Over eight months ago, we first saw visuals that suggested an extra-special centrepiece for the 15th Anniversary. Now, the Character Castle Makeover has begun! Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant has been scaled by no less than eight brand new, golden character statues in just two days, though it appears there was a bit of a scuffle on the way up...,
For several weeks, preparations have been underway to welcome the fifteen new golden creations to the spires of Le Château, including the much-noticed early removal of one of its spires (see photo). The first characters arrived on Monday – Donald, Daisy and Jiminy Crickett, followed by five more yesterday – Goofy, Pluto, Chip n Dale, Pinocchio & Figaro and Dumbo & Timothy. The statues are small and understated yet perfectly detailed, each one holding an intricate candle and standing on a jeweled, “15”-encrusted crown.
Whilst a January article in newspaper Le Parisien revealed the statues would be gold rather than full-colour, the characters are infact all tinted with particular colours each, such as pink for Daisy’s dress or blue for Donald’s sailor hat. Their eyes, noses and mouths (see Chip n Dale in particular) have also been picked out in full-colour paint, creating a unique decoration and a more “awake” cast of characters.
The “scuffle” comes from exactly those you’d expect it. We found out last October that Winnie the Pooh had been replaced by Pinocchio & Figaro, and just late last month that Buzz Lightyear had joined the makeover, but now it seems Chip n Dale have beaten Hewey, Dewey & Lewey to a more prominent spot the Castle’s lower-right spire, when compared to the original visuals.
The change was, however, included in the latest concept art we saw last month, with Hewey, Dewey & Lewey now resting precariously on the spire to the right of the main balcony.
The work is taking place overnight, using the same means (a huge crane) as the installation of the Christmas Enchanted Fairytale lights – most of which have, infact, also made an early return to the park. These thousands of small LED lights, wrapped on cages which sit atop the spires, likely provide the electrical supply for the fifteen new candle illuminations themselves.
The candles, to be lit during Candleabration, appear to be opaque glass bulbs sprayed lightly with gold paint, though we’ve no indication yet what kind of lighting effect they will give. It is unlikely the Enchanted Fairytale lights will be used during the ceremony (until Christmas), though it has been suggested the “pixiedust” effect (created by the larger, white lights dotted across the turrets) will be used during Candleabration.
The spiraling trail of pixie dust around the top of the Castle is already in place for Tinker Bell, who is due to join the Seven Dwarfs, Buzz Lightyear, Lumière, Hewey, Dewey & Lewey, Cheshire Cat, Mickey & Minnie and the giant “15” window to complete the makeover shortly.