Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Did They Even Have Cameras Back Then?

As a nice midweek surprise for all of you, I managed to find another Point Photo in all my Disneyland Paris archives. This one relates to Frontierland, which you can tell from the 'old' style of the notice. As the title suggests, perhaps they were ahead of their times, getting ready for a period when everyone would have a camera!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

This Way To Adventure!

When Walt Disney created Disneyland, he wanted to create a place where families could escape reality, and enter a completely new and exciting land.

“I don't want the public to see the world they live in while they're in the Park (Disneyland). I want to feel they're in another world.”

He also wanted to keep theming in the lands as much as possible. For example, when Cast Members work at the Magic Kingdom, those working in Frontierland should not enter Tomorrowland in their Costume.

The same goes for the signs throughout the park. We've already seen the 'Point Photos' that are beautifully themed - and similarly the signs introducing us to the new Lands keep to the same principal. Here is one of my favourites - Adventureland introduced to us in beautiful, Pinocchio-style script!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Monday Memories...Birthday Time

Today marks a very special day in DF'82 history. Today, is the day we turn 2! That's right - this little blog is now 2 years old.

I started the blog as a way to show some of the things I'd learnt about Disney. I wanted to talk about all kinds of things to do with the Walt Disney Company - a way of continuing my love of Disney since I was no longer working for them at Walt Disney World. As the months went on, I realised that I wanted to share my love of the Disney parks - especially Disneyland Paris. No other blogs really focused on the details of the Paris Resort, and I had too many photographs and details that I wanted to share!

Over the past two years this blog has grown and I am greatly appreciative of each and every person that comes here and reads my little page! I hope that you all find it interesting, informative, and it also helps you think about a possible trip to our beautiful European Park. Of course, I also like to write about the other Disney Parks over the world sporadically, and I hope you all like that too.

So thank you for visiting and keeping this blog going. It is one of my little passions, and it has helped my Disney knowledge grow immensely, whilst introducing me to some of the most interesting and friendly people I've ever met! I have made so many good friends through this blog - many I still have to meet - and eventually I would like to meet everyone that reads this blog. And thank you for letting me be able to do this.

I have some great ideas for DF'82, and some new and interesting articles coming your way. But what would YOU like to read about? Would you like to hear about more Disneyland Paris news articles, or news articles relating to Disney Parks in general? Would you like more detailed ride articles, or videos? Please let me know in the comments, or email me

Sunday, 27 September 2009

When You're Done With Horsepower

We've spoken before here on DF'82 about the massive amounts of detail the Imagineers have gone to in order to bring us the most interesting and beautiful Disney Park possible. Another of these details, which I like to call a Hidden Treasure, sits in Frontierland, directly across from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

It is this beautiful locomotive engine named The Minneapolis. Part of the reason I find this such a treasure, is because it is a chance to have an up-close look at a what the beautiful steam trains from the turn of the 20th Century looked like. This is a great item for both adults and children alike!

Although I am not sure if it is a replica, The Minneapolis has the following inscription on it:

Minneapolis Engine No. 7070
Woolf Valve Gear
Pat. July 30 1889

Doing my research for this post, I found that this type of locomotive was created by the Minneapolis Threshing Machine Company. The 'Woolf Valve Gear', which was a unique part of the double cylinder engine of the Minneapolis, allows for a more efficient use of the engine and the increase of power. These engines were used for a variety of things, such as ploughing, but in this case, the train is used specifically for the Mining Company.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Keep in Touch with DF'82

DF'82 is finally entered the technological age and there are several ways to keep in touch and updated with what's happening on the blog!

If you're not already, you can become a fan of us on facebook. You can comment on the blog and the things you want to see discussed or detailed here!

You can also follow us on twitter, and keep up to date with all the Disney and Disneyland Paris news.

Finally, if you want to see some of my pictures from all my Disney trips, you can see me at Flickr.

Friday, 25 September 2009

The Gardens of Paris

When we visit Disneyland Paris, there is one thing that is very noticeable through the entire resort - how beautiful the landscaping is. The horticulturalist cast members work tirelessly to make sure the Parks looks beautiful and tidy for all us guests to visit. Just the landscaping around le Chateau shows us how important their job is - and how seriously they take it. Ryan over at Main Street Gazette has had a great look at the many gardens of Walt Disney World.
In Disneyland Paris the Nature and Environment Department has 70 gardeners who work around the clock to keep the 4,806 acres presentable, although the total team has more than 100 cast members. They have to deal with all sorts of things, such as weather, flower and tree rotation, and the park's opening hours. Because of the opening hours, a lot of their work is done at night - similar to the other Disney Parks throughout the world. There is also a team of about 10 tree experts, who look after all the trees on property permanently.

How much exactly do they have to look after? Well, there are roughly 5,020 trees and 59,400 shrubs throughout the Disneyland Parc, and 13,000 square metres of grass to cut! As for bedding plants - well, there's only (?!) 2,500 square metres of theme, and 5,000 square meters of bamboo. But don't worry - there's only 23 topiaries to look after. But that is only in the theme park alone - we haven't even looked at the resorts or surrounding areas!
To keep in line with the theming of the lands, the garden areas surrounding these different lands must be coherent. For example, the trees and grass in Fantasyland is more whimsical, curvy and fairytale-like. And those shrubs throughout Frontierland - especially near Phantom Manor - have a more wild feel, as well as being "dark and sombre".

Twice a year the flowers throughout the resort are rotated, with approximately 460,000 flowers planted annually throughout the Parc. The October rotation - which, of course, is at night - is the most important, as this is when bulbs are also planted.
There is also a special irrigation system throughout Disneyland Paris, the first of it's kind in Europe. Data is centralised with a computer linked to meteorological stations, which allows the watering of the plants and shrubs to be looked after appropriately according to the weather.

For those horticulturalists out there, some of the following plants are used throughout the different lands...
Main Street U.S.A. - Quercus Ilex (Holm Oak Trees), Hanging Baskets
Sleeping Beauty Castle - Cupressus Arizonica (the trees with blue-ish leaves), Taxus Baccata (the trees with dark green)
Fantasyland - Many flowered trees (Apple, Cherry, Pear), confiers and pastel coloured seasonal plants. Alice's Curious Labryinth (pictured) consists of Magniolia Gradiflora, arbor-vitae and large ivy leaves. Frontierland - Cacti, Austrian pines, Green Cedar, Hippophae Bushes , Senecio Bushes, Picea Pungens, Betalus Nigra. And in the Phantom Manor area, Chamaecyparis trees, and a pear tree.
Adventureland - Tropical plants such as Palm Laurel Bushes, Aralia Elata Bushes. Although many of the tropical plants in this area have to be replaced by evergreens in the winter.
Discoveryland - Palm Laurel plants, Araucaria Araucana Trees, Sequoia Giganteum.

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Thursday, 24 September 2009

Howdy Folks!

The Royal Family and myself were lucky enough to stay at the Disneyland Hotel in California during our most recent trip.

And who was there to welcome us when we arrived? Well, folks, it was the leader of the club that's made for you and me...M.I.C.K.E.Y M.O.U.S.E!

Watch out for future posts where we explore some more of this fantastic Disneyland Hotel!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Using the Little Person's Room

I know there are many Disney fans out there (possibly you - yes you, reading this - no, don't look behind you, etc, etc) who enjoy the finer things of Disney Theme Parks. Litter bins, photo points, floors... But there are also those who enjoy the different theming of bathrooms!

Without going into too much detail, these are some of my favourite bathrooms throughout Disneyland Parc, Paris. Although the inside is somewhat like a regular European bathroom, the signs on the outside remind you that you are not somewhere regular. You are in Fantasyland. And just next to Au Chalet de la Marionette! Can you tell why?

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

I've Got No Strings

A fantastic counter-service restaurant in the Disneyland Parc, Paris is Au Chalet de la Marionette - a restaurant themed around Pinocchio! A great quick-service restaurant, situated in Fantasyland, close to the entrance to Adventureland, serves the usual Disney Theme Park fare: burgers, chickens and salads. They also serve some fantastic desserts - from what I've heard!
The restaurant has murals on the wall and beautiful wood carvings, depicting the story of Pinocchio and the trials and tribulations he had to go through. As well as the happier parts and ending of the story! Let's have a look around this storytelling restaurant.

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Monday, 21 September 2009

Monday Memories...Spot Tink!

Here's a little fun for your Monday! Le Chateau de la Belle Au Bois Dormant is currently 'dressed' for Mickey's Magical Party - and remember, everyone's invited!

Including Tinkerbell. But in this photo below, can you see her? I'll give you a hint...she's flying high!

The Castle - Disneyland Paris

Of course, she's flying high above the Castle, sprinkling her Pixie Dust! And is that a hidden Mickey too?
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Sunday, 20 September 2009

Talk Like A Pirate Day

One of my favourite areas, and attractions, in Disneyland Paris is the Pirates of the Caribbean. I actually think that it could be the best of all the Disney Theme Parks Pirates rides - it has a great story and some fantastic small drops! These drops are actually part of a story, rather than a necessity like the other parks (to avoid railroad tracks, for example). In honour of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, which was yesterday, I thought it would be a good idea to appreciate this area and all its finese. The attraction is different to its counterparts in Florida and California, as it has stayed the same as it originally opened, and has no trace of Captain Jack Sparrow. There are, however, two sword fighters (and one scarily resembles Will Turner!) who - at the time of the attraction opening - were two of the most advanced animatronics in any Disney theme park attraction. There are about 119 animatronics throughout the ride, including 12 skeletons. The ride-through is very similar to the original Disneyland attraction when entering the town section, excluding these two sword fighters. Pirates of the Caribbean also some of the best theming throughout the attraction and - perhaps more importantly - in the area around it. The ride is located near Adventure Isle and the infamous Skull Rock.
Near the exit to the Pirates attraction - and yes, it does exit into a gift shop - is the Blue Lagoon Restaurant. Similar to the Blue Bayou in Disneyland, California, this restaurant is located inside the attraction! It is slightly smaller to the Bayou, but has the same theming. The menu focuses on French Cuisine, with many speciality seafood dishes.
And the gift shop at the end of the Pirates' attraction? Le Coffre du Capitaine (The Captain's Chest) has all the knick-knacks that a wannabe Pirate could desire!

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Thursday, 17 September 2009

Wait Up!

You have just entered Parc Disneyland, but you need to get to the Castle - and fast! How do we do this?

Well, we could try using one of these new-fangled contraptions called an autobus - these travel up and down Main Street U.S.A. nearly every day and will get you where you need to be in a jiffy.
Looks like this Cast Member has also just realised she needs to grab something from the Emporium! Luckily, this autobus passes right by this very shop. Room for one more?

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Revisiting the Dentist

Back in April 2008, we took a visit to the Dentist on Main Street U.S.A. in Parc Disneyland, Dr. Bitz. Well, on my most recent visit I realised I needed to take another trip to the dentist - nothing serious, just a check-up!

So, let's have another look at the dentist and some of the windows in more detail...
As I previously mentioned, this window represents some of the Imagineers that worked in the creation of this beautiful park. Each one helped with the five lands in the Parc.

J.Burke - Jeff Burke was the Imagineer in charge of Frontierland, and helped bring the Wild Wild West to the countryside of France. He was largely involved in the creation of Phantom Manor, which has a very strong link to frontierland throughout.

T.Delaney - Tim Delaney was the Show Producer for Discoveryland within the Parc, helping to bring the novels of Jules Verne to life. The Imagineer had previously worked on The Living Seas in EPCOT, and later went on to Disney's California Adventure.

T.Morris - A show producer of Fantasyland, the Imagineer Tim Morris later went on to become the Vice President and Executive Producer of Hong Kong Disneyland. He also had a large hand in the eventual appearance and design of Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant.

C.Tietz - Chris Tietz was the show producer for Adventureland in the Parc, and had previously worked on classic attractions such as Star Tours. Chris later went on to be part of the Concept Design team on the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage in Disneyland (Anaheim).

E.Sotto - Eddie Sotto worked on Main Street U.S.A. in Disneyland Paris - which, considering how much this blog focuses on this particular Main Street, should make him DF'82's honorary mascot! However, Eddie was also a Senior Vice President of Concept Design at Walt Disney Imagineering.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Don't Rock The Boat

You know how much we here at DF'82 love the little dancing figures throughout Disney Parks. For example, here at Big Thunder Mountain and Mr Snowman here.

And here's another of my favourites - the 'Don't Rock The Boat' man from the Storybook Land in Disneyland Paris. No fair - I really wanted to hold a disco on the boat!

Monday, 14 September 2009

And There's More To Light Up!

After my series of Lighting Up Parc Disneyland, Paris, I couldn't completely neglect the Walt Disney Studios. So, to finish off our series, let's have a look at just some of the styles of lighting fixtures found in the Studios.

See if you can think which area of the Studios these lights are situated at...

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Lighting Up...Discoveryland

Possibly due to the fantastic innoventions of the future, Discoveryland doesn't have very many lights at all. And those that do exist appear to look like something out of a Jules Verne novel.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Lighting Up...Adventureland

As the land suggests, Adventureland is the place adventurers go to explore, excavate and trade. The lights in this land are very different - in a way that all adventurers are different and explore different cultures. From the lights of Agrabah to the lights of Indiana Jones - the differences are immense!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Lighting Up...Frontierland

Frontierland - home of the Old West and the Western lifestyle. So let's have a look at the lights that reflect the land of the Cowboys. And the most haunted, Phantom Manor you will ever see!