Launching at the outset of a pandemic in the U.K. meant Disney Plus didn’t have a chance to throw a party when the streaming service debuted in March 2020.
It’s something the U.K. arm of the House of Mouse were quick to rectify, inviting media and a sprinkle of celebrities to West London for a “Summer of Disney Plus” party just a month after the U.K. eased pandemic-induced restrictions on social gatherings.
Over 300 people RSVP’d to the event in West London on Tuesday evening (although the venue could hold 800, Disney decided to err on the side of caution to ensure some social distancing was still possible).
Tying in with the new billboard campaign, which focuses on four Disney Plus offerings — “Soul,” “Raya and the Last Dragon,” “Loki” and “Luca” — guests attending the party were treated to a variety of entertainment and nibbles over two floors inspired by the four properties.
For those in a “Soul”-ful mood, dinner was available in the form of a salt beef sandwich from a New York deli-style counter followed by a 15-minute jazz medley from BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year, Deschanel Gordon. A large, F.A.O Schwartz-style floor piano was also on hand for those keen to try out their own jazz renditions.
Alternatively, attendees could sample Tom Yum soup and Thai fish curry from the “Raya”-themed Kumandra Cafe before sitting down to weave traditional bamboo baskets or play some 10-pin bowling.
And inside a small studio filled with retro televisions, guests could catch a glimpse of Miss Minutes from “Loki.”
Meanwhile the upstairs roof section had been transformed into a Mediterranean paradise à la “Luca” (with the weather playing ball for the first half of the evening). A swing seat was covered in fishing nets, starfish and anchors, while nearby the coveted red vespa from the animated film was available for photo ops and a gelateria stand handed out vegan ice cream.
For the U.K.’s Disney Plus comms team, which has been bolstered to around 10 people, the party was a chance to introduce themselves and meet the media. For the media, it was an opportunity to sample some Disney magic, at least for a few hours.