Thursday, 19th November 2015

Disneyland Paris fully re-opens to visitors – including CEOs Tom Wolber and Bob Iger

Disneyland Paris has fully re-opened to visitors - including CEOs Tom Wolber and Bob Iger (@RadioDisneyClu)

Disneyland Paris has now fully re-opened to visitors, with both Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park opening their gates to guests as normal from 10am yesterday, Wednesday 18th November 2015.

As the unprecedented four-day closure to respect the full national period of mourning in France came to an end, visitors returned to the parks — including several members of senior Disney management showing their support. Read More…

Monday, 16th November 2015

Disneyland Paris theme parks closed in the wake of Paris attacks

Disneyland Paris theme parks closed in the wake of Paris terrorist attacks

The two Disney Parks at Disneyland Paris remain closed today, Monday 16th November 2015, as the resort observes the national three-day period of mourning in France following a series of terrorist attacks in the city of Paris on the night of Friday 13th November.

Having initially closed on Saturday 14th November as French authorities dealt with the aftermath of the attacks, a further three day closure of Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park to Tuesday 17th November inclusive was later confirmed that evening.

Disney Village and all Disney Hotels have remained open and operating as normal during this time, with a profound show of strength, support and reassurance from Cast Members to each other and affected guests.

It is expected that the theme parks should re-open on Wednesday 18th November. Read More…

Thursday, 25th September 2014

Disneyland Paris launches brand new official website in line with American Disney resorts

Disneyland Paris launches brand new official website fully in line with American resorts

The oft-criticised official Disneyland Paris website has seen a complete relaunch of its UK edition today, bringing it in line with the websites for its American cousins in perhaps the biggest update yet both visually and technically. Read More…

Wednesday, 7th March 2012

Disneyland Paris Ambassadors to mark 10th Anniversary of Walt Disney Studios Park

Phew, someone did remember! Next Friday, 16th March 2012 looked to be quite the awkward affair for Walt Disney Studios Park, as it glumly sat in anticipation of its impending 10th birthday, watching the ever more feverish activity centred solely on neighbouring Disneyland Park‘s 20th. But count on Régis Alart and Osvaldo del Mistero, the current Disneyland Paris Ambassadors, to have a surprise ceremony in store. And so it’s confirmed: at 9.45am next Friday 16th March, the ambassadors will host a special ceremony at the park entrance to honour the 10th anniversary of the second gate, with the promise of “belles surprises” for the big day.

While the anniversaries of second, third or even fourth gates are rarely held as major occasions, it is usually customary at other resorts to at least release some special merchandise to mark the year. Since deciding to open its second park almost exactly 10 years after the first, Disneyland Paris has forever relegated the milestones of Walt Disney Studios Park to a supporting role.

Meanwhile, if you won’t be stepping through the studio gates on this special anniversary date, perhaps you could celebrate at home by perusing our partner site WDSfans.com, particularly its fascinating Image Archives with over 60 pieces of rare and unseen concept art from the park.

VIA Ambassadeur Disneyland Paris (Facebook)

Monday, 27th February 2012

First 20th Anniversary Extended Hours revealed: 9.30, 10.30, 11pm bedtimes ahead in April!

April is a busy month for Disneyland Paris, but it’s also outside of the main summer high season. For years that has meant, no matter how busy the parks, you’d see no fireworks and certainly stay no later than 10pm — 8 or 9pm on weekdays. The Extended Hours announced for the 20th Anniversary — primarily to make sure Disney Dreams! can be performed under darkness — promised to change that and revolutionise the annual calendar of the resort. Well, here we go.

Park opening hours for the first half of April 2012 have now been published (check them here), giving us our first look at exactly what “Extended Hours” mean. The first two weekends of April now see Disneyland Park open until 10.30pm, giving up to an hour and a half more time than the same period last year (check our archived hours here). On the weekend of the 14th and 15th, that extends further to the magical 11pm; the first 11pm closing time in April for almost two decades. Meanwhile weekdays see a solid 9.30pm closing time, again an increase of up to an hour and a half on last year.

It’s important to note that these Extended Hours are really just regular park opening hours… extended. Merely a way to promote the longer hours required to see darkness fall over Sleeping Beauty Castle — and all those Disney Dreams! effects come to life. The unconnected Extra Magic Hours, which are available in the morning, continue for Disney Hotel guests and Annual Passport Dream holders.

These new hours not only add a great deal more value to park tickets (and particularly resort hotel stays), they herald the moment where Disneyland Paris is ready to grow up, to start acting like a real Disney park. Previously weighted far too heavily towards the two summer months of July and August, the resort’s old calendar saw pretty much the entire rest of the year besides Christmas relegated to “off season”. If you wanted the “full Disney experience” of later hours, darkness falling over Main Street and nighttime entertainment, you had to wait until summer — and stump up the prices to match. Now, that full Disney experience will be available every day and every night of the year.

• Flashback: See the very first Euro Disneyland opening times from 1992 here!

Wednesday, 28th September 2011

Beginning of the end for Captain EO encore as it moves to “peak days only” operation?

Is Disneyland Paris beginning to wind down its Captain EO encore? A quick look at the latest Closure & Refurbishment dates for the parks now shows the Discoveryland attraction marked as closed on weekdays for the first three weeks of October: 3rd to 7th, 10th to 14th and 17th to 21st. Those infamous yellow 3-D glasses were also kept out of guests’ hands last week, when EO closed from Monday 19th to Friday 23rd September, suggesting that — rather than simple refurbishment as first expected — a new “peak days only” operating programme could be coming into force.

Michael Jackson and George Lucas fans have already had to contend with some very limited hours for the 3-D theatre show this year, with the first performance of the day held back until 11am and a closing time set far short of the rest of the park at around 5 or 6pm. The return has always been on an indefinite run, but if you’re a particular fan of this “rag-tag band lead by the infamous Captain EO”, you might want to catch an encore next time you can, just in case.

Captain EO returned to all its original locations at Disneyland in California, Epcot in Florida, Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Park in Paris last year. Though originally confirmed as “not returning” in the Backstage magazine for Cast Members, it ended up reopening in Paris a month ahead of the other international parks on 12th June 2010. This was still some way behind the February opening of the “Tribute” show in California, and though the relaunch garnered some initial publicity it is clear there has been only muted excitement for Jackson’s return to Disneyland Paris among regular guests. With no replacement yet in sight for the other parks, Discoveryland faces having a high-capacity theatre shuttered for much of the time — all the while, right next door to an out-of-date Star Tours.

Friday, 11th February 2011

Walt Disney Studios to stay up late for two test weekends in March

Walt Disney Studios Park

Approaching nine years old, the bedtime rules for Walt Disney Studios Park could finally be about to change. The latest Disneyland Paris park hours show an extended opening schedule for the second gate on the first two weekends of March 2011. As a test, likely to gauge demand and guest feedback, the park will now close at 9pm rather than the usual 7pm on the 5th, 6th, 12th and 13th March. This will surely be a bonus for any fans and if positive could give a tantalising glimpse at a time ahead when the Studios can be enjoyed until nightfall, without the need to join the daily schlep over to Disneyland Park.

The cause for longer hours will have been helped by the three new attractions in Toy Story Playland (not to mention their long queue times), as well as the five other permanent attractions that have been added to the mix since the park’s hours were brutally slashed in late 2002. Up until November in its opening year, the park had closed no earlier than 8pm and stayed open through July and August from 9am to 9pm, but this was cut back to a solid 9am to 6pm schedule from 2003 as guest demand fell short and a financial restructuring (largely due to the cost of the park) required cost-cutting. The situation was so bad, you might remember, that Disney offered guests with a 1-Day 1-Park ticket to the Studios complimentary evening access to Disneyland Park after 6pm. It wasn’t until the 2007 Toon Studio expansion that the park began to live a little with later 7pm closing times on busy weekends.

But is the park even ready to stay open until 9pm? With just two counter service restaurants and a buffet, and only three stores, Walt Disney Studios Park has a long way to go to match the offer of its neighbour, an important factor as guests stay in the park later into the day. If the demand is there for a later closing time, we have to hope Disney will satisfy the demand for better dining, retail and entertainment that will surely follow.

Monday, 19th October 2009

Parks open from 9am, Extra Hours at the Studios?

Bringing Extra Magic Hours (EMH) over to Disneyland Paris was a great bonus for a lot of guests and almost all fans of the resort, able to enjoy an extra two hours in Disneyland Park each morning thanks to their Disney Hotel or Annual Passport Dream.

However, those two extra hours, starting at 8am, caused the park’s regular opening time to be pushed back to 10am. Any guests not able to use EMH therefore actually lost an hour of time in the park. In fact, make that plural — despite not offering the bonus, the chance was also taken to save a little money by keeping the attractions at Walt Disney Studios Park closed till 10am, too.

Parks open from 9am, Extra Hours at the Studios?

Thank the record weekend attendance of last Christmas, then, because this December will finally see both parks return to full 9am opening times on Saturdays and Sundays. Park hours for the first two weeks of the month were published today, confirming the change. Last year, weekends in early December saw major traffic on roads leading to the resort and its main parking lot, with the amount of guests visiting to enjoy the special seasonal events even forcing the closure of Disneyland Park’s gates for several hours at the busiest point of the day.

But what does this earlier opening mean for those two extra hours? Well, they’ll be downsized to just one hour at Disneyland Park… but if wishes come true, they could become two again. Reports (posted by Mouetto, moderator on Disney Central Plaza) suggest that these days could also see Walt Disney Studios Park opened to EMH guests from 8am.

So far, however, the official website’s EMH page remains geared toward only Disneyland Park. If extra time is to be granted over at the Studios, the resort will have to work hard to reword their print and promote such a bonus.

• Check the latest park opening times at our new-look Calendar.

Friday, 19th December 2008

More preparations for busiest weekend of year

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and, for several years now, the busiest for Disneyland Resort Paris. As the success of the resort’s Christmas season has gone from strength to strength, it has truly replaced the Summer season as the key high season for the two Disney Parks.

However, all this festive cheer has a downside. Because, though Christmas Season runs for effectively the same length as Christmas, the core holiday period when families can visit is mostly condensed into just two weeks either side of Christmas Day itself. This weekend, between the 20th and 22nd December, is therefore the most hectic of all, not least in a record-breaking term where the resort is attracting over 15 million guests per year.

So, what are the preparations? On Tuesday, we spread word that the resort was taking the unprecedented step of advising visitors without hotel packages or dated tickets against visiting. However, as was pointed out, the warning was only posted on the ticket pages of the French official website — and furthermore, vanished a few hours after our article was published.

The warning was true enough, and the placement only on the French website was actually entirely intentional — trying to dissuade French visitors with cheap offer tickets from visiting at the busiest time of the year. Everyone is, of course, welcome to visit the resort this weekend, but you may well have to contend with some horribly busy parks.

Image

Annual Passport holders were also given the warning, via an email sent out to the entire mailing list, suggesting visits would be better saved for another day.

Now, the Events Calendar pages of the official website have a different, additional warning in place:

Conseil Malin pour venir à Disneyland Resort Paris

Si vous désirez vous rendre à Disneyland Resort Paris avec votre véhicule, nous vous conseillons de planifier votre arrivée avant 9h30 ou après 11h30 afin d’éviter les ralentissements.

Nous vous conseillons également d’utiliser les transports en commun en empruntant le RER A, terminus « Marne la Vallée Chessy » ou les lignes de bus.

This is again an announcement we’ve never known from Disneyland Resort Paris — if you’re going to be arriving by car at the resort, you’re recommended to try to plan your arrival either before 9:30am or after 11:30am, to avoid tailbacks on the A4 autoroute and access roads. Or, an even better option — use the public transport options such as the RER A line or local bus services.

This warning comes after the huge traffic levels seen around the resort on recent weekends.

Image

Finally, once all these guests are at Disneyland Resort Paris, they’re now being given a special Christmas treat to help cope with the huge visitor levels: extended opening hours at Walt Disney Studios Park!

Originally scheduled to open only from 10:00am to 7:00pm, the longest regular hours the park usually sees, an exception has been made to keep the gates of the Studios open right up until 9:00pm on Saturday and Sunday, likely to prevent Disneyland Park seeing an evening overflow of too many extra guests.

— You can find the updated opening hours on the relaunched DLRP Magic! Calendar.

[Lead image: www.photosmagiques.com]

Tuesday, 16th December 2008

Warning: Sunday 21st December will be FULL

It’s not the kind of message you expect to read on the Disneyland website, but for this Sunday, 21st December 2008, the official line really is: don’t visit today.

The urgent notice has only been posted on the ticket pages of the French official website. It reads:

• Attention: Le 21 Décembre nos parcs vont subir une très forte affluence.
• Nos billets ne sont plus disponibles à cette date.
• Il est fortement recommandé aux personnes non munies d’un billet ou munies d’un billet non daté de décaler leur visite sur notre site à une autre date.

Roughly translated, this warning announces that, on 21st December, the Disney Parks will have very high attendance levels. Tickets can no longer be purchased for this date, and it is strongly recommended that people without a ticket or without a dated entrance ticket for this day reschedule their visit for another day.

If you’re staying at a Disney Hotel or you’ve booked a package including tickets at one of the partner hotels, your tickets will be dated and you will be guaranteed access — but do prepare for a very, very busy Disneyland Park, with waiting times in excess of 2 hours at most major attractions.

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Image: Yao, Disney Central Plaza forum

This announcement comes just a week after Disneyland Park officially reached its capicity and the gates had to be closed. On Saturday, 6th December 2008, guests arriving late would have been faced with the sudden appearance of a “PARC DISNEYLAND – COMPLET/FULL” sign on the resort hub, with only the choice to visit Walt Disney Studios Park for the day instead.

Visitors on this day described long queues on the resort’s access roads and A4 motorway, with guests being allowed to park for free in a bid to ease the congestion. Disneyland Park’s official capacity is believed to be around 85,000 guests.

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Image: Nicholas-c, magicforum

Though parks reaching capacity can be quite common at other Disney resorts, particularly Disneyland Resort in California, where the original Disneyland park regularly has to close its gates on exceptionally busy dates, this is a very new thing for Disneyland Resort Paris. Clearly, with now more than 16 million visitors wanting to experience the parks each year, their popularity is becoming too much to handle.

Whilst these kind of attendance levels are obviously incredibly bad for visitors on the day, they do highlight the need for further expansion and make it ever more likely. Notably at Walt Disney Studios Park, which still does not apparently present enough of a draw to sufficiently take pressure off its older cousin.

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