'Celebrate the Magic through joy and laughter' with Travelbound’s Step into the Magic
Published: September 9th 2014
Can you name one media company to have filled the lives of children with excitement and the stories to inspire the imagination? Can you name the same company that has existed since 1923 and still continues to bring some of our best loved cartoon characters to life every day of the year?
If you hadn’t got the name by now, you’ll be kicking yourself when you hear the one simple word that sends children a little hysterical and parents…well, equally as excited – Disney!
That’s right, Disney has been the company that has graced our film screens from the moment of the Silent Era all the way up to now where noise merely represents our appreciation for some of our best loved characters. Whether you have grown up with the classics such as The Jungle Book, Aladdin or have enjoyed the more recent additions to Walt Disney’s collection including Finding Nemo and Toy Story, the Disney name has consistently produced on-screen gems that live long in the memory.
Forever determined to create lasting memories, Travelbound recently teamed up with the Theatretrain group for over 300 children to perform in Disney’s pre-parade. Stretching across the weekend of the 24th May, Travelbound’s Step into the Magic team arrived to prepare for the groups to arrive on the Saturday. Working together to create group and room packs including check-in information, t-shirts and bags, the team’s excitement in welcoming the Theatretrain groups to Disneyland Paris was clear to see.
The Disney parade is a spectacle admired by all when you visit Disneyland. The unique opportunity to take part in the pre-parade with an audience stretching from Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and along Main Street saw Theatretrain groups from around the country descend upon Walt Disney’s creation. Saturday came round faster than Buzz Lightyear calling into Star Command as coaches started to arrive at the Hotel Santa Fe and Hotel Cheyenne. Styled out in the movie themes of ‘Cars’ and the wild west respectively, children and parents alike would feel the magical touch of Disney long before arriving at the parks.
Saturday evening truly kick-started the weekend as the Hotel New York hosted the Step into the Magic banquet. Disney staff lined the entrance before assisting families at their tables for the evening. A chance for children to catch their first glimpse of some of Disney’s most loved characters, an area of the room was designated for parents to capture their child’s moments with Pluto and the gang. Following dinner, our very own Music Tours Manager Ilaria introduced the Step into the Magic team who had their own little surprise for the Theatretrain families. An onstage performance of the Macarena and Cha Cha Slide as Mickey and friends entered had children rushing to the front keen to find some space to join in. A fantastic performance by the Step into the Magic team no doubt gave the children inspiration for their own performance in Sunday’s pre-parade.
With Theatretrain’s big moment scheduled for Sunday afternoon, the groups spent the morning backstage at Walt Disney Studios Park rehearsing. While groups had some free time to explore the rides of Disneyland Park, Theatretrain Reading took to the stage at Videopolis for their own performance. The group came together to perform a number of popular songs coupled with a mix of drum and bass tracks. A great ensemble of choreography saw the Reading group effectively use props and carefully crafted moves to create a brilliant series of routines. With an audience showing their appreciation for all of the children and staffs’ hard work, the Reading group bounced off the stage with a bigger spring than Tigger has in his tail!
Excitement grew amongst the groups as they congregated at the meeting spot for the start of the pre-parade. Some children gathered to practise their moves on the spot, while others couldn’t contain their delight in leading the Disney parade. As the music started, the only things brighter than the beaming rays of sunlight were the smiles on the faces of the dancers. The group danced its way through the rope-lined route as crowds looked on. The stream of brilliant yellow continued to parade down Main Street with the iconic pink castle nestled in the background. As the dancers arrived at the end point of the parade the elation etched across their faces created a picture worth a thousand words. A unique experience to perform to the Disney public and dancing the route taken by our best loved characters certainly created memories that would last a lifetime and left the children declaring their wishes to do it again.
How could the perfect day be topped off? The evening fireworks and light display went some way to taking up that mantle as Sleeping Beauty’s Castle became one huge projector screen. Forget the IMAX, this is how to provide a distinct cinematic experience. As the day came to a close, the dark of the evening became a natural curtain closer as families returned to their accommodation.
A weekend in Disneyland Paris never sounds like a bad way to spend your down-days at the end of a busy week at school or work. For the Theatretrain children, it was a magical time spending time with their family, friends and favourite characters. Soon the coaches filtered their way to the hotel to pick up their groups before the return leg of their journey home but one thing that will remain from their weekend will be the memories of taking part in Disney’s Performing Arts parade.
Many thanks to Disneyland Paris Performing Arts, Theatretrain and the whole of the Step into the Magic Travelbound team who looked after the groups during their stay. Special mention must also go to our very own Ilaria for organising this fantastic weekend for the young performers.
To find out more about future music and performance tours or to enquire about music trips abroad for your students, contact Ilaria and the music team on 01273 265290, request a quote or contact us here.