Thursday, 10th July 2014

La Place de Rémy officially opens to the public with blockbuster Ratatouille lines

Ratatouille Disneyland Paris Opening Day Inauguration Ceremony

It’s open! Today was the day, 10th July 2014, that La Place de Rémy and its key attraction, Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy, officially opened to the public following several weeks of previews with a special inauguration ceremony shortly after 10am.

Hosted by the Disneyland Paris Ambassadors, Jonathan and Antonella, the opening ceremony welcomed Fleur Pellerin, Secretary of Commerce, of Tourism Promotion and of the French abroad, to Disneyland Paris.

The resort’s new chief operating officer Daniel Delcourt also took to the stage, while several elements of the earlier Grand Opening ceremonies for the press made a return to Walt Disney Studios Park, including that gingham ribbon, Rémy himself and even a surprise reappearance by the real-life Linguini.

Ratatouille Disneyland Paris Opening Day Inauguration Ceremony

Once opened, lines quickly reached blockbuster levels with guests filling the exterior queue, a roped extension area in front of the Fastpass distribution, and lining the full length of Rue Auguste Gusteau, with the queue beginning somewhere back in Toon Studio. Good thing today was also the first day the park remained open until 9pm, extending its operating day by a whole two hours, a milestone in itself.

A 120 minute wait time was posted on the park’s electronic tips board, which now lists the attraction, simply calling it “Ratatouille”. However, at one point temporary signage advised guests that, from the entrance to La Place de Rémy next to Toy Story Playland, a wait time of 190 minutes was possible.

Ratatouille Disneyland Paris Opening Day Inauguration Ceremony

Wait times for other popular Studios attractions appeared unaffected, particularly Crush’s Coaster which continued to offer up to an 80 minute wait. Of course, as much as Ratatouille could draw guests away from those attractions, it will (hopefully) be bringing more people to the park altogether, unfortunately mitigating any dramatic change.

But here’s the important fact: those lines aren’t due to bad planning, at least with this attraction. Ratatouille actually (just about) has the capacity to cope with its popularity on a normal day. It’s not quite a Pirates of the Caribbean juggernaut, but the packs of Ratmobiles were thankfully specced pretty well in their ability to cycle guests through.

As we concluded on Twitter, Ratatouille is officially a “blockbuster” attraction for Walt Disney Studios Park, and that’s down to quality, not poor capacity.

Seeing guests queueing round the block, clamouring to experience La Place de Rémy for themselves, says a lot about the demand for investments of this scale or, perhaps even more so, the rest of the park which those guests are turning their back on.

Complete video: Ratatouille Opening Day Inauguration Ceremony

Fun facts from today’s opening day press release

  • Including the attraction, restaurant and upcoming boutique, the new Ratatouille area has created 200 new and permanent jobs.
  • The project required the skills of more than 4000 craftspeople, 80% of which were French. A total of 44 French companies helped to create the attraction, including 34 from Île-de-France and 11 from Seine-et-Marne.
  • A special ultrasonic cleaning system was developed for the attraction by Fisa, a company based in Essonne, which allows 22,000 pairs of 3D glasses to be cleaned in five hours.
  • With 370 seats, Bistrot Chez Rémy is the largest table-service restaurant at Disneyland Paris. 80% of the produce used is of French origin, and the meat is sourced from within Europe (Scotland or France).
  • Disneyland Paris has generated more than 55,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs since its opening. In 2014, the group signed 8000 employment contracts, of which 1000 are permanent. Almost 15,000 people are currently employed at Disneyland Paris.
  • Disneyland Paris contributes on average 6.2% of the French tourism industry’s foreign currency revenues and contributes €50 billion in added value for the French economy.
  • Disneyland Paris is Europe’s number one tourist destination, with more than 275 million visits since its opening. Within a tourist sector elevated to the ranks of “national priority”, according to François Hollande during the Tourism Forum in June 2014, Disneyland Paris takes pride of place.
  • Over the past five years, investments centred on maintaining and developing Disneyland Paris have amounted to €510 million.

Ratatouille: L'Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy Disneyland Paris

Explore all DLP Today’s Ratatouille: The Adventure content and features:

Tuesday, 8th July 2014

Ratatouille: The Adventure at Disneyland Paris – the complete Grand Opening report

Ratatouille: The Adventure Grand Opening Dedication Ceremony at Disneyland Paris

On Saturday 21st June 2014, Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy became the latest E ticket entry in 60 years of Disney attraction history as Bob Iger himself, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, officially dedicated the new ride and La Place de Rémy.

DLP Today had the privilege of being there to experience the ceremonies first-hand and now, as Disneyland Paris prepares to open the area to the public this Thursday 10th July, we take you there. In pictures, video and lots of words in between, this is our complete retelling of the grand opening of Ratatouille: The Adventure at Walt Disney Studios Park. Read More…

Monday, 7th July 2014

Imagineers talk Ratatouille in new ‘making of’, construction and timelapse videos

With the public opening date now just days away, Disneyland Paris is teasing Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy in another new “Making Of” video, filled with backstage construction shots and Imagineer soundbites.

Almost every detail of the land, attraction and restaurant may have been revealed during the Grand Opening Preview, but this video gives a deeper look into the work that went into creating it. An impressive list of creators talk about the project: Tom Fitzgerald, Liz Gazzano, Laurent Cayuela, Beth Clapperton, Bjorn Heerwagen and even composer Michael Giacchino.

“There are two main characters of the attraction: there’s Rémy, the rat and the little chef, and there is Paris, the lovely city” — Liz Gazzano, Executive Producer, Theme Parks, Pixar Animation Studios

“All the sets are big, so all of the imperfections one sees when one is very small we exaggerated”  — Beth Clapperton, Art Director, Euro Disneyland Imagineering

“The music is in touch with the story every step of the way, and that’s what’s really fun about the ride – it really is a lot like the film as far as the story goes. You start off really beautiful – and here’s what I’m dreaming, here’s what a I want – then you get dumped into an environment in which, it could give you what you want – but you’re gonna have to fight for it to get it” — Michael Giacchino, Music Composer, Ratatouille film & attraction

It’s still refreshing to see Disneyland Paris letting the creators of a project talk about it like this, something only really begun recently with Disney Dreams!. Even with sanitised soundbites it often provides the best form of promotion.

• Previously — First Ratatouille interior scenes, props, Ratmobiles revealed in new teaser video

In fact, with such a big E-Ticket, they could have been producing separate featurettes covering each aspect of the attraction, such as the musical score, teasing things over weeks and months, rather than this single 2-minute video a few days before opening.

Still, there’s great footage of the Ratmobiles “waltzing” into the unload station, something it seems impossible to get bored of seeing, so let’s not complain too much.

Want to see more? You’re in luck. Much of the construction footage comes from a longer 6 minute package of “b-roll” shared in full on our YouTube. Watch it all here:

Meanwhile for an overview of the whole construction project, they didn’t forget the traditional Disney timelapse. From a camera positioned steadily atop Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop (unlike the many fans trying to get construction photos from the ride below), this footage covers roughly two years from 2012 to 2014.

The original version lasted only 30 seconds, so here it is slowed down to a more leisurely 2 minutes 30, giving a better look at La Place de Rémy taking shape:

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Visit our Ratatouille: The Adventure pages for more about the new attraction

Thursday, 3rd July 2014

Ratatouille: The Adventure Grand Opening LIVE Reports – Day 3 Roundup

Ratatouille: The Adventure Grand Opening LIVE Reports - Day 3 Roundup

Sunday 22nd June was the big day for more than 50 fan bloggers, reporters and tweeters as we were invited to discover not only Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy but a special preview meal at Bistrot Chez Rémy and an hourlong presentation on the making of the ride by two of the Imagineers themselves.

Staging an event like this purely for a guest list like us was truly unprecedented by Disneyland Paris, but hopefully its success will see the formula repeated again. Besides word that #Ratatouille briefly trended on Twitter in France, it presented a fantastic opportunity for us to gather as much information and as many photos and videos to prepare our blogs and websites ahead of the official public opening date.

In a sense, for every invitee we could take along another thousand or more diehard fans with us. Keeping the fans “in the loop” like this is good for us and great for Disneyland Paris.

No less than 41 live photos were shared on our @DLPToday Twitter feed, mostly focusing on the restaurant preview with the first pictures of its décor, menus and sample dishes. If you missed them at the time or want to relive it all again, here we go! Read More…

Wednesday, 25th June 2014

Ratatouille: The Adventure Grand Opening LIVE Reports – Day 2 Roundup, Part 3

Ratatouille: The Adventure Grand Opening LIVE Reports

Concluding the first full day of the Ratatouille Grand Opening press event, DLP Today takes you to the second, afternoon inauguration ceremony, shares more initial impressions of Place de Rémy and invites you along to the evening Summer Party for music and lights in the newest corner of Disneyland Paris.

This update features 29 photos and 3 Vine video clips, originally shared live on Twitter.

Now, you can relive it here…
Read More…

Tuesday, 24th June 2014

Ratatouille: The Adventure Grand Opening LIVE Reports – Day 2 Roundup, Part 2

Ratatouille: The Adventure Grand Opening LIVE Reports

On Saturday 21st June, DLP Today took you live inside Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy for the first time. After the morning opening ceremony (covered in Part 1), we were able to share the first impressions of a live ride through the new attraction, before quickly skipping off to meet two important Imagineers behind the project.

Then, it was back to the ride for more updates, revealing the Ratmobiles and their load and unload areas in more detail for the first time.

Keep your hands, arms, feet and legs inside the Ratmobile! Read More…

Tuesday, 24th June 2014

Ratatouille: The Adventure Grand Opening LIVE Reports – Day 2 Roundup, Part 1

Ratatouille: The Adventure Grand Opening LIVE Reports

Onto Day 2 of DLP Today‘s live reports from the Ratatouille: The Adventure Grand Opening event, Saturday 21st June 2014, and this is when the rats really began to run loose. We were privileged to capture the main opening ceremony with Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger before riding the attraction itself to share the first live insights.

In fact, there was so much to share — an enormous 71 photos! — that it’s going to be rounded up here for posterity in three parts, beginning with the morning’s press welcome and that picture-perfect opening ceremony, a classic Disney production number dedication.

Here we go again! Read More…

Monday, 23rd June 2014

Ratatouille: The Adventure Grand Opening LIVE Reports – Day 1 Roundup

Ratatouille: The Adventure Grand Opening LIVE Reports - Day 1 Roundup

DLP Today has returned from the Grand Opening events of Ratatouille: The Adventure! Throughout Saturday and Sunday, I shared live photos and reports from the events and previews direct to the @DLPToday Twitter feed, taking you to Place de Rémy for a first-hand look as if you were there.

Missed the tweets? Don’t follow Twitter? Or maybe just want to see them again? To prevent all those photos and snippets of information disappearing into the never-ending timeline, here they all are gathered together for posterity.

Beginning, in fact, with Friday 20th June and a quick “live” walk around the resort on a glorious sunny evening, before the #Ratatouille bedlam of the following day… Read More…

Friday, 20th June 2014

Ratatouille: The Adventure Grand Opening — LIVE now from Disneyland Paris

Ratatouille Disneyland Paris Press Preview Event LIVE 21st & 22nd June 2014

Here we go, live from Disneyland Paris! This is your host Anthony reporting along from the Grand Opening weekend of Ratatouille: The Adventure.

To follow all the events as they happen, head straight to the special LIVE page and you’ll see all the latest live photos and information from the brand new attraction at Walt Disney Studios Park in one place. Or, if you’re reading on a phone, you’re best jumping straight to @DLPToday on Twitter and following the action there.

Highlights of DLP Today‘s Grand Opening schedule include the Inaugural Ceremony and Grand Opening of Place de Rémy at 11:00am on Saturday, tomorrow, and The Making of Ratatouille presentation with Walt Disney Imagineers at 11:00am on Sunday, plus lots more surprises in between.

I’ll also be sharing general previews and pictures of the new development throughout both days, along with other live news and views from around Disneyland Paris.

As you might expect, there are bound to be spoilers aplenty as we discover this brand new, world exclusive attraction for the first time and talk to its creators.

Note that as I’ll also be taking notes and collecting photos and videos for reports, some events may be covered more than others and most will be reported more fully in the weeks ahead — so if you can’t follow everything live, come back soon to relive the entire adventure.

I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts too — please reply, comment, tweet as we go!

So join in, and let DLP Today take you there now..!

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• Discover Ratatouille: The Adventure on the DLP Guide mini-site!

Friday, 20th June 2014

60 Reasons Ratatouille: The Adventure matters to Disneyland Paris (well, almost)

Ratatouille: The Adventure at Disneyland Paris

The “sixtieth” attraction at Disneyland Paris, by official count, sees its Grand Opening for the press this weekend in Marne-la-Vallée. And Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy means a lot more to Disney’s European resort than most of those other 59 attractions.

From the size of the investment to the location inside Disney’s least popular theme park, it’d be easy to think of 60 reasons why this is a really big deal.

But, since there are things to prepare and time’s running out, here are just Six Big Reasons Why Ratatouille Matters

1. It’s new, it’s BIG, it’s for everyone

Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune will forever be the addition Disneyland Paris fans regard as the one. Opening in 1995, it arguably saved the resort from financial meltdown — well, until its next restructuring — and provided a big, new version of a Disney classic which Parisian fans could say was all their own. But as a wild thrill ride with height restrictions it wasn’t for everyone and, since the bigger Discovery Mountain project was scrapped, it didn’t have a restaurant or much else to explore around the circular mountain.

In that sense, and even taking the roughly ten new attractions Walt Disney Studios Park brought in 2002, Disneyland Paris has simply never built such a complete and well-rounded expansion. One that everyone can ride, one that has all the necessary theme park infrastructure — dining, shopping, toilets — built in. This is how it should be done.

2. C’est très French

Since Le Visionarium in Discoveryland saw its all-too-early demise, Disneyland Paris has been lacking a certain French-ness in its parks. That fantastical Circle Vision 360 film was a gem, a real love letter to France; it helped to ground the park and helped the park — and its visitors — relate to its location.

Now, over in Walt Disney Studios Park, visitors can feel like they’re in Paris without ever stepping foot on the RER train to take them into the city.

It might seem mad to build Paris in Paris, but — ah! — this isn’t just any City of Light, it clearly has enough whimsy and “Hidden Rémys” to make it its own place.

This works two ways: it gives the park something very French, which foreign visitors will love, and it gives the park something very French, which the French will love.

Unmistakably connected with Disneyland Paris, it will put the resort on the map both for Disney fans and the general public in a way not seen since Space Mountain in the ’90s.

Ratatouille: The Adventure at Disneyland Paris

3. It’s fresh, not reheated

The Studios’ first and only E-Ticket expansion to date, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, was a huge deal at the time and helped give to the park a focal point a feeling of much-needed atmosphere. But coming almost four years after the exact same version of the ride was built in California, and that a full ten years after the Florida original, there wasn’t much new or fresh to actually be excited about. Construction was more about waiting for the next thing, not waiting to see what’s next.

With trackless vehicles, huge 3D projections, plus physical scenery and physical effects, Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy is a comparatively unknown mélange like nothing seen in any other Disney park, on a scale to be truly excited about, and there are no plans as yet to reproduce it around the world.

4. It tips the balance to three days

It’d be absolutely right to hesitate to say that Walt Disney Studios Park is now a “full-day park”, but with an extra must-do attraction and a table service restaurant, it is almost getting to the point where you would struggle to do everything in a day.

Combined with Disneyland Park, this could begin to tip the balance towards three days in the parks becoming more of a standard at Disneyland Paris, at least for first-time visitors. That’s good for the parks, good for the hotels, good for everything.

After Disney California Adventure, Disney seems to have rediscovered the motto that “investment pays” — let’s please have that apply to Paris, too.

Indeed, more so than any expansion of the park yet, Ratatouille should encourage more visitors to hop to the Studios in the first place — and to hop back again. More visitors in the park could mean more much-needed investment — or at least you’d hope so, because…

Ratatouille – The Adventure Disneyland Paris

5. It doesn’t fix the Studios, but it sets a benchmark

There might be a lot of talk this weekend and further ahead of Walt Disney Studios Park “coming of age” or “being fixed”. Let’s be clear: this relatively tiny pocket of pure, proper Disney theme park magic is still just that.

Unfortunately, stepping out of Place de Rémy, you’ll still be confronted by the soulless walkway behind Art of Disney Animation, the featureless Place de Stars in Production Courtyard.

The original Animation Courtyard still lacks anything to write home about, and Backlot is positively bleak. The park is still just a collection of generally very good but largely disparate attractions, lacking any Disney glue — or even enough money-making restaurants and shops — between them.

What this new Ratatouille mini-land does do, however, with its intricate sets, endless hidden nods and spectacular fountain, is set the benchmark: for a type of immersion in storytelling which should be standard, but has still yet to be seen across the park. Toy Story Playland actually did immersion quite well, but not so much the quality of its attractions.

Even Hollywood Boulevard which surrounds The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, a beautiful area of the park for almost seven years, lacks any kind of real immersion the second you turn to see the flat Hollywood Hills backdrop or the unrestricted views to the rest of the original backlot-inspired park. Could it finally be completed now?

Now there’s Place de Rémy, there’s no excuse. From Animagique to Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic to Armageddon: Les Effets Speciaux, Ratatouille will prove, somewhat painfully, just how under-performing the rest of the park is — both in how it looks, how it works and how it makes money. And that has to mean major changes.

6. We don’t know What’s Next

Star Wars Land? Marvel Studios? Animagique 2?! As one new attraction opens, it seems Disneyland Paris always becomes awash with rumour about what’s next. But right now, we just don’t know, and as we’ve seen in a past, these (often very real) plans have a disappointing habit of never making it to reality.

Even before this year, unless you take Princess Pavilions or Disney Dreams! into account, it’s been a long wait for a genuine expansion since Toy Story Playland.

So as Ratatouille: The Adventure prepares to open its doors, enjoy the moment. You never know how long we’ll be waiting for this feeling of simmering excitement again. Savour it.

• Join DLP Today from 11am this Saturday, 21st June for the Inauguration of Place de Rémy, part of our Ratatouille: The Adventure Grand Opening LIVE weekend schedule.

Discover Ratatouille: The Adventure on the special DLP Guide mini-site!

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