Disney brings Halloween to France! I was there the weekend before last, and I have to say the decorations were almost too much. The jack-o-lantern men are ALL over the park, and they are rather un-Disney, if you ask me.
Oh my ... here we go ... you leave the board for a few days and one of the eternal discussions among DLRP-fans suddenly is popping up here too.
Let me say so much: I really do like some elements of the Halloween decoration like the ghost / ghoul pullin the riverboat or the pumpkin growing "trees", the scarecrows or the Villain overlay of the parade, but the Pumpkinmen are certainly a question of taste - some love'em some hate'em ...
BUT for every music fan don't forget that since last year there is a new DLRP-exclusive Halloween song called "Halloween - lo ween everybody" which is really catchy upbeat euro-pop-song perfect for a parade. The single it is available on also includes a very, very eery instrumental version played (at least last year) on the riverboat during Halloween.
I assume much of where the difference of opinion comes in is that while the decorations may seem inappropriate to some, they do seem to be pretty well made. I can tell you if they were at DL USA, if we had that an extensive overlay, they'd all be plywood cutouts. And chances are we wouldn't get that extensive an overlay.
So while I can appreciate how beautifully done the various figures are (yeah especially that thing pulling the Mark Twain), it still seems inappropriate. And by inappropriate, I don't mean too scary or not Disney. I mean that, if Main St. is indeed a turn of the Century street, those pumpkin men don't make any sense. If Main st. was celebrating Halloween, they wouldn't have had such elaborately scary decorations in the early 1900's. If it's supposed to be some Nightmarish reality come to life, taking over a small town street, then it doesn't seem elaborate enough. All it seems like is that the people at DLP decided that Halloween was more important than guests being able to enjoy the general themeing of the park, which they would surely get far more out of.
The overlay in Frontierland I personally thought always worked perfect in the past because the whole land was rechristened to become "Halloweenland". Also the overlays in the past were always careful to fit into the rustic, natural look of the land. Only this year with the metal structure of the skyway for color-transportation did they move away from the rustic look.
Two years ago they really carefully expanded the decorations into Fantasyland but again adjusted them to the surrounding area, e.g. had pumpkins with sorcerer hats.
This all worked fine and always stayed true to a concept that made sense and for which the quality / scope of the overlay made sense.
The new "tradition" started last year to have the Pumpkin Men invade the Main Street (and since this year also the Disney Hotels) is more problematic. It is connected to the backstory that the Pumpkin Men, who had been presented as one of many elements in the Halloweenland in the past, now want more and are venturing out of Halloweenland and try to paint everything in their color (orange), but were frozen in time, when a witch crashed into the lights of winter arches (who are not named like that because that is their name only as of the beginning of the christmas season but which are up over the Main Street already anyway).
X-S tech, i couldnt have said it better! DLP seems to forget what staying in theme is with their seasonal decorations. african drumbands and jungle decorations in mainstreet to celebrate the lion king, ugly toons for the toon circus, and since last year these ugly pumpkinmen! it's just horrible. quanitity doesnt always mean quality.
I think the halloween theming also doesn't work for Frontierland. it's still a western place, even though they add halloween stuff everywhere... it never gave me the feeling of 'halloweenland'.
if one place deserves a halloween make-over, it'd be fantasyland in my opinion. fantasyland celebrates fairytales and legends, and halloween fits perfect in this world of folklore. The halloween decorations in Tokyo Disneyland look absolutely stunning. they should take that as an example!
and put the pumpkinmen in the studios.. they cant ruin the theming in that place anyway, since there isnt any.
I'm reminded of DL USA's Christmas decorations last year (or was it too years ago?) and how they seem to have crossed the line a bit. While I know some will say that they've gone too far decorating for the holidays lately, (New Orleans for example) I don't really mind the park being decorated. Toontown is wonderfully done, with appropriately toony decorations (including a tree in front of City hall bent over by it's gigantic star) and lights on each characters house. Oddly Fantasyland doesn't get much decoration taht I can remember (other than Small World obviously). Critter Country was decorated a bit when CBJ was there, just nice country things, with all the pine around it was a natural. Thankfully Adventureland and Tomorrowland remain untouched during Christmas (can't we all just see good ol' trader sam in Santa Hat and Beard?). Why was I talking about this? Oh yeah...
Last year just after the Christmas decorations went up, I wander into Frontierland after dark and what to my wandering eyes appears? Every shop in Frontierland is strung with white Christmas lights. Where do the good folks of Frontierland get electricity much less light bulbs? That was before Matt Ouimet came in but I wonder, if it's allready part of teh plans, if anything will change.
just back from a visit to the final weekend of Halloween 2004 at DLRP including the Halloween Fireworks during the Halloween Soiree (= Party = DLRP's version of Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party) ... while I don't want to get back to the decorations discussion (even so I did like some parts of the decorations ) ... I do want to post some info about the music ...
The Disney Villains' Parade's song is the same as last year "Halloween - Lo - Ween". It is available on CD since last year. Throughout the park different remixes of this song and the first DLRP Halloween Song ("It's Halloween") are played ranging from pop to mystic to steel drums and even (death?) metall! Which brings me to the fireworks' display (OK, but not outstanding or good, just too small) - it used the song again amended with instrumental sections and a (death?) metall rendition of it. VERY strange and totally unfitting for Disney if you ask me.
Only the "spooky" version played on the Riverboat is available together with the normal version of the song on the single sold in the park.
With the Halloween Party on Sunday the Halloween Season ended. Christmas Season officially starts Saturday, but a lot of Halloween decorations were already exchanged for Christmas stuff overnight and the Christmas parade (albeit without Santa's sleigh which is supposed to return only this Saturday according to unconfirmed rumors) started on Monday. The Christmas Parade returns with the song that premiered last year, the catchy "Chante C'est Noel" available on a single in the resort.
No christmas fireworks this year but a new tree & castle lighting ceremony featuring the princesses starting this Saturday. No word regarding its music so far.