Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Old Mill At Christmas

After our recent look at the Old Mill and the Yesteryear attraction attached to this building, Les Pirouettes Du Vieuz Moulin, I thought we should take another quick visit to the Mill.Even though Christmas is several months away, it's never too early to visit Disneyland Paris at Christmas. Throughout the holiday season, the area surrounding the Old Mill is turned into Belle's Christmas Village. And during this time, the Old Mill is decorated into a Winter Wonderland, with sparkling and twinkling lights, and snow.
And the baskets of the Spinning Old Mill are turned into baskets full of presents, ready for Santa to take to all the good boys and girls! It's nice to see that something as beautiful as this Spinning Mill is not just left hidden away from plain sight.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Pure Magic

The Walt Disney Studios theme park at Paris doesn't have the beautiful windows to honour filmmakers and honoraries of film, like Main Street U.S.A does for those Disney Legends. Instead, the Studios has dedicated some of its main streets to these visionaries. We have looked at them here before.

The street that leads from the centre of the Park, at Cinemagique, to the Backlot area is dedicated to Georges Méliès, Rue George Méliès.
The plaque reads (in English, and French):
George Méliès
1861 - 1938
Méliès, a popular Parisian stage magician, made over 500 films between 1895 and 1914. He is credited with discovering such quintessential special effects as stop motion, slow-motion, dissolves, fade-outs, and super imposition.

His most famous film was A Trip To The Moon (Le voyage dans la Lune). Although it may be possible that you have never heard of this film, you will surely know the infamous picture associated with it. Like our very own Walt Disney, Méliès was also presented with Legion d'honneur (Légion of Honour).

Sunday, 29 August 2010

The Legion Of Honor

Walt's Restaurant on Main Street USA, in Parc Disneyland, has been looked at here before. It is a beautiful restaurant, with many photographs and pieces of memorabilia relating to Walt Disney throughout. It is a great place to see some fantastic treasures from the Disney Archive.

However, one of the most exciting Walt Disney hidden treasures to watch out for is actually in City Hall at Town Square. On January 8th, 1936, Walt Disney was awarded France's highest honour: the Legion of Honor. It was awarded to Walt Disney by the French Consul, Jean-Joseph Viala, in the Hyperion Studios, "in recognition of Disney's work in creating a new art form in which good will is spread throughout the world".
And this award can be found in City Hall itself. Definitely a hidden priceless Disney treasure.If you would like to read more about Walt Disney being awarded the Legion of Honor, Vintage Disney Collectibles has a fantastic article detailing this.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Windows in Japan

Let's take a break from Disneyland Paris and head over to Tokyo, Japan, and look at a very important window on their Main Street U.S.A. (you all know I love my windows!).This one is situated on the backside of the entrance to Main Street, and simply reads:

Oriental Land Co. Ltd

For those of you who don't know, Tokyo Disney Resort is actually owned and run by the Oriental Land Company Limited. They are a leisure and tourism corporation, situated in Urayasu, Japan (the actual location of Tokyo Disney).

OLC financed the first Disney Park in Japan, after approaching the Walt Disney Company in 1980. Tokyo Disneyland opened in 1983, after which the Oriental Land Company decided not to sell the park back to the Walt Disney Company. Nowadays, the OLC pays for the licences from Disney to have characters and likenesses in the park.

Friday, 27 August 2010

In The Photo Stores

At the start of Main Street U.S.A. there is the Kodak Town Square Photography store, a great place to get your photography essentials such as photo albums, memory sticks, batteries, cameras and photo frames.However, if you are not interested in shopping for photography-based souvenirs, the store is worth a visit, if - for nothing else - the fantastic replica desk of a working photographer.Take some time to have a good look, taking in the many Disney Details throughout the desk.Let's also have a quick look at one of the interesting advertisements tacked to the wall: the Kodak Box Camera.
The original box camera was invented by Frenchmen, Nicéphore Niépce and Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre, and was one of the simplest forms of camera. Kodak introduced a "commercially successful" Box Camera in 1888.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

To Infinity x3

To celebrate the success of Toy Story 3 here in the UK box office, I wanted to share with you a couple of Toy Story related pieces from Disneyland Paris.

The film has spent a month at number one in the UK after being released on July 19th 2001, and has also became the most successful animated film of all time. The film was released a little earlier in France, on July 14th. Stage 1 at Walt Disney Studios, in Paris, wanted to make sure that all guests remembered this big release:
But that's not the only item relating to Toy Story in the Studios at Paris. Toy Story Playland is now officially open!
Introducing three brand new rides to the park, the land is going to be a welcome addition to Walt Disney Studios. Now guests can experience Slinky Dog ZigZag Spin, RC Racer and Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop. The picture above is from the fantastic Disney Parks Blog, so make sure to head over to the blog to check out some more exclusive pictures of the new attractions.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

You Know You're In France When...

A new - but possibly irregular - feature here at DF'82 will be the fun 'You Know You're In France When...'. Basically, there are many times when you see something that you see in almost any other Disney Park, but suddenly there will be something that sticks out to remind you're in a completely different country.
Our first example of this is at the Moteurs Action Stunt Show Spectacular. At first glance at the sign, you may feel like you're in Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida. But wait - it isn't Motors it's Moteurs! C'est fantastique, non?

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Entering Disneyland Paris

One of the many things I love about Parc Disneyland in Paris is the way in which we enter the park. The Disneyland Hotel stands at the entrance to the park, which means the ticketing and the entry gates are all underneath the hotel itself!
All ticketing windows are beneath the hotel, which does mean there is limited area to queue for tickets. But, Disney are prepared for this, and have set up as many ticketing windows as possible.
Once you purchase your tickets, or billet (in French), or if you already have them, you can procede past the ticketing windows to the entry gates. Then you will enter into the beautiful Parc Disneyland.
If you do arrive early in the morning, and the ticketing queues are very busy (as they can be at the weekends and during the festive season), you can enter the park from the right hand side, slightly bypassing the queuing area.

While we are talking about billet, it would be good to mention the price of individual tickets. If you stay at a Disneyland Paris Resort Hotel, you can get your tickets included in the room, which means from the time you check in until the time you have to leave the park, you have unlimited access to both Disney Parks!
However, if you want to purchase your own tickets, the current pricing range is:
  • 1 Day/1 Park - Adult €53 Child €45
  • 1 Day/2 Parks - Adult €67 Child €57
  • 2 Days/2 Parks - Adult €118 Child €99
  • 3 Days/2 Parks - Adult €143 Child €122
  • 4 Days/2 Parks - Adult €172 Child €146
These prices are until 8th November 2010, and Paris usually updates their prices in November and again in April yearly. If you are thinking about visiting for more than 3 days, the Annual Passport may be your best bet. You can also upgrade your tickets to this when you are in the park too. Prices correct at time of posting - but always best to check with Disney direct.

UK residents can receive some great offers and deals by buying tickets in advance. Visit Disneyland Paris UK website for further information.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Yester-land at Paris

When Walt created the original Disneyland park, he was quoted as saying that it would "never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination in the world". As a Disney fan, we are used to attractions and places in Disney Parks constantly changing, being improved upon and being redesigned. We have also experienced many beloved attractions close and disappear to Yesterland.One of these attractions in Disneyland Paris is Les Pirouettes Du Vieuz Moulin (The Spinning Old Mill), situated behind the Old Mill refreshment stand in Fantasyland, near Les Pays des Contes de Fees. It opened a year after the park's birth, in 1993.You can still see the remnant's of the attraction in the park today. It was a large big-wheel style ride, where guests could sit in large buckets, similar to those buckets that churn the water around on a mill.It was devised as unworkable due to the time it would take to get through the queues, even on a quiet day. It was eventually scaled back, and later closed in 2000. But for all us Disney Geeks, it is still possible to see it and to imagine what it might have been like to have a spin on the Old Mill!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Looking Around Blockbuster

After yesterday's quick bite in the Disney Blockbuster Cafe, today we will take some more time in the restaurant to have a look at the decorations.

First up, it's the Wildcats side of the restaurant - or High School Musical, whichever you prefer.And now, let's have a look at the Pirates of the Caribbean section, which includes actual props from the first three films.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

A Quick Bite At Blockbuster

Formerlly the Backlot Express Restaurant, the Disney Blockbuster Cafe is situated in the Backlot area of Walt Disney Studios. As I previously briefly looked at, the Backlot Express was a place full of props and items from various Disney movies. The newly refurbished Blockbuster Cafe is a counter service restaurant that caters to fans of two of Disney's most popular recent trilogies: Pirates of the Caribbean and High School Musical. We will take a look at some of the decorations and displays throughout this restaurant tomorrow, but in the meantime let's have a look at what we can grab to eat here.There is the regular feeds available here, such as Mickey Pizza, but there are also some delicious and different sandwiches, baguettes and salads. There is a set menu available, which includes a hot dish or sandwich, crisps, desert and a drink for €11.95.
The restaurant has a very large seating area, as well as outdoor seating for those warmer days. It can get quite busy during lunch hour, but outwith this time it can be very peaceful and a great place to escape the crowds! It is open all year round, usually from 11am until 5.30pm.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Building Up The Anticipation

For the fans of the Disney Theme Parks, one of the things we love is how the Parks can help us to escape the outside world, and how we can easily be transported to another time, or place, or imagination.In our most recent trip to Disneyland Paris, we experienced a new way of entering the resort - by bus. On previous trips we had stayed within the resort grounds, and every morning we would awake within the Disney "bubble". But for those people who travel to the parks from outside the resort experience a different sighting.As you can see, straight ahead of us is the beautiful Disneyland Hotel. In all my years of visiting the theme parks, I did not know you could see the hotel so clearly from the main entry roads. But do you see what is so carefully hidden behind the hotel?
Yes, it's Le Château de la Belle au bois dormant, hidden carefully behind the main building of the hotel. This just shows how the Imagineers were clever enough to hide the Castle from the guests about to enter (in order to build up the anticipation!) but still kept both buildings in such a theme that they could almost blend in with one another.

And, dear readers, its the little things like this that give me goosebumps!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Window on Main Street

It's been a while since we had a good look at a window on Main Street U.S.A. over at Parc Disneyland. So, lets take a little wander along and see what we see...
What about that window there, above the Disney Clothiers shop? Lets take a closer look.
Town Square Taxidermy
Sam Hutchins
Claudine Reynes
"If its STUFFED we SELL it"

Sam Hutchins worked as part of the Walt Disney Company for 22 years, and was the Director of Merchandising of Euro Disneyland when it opened. He was also responsible for retailing and merchandising in Tokyo Disneyland. A lovely nod to the stuffed characters and toys, or plush, that we can buy in the shops just below this window!

The other name, Claudine Reynes, is a little harder to find out about. But from this description, it appears that Claudine also worked in the retail line of Euro Disney upon its opening. A beautiful tribute, nonetheless.

The other window in this snapshot details the following:

Counselor of Marriages

Frank Halard
Eric Westin
Jon Winder (?)

This window is actually really difficult to read, due to the white against white background, and so the last name was very difficult to read, but it looks like it is Jon Winder. If it is him, Jon Winder worked as the Vice President of Marketing for EuroDisney.

Eric Westin worked with the Walt Disney Company in the 1970s, when he left to work for Lucasfilm. He rejoined the Disney company in 1987 and became Vice President and General Manager of the Creative Group in charge of EuroDisney. He stayed with the Walt Disney Company until 2004, and after the opening of EuroDisney he returned to work in Glendale, California.

Frank Halard, unfortunately, I cannot find any information about, only that he did work at Disney at some point. If anyone knows more about him, please leave a note in the comments!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Facades of Pirates

Pirates of the Caribbean is Royal Family favourite, and the one at Parc Disneyland is no exception. In actuality, it is this Princess's favourite one of all the Disney theme parks. The ride is more intrinsic than it's sisters, and the storyline is strong and beautiful. For those who have never ridden it in Paris, the story of the attraction is actually very close to that of the first film - despite the fact it was designed at least 10 years prior to its release.But the inside of the attraction is not only one of the reasons I love it. Just look at the facades of the building, beginning the storyline for all who enter.
The old Spanish style fort, complete with flying Jolly Roger flag overhead. One of the main weenies in Adventureland, drawing us back to find out more about what lies within this fantastic fort.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Dressing Up The Windows

In my opinion, one of the most fun things of any Disney park is their ability to change with regards to the different seasons, celebrations or recent movie releases from the Walt Disney Company. I know that they can use the parks as a way to promote the release, but sometimes if it is done in such a way that it almost blends in, it can be great fun to spot!

The windows on Main Street U.S.A. in Parc Disneyland, always aim to be as up-to-date as to note these different kinds of changes.
Take, for example, these windows of the Disney Clothiers shop. They have our lovable characters in it - in this case, Minnie Mouse and the fantasic Scrooge McDuck - and have been joined by some other friends.
These loveable Pixar characters have invaded Main Street because of the current celebration at Disneyland Paris, The New Generation Festival. Or L'Année de la Nouvelle Géneration, as it is officially known. C'est magnifique!
And across the road, at the Emporium, we can see our Monstres et Cie friends, Sully and Mike, helping Donald Duck and Merlin.