Thursday, 22nd March 2018

Catherine Powell to leave Disneyland Paris for new Parks & Resorts promotion

Catherine Powell at Disneyland Paris 25th Anniversary opening ceremony

Catherine Powell has been promoted from her role as Présidente of Disneyland Paris operating group, Euro Disney S.C.A., to lead the entire newly-titled “Western Region” of Disney Parks & Resorts. Read More…

Thursday, 22nd March 2018

Catherine Powell to leave Disneyland Paris for new Parks & Resorts promotion

Catherine Powell at Disneyland Paris 25th Anniversary opening ceremony

Catherine Powell has been promoted from her role as Présidente of Disneyland Paris operating group, Euro Disney S.C.A., to lead the entire newly-titled “Western Region” of Disney Parks & Resorts. Read More…

Tuesday, 20th March 2018

Disney Parks tease upcoming Marvel lands: Paris confirmed for 2020 onwards

Disney Parks tease upcoming Marvel lands: Paris confirmed for 2020 onwards

The opening year of the Iron Man and Avengers retheme of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith at Disneyland Paris has been confirmed as 2020, with new poster artworks also teasing the Marvel lands due to arrive at Disneyland Resort and Hong Hong Disneyland around the same time. Read More…

Wednesday, 11th May 2016

New value Disney Hotel in ‘Art of Animation Resort’ style hinted in local consultation

DIsney's Art of Animation Resort, Florida - coming to Disneyland Paris?

Disneyland Paris has let slip plans for new guest accommodation, revealing what appears to be a new value hotel in the style of Florida’s Art of Animation and All-Star resorts, earmarked for land opposite Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe. Read More…

Friday, 29th April 2016

Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival to replace ‘Ant-Man’ at Discoveryland Theatre

'Ant-Man' sneak peek at Discoveryland Theatre, Disneyland Paris

Looks like you’re going to have to finally buy the “Ant-Man” Blu-ray (available for almost five months). It’s reported that the “preview” of the Marvel Studios movie playing in Discoveryland on and off since June last year will finally be replaced soon, with the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival, an import from Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, taking its place. Read More…

Friday, 29th April 2016

Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival to replace ‘Ant-Man’ at Discoveryland Theatre

'Ant-Man' sneak peek at Discoveryland Theatre, Disneyland Paris

Looks like you’re going to have to finally buy the “Ant-Man” Blu-ray (available for almost five months). It’s reported that the “preview” of the Marvel Studios movie playing in Discoveryland on and off since June last year will finally be replaced soon, with the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival, an import from Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, taking its place. Read More…

Tuesday, 16th September 2014

Tom Wolber takes the helm at Disneyland Paris as Philippe Gas heads for Shanghai

Tom Wolber takes the helm at Disneyland Paris as Philippe Gas heads for Shanghai

CEO, president, head honcho — however you say it, Disneyland Paris has a new guy in charge as of yesterday, 15th September 2014. Tom Wolber has begun his role as Président of Euro Disney S.A.S., with outgoing chief Philippe Gas heading for Shanghai Disney Resort as its first General Manager, a sure sign of Disney’s satisfaction with his tenure here.

Tom is in fact making a return to Paris, having been a part of the Grand Opening team in 1992. Since then, he has held leadership positions at Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, most recently overseeing Orlando’s 28 resort hotels and transportation network. Tom is German and speaks 4 languages: French, Dutch, English and German.

It may be notable that Euro Disney badges Wolber as having overseen a number of expansion projections including the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy cruise ships and the masterplan for Disney Springs, the revitalisation of Florida’s Downtown Disney. He arrives in Paris at a time of fevered rumour for expansion and revitalisation of our own resort, including attractions such as Star Tours 2, expansion of Walt Disney Studios Park and continued growth of Disney Village.

Departing president Philippe Gas will without doubt be remembered as one of the resort’s most successful and charismatic CEOs. Arriving in September 2008 just as the global economic downturn bit and 15th Anniversary expansions such as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror dried up, he took on a resort that was still all too often unreliable and erratic in the level of “Disney quality” it provided.

Ratatouille: The Adventure Grand Opening Dedication Ceremony at Disneyland Paris

Six years later, the list of good decisions is so long as to be impossible to collate and attribute, but it certainly began in April 2009 with the renaming of Disneyland Resort Paris back to a strong and simple Disneyland Paris. The opening of the three lower-spec Toy Story Playland attractions in 2010 may have divided opinion, and gone almost unnoticed to the public, but this summer’s grand Ratatouille: The Adventure unveiling proved a pivotal point for the resort and its second gate, expertly led from planning to construction to opening. Meanwhile, the 20th Anniversary of 2012 provided a landmark with Disney Dreams! — both its stunning quality and the adjoining extension of Disneyland Park operating hours continuing to equalise Paris with its international cousins.

Two new websites, new apps, new technology such as PhotoPass+ and the rollout of free wi-fi leaves plenty left to achieve, but huge ground gained. Better understanding of and communication with the fan community has been an icing on the cake, including better merchandise such as The Art of Disney on Demand and more one-off events like the 50th Anniversary of “it’s a small world”.

An enormous campaign of “cleaning the decks” with endless and huge refurbishment in almost every corner of the resort has coincided with a quiet plotting of future courses — the Villages Nature, Disney’s own hotel expansion, Disney Village improvements and plenty rumoured for the parks. The horizon feels ever bigger, if not any closer.

What’s needed now from a new president is to actually, at last, see those plans through. Countless times, grand visions have been drawn up for Disneyland Paris and its parks only to fall by the wayside. If Philippe Gas’ reign was about steadying the waters and getting the ship up to standard, let’s hope Tom Wolber can finally let this resort set sail.

Bring us that horizon, Tom.

• Press release 15/09/2014: Tom Wolber to assume leadership at Euro Disney (PDF)
• Press release 1/08/2014: Philippe Gas named General Manager of Shanghai Disney Resort, Tom Wolber, from Walt Disney World Resort, replacing him at Euro Disney (PDF)

Below: Official corporate video introducing Tom Wolber Read More…

Tuesday, 15th April 2014

Confirmed: Spider-Man to make first Disney park appearance at Walt Disney Studios Paris

Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Spider-Man, Walt Disney Studios Park, Disneyland Paris

In a world first for Disney Parks, Disneyland Paris confirmed on Friday that Walt Disney Studios Park will soon welcome Spider-Man to an exclusive meet and greet location in Backlot.

This followed a day exciting enough to set the spidey senses tingling in the park itself, when Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, stars of The Amazing Spider-Man, paid an impromptu promotional visit for the film’s imminent sequel.

Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Spider-Man, Walt Disney Studios Park, Disneyland Paris20140415_spiderman_5

Giving Walt Disney Studios Park a rare air of real “Hollywood” excitement, the pair, who star as Peter Parker (Spider-Man) and Gwen Stacy, conducted interviews in a red carpet event on Hollywood Boulevard.

Garfield later posed with Disney Voluntears and children from French organisation SESSAD inside Disney Blockbuster Cafe, just metres from where the Marvel meet ‘n’ greet tie-in is taking shape at the back of the park.

Andrew Garfield Spider-Man at Walt Disney Studios Park, Disneyland Paris

• Previously — Spider-Man photo location rumoured for Backlot in Walt Disney Studios Park

As reported previously, the new photo location will be housed within the disused side room of the restaurant. Disneyland Paris was typically vague in its announcement, stating on Twitter:

Very soon, Walt Disney Studios Park will be even more exciting with the opportunity for our guests to meet #SpiderMan himself !

And on Facebook:

It’s a first! Spider-Man is coming to pay us all a visit in Walt Disney Studios Park! Just a few more days and we’ll be sharing some truly epic moments with Spider-Man himself.

No dates were officially given, with only InsideDLParis reporting Spider-Man will meet guests from 19th April to 14th July 2014, a disappointingly short stay for the superhero.

Surprisingly, the tie-in appears to be taking place with the full support of Sony Pictures as part of a promotional deal with Disneyland Paris, proved not least by the appearance of the principal actors at the park. While The Walt Disney Company owns Marvel outright and has embarked on a new Spider-Man TV series, Sony Pictures continues to own the feature film rights.

Spider-Man at Walt Disney Studios Park, Disneyland Paris

Perhaps it’s due to this promotional aspect with the new film that Spider-Man apparently won’t be staying longer. Could Disneyland Paris extend his stay with their own money if he proves popular? Backlot needs permanent fixes, not temporary tie-ins, and making this unpopular land the permanent home of Marvel superheroes is without doubt the perfect fix.

For now, this new meet ‘n’ greet will be a tiny but welcome taste of what could be

Update — An official press release confirms the 19th April to 14th July dates and suggests that visitors “will be able to go home with their photo on the front page of the Daily Bugle”, the New York newspaper renowned for publishing photos of Spider-Man. Is that press release bumph or a hint at a fun souvenir photo design? Not long to find out.

Video featuring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone at Walt Disney Studios Park follows… Read More…

Wednesday, 13th February 2013

Free Wi-Fi coming to Disney Hotels, Disney Village and beyond in next year

Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris

Your 2013/2014 holiday to Disneyland Paris might now feel a lot more like a 21st Century experience. Lagging behind for years in internet access offering, Disneyland Paris has made a surprise sudden move towards offering more widespread — and crucially, free — Wi-Fi access across the resort.

Announced late on Monday was that the prestigious Disneyland Hotel now offers free Wi-Fi access. Then, on Tuesday, the official Twitter feed of the resort followed that up by confirming free Wi-Fi would be rolled out gradually within the next year to all other Disney Hotels, along with convention centres, Golf Disneyland and even Disney Village.

Free Wi-Fi is now arguably considered as important as other hotel room fixtures such as a television. From previously offering only patchy and expensive Wi-Fi access in only the four higher tier Disney Hotels, this move will add some much-needed additional value back to those — many say — overpriced “on property” room nights. Guests have in the past been faced with the frankly absurd situation that, for example, the ultra-basic €52 per night Ibis Budget over at Val d’Europe offered free Wi-Fi, but the €459 minimum Disneyland Hotel did not.

The inclusion of Disney Village in these plans is interesting. Could that be a commercial decision, to make the entertainment district more inviting for visitors to “dwell” longer, or could it even be an easier test bed for eventually covering the whole of the resort — and both parks — by free Wi-Fi? Last year, Walt Disney World began offering free Wi-Fi to visitors within its Magic Kingdom park, with plans to roll it out to all four parks and Downtown Disney over there too.

Besides giving guests what they now see as an almost essential home comfort, providing free Wi-Fi will also exponentially increase the number of status updates, photos and videos posted to social media websites during guests’ stays, especially at Disneyland Paris where many guests have had to avoid “roaming” charges for foreign networks, giving the Disney Parks perhaps their most powerful ever marketing tool: us.

VIA @Disney_ParisEN (Twitter)

Tuesday, 18th September 2012

Debt Mountain: The Walt Disney Company agrees €1.3 billion Euro Disney refinancing

Time to shoot for the moon again?

It’s not the rumoured share buyout, but it’s big: Euro Disney S.C.A., operating group of Disneyland Paris, tonight announced that a huge €1.3 billion of its epic debt pile will be refinanced by The Walt Disney Company itself, taking over from the banks which have stunted the resort’s growth. Given a longer lending term, less restrictive financial commitments and reduced interest payments, Disneyland Paris will be free to invest more in long-term growth and enjoy greater operational flexibility. Read More…

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