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.
Disneyland Paris has formally revealed a four-point renovation plan to “reinvent the magic”, covering ten key attractions in both parks. In planning for several years with the codename “Project Sparkle”, the major slate of refurbishments and updates will both restore lost details and add fresh new features, aiming to bring the Disneyland Paris experience fully in line with its American counterparts. Read More…
Whether you’re planning to visit Disneyland Paris in September 2015 or September 2016, we’ve got some major Calendar updates on every page to help you plan your trip as far ahead as possible. Read More…
We almost thought we wouldn’t get to climb up into the branches of the Swiss Family Treehouse again this year. But the closure of La Cabane des Robinson, which had been ongoing for months, since the first half of 2011, has now finally come to an end with a successful re-opening this weekend. As the picture above by @InsideDLParis shows, this classic walkthrough can still be quite the guest magnet, especially on a busy peak season Sunday when all the major rides have unforgiving queues.
Despite being closed for the majority of the year, refurbishment work only visibly began on the treehouse as late as October or November. In that time, vast amounts of the wooden stairways and banisters which wrap around the tree have been replaced with fresh materials. The water wheel irrigation system would appear to remain out-of-action, and the attraction could still dearly do with some additional, closer love and care in the new year to bring it fully up to “opening day” grade, now that the basics have been sorted. But hurrah, at last, for the return of the Swiss Family Robinson!
Great news, treehouse fans: The Swiss Family Robinson have finally begun their restoration work at La Cabane des Robinson. Closed for much of the year, the Adventureland walkthrough became a hot topic as fans debated the reason for its closure. With these recent photos by DisneyGazette showing scaffolding amongst its branches and a large amount of new bamboo wooden railings winding their way up around the trunk, it appears the tree simply required the same restoration work as many other areas of the park this year. In particular, much of the wood in the area of Thunder Mesa at the entrance to Frontierland was completely replaced back in September. Here, Disney will be ensuring the tree’s elevated walkways remain safe to explore, as well as fresh and lived-in.
With a lack of funds and the climate being frequently cold and damp, Disneyland Paris hasn’t kept up as well as it should with treating and replacing these more natural elements of the park. Hopefully the large financial investment in the park’s “assets” this year will be the start of a new era.
One thing we would dearly love to see for the Swiss Family Treehouse is a full replacement of its artificial vinyl leaves. Where it should be thick and green with 300,000 leaves, the branches now instead look somewhat wintry and windswept as leaves have gradually fallen off over the past 20 years. How Disney could go about re-attaching them is anyone’s guess, as they were originally stuck in place to the branches at ground level (see this fascinating video). It’d surely be an arduous and expensive process, but would certainly make guests appreciate all the more this not-so-hidden gem. (As would a long-dreamed-of reinstatement of the tree’s ingenious fresh water plumbing system.)
So while it may not be as luscious as it could on top, La Cabane will at least look a far fresher home for the Robinsons on the inside when it officially reopens on 17th December.
So maybe we will get to live like the Swiss Family Robinson again this year after all. Disneyland Paris sent out a tweet from its official Twitter accounts yesterday stating that the mysterious treehouse closure is merely a “refurbishment” and that they expect it to reopen in December. The message read:
“To answer many of you, La Cabane des Robinson is actually closed for refurbishment. We expect it to be reopened in december.”
Household scenes throughout the tree were repaired and redressed in 2009 with fresh props and a concerted effort has been maintained since to keep things looking tidy, but the attraction has long required a more dramatic overhaul to bring it back to the full glory of its intended design. Beyond replacing roof thatching and repairing the wooden walkways, there are the hundreds of faux vinyl leaves which have fallen to the ground over the years, leaving gaps and removing colour from what should be a luscious, vibrant “Disneyodendron semperflorens grandis”. And then there’s that fascinating irrigation system: a network of channels, pulleys and buckets which is supposed to lift water out of the bubbling brook on which the tree has grown and up into its branches for the shipwrecked inhabitants. Needless to say, it hasn’t for many years. No wonder some people don’t see the wonder in this tree.
The treehouse has felt deserted by maintenance budgets for years. It’s about time the Swiss Family Robinson were given the money to move back in.
You won’t be climbing up into the branches of the classic Swiss Family Treehouse in Adventureland again in 2011, we can now say with some certainty. The latest round of Closure and Refurbishment dates to November 2011 confirms that La Cabane des Robinson will be closed for the entire period, right up to 30th November. Internal sources suggest even this new “until” date is conservative, with the closure now certain to continue into 2012.
What’s going on at the Treehouse, the visual icon of Paris’ Adventureland? You tell us. No really, please do. The multi-levelled walkthrough up and around the branches of the giant steel tree just happened to close right after the incident at Big Thunder Mountain on 25th April, when a piece of scenery fell and caused the brief hospitalisation of one guest. As well as immediately shuttering Big Thunder for repairs, adding one week to an already-planned closure, Disneyland Paris reportedly switched off all mechanical effects which come close to ride tracks or are situated above or close to guests.
Let no-one make any ridiculous conclusions that the tree is about to collapse. In fact there’s nothing definite to say these events are actually linked, and this could likely be more a part of the Guest Safety department’s recent generalised jitters around the parks than anything else. The same over-cautious (or depending on your view, perfectly cautious) bearing that saw the benches of Le Theatre du Châteauspaced out far enough to (supposedly) prevent children jumping between them or the long-standing Rocher Qui Bascule (the “rock which rocks”, a wobbling boulder just below the treehouse) made permanently static with a lump of concrete, to give just a couple of examples.
The Swiss Family Treehouse is a Disneyland classic, operating at Magic Kingdom, Florida and Tokyo Disneyland, whilst a refreshed version titled Tarzan’s Treehouse operates at Disneyland, California and Hong Kong Disneyland. The Disneyland Paris version is markedly different than all four, occupying a much higher, more prominent position at the heart of the land. Many of the elements around the tree, such as the shipwreck with a floating bridge passing through it, are directly tied in to the Swiss Family Robinson story, which was made into a 1960 film by Walt Disney.
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