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…

Wednesday, 8th October 2014

Sonia Demay and Romina Grochow are the next Disneyland Paris Ambassadors

Sonia Demay and Romina Grochow are the next Disneyland Paris Ambassadors

Sonia Demay and Romina Grochow will be the Disneyland Paris Ambassadors for 2015 and 2016, as announced during a special public ceremony at Videopolis Theatre on Friday. Chosen from ten semi-finalists by means of a democratic vote, they saw off competition from fellow finalists Anthony Houdinet and Rut Sospedra, in the programme which awards Ambassador roles to high-achieving Cast Members from across the resort. Read More…

Monday, 6th October 2014

Euro Disney announces €1bn recapitalisation proposal to clear debt and invest

Euro Disney announces proposal for €1bn recapitalisation

Euro Disney S.C.A. has today announced a proposal to improve the financial situation of the operating group behind Disneyland Paris, backed by The Walt Disney Company, to “enable it to continue investing in the quality of the guest experience”. It feels like we’re been here before (several times), so what’s new this time? 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…

Friday, 19th September 2014

Next 2015-2016 Disneyland Paris Ambassador Team to be announced October 3rd

Ratatouille: The Adventure Grand Opening Dedication Ceremony at Disneyland Paris

Antonella and Jonathan are about to hand over to a new pair of Disney “ambassadors”. The Disneyland Paris Ambassador Team for 2015-2016 will be announced on 3rd October 2014 at a public ceremony in Videopolis Theatre, Discoveryland at 11am.

No less than ten semi-finalists have been selected from those who applied for the roles, pictured below, chosen from all corners of the resort to represent Disneyland Paris Cast Members on the public stage for events and promotions.

The 2013-2014 team, Antonella Giallombardo and Jonathan Rabeute, will continue as ambassadors until the end of the year, when the new recruits will take over.

Next 2015-2016 Disneyland Paris Ambassador Team to be announced October 3rd

This year marks a special milestone for the Disney Ambassador Program as it records its 50th Anniversary, to be celebrated at the ceremony next month, having begun in 1964 at the hands of master Disneyland marketeer Jack Lindquist.

At Disneyland Paris, the visibility of the programme has improved noticeably in recent years, not least thanks to the use of social media, and helped by a run of enthusiastic and knowledgeable representatives, each truly raising the bar (tip: great Cast Members who also happen to be real fans make perfect ambassadors).

Originally just seeing a single candidate elected, the Disneyland Paris programme now elects two Ambassadors to represent the resort for two years.

• Photos — Every Disneyland Paris Ambassador in pictures

• Ambassadors in action — Ratatouille: The Adventure opening day ceremony

While Osvaldo and Régis got to enjoy the 20th Anniversary and Antonella and Jonathan excelled at the Ratatouille grand opening events, we don’t yet know what our next two ambassadors could be cutting the ribbon on in the next two years… but we wish all semi-finalists, and the selected ambassadors, the very best of luck.

Update — The finalists of the 2015-2016 Disneyland Paris Ambassador selection have been announced today; they are: Sonia Demay, Romina Grochow, Anthony Houdinet and Rut Sospedra.

Disneyland Paris 2015-2016 Ambassador Team selection finalists

Thursday, 18th September 2014

Disneyland Paris named three-star destination by Michelin Green Guide

Disneyland Paris named three-star destination by Michelin Green Guide

Disneyland Paris has been named a three-star tourist attraction by the famous Michelin Green Guides, the highest distinction from the travel publisher. The accolade was accepted by ambassadors Jonathan and Antonella, dedicating it to the Cast Members who “offer daily hospitality and quality service to our visitors”.

Listed separately as Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios, the two Disney parks are now both marked as “Highly Recommended” three-star attractions on Michelin’s Paris travel guide. Looking at the competition, Parc Astérix to the north of Paris has only a two-star “Recommended” rating, though the mouse shouldn’t be too complacent — Disney Village is marked out by only a single star.

Disneyland Paris, Euro Disney Michelin Green Guides, Vert

Many will of course remember the excellent series of classic Green Guides or “Guides Vert” and fold-out maps produced by Michelin in the early years of the resort. Providing concise and clear overviews of the resort — and now, a fascinating glimpse into its history — they’re well worth hunting down on places like Amazon Marketplace.

VIA Ambassadeurs Disneyland Paris (Facebook)

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…

Friday, 20th June 2014

Ratatouille: The Adventure Grand Opening — LIVE now from Disneyland Paris

Ratatouille Disneyland Paris Press Preview Event LIVE 21st & 22nd June 2014

Here we go, live from Disneyland Paris! This is your host Anthony reporting along from the Grand Opening weekend of Ratatouille: The Adventure.

To follow all the events as they happen, head straight to the special LIVE page and you’ll see all the latest live photos and information from the brand new attraction at Walt Disney Studios Park in one place. Or, if you’re reading on a phone, you’re best jumping straight to @DLPToday on Twitter and following the action there.

Highlights of DLP Today‘s Grand Opening schedule include the Inaugural Ceremony and Grand Opening of Place de Rémy at 11:00am on Saturday, tomorrow, and The Making of Ratatouille presentation with Walt Disney Imagineers at 11:00am on Sunday, plus lots more surprises in between.

I’ll also be sharing general previews and pictures of the new development throughout both days, along with other live news and views from around Disneyland Paris.

As you might expect, there are bound to be spoilers aplenty as we discover this brand new, world exclusive attraction for the first time and talk to its creators.

Note that as I’ll also be taking notes and collecting photos and videos for reports, some events may be covered more than others and most will be reported more fully in the weeks ahead — so if you can’t follow everything live, come back soon to relive the entire adventure.

I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts too — please reply, comment, tweet as we go!

So join in, and let DLP Today take you there now..!

FOLLOW LIVE NOW

• Discover Ratatouille: The Adventure on the DLP Guide mini-site!

Friday, 20th June 2014

60 Reasons Ratatouille: The Adventure matters to Disneyland Paris (well, almost)

Ratatouille: The Adventure at Disneyland Paris

The “sixtieth” attraction at Disneyland Paris, by official count, sees its Grand Opening for the press this weekend in Marne-la-Vallée. And Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy means a lot more to Disney’s European resort than most of those other 59 attractions.

From the size of the investment to the location inside Disney’s least popular theme park, it’d be easy to think of 60 reasons why this is a really big deal.

But, since there are things to prepare and time’s running out, here are just Six Big Reasons Why Ratatouille Matters

1. It’s new, it’s BIG, it’s for everyone

Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune will forever be the addition Disneyland Paris fans regard as the one. Opening in 1995, it arguably saved the resort from financial meltdown — well, until its next restructuring — and provided a big, new version of a Disney classic which Parisian fans could say was all their own. But as a wild thrill ride with height restrictions it wasn’t for everyone and, since the bigger Discovery Mountain project was scrapped, it didn’t have a restaurant or much else to explore around the circular mountain.

In that sense, and even taking the roughly ten new attractions Walt Disney Studios Park brought in 2002, Disneyland Paris has simply never built such a complete and well-rounded expansion. One that everyone can ride, one that has all the necessary theme park infrastructure — dining, shopping, toilets — built in. This is how it should be done.

2. C’est très French

Since Le Visionarium in Discoveryland saw its all-too-early demise, Disneyland Paris has been lacking a certain French-ness in its parks. That fantastical Circle Vision 360 film was a gem, a real love letter to France; it helped to ground the park and helped the park — and its visitors — relate to its location.

Now, over in Walt Disney Studios Park, visitors can feel like they’re in Paris without ever stepping foot on the RER train to take them into the city.

It might seem mad to build Paris in Paris, but — ah! — this isn’t just any City of Light, it clearly has enough whimsy and “Hidden Rémys” to make it its own place.

This works two ways: it gives the park something very French, which foreign visitors will love, and it gives the park something very French, which the French will love.

Unmistakably connected with Disneyland Paris, it will put the resort on the map both for Disney fans and the general public in a way not seen since Space Mountain in the ’90s.

Ratatouille: The Adventure at Disneyland Paris

3. It’s fresh, not reheated

The Studios’ first and only E-Ticket expansion to date, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, was a huge deal at the time and helped give to the park a focal point a feeling of much-needed atmosphere. But coming almost four years after the exact same version of the ride was built in California, and that a full ten years after the Florida original, there wasn’t much new or fresh to actually be excited about. Construction was more about waiting for the next thing, not waiting to see what’s next.

With trackless vehicles, huge 3D projections, plus physical scenery and physical effects, Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy is a comparatively unknown mélange like nothing seen in any other Disney park, on a scale to be truly excited about, and there are no plans as yet to reproduce it around the world.

4. It tips the balance to three days

It’d be absolutely right to hesitate to say that Walt Disney Studios Park is now a “full-day park”, but with an extra must-do attraction and a table service restaurant, it is almost getting to the point where you would struggle to do everything in a day.

Combined with Disneyland Park, this could begin to tip the balance towards three days in the parks becoming more of a standard at Disneyland Paris, at least for first-time visitors. That’s good for the parks, good for the hotels, good for everything.

After Disney California Adventure, Disney seems to have rediscovered the motto that “investment pays” — let’s please have that apply to Paris, too.

Indeed, more so than any expansion of the park yet, Ratatouille should encourage more visitors to hop to the Studios in the first place — and to hop back again. More visitors in the park could mean more much-needed investment — or at least you’d hope so, because…

Ratatouille – The Adventure Disneyland Paris

5. It doesn’t fix the Studios, but it sets a benchmark

There might be a lot of talk this weekend and further ahead of Walt Disney Studios Park “coming of age” or “being fixed”. Let’s be clear: this relatively tiny pocket of pure, proper Disney theme park magic is still just that.

Unfortunately, stepping out of Place de Rémy, you’ll still be confronted by the soulless walkway behind Art of Disney Animation, the featureless Place de Stars in Production Courtyard.

The original Animation Courtyard still lacks anything to write home about, and Backlot is positively bleak. The park is still just a collection of generally very good but largely disparate attractions, lacking any Disney glue — or even enough money-making restaurants and shops — between them.

What this new Ratatouille mini-land does do, however, with its intricate sets, endless hidden nods and spectacular fountain, is set the benchmark: for a type of immersion in storytelling which should be standard, but has still yet to be seen across the park. Toy Story Playland actually did immersion quite well, but not so much the quality of its attractions.

Even Hollywood Boulevard which surrounds The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, a beautiful area of the park for almost seven years, lacks any kind of real immersion the second you turn to see the flat Hollywood Hills backdrop or the unrestricted views to the rest of the original backlot-inspired park. Could it finally be completed now?

Now there’s Place de Rémy, there’s no excuse. From Animagique to Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic to Armageddon: Les Effets Speciaux, Ratatouille will prove, somewhat painfully, just how under-performing the rest of the park is — both in how it looks, how it works and how it makes money. And that has to mean major changes.

6. We don’t know What’s Next

Star Wars Land? Marvel Studios? Animagique 2?! As one new attraction opens, it seems Disneyland Paris always becomes awash with rumour about what’s next. But right now, we just don’t know, and as we’ve seen in a past, these (often very real) plans have a disappointing habit of never making it to reality.

Even before this year, unless you take Princess Pavilions or Disney Dreams! into account, it’s been a long wait for a genuine expansion since Toy Story Playland.

So as Ratatouille: The Adventure prepares to open its doors, enjoy the moment. You never know how long we’ll be waiting for this feeling of simmering excitement again. Savour it.

• Join DLP Today from 11am this Saturday, 21st June for the Inauguration of Place de Rémy, part of our Ratatouille: The Adventure Grand Opening LIVE weekend schedule.

Discover Ratatouille: The Adventure on the special DLP Guide mini-site!

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