Tuesday, 11th February 2014

CinéMagique hosts the 2014 Euro Disney SCA Shareholders Meeting, tomorrow

CinéMagique closed for shareholders meeting © InsideDLParis

Philippe Gas had better be careful he doesn’t stumble after George inside that infamous silver screen. The CEO of Euro Disney SCA will be hosting the group’s Annual General Meeting for shareholders tomorrow, 12th February 2014, at 9am inside CinéMagique in Walt Disney Studios Park.

As usual, it remains a closely guarded secret what exactly will be revealed at the event, beyond the usual questions and numbers. There’s a new attraction waiting just across the park, of course, and most are hoping the meeting will reveal a little more of Ratatouille: The Ride, perhaps a glimpse inside or even, the strongest rumour… an opening date.

For regular paying guests the meeting means the closure of one of the park’s star attractions, with no shows inside Studio 2 on the 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th February. These dates weren’t even included in advance on the standard attraction closures calendar, only appearing on this week’s park programme. Is it time to revisit the Convention Centre plans for Disney Village yet, Mr Gas?

Studio Tram Tour repainting for shareholders meeting © InsideDLParis

In traditional “quick, the shareholders are coming!” fashion, InsideDLParis spotted railings around Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic being given a fresh coat of paint yesterday. And even better: despite being slated for closure until the 14th of this month, the ride will now miraculously reopen tomorrow, a few days early, before closing again for Thursday and Friday.

You can download a whole load of documents relating to the meeting here.

Follow us on Twitter tomorrow as we share the best live tweets and breaking news from the meeting.

PHOTOS @InsideDLParis (Twitter)

Friday, 7th February 2014

Free Wi-Fi lands at Disney Village locations as one-year rollout nears completion

Disney Village, Disneyland Paris

Exactly a year ago, a revolution came to the Victorian-styled walls of Disneyland Hotel in the form of free wi-fi internet access, requested for years by fans and visitors, as Disneyland Paris announced a complete rollout across the “resort” portion of its lands. One year later, it has announced certain locations in Disney Village are the latest to be connected.

Now you can cheer on your favourite team on Facebook from the Sports Bar, catch up on your email while joining a line dance at Billy Bob’s Country Western Saloon, Instagram a picture of your meal at The Steakhouse and even instantly tweet that selfie in your Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show hat. And never have to stand outside McDonald’s desperately trying to connect to their wi-fi again.

Completing the rollout, by the end of February, will be free wi-fi in the clubhouse of Golf Disneyland and in the bar and restaurant of Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch.

Billy Bob's Country Western Saloon, Disney Village, Disneyland Paris

Throughout 2013, the service was extended to cover all of Disney’s Hotel New York, Disney’s Newport Bay Club and Disney’s Sequoia Lodge.

At Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne and Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe, the wi-fi only covers the main public areas — reception, bar, restaurant and boutique — and not the rooms themselves, as might have been presumed from the initial announcement.

The disjoined design of these two “value” hotels, with rooms spread out on fewer floors in separate buildings, would obviously make a rollout more expensive on a per-room basis than the other hotels, but it’s something which surely must be done in the future to ensure they remain competitive in the market and worthy of that Disney price mark-up.

Both Disneyland Paris parks also remain no-wi-fi zones, much unlike their American cousins. Complete blanket coverage would be expensive and you could argue unnecessary, so why not at least provide some key wi-fi “zones” within each park — Central Plaza and Disney Bros Plaza for starters. Forget spending millions on traditional advertising, if every guest could share just one live photo to their social network, it’d be a sound investment.

VIA @Disney_ParisEN (Twitter)

Wednesday, 5th February 2014

First Quarter 2014: Revenues, attendance, hotel occupancy down; guest spending up

Disney Dreams! of Christmas - Disneyland Paris

Euro Disney S.C.A. published its First Quarter results yesterday for the 2014 fiscal year, with the Disneyland Paris operating group announcing a series of disappointing drops across the board, helped only by some modest guest spending increases.

Covering the period from 1st October to 31st December 2013, the first quarter saw overall Resort revenues fall by 5% to €304.9 million, from €320.7 million in the same period the previous year. For the Theme Parks segment it was less severe, with a drop of just over 3%, while the Hotels and Disney Village saw the worst results with an almost 6% drop in revenues.

Disneyland Paris First Quarter Q1 2014 results

With a 9.6 percentage point decrease in hotel occupancy, equating to 51,000 fewer room nights old compared to the previous year, an increase of 6% in average spending per room might look like the only good news here. But even this rise was due only to higher daily room rates, and actually offset by lower spending on food and beverage.

In the parks, attendance decreased by 7%. Though this quarter marks the first results since the end of the 20th Anniversary on 30th September 2013, this figure must still be disappointing given the extra investments made to the Halloween and Christmas seasons, arguably now at their strongest for years. Average spending per guest increased by 4%, however, with Euro Disney S.C.A. pointing to not just higher admissions prices but (at long last) higher spending on merchandise, too.

In his standard statement, Philippe Gas, Chief Executive Officer of Euro Disney S.A.S., said:

“In a still challenging economic environment, we realized lower attendance and occupancy as compared to last year, which resulted in a 5% decrease in resort revenues. However our strategy aimed at increasing guest contribution helped us offset some of the attendance and occupancy weakness as we achieved record guest spending in both our parks and hotels for a first quarter.

Even though we remain prudent given the current economic environment, we believe the fundamentals of our business are strong and we are confident in our long-term strategy focused on investing in the guest experience. The opening of our new Ratatouille-themed attraction this summer fully reflects this growth strategy.”

What appears evident, from the hotel results in particular, is that visitors are more careful than ever about how they spend their money and whether they actually get value back. For an experience like Disneyland Paris, visitors are probably more willing to splash out on a luxury like a Disney Hotel stay, even though they know the value-for-money is questionable. But only up to a point.

And after such a large initial outlay, most will inevitably then reign in spending on extras — meals, shows, merchandise — and scrutinise every Euro spent. Getting greedy with that initial booking price could mean a loss in spending throughout the entire trip. Or it could, more and more often it seems, mean that the initial hotel booking never takes place at all — another company gets the revenue and the room night — or, worst case, the visitor decides not to visit Disneyland Paris at all.

We have, at least, seen a slight shift in hotel package promotions away from huge discounts of up to 40%, which surely only eroded the perceived brand value, and towards “added value” offers like free Half Board Meal Plans or extra nights. More like this would be welcome — rather than taking Euros off a booking, why not offer that as “free” spending money in the parks on a gift card?

Could Ratatouille: The Ride be the saving grace of 2014? Intriguingly, this press release suddenly changes the wording to an opening date of “early Summer”. With results like these, the sooner they can get something of that “growth strategy” on the table, the better.

VIA Disneyland Paris Corporate (PDF Press Release)

Tuesday, 31st December 2013

Ratatouille ride: First official press release for l’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy

Ratatouille: L'Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy ride

Happy New Year! It’s officially 2014 at Disneyland Paris and we’ve got the perfect reason to celebrate. This is the year Walt Disney Studios Park welcomes a brand new, world-exclusive dark ride, Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy, and today is the day — midnight precisely — our embargo is lifted on a new official press release for this eagerly-awaited attraction.

Disneyland Paris published a press release finally announcing the attraction back in February, but since then we’ve been given an official name and an exciting marketing visual. Today’s press release for “l’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy” therefore is the first to really get the attraction’s concept (much-discussed and well-known in fan circles) into official print… along with the all-important final names for its adjoining restaurant and shop.

The world of Ratatouille comes to Disneyland Paris in 2014

Next summer, Disneyland Paris will unveil a major new attraction and mini-land inspired by the Oscar-winning Disney•Pixar film Ratatouille. The film, directed by Brad Bird, tells the tale of Rémy, a young rat who has amazing talents in the kitchen and dreams of one day becoming a great chef.

This leads to a fun but perilous journey that eventually lands him as the head chef of one of the most famous restaurants in Paris. Now Rémy has arrived at Walt Disney Studios Park to share his culinary delights and crazy adventures with the entire family.

On the attraction Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy, guests will shrink down to the size of a rat and join Rémy and his friends as they scurry through the kitchen, dining room, and walls of Gusteau’s famous Parisian restaurant, all the while trying to avoid the nemesis from the film, Chef Skinner. This first of its kind Disney attraction will immerse guests into an animated world like never before as they experience what it’s like to be a rat in a human sized world.

The attraction is located in a new corner of Toon Studio that’s been transformed into a Ratatouille-inspired version of the City of Light. In addition to the attraction, this mini-land also features a shop, Chez Marianne Souvenirs de Paris, and a rat-scale themed table service restaurant, Bistrot Chez Rémy. The restaurant, which is the only one of its kind across Disney Parks worldwide, is directly adjacent to the attraction and serves the “little chef’s” famous dish, ratatouille.

After Crush’s Coaster, Cars Race Rally and Toy Story Playland, Ratatouille will be the fourth attraction at the Walt Disney Studios Park inspired by a Disney•Pixar film. Disneyland Paris will once again combine its narration skills with state-of-the-art technology to offer the best possible experience.

Next summer, join us for Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy, only at Walt Disney Studios Park, Disneyland Paris.

So that’s “Bistrot Chez Rémy” for the restaurant, located in the same building as the ride, and “Chez Marianne Souvenirs de Paris” for the boutique, located next door in part of the former costuming workshops. The whole Parisian quarter at the back of Toon Studio has come along remarkably in recent months, its finely detailed façades now rich in colour and life.

Ratatouille dark ride construction (C) InsideDLParis
Ratatouille dark ride construction (C) InsideDLParis

If only we could take a peek inside those walls…

The attraction and restaurant open Summer 2014, with the boutique following in Autumn 2014.

Explore our past news articles here!

PHOTOS VIA @InsideDLParis

Friday, 15th March 2013

St Patrick’s Day 2013 programme: Irish music and dance takes over Disneyland Paris

St Patrick's Day at Disneyland Paris

This Sunday, Disneyland Paris celebrates St Patrick’s Day for one day only with music, dance, fireworks and special character appearances. The full programme of events was released today, confirming the annual Irish celebrations will again be hosted largely in the Cottonwood Creek Ranch area of Frontierland, a tradition begun last year and continued with the St David’s Welsh Festival just last weekend.

On 17th March 2013, guests can expect special appearances from Disney characters in costumes inspired by the Emerald Isle, along with free face painting, a pipe band, Irish musicians and dance shows from the Sarah Clark Academy with special guests Chip ‘n’ Dale. A special fireworks display ends the day as a precursor to Disney Dreams! and the fun continues into the night at Disney Village.

All the times and details are in the programme attached below… Read More…

Friday, 15th February 2013

Golden Forest Club to add new premium tier at Disney’s Sequoia Lodge from April

Golden Forest Club at Disney's Sequoia Lodge

You’ve already upgraded from a standard lodge room to a Montana room, perhaps even a Lake View. But from April, Disney’s Sequoia Lodge begins offering an altogether more “exclusive” category of room with the launch of its own Golden Forest Club.

Modelled on the successful Castle Club of Disneyland Hotel and Empire State Club at Disney’s Hotel New York, these rooms will be located in the top floors of the main building and come complete with their own Golden Forest Club Lounge. Besides the privileged room location, benefits include breakfast with Disney characters and private reception, plus free soft drinks and afternoon snacks in the adjoining lounge, which is said to have a “beautiful tree” as its centrepiece.

Special Disney’s Fastpass tickets are also a benefit, although not as generous as the other “Clubs” which provide unlimited VIP Fastpass tickets: For Golden Forest Club, you’ll only receive one “Disney Hotel Fastpass” per person per day, which is a single-use, any-time, any-attraction ticket.

A higher tier means a higher price, and that’s especially true here. For one night including park tickets for two adults sharing a Golden Forest Club room, prices start at €634 according to Disneyland Paris’ standard pricing grids. That compares to €498 for a standard room at Sequoia Lodge and is notably more than the €596 for the same stay at the Admiral’s Floor of Disney’s Newport Bay Club, which doesn’t offer the private lounge nor any special Fastpass.

The rooms of Disney’s Sequoia Lodge were completely refurbished throughout 2011 and 2012, adding light “Bambi” touches. Current hotel refurbishment efforts now centred on the lowest tier Disney’s Hotel Santa, adding touches from Disney-Pixar’s “Cars” to the rooms. Up next for a major update is said to be Disney’s Newport Bay Club, which rumour suggests could enhance its “Admiral’s Floor” offer to become more like these Club rooms.

Meanwhile, within the next year all Disney Hotels are finally due to provide free Wi-Fi. We’ll take that over any expensive private lounge, personally…

VIA Disneyland Paris Spring-Summer 2013 Brochure

Tuesday, 12th February 2013

The Aristocats to appear for “Be my Valentine!” day at Disneyland Paris

"Be my Valentine!" day at Disneyland Paris [Photo: Loren Javier (Flickr)]

Disneyland Paris certainly knows how to win over the hearts of its character fans. Along with the usual special meet ‘n’ greets for Valentine’s Day on 14th February, this Thursday will also see a special mini event on the parade route featuring “The Aristocats” characters. Programmed for three performances in the afternoon — at 14:35, 15:35 and 16:30 — it will be a very rare chance to see the Parisian characters in their home park.

In fact, only Marie (pictured above) is known to us to make regular appearances at Disney Parks, so will she be the lone Aristocat in the cavalcade?

According to Disneyland Paris – Fans on Facebook, the 2013 date will also give the chance to meet Disney “couples” together such as Mickey & Minnie, Donald & Daisy, Woody & Jessie, Stitch & Angel and Peter Pan & Wendy, along with rarer characters Phoebus & Esmeralda from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and Bernard & Bianca from “The Rescuers”.

"Be my Valentine!" day at Disneyland Paris

A limited edition (ex. 600) pin featuring Lady & the Tramp was already released last Saturday, 9th February 2013, for the occasion.

Update: @InsideDLParis reports on Twitter that Marie will be joined by fellow kittens Berlioz and Toulouse, making for their first ever character appearance in any Disney Park.

VIA Disneyland Paris Programme, PHOTO Loren Javier (Flickr)

Monday, 11th February 2013

Disneyland Paris Fan Survey: Results make for interesting infographic

Official Disneyland Paris Fan Survey

Congratulations — if you’re reading this, you’re likely one of the 85% of Disneyland Paris fans who visit fansites at least once a week. Let’s hope you’re not also one of the unfortunate 8% of fans who have never actually visited the resort. There, just two of the many intriguing statistics recently dug out in a huge “infographic” of 7,760 responses to the official Disneyland Paris Fan Survey we were asked to help promote last year.

The full infographic is included below. Revealing that fans who responded visit Disneyland Paris on average 10 times a year, 71% are between 18 and 34 years old and 59% (versus 41%) are male, the results of the online survey also reveal what fans themselves want from Disneyland Paris and its communication with us. The official Facebook, YouTube and Twitter streams are given a perhaps surprisingly resounding thumbs up — 87% satisfied with the official Facebook page, 83% with Twitter — while a slightly lower 79% are satisfied with merchandise opportunities.

Disneyland Paris Fan Survey

Though the simpler tickbox answers have generated some nice stats for this infographic, the more interesting text-based answers are what we hope the resort listens and learns from. Most fans, as well as desiring special treatment from the resort, also want to see it succeed and improve in itself. After all, the more successful Disneyland Paris is, and the more people who understand the “magic” of the place, the more confident we’ll feel in our own position as fans.

The suggestion of an official blog for news and backstage insights is still a great one, and probably brought up as much from our desire to read it as our belief that — like the excellent US Disney Parks Blog — it would help in the resort’s promotion and communication with the wider public.

Likewise merchandise, which it’s noted fans want to see more “geared to the resort experience” (ie. based around lands and attractions, rather than generic characters) — we want better merchandise so we can more happily part with our cash and support something dear to our hearts. Rather than improving for us, fans mostly want Disneyland Paris to improve for itself first.

Full infographic attached below… Read More…

Monday, 9th July 2012

Disney’s Fantillusion, The Tarzan Encounter return for two months of Summer Time

This past Saturday 7th July, the night was “turned to light” at Disneyland Park. Not just by the spectacular, state-of-the-art effects of Disney Dreams! but now also by the more traditional twinkling bulbs of Disney’s Fantillusion, returning for its tenth summer season at Disneyland Paris. Scheduled for 22:15 each night, with Disney Dreams! at park closing time (23:00), Disney’s Fantillusion appears to have retained the same format and floats as its previous summer and winter 2012 seasons, with the only noted changes being some refreshed costumes.

However, as now seems to be customary before each season, there’s some doubt about its future. According to RadioDisneyClub.fr, the parade will not return as usual for the upcoming Disney’s Enchanted Christmas season. So far Disneyland Paris has confirmed only the dates for this Christmas — 9th November 2012 to 6th January 2013 — and none of the events contained within.

Earlier this year, before its current season to 2nd September 2012 was confirmed, it was rumoured separately both that the parade would precede Disney Dreams! every single night, all year, and that it had been cancelled completely.

The Tarzan Encounter cast and crew [(C) Disney_ParisEN]

Meanwhile, the essential live Disney stage show has also returned to the park with The Tarzan Encounter, beginning an eleventh season at The Chaparral Theater in Frontierland back on 9th June. Resident at the theatre since 2000, with a two year hiatus in 2009 and 2010, the musical acrobatics show continues to be a guest favourite after its 2011 resurrection, performing five times daily at 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 16:45 and 17:45 to strong crowds.

While it seems ungrateful to say it when we have something as beautiful and big as Disney Dreams!, it is still true that both parks — and particularly Walt Disney Studios Park, with its slightly lacklustre Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars parade — lack these daytime entertainments, shows and streetmosphere which add life to the lands throughout the day, not just for 20 minutes before park closing time.

At least for the next two months now, Disneyland Park offers the full line-up: stage show, daytime parade, electrical parade and nighttime spectacular. That’s a day only Disneyland can give you.

VIA @InsideDLParis (Twitter), @Disney_ParisEN (Twitter) RadioDisneyClub.fr

Sunday, 15th April 2012

[VIDEO] 12th April 2012 Opening Ceremony & Cast Member Flashmob

Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary Launch Weekend

Disneyland Paris president Philippe Gas, the Disney Characters, two thousand Cast Members and even the French Air Force stunt display team came together at 9.45am on Thursday, 12th April 2012 to celebrate exactly 20 years to the day that Disneyland Park — then Euro Disneyland — opened its gates to the public. Experience the whole event, including the welcome speech, the spectacular flashmob dance to “Magic Everywhere!” and the truly epic walk along the purple carpet, cheered along by Cast Members from every department, as if you were there with our exclusive original video.

• More videos, reports surprises from 12th April 2012 to come, including Tony Baxter’s ‘Disneyland Paris: From Concept to Reality’ discussion at Videopolis!

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