When you’ve got a big new attraction and a well-received expansion to your subpar second gate, you never have enough ceremonies to celebrate it. So the stage was set in front of Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy for the fourth time this past Thursday, 17th July 2014, for the visit of Anne Hidalgo, Maire de Paris, and one thousand Parisian children through the Disney VoluntEARS programme.
After speaking at the ceremony alongside Disneyland Paris president Philippe Gas, the Mayor of Paris unveiled an oversized dedication plaque for the square with the date of the inauguration — also by chance the anniversary of the original Disneyland.
On Ratatouille: The Adventure, Anne Hidalgo said it is “the symbolic attraction to mark the link between Paris and Disney”. She later tweeted that it was the first time a Mayor of Paris has visited Disneyland Paris, and she wishes to strengthen their ties to improve tourism.
Official video — Parisian children experience the world of Ratatouille thanks to Disneyland Paris and Anne Hidalgo
Joining the mayor were 1,000 Parisian children who are members of leisure centres in the capital and aren’t lucky enough to be going away this summer. They got to enjoy a full day the park with 30 Disney VoluntEARS, volunteer Cast Members participating in Disney’s community outreach programme, showing them around.
Hidalgo even stepped onboard a Ratmobile next to Philippe Gas to experience the new attraction for herself — an important symbolic moment for Disneyland Paris, not least given the Parisian theme. In building a true piece of (fictionalised) Paris within its parks, has Disneyland Paris finally cemented itself as a positive force for the region?
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.
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.
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.
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…
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…
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.
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…
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.
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…
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