Last year I visited Disneyland Paris on the weekend of the 18th November which, celebrates Mickey’s Birthday. There was lots of excitement and a huge build up because his next Birthday was a massive milestone of 90 years.
The World’s Biggest Mouse Party
Mickey’s 89th 2017
On arriving at the park, we got given a sticker to commemorate at the gates and, there was also a special Birthday cake being sold in the Deli on Main Street. Before Stars on Parade, there was a special pre-parade in the 25th Anniversary Family of Honour Car featuring Mickey himself. It was a fantastic way to celebrate his 89th.
On Friday 16th November, Disneyland Paris’s social media accounts started teasing us about the weekend. With special live streams being announced, speculation started in the community of what they could be for. However, many including myself noticed something wrong with the image. The date said the 17th November. How can Disneyland Paris get Mickey’s Birthday wrong? Surely it’s a typo…Not a typo at all.
— Disneyland Paris EN (@DisneyParis_EN) November 16, 2018
Many of us booked to travel on the 17th so we could be there for the 18th for the special surprises. Earlier in the year, Disneyland Paris themselves bought out a Press Release which said:
However, as the day got closer we soon realised they were just live streaming events which we already have in the park for the Press and nothing extra special was going to be missed. The only special thing was the Christmas Parade being shown in the evening, oh and a performance by singer Zara Larsson after Surprise Mickey in the Studios.
November 18th 2018 – The Big Day!
[Here is where I’d insert my sticker from this year if I had one!]
With the headline of World’s Biggest Mouse Party, you’d expect some special surprises on the 18th of November for Mickey’s big day at Disneyland Paris. The rest of the world had lots of offerings throughout the weekend of the 16th-18th November.
It got to pre-parade time, where this was the perfect opportunity for them to do something. Even like Guest Star Tuesday featuring the big cheese himself. Instead, we just had the Cupcake Girls and the song used for the celebration which we have on any other regular day. No Mickey or Minnie to be seen. This would have been very easy to add them in here in some Birthday outfits like the Confetti ones used in the other Parks. Even with some balloons but nothing of the sort.
Nothing during the daily Stars on Parade or after. Our hearts sunk in realising that nothing special or any extra surprises were going to happen that day. I am pleased I was there and managed to meet Mickey on the day to give him a card. It was a very special meet and one I will remember.
If you were lucky, there was a limited edition Pin on Lineberty to purchase at the Trading Post (that’s a whole other post in itself). Oh and a key similar to the Tower of Terror one.
Now I understand that there are celebrations every day for Mickey from the 1st of October to the 6th January but, every other park was doing something special on the day of the 18th, including prolonged celebrations. When it’s in writing by Disneyland Paris themselves, it is quite disappointing to have nothing happen at all and a poor show.
With the 18th of November aside, the shows that are on until the 6th of January are amazing. Starting with Surprise Mickey in the Studios Park featuring dancing Cast Members! With fan favourites Betty Rose and Jimmy Ocean as your hosts joining with Minnie and friends as they help throw a surprise Birthday party for Mickey. A few old references from Dancing a Catchy Rhythm and this year’s favourite Pirates & Princess Festival. Not forgetting the two brand new songs What We Got and It’s a Good Time, you will leave with a huge smile on your face.
Mickey’s 90th Annual Pass Soirée
After the disappointment of the 18th November, I decided to book a last minute trip for Mickey’s 90th Annual Pass Soirée they were throwing him on the 6th December. It was a shame they didn’t have it that weekend. I gathered all the effort would be at this Annual Party and it would go out with a bang.
I am very pleased I decided to take the plunge and go for this event. The last Annual Pass party of the year and I started with the Tower of Terror one back in March. However, to me, this was a mixed bag as it felt like Guest Flow didn’t have a clue where to send us and there were still teething problems.
Around half 8 we were sent to the right-hand side entrance turnstiles after queuing under the Disneyland Hotel. The opening ceremony didn’t start until 9pm and the party ended at half 12. On arrival, we got given a nice Lithograph of Mickey and Minnie and a fancy programme for the evening!
The opening ceremony was very cute and set the atmosphere for the night. Very 90’s Disney themed with all the VIP’s on stage in Central Plaza and was kicked off with the Soundsational Parade music which, is used in California (lots of confetti too!)
We managed to get a spot on the Discoveryland side of the hub as that’s where we needed to head to meet Vanellope afterward. It was an ok spot but, we weren’t allowed on the pavement at all meaning we were quite far back from view. This, in my opinion, wasn’t needed and they should have allowed us much closer. The Guest Flow couldn’t make up their mind of letting us on or off which meant a lot of shoving and confused faces.
Vanellope von Schweets
The only meet of the night, but the one I wanted was Vanellope von Schweets from Wreck it Ralph. The newest film just got released and it was her debut in Disneyland Paris. She was lots of fun to meet and we got a fair few PhotoPass Photos from it.
Les Folies de Mickey et Minnie
This show was amazing! The energy was incredible and there were so many Disney Characters at once dancing to a song from Tokyo called Mickey Mania. There were so many classic characters featuring the likes of Jiminy Cricket and the Country Bears. It was definitely a big surprise for the night! I wish I had gotten a better view for photos but it was great to not take them as well and just watch this amazing show! Why? Because we like you!
And now, Disney Dreams!
The highlight of the evening and the reason why I booked a last minute trip was for Disney Dreams!
This show holds so many memories for me and like everyone else it has been missed since they replaced it with Illuminations early last year. With the 25th Anniversary, it was announced that a new nighttime show would replace Disney Dreams and, whilst this intrigued us all for something new, we instantly wanted Dreams back as soon as it debuted. Illuminations is a nice show don’t get me wrong but, nothing beats Dreams. The cheer it received at the end should be enough indication that fans want this show to return. I used to wait for it every night to finish my evening in the park. With Illuminations, however, I feel I don’t need to wait an hour for a spot in the freezing cold. If I do, I will leave after The Lion King part (which in my favour is right at the beginning).
We wondered what version we were going to get. Would it be its first version back in 2012 featuring Mary Poppins and Jungle Book? Or The Lion King and Brave sequence. Or maybe even Disney Dreams of Christmas. Either way, Dreams was back for one night only.
Luckily for me, we got The Lion King version and I was so happy to see Peter Pan and Tinkerbell save the day again.
Improvements and Overall Thoughts
The stage wasn’t a great set up for this type of event. A set up more like Pirates and Princesses would have been much much better so everyone could have a good view.
Cast Members had no idea where to send us for the Vanellope meet and greet. They kept sending us to the Buzz Lightyear queue. The decision of having characters separately in the same line/area was a bad idea in my opinion. The FanDaze setup would have been perfect for this party. I do feel things need to be communicated a bit clearer at these events.
The music was great but it felt a little repetitive having around 4 songs on a loop all night.
The atmosphere was amazing, the Cast Members high fived you with Mickey gloves as you entered. The event ended with a mini character parade after the show which, was a nice touch and a surprise Goodnight Kiss from Mickey and Minnie like the 12th of April.
With a few issues aside, the event was fantastic overall. It was a good good good good night spent with friends and celebrating our favourite mouses Birthday. After all, without Mickey, I wouldn’t have the amazing friends I do. So Mickey here’s a big salute!