Disneyland Paris have released a new video on Youtube as part of their 29th Anniversary celebrations. At over an hour in length, its a great opportunity to see what has been happening whilst the Parks have been closed and what exciting new attractions and merchandise is coming soon as well as speaking to Cast Members new and old.
- Walk in the Parks with Yves Benyeta and Catherine Chevreux
- The future: Disney’s New York – the Art of Marvel, Avengers Campus
- What awaits you at the reopening of Disneyland Paris
- Disney VoluntEARS
Walk in the Parks with Yves Benyeta and Catherine Chevreux
As part of the video we get to go through the history of Disneyland Paris with Yves Benyeta from Walt Disney Imagineering and Catherine Chevreux, Manager Consumer Insight and Cast Member hired in 1991, just before before the opening of Disneyland Paris in 1992!
With this 20 minute section they talk about their roles within Disney and provide many insights into the Parks. One of the first places they visit during the “Walk in the Park” section is the Cowboy Cookout, which is one of our favourite places to eat at Disneyland Paris, and whilst walking here Yves explains how Pat Burke located all the accessories and bought everything there is in Frontierland, from the shovels to the crushers in Big Thunder Mountain.
Catherine talk about the time there was a small farm with animals by the Cowboy Cookout location, and they used to have to run around each morning and round up the animals before guests entered the park.
We also get the complete backstory on how the Cookout started and how a restaurant was created on a farm. When the farmer retired he was unsure what to do with the big barn, and then the Town Hall said they would like to make it their reception hall. As the farmer didn’t have any money everybody brought their own furniture and because each person brought 2 or 3 chairs, this is the reason all the seating inside the restaurant is different.
We also learn why Disneyland Paris has hundreds of rhododendrons around the park. Bill Evans, Walts gardener, bought them because the look exotic when they flower and are very easily acclimatised to the Paris weather.
Yves also shows us the amount of detail and planning which goes into creating a Park. As they knew the locations of the attractions, they knew that this part of the Park would have Peter Pan just to the side, so they decided to take the Galleon back to the time of this attraction. By using two lanterns as the eyes of Skull Rock, means from inside you see the lantern, but as you walk past it gives the appearance of the eyes following our every move.
Other parts of the Park which have changed over the years are areas being covered or uncovered, for example the terrace of Toad Hall and the Fantasyland Theatre used to be open. Due to the weather conditions in France, this is an area they have to consider and continue to do so as the Parks grow and new locations or attractions are introduced.
Another funny story they recall is the introduction of the Mysteres du Nautilus and the attraction lighthouse. As this is a real working lighthouse, the first night it was switched on they were getting calls from maintenance and the Disneyland Hotel to turn it off as the light was shining straight into the Hotel bedrooms.
We also got some snippets into the history of the Park. When the Disney Imagineers first started to create Disneyland Paris, Space Mountain was called Discovery Mountain, and therefore you can see reminisces of this name with the signs of the “DM” lettering around the attraction.
Disneyland Paris The Future
Disney’s New York – the Art of Marvel
We get a quick recap on the new four-star Disney hotel, which pays tribute to New York and Marvel. The hotel will host one of the largest Marvel art exhibitions in the world, displaying over 350 pieces by over 100 different artists, and 50 unique pieces created specifically for the hotel. As well as looking at the new artwork for the hotel, we get a glimpse into some of the rooms, celebrating New Yorks culture, design and architecture.
We also understand that the Cast Members within this hotel will undergo specialised training to allow them to understand every part of the hotel, and learn the different styles of art. They will have their own Marvel themed costumes, and their own special Disney Name Tag.
Speaking from within the Avengers Campus construction side, we get a look behind the walls and see how the construction is progressing and the creation of this mini city . We also get some more information on the new attraction dedicated to Spider-Man and details on the makeover of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Aerosmith rollercoaster, which is becoming a kinetic attraction with Iron Man.
As with other parts of the video, we are also now being told the backstory of the Campus, how they link into the other campuses around the world, and the attractions which sit inside it. Tony Starks initiative was to create Campuses around the world to bring people together and develop new technologies to help defend the planet. The Spider-Man attraction is based off this, with Peter Parker developing a new Spider Bot technology which later goes wild, and the audience have to help regain control using unique hand gestures.
The Reopening of Disneyland Paris
About half way through the video we finally get to hear some news about the Reopening of Disneyland Paris, and what guests can expect when we can finally walk through those magical gates once again.
One of the first things we hear is that they are keen to bring back as much entertainment as quickly and safety as possible, and they cant wait to introduce new stories and entertainment over the next 5 years from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel.
In regards to the re-opening, they have learned from last years re-opening and the positive feedback from the guests about seeing the characters in the Parks, pop-up appearances, and how successful the selfie spots were. Therefore, we will see many of these return whilst also introducing new experiences. These will include new surprise appearances opportunities and selfie spot locations including inside the Videopolis Theatre, where even more Star Wars characters will be found.
In total they will be over 50 character appearances, in new and old costumes, and even more vehicles and floats throughout the Parks, including the return of the Cheshire Cat train. The Magical Moments will also be returning with the Sensation Six welcoming guests into the park and waving goodbye at the end of the day.
After the success of the ‘coming home to Disneyland’ reopening song, they are once again identified a new piece of uplifting music to play as guests return to home.
Speaking with Disney VoluntEARS we get to see the work they have achieved over the years, and even recently whilst the Parks have been closed. The program started at Disneyland Paris a year before the Parks opened in 1991, with the “La Magie a l’Hopital” programme, which aims to make the dreams of seriously ill children come true and show them that anything is possible, with hope it encourages them to fight their illness.
Working alongside other associations such as Make a Wish and Petit-Prince Reve, just to name a few, Disney VoluntEARS have visited over 500 hospitals and brought a touch of the Disney happiness to over 40,000 children. During the COVID pandemic, they have been unable to visit the hospitals, but they have being making little videos for the children such as showing them how to draw Mickey Mouse. With special Solidarity Days within the Parks, Disney have invited more than 500,000 children and chaperones for a day or stay at Disneyland Paris.
They also work closely with the community, in particular with their donation policy, over the past 12 months, more than 10 million euros in food products, Disney items sold in the retail stores, equipment and furniture have been redistributed.