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Castle Stage reopens following complete refurb, “still represents an opportunity”

Wednesday, 6th July 2011 at 19:35

Le Theatre du Château - Castle Stage

2011 Refurbishments — As we approach the summer at full speed, the fruits of the busiest refurbishment period in the history of Disneyland Paris are gradually being revealed. One of the biggest is Le Theatre du Château, which was the subject of much interest earlier in the year as its sea of stone benches gradually disappeared and the whole area went behind walls. Now reopened to guests and parade traffic, the stage area looks as good as new, completely repaved with top quality stones and given back a scattering of its benches. The walls of the raised stage itself, with the same palette as Sleeping Beauty Castle, have been completely repainted to match the fresher colours of Le Château just across the moat. As seen in the photo above by Disney Gazette, extra spaces have even been reserved for new trees to provide more shade for the benches (now indeed safely spaced out to prevent kids jumping between them, an apparent health and safety issue we barely believed back in February).

During the 2011 Refurbishments presentation given back in March, we got the chance to walk behind the walls with Peggie Fariss and catch a final “before” glimpse of the cleared stage area. Compared to the old, circular-patterned paving and concrete areas between, the new block paving adds a much warmer feel to the space and is designed less around the placement of the benches.

Le Theatre du Château - Castle Stage

Peggie also gave us a hint at the future prospects for the stage — or at least confirmed it won’t be going anywhere — stating clearly that, from the viewpoint of Walt Disney Imagineering, it “still represents an opportunity” and as such should be safeguarded. That word — opportunity — was exactly the one we had used to describe the space a month earlier. There seems to be some disconnect between Imagineering and Entertainment as to just how good a prospect it represents, though, so it might be some time yet before we ever see this as anything but an opportunity wasted.

Le Theatre du Château - Castle Stage

That’s not to say you can’t watch a show here, though. If this year’s Disney Dance Express is your thing (and particularly if it’s not), you’ll be glad to know that the rolling street show now stops at its intended spot right here for its main performance, skipping past the busy Central Plaza location it had been forced to clog up since April. Characters Photos Blog posted a video of the relocated show stop on Facebook, showing the Dance Express performing on the parade route right in front of the stage behind them. There’s likely something psychological about a “stage” show as opposed to a street show like this, meaning the audience expects much more — story, sets, costumes. Even the Central Plaza shows such as Mickey’s Magical Celebration get around these extra expenses by using the castle as a backdrop.

Perhaps someday the money will be there again to take a step up onto this stage; or the desire to move away from that disruptive monolith blocking Central Plaza. Purpose-built, perfectly positioned and now recently refurbished. The opportunity is, and always has been, there.

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  • They had the money to build this huge view blocking stage on central plaza. So they simply choose the wrong option (now we must say) some years ago. Livre magic and also the pooh show were such beautiful little shows at this place. I hope that they soon use the stages of disneyland again instead of some new built ugly and huge stages that block the view most of the time and host shows that a bit too tacky for a disney park.

  • As I already mentioned in my blog entry last week (http://www.charactercentral.net/Blog.aspx?BlogEntryId=238), the Plaza Stage is actually being reduced in size from next year.
    We have this on good authority from an inside source :)

  • Thanks for the news and photos. Not sure how the new benches will work for any shows though, as people will just stand on them, not sit as on the previous ones which were more like theatre seating. Not room for families to sit together, and people sitting will have their view blocked by people standing in front of them anyway.
    Intresting to hear about Plaza Stage maybe being reduced in size, and also about possible M&G location for Huey Dewey and Louie.

  • Agree that Winnie the Pooh show was lovely on this stage, but unfortunately the sun set behind the stage, so on sunny late afternoon performances, the sun was shining straight into the audience’s eyes.
    Very hot at times, with no shade, so many people tried to get seats extremely early on the benches under the trees there.
    Impossible to get good photos or video at this time, with the sun shining straight into the camera.

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