, guests could easily walk up to the meet and greet and snap an unobstructed picture with their favorite characters and move on. Not so much at Disney Loves Jazz. Since we had taken pictures of much rarer characters at FanDaze, I didn’t make them a priority during this event. I did see The Incredibles, and Oswald, but did not go to any of the other meet and greets.
There were several stages set up around throughout the park where mini concerts were held. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to many of these performances. Had I planned my time a little better I think I could have done more, however considering I was working alone for this project, I’m satisfied with what I accomplished. Also available to guests during this event was Le Rendez-Vous Gourmand.
After finally deciding what I was willing to spend money on, several places began to close down for the evening. Mind you, the main concert lasted until 11 pm and the food kiosks starting closing between midnight and 12:30 am, but still I was getting frustrated. I was on my fourth option before I finally got something to eat and, at this point, I was starving. I had a beef lasagne from Italy and it hit the spot. There were two bars set up in the park just for this evening so I treated myself to champagne and listened to some electro-jazz.
The more I think about the night, the more I like it. Re-listening to the Jazz Loves Disney concert has brought me a lot of joy and great memories. Was this as good as FanDaze? Definitely not. FanDaze lasted longer, hosted several parades, had multiple shows, and so many characters. That being said, Disney Loves Jazz had many things going for it. Several attractions remained open and I chose to ride three—all with waits under 10 minutes. There were plenty of wonderful food options throughout the entire park as well as numerous shopping locations. A concert “lounge” was set up in front of the electro-jazz stage that was adjacent to a bar, making it a great place to relax and enjoy the music.
Disney does a great job creating an environment that’s both family-friendly and adult at the same time. I was actually surprised at how many parents with young children were in attendance, not because they shouldn’t be there, but just that this jazz fest was so appealing. And while FanDaze seemed more family friendly, it mainly appealed to Gen Xers and Millennials. I really liked the “adult” feel of the evening and would have loved to have my husband with me, but even on my own, it was a lot of fun. I’m anxious to see what other events Disneyland Paris will host and how those will compare to FanDaze and Disney Loves Jazz. If you are visiting the Resort during a special event. it’s definitely worth it to get tickets.