This summer, the 21 road signs put up in 1994 in the Ile de France region near the parks will be replaced. The new signs will have a brand new design, created under the impulse of the teams from Real Estate Development by Euro Disney.
“It will take approximately two months to set up all the new panels”, confides Julien Carrard, in charge of Infrastructure and Transportation. He sees this change as being above all and foremost symbolic. “When guests come to Disneyland Paris by car, the signs are the first indication they are near the site and that often becomes an unforgettable memory. But in the beginning we had conceived the signs to orient tourists, as they had a tendency to get lost near the parks.”
The design had not changed in 22 years, and only the most damaged signs were replaced. In 2013, the company’s top management launched the idea of changing all road signs as we neared the destination’s 25th anniversary in 2017. The Walt Disney Imagineering teams took care of the design, inspired from the original Mickey and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, but all freshened up!
Once the design was validated, Julien and his teams had samples made on material that was identical to that of the final signs: “the real challenge came from working with the reflecting material used for the signs: the colours change according to the light and the angle from which they are looked at. Therefore we gave special care to the choice of shades, and we even ran some life size tests on the highway to choose the final colours: we could not afford to have Mickey looking all yellow!”
The last step – but not the least important one- required negotiating with the various networks that manage the highways and roads on which the 21 road signs are posted. So we approached the DIRIF, the SANEF, APRR (the road networks of the Ile de France region, of the South and East of France) and the city of Paris to agree on a calendar to set up the signs. Works are usually carried out at night and they mobilise a great number of teams. “We hope all signs will be completely replaced by the end of the month of August”, Julien explains.
Settlement patterns for the Disneyland Paris road signs