Disneyland Paris Review: Swing into Spring 2016
After hearing about how good it was in the past few years, I finally made my first proper Swing into Spring visit to Disneyland Paris. I say proper, because last year I was there for the very last day of the season, but saw one Goofy’s Garden Party show and that was it! This year I was there for 3 days, and saw everything, I think. There was a plan, devised by the people I was with, which meant all shows and other forms of entertainment would be experienced, and that whole planning part was new to me too. The Forest of Enchantment was not officially part of the Spring season, but it was still a highlight of the trip, and you can read my review of that here. Now, in order of how I saw them in Disneyland Paris, here’s Swing into Spring.
The Eggs, Topiaries and Banners
I talked previously about the decorations of Swing into Spring just from photos I’d seen here, but it’s always different witnessing things in real life, wih your own eyes – as opposed to someone else’s?! The surprise Easter Eggs are the big new addition to Swing into Spring this year, with an emphasis on the big. I’d never quite grasped the size of these character eggs from photos, and they must have stood a good 2-3 foot high, as opposed to the 12-18 inches I’d been expecting. It’s nice we have a new addition, but for me they are just a little too big, and take over the areas where they are located. They look better at night, all lit up – but don’t most things?
The topiaries such as Mary Poppins and Burt in Town Square have returned, and still look great, but attention this year has to go to the fantastic Tinkerbell topiary in Central Plaza. It looks fantastic during the day, but at night it looks absolutely stunning, lit up and with the equally beautiful Sleeping Beautiful Castle behind it. With the 25th Anniversary next year I have no idea what they have planned, but at the very least I hope they bring out Tink again, and we see more like added year by year.
One of the things I had on my to do list this last trip was to take a photo of every banner on Main Street, U.S.A. They looked great, and I spent plenty of time in the area, but I was either queuing for chatracters or it was dark. So in the end, this was the one and only photo I took of the banners. Oh well, better luck next time Steve, if there is a next time for Swing into Spring.
Minnie’s Little Spring Train
Yet another makeover for poor little Casey, but he does look pretty swish as the always grinning Cheshire Cat as his engine gets its biggest transformation yet. I’d heard a lot about this song, and upon hearing Sunny Bunnyland I did find myself singing where we hop hop hop all day in a sunny bunnyland a lot. To say it’s catchy would be an understatement, and it perfectly suits the infectiously bouncy and happy train that passes you by. We entered into the spirit by wearing our very swanky £1 bunny headbands that Mark bought in the UK and brought with him. The bunnies on the train liked them though, and in another example of you get what you give, the more fun you have with the characters, the more they interact with you. I still have my bunny band.
It’s passes you by pretty quickly, but if you are on Main Street then you will see it go down one way and up the other, or vice versa. This gives you the best opportunity to see all the characters, and as they tend to just face one way that’s a an absolute must. The dancers that accompany the train look great in their bright outfits and compliment the characters and music perfectly. I know characters and jaunty music aren’t for everyone, but you’d have to be a pretty grumpy individual to not enjoy Minnie’s Little Spring Train and want to hop hop all day in a sunny bunnyland.
Welcome To Spring
I’ve said before that I’m not the biggest Mary Poppins fan, which seems to put me in a big minority whenever the subject comes up. Though ever since watching Saving Mr Banks I have been meaning to watch Poppins again, but just haven’t gotten round to it yet. Watching Welcome to Spring has me thinking that needs putting on the agenda again, because as happens a lot, seeing a film depicted in a show at Disneyland Paris, makes me what to see said film again.
Welcome to Spring is full of very upbeat dancing, to all the classic songs from Mary Poppins that even I know. The acting and especially the facial expressions are completely OTT and bonkers, but that just adds to its charm. It’s set on the Castle Stage with unsurprisingly, the Castle behind it, giving it extra points automatically. I’m told that when it gets dark this show gets an extra splash of magic, but we had plans meaning we saw a pre-dusk showing. It also has penguins, and any show that has penguins has to be good, right? I was actually shocked at how much I enjoyed Welcome to Spring. Putting my Mary Poppins prejudices aside, it’s a jolly music and dance show put on by a talented bunch of people, and that’s right up my street.
Goofy’s Garden Party
This is one piece if entertainment that we had very little choice in when we saw it, as for some reason it doesn’t run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and as our trip was Tuesday – Thursday, then Thursday it was. I had actually seen the 2015 version of Goofy’s Garden Party, being in Disneyland Paris on the very last day of Swing into Spring last year, but my mind was very much focused on Frozen Summer Fun back then. The Thursday of last month’s trip was also a beautiful Spring day, with the sun shining and actual warmth penetrating Disneyland Park.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Goofy’s Garden Party is the sheer number of performers involved and the variety of characters too. The costumes are quite something and the combination of mini floats and vehicles from Stars n Cars add a few different facets to this on the move show. There’s some great crowd interactivity too, from all involved. Like a standard parade there are a few stops, so you benefit from seeing it a few times in different places, something I didn’t manage to do. Spring Fever is another song that gets your spirits up and has you dancing away on the edge of the street. The lack of music releases from Disneyland Paris in recent years is quite sad, but Swing into Spring more than any other season deserves it’s own mini CD.
Overall Impression of Swing into Spring
There are also the characters in their Spring outfits, which I’ve written about already and you can read about those encounters here. Swing into Spring is a very happy season, with lots of bits of entertainment scattered all over Disneyland Park throughout the day. With the aforementioned characters and theming it’s a season you can enjoy from the moment you enter Disneyland Park until you leave, and shows like Goofy’s Garden Party have arguably more re-watch value than most others. Is it better than my beloved Christmas? Well it’s different, and while I don’t have the same lifelong attachment to Spring like I do Christmas, Swing into Spring is a season I enjoyed a lot and would love to experience again.
Will it be back next year, with the 25th Anniversary of Disneyland Paris arriving in April 2017 – I don’t know. Swing into Spring starts in March, and the 25th Anniversary isn’t until 12th April, so maybe we will see it return, and then altered and/or incorporated into the 25th Anniversary celebrations when they commence. As a season I’m hoping Swing into Spring has a future, whether it be next year or after a break returning in 2018, and I for one will be back, at the very least to hop hop hop all day in a sunny bunnyland.