(31/03/2007 - 16:10) Continuing the trend for the 15th Anniversary to outdo all that has come before, a bumper motley crew of press and "celebrities" descended on the resort come March 31st, and luckily, for once, the "VIP" count almost outnumbered the "Who are they?" count...,
Roaming the park, swanning through cocktail parties and enjoying private nighttime events, you have to wonder how many of these guests ever have paid – or ever would pay – to get into Disneyland Park. Needless to say, they’re all a part of the marketing machine and do, on rare occasions, help to generate some extra publicity for the resort. The 15th Anniversary VIPs were a far cry from the 1992 Grand Opening, but still an improvement over recent years – some of the famous faces actually being well-known enough to not require the usual nudge and whisper of “who is that?”.
Next up, helping to launch the anniversary and introduce Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade – Andie MacDowell. She enjoyed several attractions in the park including Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, before joining the other celebrities in the red-carpeted Liberty Arcade and Discovery Arcade for the afternoon party and photoshoots (the arcades were therefore closed to guests from just after the end of the parade until park closure).
A face seen in the past at Disneyland Resort Paris – Italian actress Ornella Muti reappeared for the anniversary events. You might remember her from the press premiere of Disney’s Fantillusion back in 2003, where she was invited to ride aboard a special coach wearing a custom-designed illuminated gown – which, upon putting on, she immediately proclaimed “it’s too heavy!”.
A couple of the more high-profile VIPs kept a lower profile. Academy Award-winning Polish film director Roman Polanski was spotted only on the red carpet, whilst Phil Collins, a frequent visitor in the past, enjoyed laser blasting with his children – well, The Tarzan Encounter‘s 2007 premiere was still a week away.
Star of the show a little later would be Canadian-born singer Daniel Powter, most famous ironically enough for his song “Bad Day”, though he did give several journalists the chance to jump in with the line “Daniel Powter has a Good Day at Disneyland“, along with some rather “bad” press photos…
For guests outside of the exclusive red carpet events, the biggest sign of a celebrity presence came in the Royal Castle Stage area. Not only were Plaza Gardens Restaurant and the Bureau Passeport Annuel transformed into interview areas and broadcast rooms for the day, but with the parade premiere complete, the Dreams of Adventure float looped back around and arrived in front of the stage for a series of photoshoots, interviews and television introductions.
Whilst the press surged forward with any hint of a famous face, a theme of the day from outside the hustle became photos featuring gatherings of unknown press bodies. Though, on rare occasions, it paid off…
You have to wonder what Phil Collins thought of the parade, stood there to be interviewed in front of the Dreams of Adventure float, which features not the faintest hint of Tarzan.