Walt Disney Studios Park
Walt Disney Studios Park (French: Parc Walt Disney Studios) is the second of two theme parks built at Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Vallée, France, which opened on 16 March 2002. It is dedicated to show business, themed after movies, production, and behind-the-scenes. In 2019, the park hosted approximately 5.2 million guests, making it the second-most visited amusement park in Europe.
|Location||Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallée, Paris, France|
|Owner||Disney Parks International|
(Disney Parks, Experiences and Products)
(The Walt Disney Company)
|Operated by||Disneyland Paris|
|Opened||16 March 2002|
|Previous names||Disney-MGM Studios Europe|
To all who enter this studio of dreams...welcome. Walt Disney Studios is dedicated to our timeless fascination and affection for cinema and television. Here we celebrate the art and the artistry of storytellers from Europe and around the world who create magic. May this special place stir our own memories of the past, and our dreams of the future.— Michael D. Eisner, 16 March 2002
Initial plans for a second theme park, named Disney-MGM Studios Europe or Disney-MGM Studios Paris, were scheduled to open in 1995, though these plans were canceled around mid-1992 due to the resort's financial crisis at the time. After the resort began to make a profit, these plans were revived on a much smaller scale. Walt Disney Studios Park opened on 16 March 2002.
In June 2007, a new "studio lot" opened in the Animation Courtyard area of the park, named Toon Studio. It is themed as a "toon backlot", representing the film studio workplace of animated characters, where they produce their animated films, including The Little Mermaid, 101 Dalmatians, and The Jungle Book. The concept has been created exclusively for Walt Disney Studios Park and features two rides not seen in any other Disney theme park, along with small merchandising locations and many character meet-and-greets. In this expansion phase are Crush's Coaster, a custom-designed Maurer Söhne SC 2000 indoor spinning roller coaster, and Cars Quatre Roues Rallye themed after the 2006 Disney/Pixar film Cars, with the ride taking the form of an enhanced teacups ride. Similar rides are found in Mermaid Lagoon at Tokyo DisneySea and A Bug's Land at Disney California Adventure. On 22 December 2007, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror soft-opened with the new Hollywood Boulevard on Production Courtyard. Stitch Live!, imported from Hong Kong Disneyland, replaced the Disney Channel Studio Tour.
In 2009, new entertainment opened at Walt Disney Studios to run alongside Mickey's Magical Party, which began in April 2009. Playhouse Disney Live On Stage! opened next to Stitch Live! and is presented in French, English and Spanish. Walt Disney Studios opened with a full-size parade called 'Disney's Cinema Parade', which was themed after popular Disney animated and live-action films. In 2008 the parade was replaced with 'Disney's Stars 'n' Cars', a smaller version of Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade, which came from Disney's Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World in Florida. In August 2010, Toy Story Playland opened to coincide with the new Disney·Pixar film Toy Story 3, "shrinking" guests to the size of a toy. The three attractions are a Half pipe coaster named RC Racer, a parachute jumpstyle ride named Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop and a Music Express train named Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin, all themed intricately around the first 2 Toy Story films.
On 27 February 2018, Bob Iger announced a transformative multi-year expansion, opening in phases from 2021 to 2025 to coincide with the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, which will completely transform the park. The cost of this expansion is €2 billion. It will feature new areas based on Marvel, Star Wars and Frozen, all surrounding a new man-made lake.
On 14 March 2020, Walt Disney Studios Park, alongside Disneyland Park, temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both parks reopened on 15 July 2020 with strict rules such as limited guest attendance, social distancing, and mandatory wearing of face masks. The park closed again on 29 October 2020 following a second nationwide lockdown, with the Resort indicating a reopening date of 2 April 2021 if national conditions in France permit.
Current Studio lotsEdit
Walt Disney Studios Park is divided into four "studio lots", representing various aspects of film production present at a Hollywood film studio.
Front Lot serves as the park's main entrance and is home to most shops and services of the park, the Earffel Tower is located here. The entrance courtyard, La Place des Frères Lumière, is designed in Spanish Colonial Revival style, a style common to 1930's Hollywood. It is loosely based on the design of the original Disney Bros. Studios on Hyperion Avenue. The central feature of the courtyard is a large Fantasia fountain. The name of the courtyard is a tribute to the French inventors of cinema.
Front Lot features Disney Studio 1, a covered walkway with shops and restaurants themed after a soundstage with a recreation of a Hollywood street inside.
- Restaurant en Coulisse
- Walt Disney Studios Store
- Les Légendes d'Hollywood
- Studio Photo
Toon Studio is inspired by Disney and Pixar animated characters. The lot features such Disney and Pixar characters as Crush (from Finding Nemo), The Genie (from Aladdin), Mater and Lightning McQueen (from Cars), Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Slinky, and other characters from Toy Story, in addition to the other Disney characters present in the land's show, Mickey and the Magician.
When the park originally opened in 2002, the land was known as Animation Courtyard but in 2007, as part of the park's 5th Anniversary, two new rides were added (Crush's Coaster and Cars Race Rally). In 2009, the area was expanded with Toy Story Playland. In January 2012, construction began on a new Ratatouille themed ride and restaurant.
- Flying Carpets Over Agrabah is a spinner ride similar to Dumbo the Flying Elephant where riders sit in magic carpets and act as extras in Genie's directorial debut. The attraction is set against a large “movie set” backdrop of Agrabah.
- Crush's Coaster is a spinning roller coaster where guests enter the beached sound stage and film set of Finding Nemo, where Crush invites them to climb aboard sea turtle shells for a ride through memorable scenes from the movie.
- Cars Race Rally is a Zamperla Demolition Derby where guests spin at a Radiator Spring's car service station. Their cars are located on four spinning plateaus and they change from one spinning plateau to the next.
- Animation Celebration is an interactive experience where guests step into the world of Frozen and meet Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven. They can also participate in the Animation Academy where they will be taught how to draw Disney characters.
- Mickey and the Magician is a live show. Set in the atelier of the titular Magician in 20th century Paris, his apprentice Mickey Mouse gets into a little bit of mischief as he finds and explores his own magic.
- Ratatouille: The Adventure is a motion-based trackless dark ride based on the 2007 Disney·Pixar animated film Ratatouille. It opened in a new Paris themed area of the park in conjunction with a new restaurant following the Ratatouille theme.
- Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop is a parachute jump ride themed to the Green Army Men from Disney-Pixar's Toy Story movies. It opened as part of the Toy Story Playland expansion. Another version of the ride also exists at Hong Kong Disneyland.
- Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin is a Caterpillar-style ride where guest sit in a large ride mechanism resembling Slinky Dog from Disney-Pixar's Toy Story movies. It opened as part of the Toy Story Playland expansion. Another version of the ride also exists at Hong Kong Disneyland.
- RC Racer is a steel shuttle roller coaster themed around RC from Disney-Pixar's Toy Story movies where guest ride in RC on an orange, half loop track. It opened as part of the Toy Story Playland expansion. Another version of the ride also exists at Hong Kong Disneyland.
- Toon Studio Catering Co.
- Bistrot Chez Rémy
- Disney Animation Gallery
- Chez Marianne (Souvenirs de Paris)
Toy Story Playland
- Toy Story Playland Boutique
Production Courtyard's theme revolves around the production aspect of Hollywood movies and the Hollywood mythos, including movie legends. The land contains two distinct parts: Hollywood Boulevard, which features Hollywood-inspired street sets and the ride The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror - A New Dimension of Chills and Place des Stars themed around the production facilities of movie lots, containing Stitch Live!
- Stitch Live! Is an interactive, living character show where guests communicate with Stitch from Lilo & Stitch.
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror - A New Dimension of Chills is a large free-fall thrill ride where guests enter the fictional Hollywood Tower Hotel, and follow the story inspired by the television series. The finale of the ride involves a sudden drop of nearly 200 feet. This ride originated at Disney's Hollywood Studios and at Disney California Adventure.
- Tower Hotel Gifts
The Backlot was themed after actual movie backlots with an industrial theme and was very plain. This lot showcased the high thrills of movies and was targeted toward older children and adults. The Backlot also featured soundtracks from blockbusters such as Mission: Impossible 2, 1968's Planet of the Apes, Batman, or Independence Day. The majority of this area was closed to make way for the upcoming Avengers Campus Paris. The Moteurs... Action! Stunt Show Spectacular was the last opening-day attraction standing on this lot.
Walt Disney Studios Park has a sister park at Walt Disney World, named Disney's Hollywood Studios, originally Disney-MGM Studios, which opened in 1989. Both are themed after show business, and have provided attractions to each other. The Earffel Tower, which represents Walt Disney Studios Park, is nearly identical to the original tower that existed on the backlot of Disney's Hollywood Studios from 1989 to 2016.
On 27 February 2018, Bob Iger announced that The Walt Disney Company will invest €2 billion into the Disneyland Paris resort. The Walt Disney Studios Park will be expanded with three new areas based on Marvel, Frozen and Star Wars. In addition to the three new areas, the expansion includes a new lake, which will be the focal point for entertainment experiences and will also connect each of the new park areas.
The first phase of the expansion will be Avengers Campus which is scheduled to be completed in 2022. The area will include an Iron Man re-theme of Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure (taking over the location of Armageddon – Les Effets Speciaux which closed on 1 April 2019), and Doctor Strange: Journey into the Mystic Arts, in addition to several restaurants and shops.
The second phase of the expansion will be Arendelle: World of Frozen which is scheduled to be open in 2023. Guests will be immersed in the kingdom of Arendelle (set after the events of Frozen and before Frozen II), where Queen Elsa has declared a Summer Snow Day for its citizens. A new and expanded version of Frozen Ever After will debut with the land as well as a restaurant and a shop.
The third and final phase of the expansion will be a land themed to Star Wars which is scheduled to be completed between 2024 and 2025. Multiple sources have claimed that this expansion will be a version of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge found in Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World.
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- WDS Fans – The Secrets, History and Magic of the Studios
- DLRP Magic – Guides to the Park
- Photos Magiques – Walt Disney Studios Park
- Imagineering Files – Disney MGM Studios Europe