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Buzz Lightyear makes the final 15

Saturday, 24th February 2007 at 16:27

After the anniversary TV spot and new parade theme song, news from Wednesday's Euro Disney SCA Annual General Meeting continues to pour in, shared once again by member Mouetto on Disney Central Plaza forum. Amongst the concept art for upcoming 15th Anniversary events and decorations presented at the meeting, it appears the Character Castle Makeover has just received an extra hero from Disney history, courtesy of Pixar...,

Yes, the 1990s icon himself, Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear will soon be touching down in Disneyland Park for a second time, almost exactly one year after his own attraction, Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, was inaugurated. But don’t fear – this time, Buzz won’t be replacing anything!

When we first saw the anniversary castle visuals back in July 2006 and realised decorations were being prepared, a quick count up of the character groups gave exactly fifteen – but with Mickey and Minnie counted separately. Now, it looks like the happy Mouse couple have joined together to allow a new fifteenth star to join, and Mr. Lightyear is apparently the “chosen one” to represent Pixar’s Disney classics.

2006 Visuals showing Winnie the Pooh / Pinocchio

This isn’t the first time we’ve noticed a change in the characters featured on the castle. In October 2006, all of the resort’s travel marketing visuals were updated overnight to suddenly replace Winnie the Pooh with Pinocchio and Figaro.

But, since the turret Buzz Lightyear will occupy was left free on all of those advertising visuals, it’s likely that he has been a planned character since the start – removed from visuals only to avoid the constant “inspired by Disney/Pixar’s…” disclaimer currently being slapped on everything to do with Crush and Cars.

New concept art shown at shareholder AGM

The new concept art first shows all fifteen characters (or groups of characters) floating in silver bubbles, before showing the final design of the highly anticipated Character Castle Makeover.

Disneyland Resort Paris have confirmed that the decorations will begin to arrive after St. Patrick’s Day, 17th March 2007, and will be added one-by-one overnight so avoid ruining the guest experience during the day. The redecorated castle will be “unveiled” (or rather “inaugurated”) on 31st March 2007 during the huge press events before the first “official” day of the anniversary year, 1st April 2007.

The addition of a Pixar character might cause some annoyance for those against the recent surge of park influence from the studio, but their effect on Disney and the world of animation shouldn’t be forgotten. For a ’90s child like Euro Disneyland, Buzz Lightyear seems the perfect icon to make up the fifteen and help take the anniversary “To infinity and beyond!”.

You didn’t think I’d get through the whole article without saying that, did you?

Concept art © Disney, captured by Mouetto on Disney Central Plaza forum.

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