Last night it was special opening night for the Sand Sculpture Festival Blankenberge 2011 based on the MagicalMoments Festival of Disneyland Paris. It was going to be a magical night and a beginning of a wonderful summer at the Belgium coast side. The VIP’s, Press, friends, Disney Cast Members, Disney Ambassadors and fans where invited
to see the opening of a fantastic display made out of… sand!
The opening ceremony started with a small introduction about the project. The idea started by one of the artist while working on an ice sculpture event in Paris. This man is Alexander Deman. He contacted Disneyland Paris, met up in January and only 5 months later he and his team created a fantastic sand sculpture display of Disneyland Paris attractions and some of Disney’s most beloved characters. Alexander came to the stage and talked about the work and invited all artist on stage who where welcomed by a big applause from the public. The 2 Disney ambassadors Régis & Osvaldo visited especially from Paris and where impressed about what they saw here in Blankenberge. They where thrilled about what they witnessed today and loved being a part of it.
After the introduction it was time to officially open the event and who better then Mickey Mouse himself would be given the honors to open the gates for the first visitors.
The sand sculptures are divided in multiple areas. The first area guest can visit once they enter the festival is the Main Marquee. In front of this big tent Mickey Mouse and Minnie are awaiting the guests next to Disneyland Railroad. These figures look amazing and are only a small treat to what is still to come. Inside the Marquee guest are invited to screens showing some scenes of Disneyland Paris before they go around the corner where a bigger screen shows them how the artist have worked on the sand creations the last couple of months. You will see how they work on the Disney Characters and how they set up the big Sleeping Beauty Castle. Worth checking out before entering the main hall of the tent where the real work is shown.
Once inside the main room guest will see Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse showing the way trough the sculptures. There are a total of 52 Sculptures or scenes in this tent alone. Some of them big, others even bigger. Just beside Walt and Mickey you’ll find Main street. The detail is amazing, including name shields, birds and decorations, as we come to know and love them by Disney. Here your trip starts around the sculptures that include Tangled, Casey Jr., Dumbo, Snow White, Belle, Jasmine, Aladdin, Cinderella, Beast’s Castle, Pocahontas, Mulan, Ariel, Alice in Wonderland and many more. The displays are amazing, big, beautiful and created with eye for detail. A wonderful adventure for everybody who enters. Alice’s Curious Labyrinth for example is fun and extremely creative. A fantastic job by the artists.
Once your visit in the main marquee comes to an end you’ll be welcomed to even more amazing sand sculptures. The next 19 displays are some of the most beautiful of them all. They include The Sleeping Beauty Castle, Phantom Manor and boot hill (my personal favorite), Space Mountain and the Tower of Terror. A stunning display!
But it doesn’t end there! There is more. Inside the Round Marquee you’ll find some of Disney’s favorite characters from Jungle Book, the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction and the Lion King. Don’t miss those amazing displays, especially Skull Rock.
The smallest tent is the Pixar Marquee. As the name already suggest, you’ll find some of Pixar most beloved characters like Buzz, Sulley, Ratatouille and Wall-E.
There are 125 sand sculptures and displays. Enough to keep you and your whole family entertained for a couple of hours.
It’s pure magic and everybody working on this project should be proud. Well worth a visit as you will be enchanted and will want to drive straight on to Disneyland Paris afterwards. I know I did.
After the tour and to end this special opening there was one more magical moment awaiting us. A fantastic Fireworks display. Especially for this event the fantastic music of Illuminations was used. This is my favorite Disney experience in Walt Disney World and it was the cherry on the cake for this wonderful and magical event.
The Sand Sculptures Festival is open until September 12 from 10 AM to 7 PM. For more information on the event visit www.zandsculptuur.be
A visit is highly recommended to anybody, even if you havn’t been to Disneyland Paris (yet). It will put a smile on the faces of both young and old…
Keep on visiting the blog for more pictures soon.