Wednesday, 28th February 2018

Bob Iger and Emmanuel Macron discuss biggest ever Disneyland Paris investment

Bob Iger met Emmanuel Macron to discuss biggest Disneyland Paris investment ever

Disney’s CEO met the French president yesterday to unveil the company’s 2 billion euro expansion of Disneyland Paris, the biggest single investment since the opening of the Parisian resort. Read More…

Tuesday, 27th February 2018

2bn euros to transform Walt Disney Studios Park: new Star Wars, Marvel, Frozen lands announced

2bn euros to transform Walt Disney Studios Park: new Star Wars, Marvel, Frozen lands announced

The day every Disneyland Paris fan has waited for is here. Walt Disney Studios Park is set to be transformed and expanded with an enormous 2 billion euro masterplan bringing new Star Wars, Marvel and Frozen lands. Read More…

Tuesday, 1st November 2016

Disneyland Paris 25th Anniversary deconstructed: Experience Enhancement Programme

Disneyland Paris 25th Anniversary deconstructed: Experience Enhancement Plan

The most exciting thing about the 25th Anniversary isn’t even the 25th Anniversary. No — for every one of the new events, there are probably five more good reasons for any passionate fan or visitor to return to Disneyland Paris next year.

In this final part of DLP Today’s series looking behind the 2017 announcements, let’s look at why the so-called Experience Enhancement Programme is the real game-changer for this resort. Read More…

Sunday, 21st September 2014

Earffel Tower getting new-look Walt Disney Studios logo design during refurbishment

Earffel Tower getting new-look Walt Disney Studios logo design during refurbishment

The Earffel Tower, icon of Walt Disney Studios Park, will soon have a brand new face. As part of a general (and as we seem to always say, much-needed) refurbishment of the water tower in the Front Lot entrance of the park, the opportunity is also being taken to replace the original 2002 “filmstrip” logo with a new-look design.

Based on current progress, the “new” logo appears to have more classic, maroon red-coloured lettering with a simple black outline on a plain background. Without doubt the look has the potential to be much more 1930s in style, boding well for any future changes to the entrance of the park, which lacks any definable time period setting.

In terms of its actual typeface and size, the logo is similar if not identical to before, with only the “Walt Disney” letters flattened out from their wavy design following the filmstrip in the original, which used a modern palette of blue, yellow and red. The typeface, similar to ITC Anna, remains the same as seen around the area, including lettering on Disney Studio 1.

Earffel Tower getting new-look Walt Disney Studios logo design during refurbishment
A very rough current approximation of the new logo (typeface not fully accurate)

For Walt Disney Studios Park, it’s a wise and very welcome decision to come up with a logo design unique to the very prominent Earffel Tower.

The 2002 logo was created primarily for the promotion of the park in brochures and park guides, not to provide any kind of thematic detail within the park itself. Until now, adorned with just the standard modern park logo, the famous water tower hasn’t actually felt part of a specific period or place you’re being transported to. After all, you don’t see the garish pink Disneyland Park marketing logo on the entrance to that park.

Earffel Tower getting new-look Walt Disney Studios logo design during refurbishment
Earffel Tower getting new-look Walt Disney Studios logo design during refurbishment

Over in Florida, the Earful Tower remains somewhat hidden away at the back of the park, so less important thematically, though it too had a recent rebranding with the name change from Disney-MGM Studios to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Elsewhere in the Paris park, a similar maroon colour was used to great effect on the Walt Disney Television Studios building, replacing its cold original turquoise colours.

LEAD PHOTO @InsideDLParis (Twitter)

Monday, 31st March 2014

Ratatouille’s La Place de Rémy joins Walt Disney Studios Park and resort maps

Ratatouille Walt Disney Studios Park Disneyland Paris 2014 Map

La Place de Rémy has officially joined the Walt Disney Studios Park map. Pre-empting the expected guide map changeover on 3rd April, Disneyland Paris has released an early peek at the new, updated map for its second gate featuring the brand new mini-land.

Depicting the Parisian quarter to the right of Toy Story Playland in Toon Studio, the park map now shows the square, buildings, façades and all-important fountain of Ratatouille: The Adventure. The marquee logos of the ride, Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy, and the restaurant, Le Bistrot Chez Rémy, are both included, as is the logo-orientated style of the studio park map.

The map’s designers have chosen to end the façades immediately behind their rooftops, similar to several attractions such as Pirates of Caribbean on the Disneyland Park map, and not depict the massive showbuilding in any way. This makes the attraction the first to have a “hidden” or backstage showbuilding on the Walt Disney Studios Park map (even if in reality there’s no hiding it from within the park).

While Catastrophe Canyon and the Dinotopia set of Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic have been moved to the right in order to fit the latest expansion on, the rest of the park map remains completely unchanged:

Ratatouille Walt Disney Studios Park Disneyland Paris 2014 Map

In fact, so much so that the version sent out today still features the Playhouse Disney Live on Stage! logo — the attraction has been rebranded to Disney Junior. The full map also inexplicably features Disney Village in the bottom-left corner, seen from the same viewpoint.

Besides the park, Ratatouille will also be featured on the general Disneyland Paris resort map, with a few of its façades pictured above Buzz Lightyear:

Ratatouille Walt Disney Studios Park Disneyland Paris 2014 Resort Map
Ratatouille Walt Disney Studios Park Disneyland Paris 2014 Resort Map

Looking back through the park’s previous maps, it is now relatively impressive to see the changes and expansions since opening day — though they have certainly been somewhat lop-sided, with Toon Studio getting much of the attention.

In 2001, perhaps the barest Disney Park map in history was released for pre-opening brochures:

Walt Disney Studios Park 2002 Map Disneyland Paris

This was thankfully soon updated with more of the park’s finer details (if not any of the numerous expansion rumours of the time, which would take five years to materialise):

Walt Disney Studios Park 2003 Map Disneyland Paris

Then, the first and still biggest change to date came in 2007, when Crush’s Coaster, Cars Quatre Roues Rallye, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Hollywood Boulevard were all added to the map in one go:

Walt Disney Studios Park 2007 Map Disneyland Paris

In 2010, the map was updated with Toy Story Playland along with updated logos for Disney Blockbuster Café and Restaurant des Stars.

As with 2007, the early addition of Ratatouille will give the ride some much-needed advance publicity for guests visiting in the months before its opening.

While teasers have been shared online, the expansion must be one of the first in Disneyland Paris history not to see its construction walls decorated with even a modest teaser of what is being built within. With so many missed promotional opportunities already, it’s a relief to see this one seized, if only thanks to the traditional bi-annual guide map changeover…

Wednesday, 16th May 2012

First Ratatouille dark ride construction crane rises above the Studios — in pictures and video

Ratatouille Kitchen Calamity! dark ride construction crane

This week, the future Ratatouille dark ride made another highly visible step forward as a second tower crane began to rise above the Toon Studio construction site. The first, of course, made its mark on 11th April — a valiant effort by the second gate to steal the thunder of its partner a day before the 20th Anniversary events on 12th April 2012. Whether this date was chosen by chance or by reason, it was a fitting way to end one chapter with the beginnings of the next.

So what does a Disneyland Paris fan do, upon arriving at the resort after a long train journey on a blustery, rainy evening like that? Rush straight over to Walt Disney Studios Park, just 15 minutes before the gates closed, and photograph our exciting new landmark from every angle, of course. And then, a month later, actually find the time to post the pictures online.

But here we go, crane fans: over 40 photos and six minutes of video featuring “La Grue Ratatouille” — from Val d’Europe, Toon Studio, Backlot, Frontierland and beyond. This first crane alone was imposing enough on the skyline: this ride may be all about rats, but it won’t be small by any standard.

Continues… Read More…

Friday, 16th March 2012

Happy 10th Birthday, Walt Disney Studios Park! Ceremony sprinkles welcome glitz

Happy birthday, Walt Disney Studios Park! The second park at Disneyland Paris has celebrated its 10th anniversary today in a characteristically somewhat muted day of special events. That wasn’t going to stop the Disneyland Paris Ambassadors giving it their all, though. Following their stint as Frontiersmen for the rededication of the Molly Brown and gentlemen of the royal court for the inauguration of the Princess Pavilion, Osvaldo del Mistero and Régis Alart raided the costuming workshop once again with an eye on Hollywood glitz.

The result looks superb for such an intimate event: dancers, singers, boom mics and rolling cameras — not to mention Osvaldo, Régis and Mickey Mouse all looking like they’ve just stepped out of the Oscar-winning best picture The Artist. A special clapperboard has been decorated with “Walt Disney Studios 10 ans” — the “10” made out out of a celluloid film reel. It’s a welcome throwback to the kind of Hollywood-that-never-was glamour which the still sorely-missed CinéFolies streetsmosphere shows in this same Disney Studio 1 used to provide.

Inside, the park’s Cast Members are wearing special badges to mark the occasion. From a paltry 10 attractions at opening on 16th March 2002, the park has grown to count 17 attractions within its studio lots, six of which are entirely unique to the park. After a lacklustre opening which forced the resort into a second financial restructuring, the first seeds of change were only sown in 2007 with the Toon Studio Placemaking project and two new attractions, Crush’s Coaster and Cars Quatre Roues Rallye.

Though additions such as Stitch Live! and Playhouse Disney Live on Stage! have sought to revitalise initially unpopular areas, the park has failed to see the implementation of any kind of wider improvement programme. Piecemeal, self-contained developments such as the colourful Toy Story Playland have continued to create pockets of Disney quality while other areas remain unappealing and lacking. The cold, windswept asphalt of Backlot has seen barely a single change since 2002, besides the half-hearted redecoration of Disney Blockbuster Café.

Nevertheless with its very first dark ride finally on the way in 2014, in the form of the world-exclusive and by all accounts state-of-the-art Ratatouille Kitchen Calamity! (rumoured working title), the whispers of further change continue to echo around these fictional soundstages. By the end of this decade, as it’s twentieth birthday nears, the second park might just be nearing a more complete park…

In the meantime, the park’s Cast Members gathered for a souvenir photo.

Dix ans — c’est dans la boîte!

VIA Ambassadeur Disneyland Paris, Disney Central Plaza (Facebook), @InsideDLParis (Twitter)

Tuesday, 6th September 2011

Armageddon averted! Repaving work finally begins at Walt Disney Studios Park entrance

Walt Disney Studios Park entrance repaving

2011 Refurbishments — We use the word “finally” a lot around these parts, probably too much. But in this case, it’s entirely justified. The right-hand side of the Walt Disney Studios Park entrance plaza, which for years now has looked like an extended piece of Armageddon themeing, has just been surrounded by fences ready for repaving to finally begin. About time! Disney Central Plaza posted the above photo on their Facebook page, showing the initial area to be closed off. Hopefully those fences will continue to move about the entrance area to replace all those cracks in the foreground — and out of shot — with the same high-quality paving stones used in the initial phase of the entrance repaving.

Walt Disney Studios Park entrance repaving

This will conclude a repaving project at the entrance to the park that was begun way back in 2007 but never finished, when the original (and it seems, poorly laid) concrete searchlights and stars emitting from the entrance gates were relaid using proper stone paving. This only ever replaced the left-hand side of the entrance, though, leaving the pathway between the two parks (arguably one of the most important in the resort) to crumble away. The ground around the ticket desks meanwhile became a sea of craters — each fragment of eroded concrete another reminder of frivolous early 2000s cost-cutting.

We were promised a repaving project by Paris Imagineering head Peggie Fariss back in March (also the date of the photo above), but it appears we had to wait for the conclusion of several repaving projects in Fantasyland and not least the end of the busy Summer season for it to finally begin.

Well, they say first impressions mean everything…

VIA Disney Central Plaza (Facebook)

Sunday, 31st July 2011

Tickets now on sale for Terrorific Night Halloween parties at Walt Disney Studios Park

Keep calm and whatever you do, don’t scream. All you budding zombies and vampires itching to get into one of the two exclusive Halloween party nights at Walt Disney Studios Park this Autumn will go voracious to hear that Terrorific Night tickets are now on sale! Priced at €32 or £28, the two dates this year as previously announced are 29th and 30th October.

You can buy tickets direct from the official booking website — click here for UK bookings in GBP or here for bookings in Euros (link takes you to the store for France). The booking pages also come with a few extra provisos and cautions, suggesting that the parties are not recommended for those under 12 years of age and warning that costumes and masks are strictly prohibited at this event.

If none of this sounds like your thing, tickets for the four very child-friendly Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party nights and the main Disney’s Halloween Party are also available to buy now. Don’t forget, annual passholders get great discounts of up to 30% on these Halloween party tickets and reportedly a huge 50% off Terrorific Night, cutting the price to just €16. To claim your discount you’ll need to buy via the telephone hotline or at the gates of either park. Read More…

Friday, 8th July 2011

Third “Terrorific Night” Halloween party at the Studios sees zombies multiply – over two nights!

Tickets won’t be available for a few days yet, but Disneyland Paris has just confirmed the return of the popular Terrorific Night Halloween party to Walt Disney Studios Park, sending over the first advertising visual above (click for the full image). The event was launched in 2009 by French entertainment retailer FNAC as a more “adult” antidote to the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the original gate, but moved to full Disney control last year with a hugely well-received night that saw several Studios attractions given “Terrorific” overlays. Zombies, for example, patrolled a spookily-lit forest route of Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic (where during the day, the only zombies are the bored guests on-board) while Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Crush’s Coaster featured special soundtracks.

Now in its third year, the event has become popular enough that 2011 will see not one but TWO nights of frights in the second gate, multiplying to cover both the 29th and 30th October 2011. This is in addition to the returning Not-So-Scary Halloween Party nights at Disneyland Park on 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th October and the main event itself, Disney’s Halloween Party on 31st October, giving a grand total of seven Halloween party nights. Scary!

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