Whilst the parks are currently closed, and with the countdown to the planned reopening of April 2nd well underway lets have a look at whats happening in Disneyland Paris. To keep us all updated with what is going on behind the scenes Disneyland Paris Outsidears, a collection of Cast Members, have released a few videos on youtube. The new series called “Live from the Magic at Disneyland Paris”, is a look behind the scenes with Cast Members and the Magic Keepers, to see what updates, maintenance and construction is currently underway within Disneyland Paris.
MAIN STREET RENOVATION
They are many carpenters, mechanics, painters and decorators who maintain all the facilities within the Parks, who usually only get chance to work at night. However, as they are currently no guests within the Parks, this is giving the team more time to update and refresh so much more.
The refurbishment plans, Brush & Roll, was launched in 2014/2015. This was designed to help maintain the facades within the parks at regular intervals to make sure it is always looking perfect for guests. For example, some shops on Main Street USA are completely repainted once every 3 years. However, some lower areas, which get more day traffic and can also be seen closer by guests, are repainted several times a year.
The team also have a second level of maintenance, where the facade and roof go through a complete makeover every 15-20 years. When this occurs you would usually see the printed tarpaulin covering the shop, to try to make it the work as seemless as possible and minimise any impact to guests.
During the closure, it’s been a great opportunity to redo some of the shop signs on Main Street USA. These have been taken down and refurbished at the workshop, and has included new gold leaf being adding to the Emporium sign.
Market House Delicatessen
To make sure the inside of the stores looks just as good as the outside, the maintenance team are also spending many hours fully refurbishing many interior props. As the store gives the appearance of a 20th century American grocery store, you will find many food props hanging from the ceiling as well as pictures and signs hanging on the wall. As part of the refurb the team have been retouching the picture frames, wrapping new sausages, revarnishing the wood and much more.
Some of the props in the store are 30 years old, and were purchased from antique dealers. Therefore they already have a lot of the natural wear and tear marks. For example, a sack of flour has grease and dirt on it which has built up over the years. As part of the refurb, a graphic designer will scan the item and work to reproduce an exact replica. To speed up to process and ensure the refurb is efficient, each prop has a working document guide. This outlines the exact steps to take when restoring a particular item. However, for some props were placed straight into the store and there is no document guide in place. Therefore, they are putting a lot of work into creating these guides so they will have them for the next round of refurbs.
Over in Fantasyland, the Decor Painters, have also been repainting the facades. The entire Au Chalet de la Marionnette, a culinary treat in Geppetto’s Land Of Toys, was repainted due to imperfections.
The Fantasyland attractions renovations is also well underway. Following the refurb of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, attention has switched to Les Voyages de Pinocchio. Similar updates have taken place including, updating the LED backlighting, repainting of props with specific attention on the Pleasure Island scene.
Walt Disney Studio Maintenance
Work is also underway over in the Studios park, with a focus on a Guest favourite attraction the Twilight Zone : Tower of Terror. A small team have been updating the interior, right down to adding a new brown texture and cracks on the walls. This helps them appear much older than they actually are. They have also been adding new ‘spider-webs’ to the props and decor, by using use hot glue and air to form the web.
Want to know some secret about the Tower of Terror lobby props? Most of the objects you see in the lobby of the attraction are real, and not replicas. Another hidden detail is that the clocking in machine has all the names of the Disneyland Paris painters on it, as well as the American Artistic Direction team.
So, whats happening at Disneyland Paris? The answer is a lot. They are taking this time to refresh the park for the current planned opening of April, as well as the Parks 30th Anniversary.