Meet the Disney Artists Behind Happily Ever After’s Return
Happily Ever After is returning on April 3rd — it’s SO close and we’re SO excited!
People were thrilled when Disney announced that Happily Ever After would be returning this spring, especially because a lot of us were under the impression that the show was gone forever!
But, the show you know and love is coming back, and it’s exactly the same…almost!
Happily Ever After Artists
Something new that we saw with Disney Enchantment was the use of projection mapping on the storefronts all up and down Main Street, U.S.A. That way, you get to see even more visuals if you’re back on the street!
We didn’t experience this for Happily Ever After, but it HAS been added now for the show’s return! And, there are some very special Cast Members that helped bring this part of the show to life.
Disney has said that the team of 50 digital artists and animators have been working for months to create some awesome new projections for the show! These will surround guests that watch the show while standing on Main Street, U.S.A.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would work on a show as iconic and beloved as ‘Happily Ever After.’ It was so exciting to look at the show with fresh eyes and take advantage of technology that we didn’t have available when it first opened,” said Katrina Mena Rick, who is the Creative Producer for the nighttime spectacular.
She continued on to say, “Each of the 25 buildings we’re projecting on is so unique and special, with their own individual paint colors, textures, trims, windows, and doors. Our goal was to celebrate that uniqueness as we transformed the buildings, immersing you in these beautiful character worlds while ensuring that Cinderella Castle remains the main storyteller throughout the show.”
You’ll see this expertly choreographed projections play out right after the show begins. Disney says it will be like “the stories are radiating from the castle and then drawing you back in – all building to a shimmering finale where Tinker Bell takes flight.”
During this final moment of the show, there will be some fresh faces introduced — new characters will adorn the street in stylized stained-glass portraits! You’ll see Miguel, Mirabel, Raya, Luca, Rapunzel, Elena and more!
“My favorite character to create was Meilin from Pixar’s Turning Red.” said J.P. Perez, who was the artist that illustrated all 32 of the characters featured on the building’s facades. “Beyond red pandas being my favorite animal, her character is very relatable. Seeing her story take place in my generation at that age really makes me connect with her.”
Another amazing story from the artists behind the show is that of Lead Animator Ana Beltran. She had the unique experience of animating these new projections alongside her father!
“I grew up seeing how much love and passion my dad had for animation, and how hard he worked when we moved to the United States. That’s what ultimately inspired me to pursue a career in the arts. We often joked how great it would be for us to say one day that ‘Making magic is the family business.’ Now, just like in the show, we’ve followed that dream and made it a reality. To borrow a term from “Inside Out,” working on this show with my dad will always be a core memory for me.”
Okay, is anyone else tearing up at that sweet story? Because I definitely am!
You can check out these artists’ reactions to seeing the full show for the first time in the video from Disney Parks below!
@disneyparks We’re giving you a BTS look at Happily Ever After with Katrina, Creative Director from Disney Live Entertainment! 🎇🎆🏰#AllTheDisneyThrills #DisneyCastLife #DisneyParks #Disney #Fireworks #DisneyWorld #Show #Castle #Emotional ♬ original sound – Disney Parks
Stay tuned for more news and updates.