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Disney’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Train bursts onto parade route for soft openings

Tuesday, 27th March 2012 at 00:14

Have your sunglasses at the ready, folks! No, not for the glorious weather we’re enjoying in this corner of Europe, but for the first “soft opening” arrivals of Disney’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Train, which began at 11.30am today and continue all week. And there it is — in all its day-glo splendour. If you can believe it, it’s even brighter than the publicity image. The whole train has been resprayed from pistons to chimney in a complete rainbow of colours. This was not a moment of artistic restraint.

On-board, the characters wear their new 20th Anniversary costumes, inspired by Mickey’s classic Sorcerer’s Apprentice guise but coloured with more wild, day-glo shades. Chip, Dale and their female friend Clarice led the first wagon, followed by Minnie, Donald and Daisy in the middle, then Goofy and Pluto bringing up the rear. New additions to the design of the train include a ’20” on each wagon and Tinker Bell atop the chimney, guiding the train.

Disney's 20th Anniversary Celebration Train (C) @InsideDLParisDisney's 20th Anniversary Celebration Train (C) @InsideDLParis

The train was quickly described as “garish” on forums, and that could be perfectly accurate. But you know what — and perhaps not setting the bar high here — it might actually be the best revision of this event to date, since the original Disney Characters’ Express. While that started out with a fairly classy blue, white and gold train, it was modified here and there in subsequent years to become a real mish-mash of a design with little artistic direction nor anything that really tied it together.

At least this year the train has been stripped back and completely resprayed, giving a uniform look to the whole event. This is helped by restricting the invite list to only the “VIP” characters, wearing new costumes which actually match the colours of the train, rather than their clashing everyday gear. And, rather than continuing to remix “Tous en Train” to infinity, we’ve got a whole new song in “Do You Believe” (which you can listen to here). The whole vision is such a spectacularly jarring contrast with the quaint cobblestones of Main Street, U.S.A. that maybe it just works.

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  • Martin coombs  27th March 2012, 08:28

    Plenty of colour. Looks amazing.

  • Unfortunately that’s the worst incarnation of the train.

  • I like it. As you said, it is a complete makeover, not this patchy versions of the last years. The colours really stand out. And who doesn’t like a rainbow?

  • this has got to be the worse version of the train ever, there milking this train every year as new, let it die and rest in peace, the 15th was the best version of the train, but now its just terribile looking…

  • I love it! The colours are amazing. The only qualm I have with it is that they have covered poor little Casey Jr’s eyes! His eyes are so cute, he always looks really surprised, he looks a bit soul-less without them :(

    • i agree. It would have been better if they didn’t colour in the eyes. I would have also preferred to have the massive 20 on the front of Casey Jr like in the concept art as i feel Casey would have stood out more and it would have contrasted with the big 20 on the front of main street as well.

      • Yeah I see what you mean! I think Casey himself could have done with a bit more decoration, without his eyes he’s not very personal. A 20 would have given him a bit more to him.

  • its awful :S why you like this??? i agree with you sean the 15th was the best version of the train so aristocratic in the style of main street USA in the disney quality but this is just awful not only the incarnation but characters are missing…………. i would appreciate it if they did it in the style of main street decorations with flags as the 15th………..

    • The trouble is, Entertainment can never really match the original Imagineering of the parks due to budget and other reasons. Better to go big on “garish” to contrast with the park rather than try to match the park and probably fail.

  • really loving this version of it. loathe the music its coming out to but it looks wow!

  • I don’t like it at all. They should have get rid of it after the 15th birthday. It looks like the train will never leave. Maybe the children will love it.

  • Het is een mooie trein
    Veel beter dan de Dance Express van vorig jaar

  • That’s really as ugly as it gets! Looks really cheap and looks like it was taken right out of a “parade” from Europapark (a german amusement park)

    See here: http://www.epfans.com/?id=3132,12,&PHPSESSID=caa34ca4a34b00cd4ad9a91c45b4b362

  • I wonder if there will be many new meet n greets
    ok .. we got the new Mickey Mouse meet n greet and the princess pavillion.. but I’ve heard it’s waiting for more than an hour and once you’re inside you can only meet one princess.. is that true? Or will there be many different princesses to meet inside at the same time.. And what about the Star Wars characters in discoveryland.. Can we see them again this year?
    And will there be the same meet n greets like magical moments like the aladdin meet n greet and the jungle rythms ,.. or will there be some new meet n greets.. I hope so.. does somebody know about it?

    • I’m not sure about Star Wars/meet ‘n’ greets, but I did hear that the Princess Pavillion is just one princess at a time, apparently they swap over so you can’t guarantee who you’ll be meeting? I only heard that by word of mouth though so I could be wrong :)

      • In the Princess Pavillion you meet 2 princesses. At least I did when it opened in October last year. The first half of the queue has things to look at and keep you interested but onces you’ve past that it gets boring! Aladdin and Jungle Rhythms are still open as far as I know.

    • Yeah the princess pavillion is one princess

  • Thanks Sophie that’s what I heard too , it’s sad , only one princess at a time in such a beautiful location..

  • Well that’s certainly different!! Only Disney could get away with that!! I will be reserving my judgment till i’ve seen it in person as pictures on a website can only show so much but once you’re there i’m hoping that the train, the music, the characters and the atmosphere will all come together to make another magical Disney experience.

  • Okay having seen a video of it on youtube, i like it, and I take back my comments about the music. It works :)

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