New Programme fills every hour with magic

Tuesday, 10th June 2008 at 17:17

ImageThe Studios and the Park have united as one -- the latest Programme puts showtimes for both in the same, smaller leaflet, planning out the times like a TV listings guide, filling every hour of the day with magic.,

Since 6th October 2006, the show, parade and character meet ‘n’ greet times have been separated from the main Park Guide of each park with a special Entertainment Programme, later shortened to simply the “Programme”.

Similar to the Times Guides you find at other Disney parks around the world, these are printed on lower grade paper in a single colour tone. However, collect them all and you’ll be carrying around four separate leaflets to plan your day — for two parks which likely see more “park hopping” than any another resort. Excessive? It seems the park planners at Disneyland Resort Paris thought so.

The two Programmes have just become one:

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Compared to the previous design we saw at the start of ‘The Celebration Continues’, the new Programme immediately appears to boast a much more accomplished front cover design. The shiny wrapping paper and ribbon themes are carried through, with the two park logos on two labels. A new clock graphic with a ’15’ symbol at its centre sits next to the text “Show dates and times, Meet ‘n’ Greets with Disney Characters, Park opening hours”.

You’ll notice right away that the row of Mickey Mouse silhouettes carrying languages (such as FR, GB, ES, IT) which used to be at the top of the cover is now gone. The new Programme is instead intended to be a language-free affair, cut down from eight pages to four and using only French and English inside. Since the show and parade names are mostly the same for each language, certainly in announcements and signage around the parks, it makes sense.

On the back, you find the latest opening hours, a new box for any current attraction closures, the box advertising Walt Disney Studios Park’s new Bluetooth trial and an advertisement for character meals.

Open it up, however, and things are suddenly a whole lot different…

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Gone is the simple vertical list of characters, shows and parades. Instead, the times guides are turned on their side to stretch across the page. With each hour given its own column, the showtimes are then slotted into the relevant boxes, the idea here being that, say you’re in the park at 4pm looking for something to see, you can now go straight to the relevant column, rather than scanning the whole listing for any times close to 16:00.

Initially the table may appear slightly confusing and unnecessarily complicated, especially with the constant “French / English” doubling of text, but in practice, in the parks, the TV-guide style is likely much more convenient. The only downside? For the resort, it shows the gaps in the park entertainment schedule — no afternoon meet ‘n’ greets at Disneyland Park or not many shows close to the Studios’ closing time, for example.

For the environment, the new Programme means a huge 75% reduction in the use of paper to produce these guides every single day.

But what do you think? Another step forward, or a stumble backwards?

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