Better late than never, but news on this year’s Halloween season has finally arrived for us to sink our fangs into! This has probably been the most controversial lead up to a Disneyland Paris Halloween yet, as speculation quickly rose that major elements would face the axe in favour of the 25th anniversary. I made my thoughts on the matter in a previous article but to give you the brief re-cap: it makes perfect sense that Halloween (and Christmas, for that matter) would take a sidestep to allow the silver anniversary to shine its brightest all year.
What started off as a rumour by ED92 before confirmation from DLP themselves, we now know what to expect to fall upon Disneyland Paris this October. You don’t need to contact any spirits or play with tarot cards to see that this is going to be a surprisingly content heavy season despite the absence of some familiar faces.
It appears that what was feared by many is to become a reality as Mickey’s Halloween Celebration and ‘It’s good to be bad’ will not be returning this Halloween. This is no doubt down to scheduling issues with the 25th anniversary shows along with Stars on Parade, but I am glad to see DLP are aware that their priorities must lie with the new content for this celebration. As much as I love Halloween I’m aware that this season – that has taken years and thousands of euros in development – must take precedent.
Coming in as a replacement for the spook-filled entertainment is ‘Mickey’s Halloween Tricycle Gang’, a brand new “parade” consisting of the Disney villains and other characters along Main Street. Judging by the name alone this sounds like that recent rumour of rethemed bikes carriages we originally saw on the 12th April during the Grand Celebration, so it’s nice to see recycling is still part of the DLP philosophy. I doubt this will turn into a meet & greet in the same vein as the old castle stage show but instead feature several characters and villains top these vehicles as they loop from one end of Main Street U.S.A. and back again. If that be the case then it will be something more akin to the Character Train which I’m surprised – but relieved – isn’t being wheeled out for this. Let’s just hope these bikes don’t get the same endless makeovers poor Casey Jr. did and they can eventually retire with dignity.
Another new feature for this season is ‘Goofy’s Skeletoon Street Party’ hosted by, you guessed it, Goofy. As expected, very little is known about this yet other than it is expected to appear in Frontierland and, randomly, Jose Carioca and Panchito Pistoles of The Three Caballeros fame will also be in attendance. If we are to once again go purely by the name I would imagine this take the shape of a show with Goofy and backup dancers, or even other characters? I doubt this would be something coming to the Chaparral Theatre as it will be in the process of set swapping back to Frozen’s sing-along.
What is exciting to hear from this however is Goofy is set to appear at his street party in his classic skeleton Halloween outfit, a personal favourite of mine and makes a nice change from the usual bon bon scientist outfit we are used to see him don during the season.
Elsewhere in Frontierland, Mickey will once again to the land to meet guests, this time with Minnie, and I assume his famous jack-o-lantern in a box. Daisy is also making the move to Thunder Mesa and bringing her Costume Corner with her, freeing up much needed space to ensure the 25th anniversary characters still have room to meet guests in Main Street.
The biggest shift in position however has got to be those old no-good-doers, the Disney villains. As mentioned their castle stage show will not be returning, meaning their meet and greet area has also gone up in autumnal smoke. For 2017, the gruesome group will be parting ways and instead meeting guests I assume in different locations around Fantasyland and Adventureland. Maleficent will once again be entertaining by her gorgeous brambles while Cruella is taking a break from a squad altogether, opting to do her business in Walt Disney Studios Park.
I must admit to be very surprised and impressed by the volume of content appearing in what is technically a “quiet” Halloween for DLP. Yes, losing the cavalcade is a shame, and I can see why some may have wanted the villains show to return to the castle stage, but we are getting a new show and parade their place along with all of the existing character meets that make up your standard Halloween month. Some things may not be in the same as you expect them, but all of the content you expect from this time of year will be available in Disneyland Paris somewhere. Add to this all of the shows, entertainment and characters running for the 25th anniversary and this is sure to be the busiest October we have seen for a long, long time!
In all honesty, I doubt 2017’s Halloween season is going to end without a harvest celebration; not while the soiree is still well and truly a thing. Last year of course saw the mini parade get a villainous make-over for one night only on the 31st October. I’d be massively surprised – shocked even – if that and an original run doesn’t occur this year at the same event.
What do you think about the latest rumours of Disneyland Paris’ Halloween 2017 season? Are you excited for what new shows could be coming our way, or outraged that the cavalcade and castle stage show face a temporary curtain? Be sure to give me your thoughts in the comments and on Twitter!