The Disney FanDaze Inaugural Party
The Vault

Experiencing The Disney FanDaze Inaugural Party in Disneyland Paris – From Home Via The Live Stream

Disney FanDaze has been a much talked about ticket-only event in Disneyland Paris for some time now, and yesterday was finally the day it all happened over in Walt Disney Studios. We only found out a few days ago that Disneyland Paris would be covering the event, but what exactly would that entail? Well, it turned out that their coverage was an all-encompassing 6 hours and 35 minutes of live video, which you can watch back now on the official Disneyland Paris YouTube channel:


Before I get into the different parts of the Disney FanDaze Inaugural Party, here are a few things that were revealed at the various panels by Disney Parks bigwigs such as Catherine Powell and Tom Fitzgerald:

  • Some of the original Vincent Price audio will be returning to The Phantom Manor during the refurbishment
  • Part of the refurbishment of The Phantom Manor will include revealing who the Phantom is – any guesses?
  • The Pirates and Princesses Festival will be returning to Disneyland Paris for 2019
  • Elsa’s Castle will be the weenie of the Walt Disney Studios once the huge expansion is complete

I’m also pretty certain that during one backstage interview section of the live stream that they confirmed that Disney FanDaze would be back in Disneyland Paris next year, 2019. The returning Vincent Price audio is incredible news for The Phantom Manor and something fans have been wanting for years, and on a much more recent timeline, the return of the Pirates and Princesses Festival will also please fans greatly. The panels weren’t live streamed, but news of their content spread through the community in quick fashion thanks to social media and I believe some accounts were even live streaming, but as the official stream was on YouTube I was able to have it on the television in the lounge, so that took priority.

Being in Disneyland Paris for the Disney FanDaze Inaugural Party would have been my preference, but back home the live stream certainly relayed part of the atmosphere and we got to see all the live shows and parades, several times in most cases.


Oh My, Ortensia at The Disney FanDaze Inaugural Party in Disneyland Paris

This was pretty big for Disneyland Paris, given that Ortensia had never been seen as a character before, in any Disney park in the world! This was presented as a show/mini parade hybrid and was full of energetic and foot stomping ragtime music, before Oswald came out, and soon after Ortensia herself. Watching back home on YouTube this was a lot of fun, with music that only got better with each viewing. In person, you’d have had to nail my feet to the floor to stop me dancing along. That wasn’t a suggestion, please don’t attempt to do that if you ever see me boogying away in Disneyland Paris! This is the kind of energy we need in Walt Disney Studios, and even if Oswald and Ortensia are not the focus, something like this should absolutely be added as soon as possible.


Dance Your DuckTales Parade at The Disney FanDaze Inaugural Party in Disneyland Paris

I didn’t grow up watching Disney cartoons on a Saturday afternoon so seeing all the Disney Ducks was never going to have the appeal for me that it would for so many others. That said, it wasn’t just my lack of attachment that let this down, from a live stream perspective anyway. I think this was definitely a case of you had to be there, which is the same for lot of Disney Parks entertainment when you make a judgment just from watching on a screen back home. This was my least favourite of all the entertainment last night, because as much as the characters and performers tried, it didn’t seem to be much more than a dance lesson, with most of the guests filming on their phones rather than joining in, which didn’t help the visual aspect. I have had heard from a few people I know who were there that they loved it, but then not only were they there to see with their own eyes, but they love the Disney Ducks too. So I think this one is a miss for me on a personal level, and also just didn’t come across well on the stream.


Max Live! Gettin’ Goofy With It at The Disney FanDaze Inaugural Party in Disneyland Paris

What a show! This was the highlight of the event for me, with a huge stage (biggest in Disneyland Paris history?), many great characters, fantastic music and costumes that take the recent high levels of costuming in Disneyland Paris up an almost unimaginable extra notch. When some parts of the event were repeated I was less enthusiastic, but when they showed Max Live! Gettin’ Goofy With It for the second time I was a happy little live stream viewing camper. The mix of characters was genius and I loved how the performers all came out with different costumes to match the characters in the spotlight at that time.

Unlike most it would seem, I’m not the biggest fan of The Emperors New Groove, but Yzma was certainly the highlight of this show – what a sassy diva! Of course anytime you have Stitch on stage I’m going to pay attention, and with Angel too? What a treat! I think watching Max Live! Gettin’ Goofy With It was the time I most felt like I wanted to be there, that and seeing all the amazing meet and greet photos that people were posting. Jim Hawkins from Treasure Planet would have been high on my meet list. Back to the show and it was one of the very best I have ever seen in Disneyland Paris, and surely they have to bring this back, or something like it. It’s too good not have as part of the Disneyland Paris entertainment offering.


The Disney FanDaze Inaugural Party Farewell Street Party in Disneyland Paris

This was very much like the parade of characters seen at the 12th April 2017 Grand Celebration with a few themed cars and hoards of characters. At first I was a little underwhelmed, and again, the curse of not being there struck, but then watching the sheer number of characters walk by and I got it. After such an incredible night of shows, parades and character meets, I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to then finish that off with almost every character you could ever want to see, walking right past you, high fiving and dancing around in front of your very eyes. A fitting way to end The Disney FanDaze Inaugural Party in Disneyland Paris.

In between repeated showings of these entertainment offerings we had backstage interviews with a number of Imagineers and executives which were very interesting, but could have been better if the backstage presenters knew more about Disney Parks and especially Disneyland Paris. They seemed to look down at their notes a lot, even for the simplest of things, got films mixed up, repeatedly got character names wrong and encouraged people to meet Daffy Duck! Hey, I know from doing the podcast and videos that it’s easy to get things wrong in the heat of the moment, but better knowledge of the brand you are representing wouldn’t go amiss. When we weren’t backstage we were treated to Lucy and Lydia roaming the parks, with seemingly even less knowledge of Disney than the backstage presenters. I had no idea who these two are but by all accounts they are big YouTubers so for a live stream broadcast over social media, that makes sense. It didn’t work though, and there were long periods of silence or awkward comments that weren’t particularly relevant. They’d probably be the first to admit they were on camera far too much, and little 30 second snapshots would have been the way to go. I like the idea of mixing backstage and roaming footage, they just need to prepare their presenters better, or go with different ones.

The karaoke on the set of Mickey and the Magician looked like fun, albeit a little lost in the live stream given that we couldn’t hear the crowd except when given the mic. I don’t think I’d have prioritised this over meeting characters or the shows, but it was probably nice to have a sit-down and chill out time for some. It must have been pretty tiring going from meet to meet and getting into position for all the entertainment in different places, It’s basically 6 hours on your feet and hustling for position if you don’t sit down for anything.


The Disney FanDaze Inaugural Party in Disneyland Paris – Verdict

From my vantage point on the sofa in my lounge back home, and from talking to friends who attended, it seemed to be a fantastic night and a success. There were reports on Twitter of some who didn’t get to meet many characters and were turned away after queuing for a long time, so like anything, there are always two sides to every story. Looking at what people have said, it seems it depends on who you wanted to meet as to how your night went, with Heroes and Villains Alley not going down so well. We only saw a few seconds of footage from that all night, which is maybe very telling. There will always be hiccups with any event being put on for the first time, but they can learn from this and make the next one even better.

The live stream, for the most part, was absolutely top notch, and to be able to see footage from inside Disneyland Paris for over six and a half hours was an absolute thrill, and the second best way to spend Saturday night. It was really nice to feel included and chat with people along the way. From what I’ve seen I certainly would like to be there for Disney FanDaze if it returns to Disneyland Paris next year, but it wouldn’t be a family trip for us. My 10-year-old most definitely would not want a whole night of character queues and parade spot waiting. I’m not even sure I’d be mad keen on lots of character queues, but I’d love to see the shows and just be there to soak up the atmosphere, and maybe even record live footage for a Disney FanDaze podcast. So thank you Disneyland Paris for all the coverage, and congratulations on what seems to have been a great Disney FanDaze Inaugural Party.