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Saturday, 30 June 2018

A Day at the Festival of Pirates and Princesses, Disneyland Paris

On the last day of May we caught the very final day of the first Disneyland Paris Pirates and Princesses Festival. We hadn't planned on going at all- I was a bit unhappy that this was replacing the Swing into Spring Festival which we had enjoyed a few times before last year's special 25th Anniversary celebrations. I thought Pirates and Princesses sounded unoriginal and uninspiring- we have seen plenty of pirates and princesses at Disneyland Paris so how could this be of any interest? How wrong could I be?...
Pirates and Princesses festival at Disneyland Paris

Gradually through the season I had been seeing lots of photos and videos on social media and realised that the parades were something quite different. I wanted to see this for myself! When I looked at the dates it made sense to arrive a couple of days earlier than the FanDaze event and catch the very last day of Pirates and Princesses. The weather was glorious as we entered the parks determined to make the most of seeing the festival so we made it the focus of the day. The colours of the parade floats and costumes shined bright in the sunshine.

Pirates and Princesses festival at Disneyland Paris
We arrived just as the pirate parade was beginning at the beginning of Main Street. The two parades, pirates and princesses, ran simultaneously and met in the main plaza in the middle of the park for a dance off! After watching the pirate parade go past we walked through the arcade to the plaza and through discussion with a cast member found out that we were best to then wait in the middle of the central plaza to see both the pirates and princesses parades arrive together and view the dance show which happened on four raised stages at the edge of the plaza.

Pirates and Princesses festival at Disneyland Paris

Throughout the festival Disneyland Paris asked the guests to choose which team you were in- team pirates or team princesses. It was recommended by a friend that we check out the dances online before hand as Disneyland Paris had produced some tutorials but we didn't really learn them- it was clear that many Disneyland Paris regulars were there who had learnt them though and the atmosphere was tremendous fun so we joined in anyway.  We saw the parades arrive in the square and the following dance off between the pirates and princesses twice, catching different details by viewing the action from different places, this is definitely a parade that deserves viewing more than once. Both teams had a 'leader', pictured below. Jimmy Ocean was leader of the Pirates and Betty Rose was leader of the Princesses...

Pirates and Princesses festival at Disneyland Paris

Pirates and Princesses festival at Disneyland Paris


Just before the main parades there was a separate little parade where Sophia the First and Eleanor of Avalor paraded through. Whilst it was good to include these rarer characters I thought this was quite underwhelming and could have been incorporated into the main princess parade in the same way that Jake had been incorporated into the Pirates parade.

Pirates and Princesses festival at Disneyland Paris


The highlight of the day for the kids was by far the 'Hoist the Flag, Mateys!' show at the base of the pirate ship next to Adventure Isle. We saw this show with Captain Jack Sparrow and a very talented group of pirate musicians twice. The music used the Pirates Of The Caribbean film theme with the pirates dancing around and lots of fun and humour. The second time we watched the show the kids knew to sit at the front with the other children and were able to take part in all the interactive parts of this pirates school. They were then part of a group of kids chosen to practice raising the flag and were very pleased with the certificates which Jack Sparrow presented to them.

                           Pirates and Princesses festival at Disneyland Paris

We spent much of the afternoon catching up on the kids' favourite rides before heading back to the main square for the very final Pirates and Princesses- Make Your Choice. The atmosphere was buzzing as there were so many fans there, the dancing was energetic and the emotions ran high. I have never seen such interaction between guests and cast members as I did during this day both in the Plaza and the Hoist the Flag show. I felt excited that I had seen a new way of doing things and I realised that it was the interaction, the social connections and the joint fun of people dancing together that made this festival so special.
Pirates and Princesses festival at Disneyland Paris
Fans and cast members dancing in the Plaza

Clearly this wis a festival that is worth repeating and some fans even set up an online petition to have the festival return in 2019 so I couldn't have been happier when during the FanDaze evening a couple of days later Catherine Powell, President of EuroDisney, announced that the festival will return again next year. Plenty of time for us to chose whether we are in #teampirates or #teamprincesses and learn those dances!

Pirates and Princesses festival at Disneyland Paris


1 comment:

  1. This does sound fab - and I love all those bright colours!

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