Service Award: a symphony for 3,500 guests
This prestigious gala evening reserved for Cast Members invites all those who bring the Disney experiences to life every day, for one special night. Over the years, it has also become an opportunity to develop ever more immersive and ambitious concepts.
Every year, the management of Disneyland® Paris invites its Cast Members to a unique event, exclusive both for its symbolic importance and its exceptional scale. The Service Award evenings are gala events that reward Cast Members reaching the milestone of 10, 15, 20, 25 or even 30 years seniority in the company. For Thierry Magne, designer of the event, the 2017 Service Awards night was especially extravagant: “We wanted to organise something truly prestigious: I wanted to see singers and dancers on stage, but also a full symphonic orchestra.”
Besides the dinner devised by chefs and served to the guests in sumptuous surroundings, Thierry Magne explained how he “wanted to give all the guests the chance to experience the emotion and power you feel when listening to a symphonic orchestra. The musicians performed scores from great Disney classics such as the Lion King, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast, as well as original soundtracks from more recent productions including Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean.” He also expressed how some of the 70 musicians, members of the Opéra National de Paris no less, were especially enthusiastic at the idea of performing the music of John Williams (who composed the original Star Wars soundtrack). Guided by conductor Stanislas Renaud, the symphonic orchestra was also joined on stage by 16 singers (Disney Cast Members among them) and 10 dancers. A wonderful technical feat that, as far as the event designer can remember, will go down as one of the “most stunning evenings ever produced at Disneyland Paris.”
The size of the event presented a huge challenge to our teams. A total of 250 people worked together to host 1,200 guests at each of the three evenings within a 7,200 sq.m-venue specially fitted out for the occasion. The reception even called for a special stage to be designed to fit seamlessly into the Disney® Events Arena.
A now iconic event and fantastic initiative to embody the culture of a company that cares about its employees, the Service Award evenings have become a highlight on the Disney Business Solutions autumn calendar, producing a highly-emotive experience and leaving an indelible impression on the minds of every guest.