Ashley's Disney dream come true

WHEN you wish upon a star! Today a dream is coming true for one young entertainer.

WHEN you wish upon a star!

Today a dream is coming true for one young entertainer.

Ashley Wade has beaten off hundreds of hopefuls to work as a performer at Disneyland Paris.

The 21-year-old has won a five month contract to perform at the resort.

He said: “I am ecstatic. It hasn't sunk in yet, I have loved the magic of Disney all my life and it is a dream come true.

“I am over the moon.”

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Joining 600 other entertainers, the former Deben High School student, will take part in parades throughout the day and will entertain youngsters and families as various well-known Disney characters.

Today he is busy making preparations for his departure on August 14.

He said: “I have to buy a big suitcase for all my stuff for five months. I get back in January so the chances are I shall be working on Christmas Day. I can't wait.”

Ashley, of Mill lane, Trimley St Martin, has performed since he was a child and has appeared on stage with a number of theatre groups including Felixstowe-based Stage Door Theatre Company and The Dennis Lowe Theatre Company.

He has been a regular at Felixstowe Spa Pavilion's Summer Youth project in which he has performed and worked as assistant choreographer.

He was recently featured in The Evening Star talking about his ambitions and time as a student at the prestigious Performers College near London.

Ashley, whose favourite Disney character is Donald Duck, said: “It is a great opportunity and a great job to start just out of college.

“It is very disciplined and there are a lot of deadlines to meet.

“It should be excellent experience.”

Have you been to Disneyland Paris? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

n. For your chance to win a magical trip to Disneyland Paris see page 8.

Ashley underwent a gruelling audition process to get the part.

He added: “It was an open audition that I saw advertised and there were 350 who showed up. I was one of ten that got a contract. I was at the audition from 10am to 6pm.

“We started with having to improvise - I played a cowboy, a pirate and one of the seven dwarfs.”

Ashley said about half the hopefuls were weeded out after the improvisation.

He added: “We also had a dance audition. They taught us a routine which lasted about a minute and a half.

“It was quite difficult to get noticed out of that many people but I woke up that morning and told myself I was going to get the job. I was determined to succeed.”

Disneyland Paris property covers a fifth of the size of Paris (1,943 hectares) 900 hectares have been developed to date.

Over 1,000 artists work at Disneyland Paris.

The oldest visitor to the Resort was 106 years old

Sleeping Beauty's Castle is 43 metres high

There are over 150 chefs at Disneyland Paris

Visitors munch through four million hamburgers, 20 tons of fish and seafood and 700 tons of chicken

283 tons of chips each year.

500,000 flowers are planted per year

Mickey Mouse was "born" in 1928. He was originally going to be called Mortimer, but to please Walt Disney's wife Lillian, his name was changed to Mickey.