My Disneyland Paris Experience 2017 – Part 1
As a musical theatre enthusiast and student, it is a commonly shared dream to go to any of the Disney Parks and to just sit there and admire all of the characters dancing through the street parade and long to be one of them…even if you end up being squashed inside a Chip and Dale suit. To perform at Disneyland would be a once in a lifetime opportunity, and not once did I think that would happen at the beginning of June this year. I thought I may as well give you all the hour by hour account if my journey, days and entire experience, but as so much happened in such a small space of time I’ve decided to split my recount into a few separate parts so that I can go into detail and not bore you all to death at the same time…so let’s start…
As you may, or may not, know, Disneyland Paris runs a small program called ‘Disney Performing Arts‘ and that program offers the opportunity for groups from around the world to perform on one of their very own stages. My University Musical Theatre Society took this opportunity and applied for the chance to be on the stage back in February/April time. We were lucky enough to be accepted and almost immediately started to work on a set list for our little showcase.
Our full set list included numbers from ‘Beauty and The Beast’, ‘Wicked’ and ‘The Little Mermaid’, and had iconic songs like, ‘A Change In Me’, ‘Popular’, ‘Part of Your World’ and ‘Be Our Guest’. With our set list prepared, it was time to learn the songs and their harmonies. With each song having, at a minimum, a 4 part harmony, we recorded each line and went home to learn them all in the month or so before the big day. A few weeks passed and we went back to rehearsing so we could perfect and clean all the numbers. With so many songs, creating intricate choreography was pushing it, therefore, we kept it simple. But the timed and styled movement helped enhance the whole set, making it so much more well rounded, rehearsed and polished.
The Journey to Disneyland:
Eventually the day came. I spent the morning packing my suitcase with my housemates, who were also heading off with me, and we prepared our bags and backpacks for the journey. We then cleaned up the house so it was tidy before we left and did one more trip to Tesco to collect snacks and last minute additions before we headed off to uni to have one last rehearsal, at around 7PM. Once we finished our final rehearsal it really started to kick in that we were actually going to Disneyland and we were actually going to perform! Safe to say we all began to get more than excited…We finally boarded the coaches at around 11PM. With the long trip to Dover, most of our time was spent sleeping, although of course to begin with we were all hyped up.
We got on the ferry at around 3AM and got to Calais around 5AM, I am fairly certain a lot of us also slept for most of the ferry journey. Although for those not asleep, the ferry trip got pretty exciting, we happened to come across the semi-famous, American rapper, ‘Machine Gun Kelly’. Why he was on board a ferry to Calais at gone 4AM in the morning who knows but it definitely was a treat for some us. With a slightly menacing look I didn’t dare ask for a picture but it’s safe to say a fair few of my friends took the chance and came away pretty happy.
After hopping back on the coach, we headed straight towards Disney! Although, again, we did sleep for most of that journey too…..
I will post again detailing Day 1 and how it all went down out there, to be continued….