The Disneyland Paris Hotels #1: at the source of the Imagineers’ inspiration

Disneyland® Paris is original in many ways, among them its use of fine detail to immerse guests in the stories it tells, not only in the Parks, but also in each of its seven themed hotels.  Designed by Walt Disney Imagineering in collaboration with major international architecture firms, this 5,800 room site is the 5th largest hotel grouping in France.  For this new series of articles dedicated to the Disney hotels, which are some of the largest hotels in Europe, Disneyland Paris News asked Laurent Cayuela, Creative Writer at Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Paris, to present the themes that inspired them. 

Imagineering (a word popularized by Walt Disney, from imagination and engineering) has specialists in over 140 artistic and technical disciplines. Since it was created in 1952, its aim has been not to construct buildings, but to immerse Disney guests in a unique storytelling experience. The seven themed hotels at Disneyland Paris offer seven destinations in the U.S.A., without even having to leave Marne-la-Vallée!

The magic doesn’t stop at the Park gates

 The Disneyland Hotel is an extension of the theme of Main Street, U.S.A. and shares with that area of Disneyland Park the late Victorian style of the early 1900s and its richly detailed decor in tones of cream, pink and green. The floral carpets, the wallpapers typical of the time and the gilded hand-carved furniture provide an elegant backdrop to a number of Disney Classic film references, such as the marionettes in glass cases in the hotel lobby, and the music from the 1940 film Fantasia, which covers the walls of the appropriately named Café Fantasia.

A breath of fresh air

The beauty of nature is the setting for two of the hotels, each with a very different style, but both providing a relaxing environment after a busy day in the Parks.

Disney’s Sequoia Lodge, with its lodges nestled in the forest clearings and its American Arts and Crafts decor, is a tribute to the Sequoia National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada.  Its warm and cosy atmosphere makes an oasis of calm at the heart of a welcoming forest that bursts with colour when autumn comes.  The adorable Bambi, hero of the 1942 Disney Classic of the same name, appears as prince of the forest, with his friends Thumper and Flower, in the decoration of the rooms.

Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch also invites you to enjoy the natural forest setting of its bungalows, set up in ‘loops’ similar to early American pioneer villages. The rustic country charm of this destination follows the career and close-to-nature way of life of famous trapper, hunter and farmer, Davy Crockett.

Wide open spaces

 All lovers of Westerns and the story of how the West was won will feel very much at home at Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne, a reconstitution of a Far West town. The decoration includes all the essential elements of a cowboy outfit – boots, hat and lasso. The buildings, all named for great Indian chiefs, fearless outlaws or brave defenders of the law, run either side of the town’s main street where, at any moment, a stage coach (like the one at the hotel’s main entrance) might pass, or two gunfighters might decide to challenge each other to a duel. No wonder Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne is the Disneyland Paris hotel most used for TV shoots!

Other wide American spaces are the setting for Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe, a tribute to the legendary Route 66. The shape and colour of the buildings, as well as the vegetation and the neon signs, are all in the style of those found along Route 66 as it winds across the American South West. The hotel is dedicated to the love Americans have for their cars, from the restaurant that resembles a garage featuring real licence plates and a gas pump, to the giant screen on the hotel’s facade reminiscent of a drive-in movie theatre, where you can enjoy a movie from the comfort of your car. The link between Route 66 and the cinema is also enhanced by the presence of the heroes of the Pixar-Disney animated film Cars in the decor of the hotel rooms.

Family gatherings or professional meetings

The hotel offer is completed by two convention centres that face one another across Lake Disney and make Disneyland Paris Europe’s top business tourism centre. Their elegant and distinctive surroundings are equally appealing for family holidays and conventions or business stays.

Disney’s Hotel New York is alive with the stylish jazzy atmosphere of New York City through its beautiful Art Deco architecture, enhanced by a colourful pop art decor. The spacious geometrically designed interiors reproduce settings from the famous city, such as the authentic bar facade in the lobby and the recurring sky scraper silhouettes on the walls.  All of these elements help immerse the hotel guests in the glamorous and luxurious atmosphere of the Big Apple from the 1930s to the 1970s.

To the North of New York, New England was the preferred vacation destination for rich and powerful socialites in the early 1900s. They entertained others of the same stature at their seaside “cottages”, which were actually large elegant mansions. Disney’s Newport Bay Club welcomes guests in the style of one of these Victorian showpieces, accentuating the seaside location with many nautical motifs, such as anchors, ropes and port holes. Some areas immerse guests even further; the Cape Cod restaurant is decorated with frescoes of children playing on the beach, while the Yacht Club restaurant, through its layout, its vaulted ceiling and its shining copper light fixtures, could persuade you that you were already at sea, if it wasn’t for the lack of pitch and roll! And finally, the hotel rooms are the height of travel luxury, worthy of a transatlantic liner, with their furniture in the shape of cabin trunks.

From New Mexico to New England, from California to New York, each of the seven Disneyland Paris hotels is guaranteed to provide a relaxing environment within an original storytelling experience.

 Our thanks go to Sylvie Massara, Christine Tweedly and Laurent Cayuela for this American journey. Don’t miss the next episode in our series, which will look at the many quality initiatives designed to enhance the Disney hotel experience.

2 thoughts on “The Disneyland Paris Hotels #1: at the source of the Imagineers’ inspiration”

  1. Hi, there! I’m from Brazil, and I’ll be at DisneylandParis on my 40th birthday with my family (a husband and 3 daughters). May I have my “magical birthday ever”? This include a character? How I order it? We’re ordering a 1day/2parks ticket, and we have a doubt about the time of Paris Express. It leaves Disnenyland at 8pm, is that time AFTER the fireworks and night parade? We’re very excited with this family travel,and we’ll be waiting ansiously for your reply

  2. Wonderful article, please more like this!

    I’ve never seen that castle elevation artwork before, could you post it in a higher resolution? Would love to thoroughly investigate the details of it.

    Kind regards
    Disneyland Paris Treasures

  3. Greate post. Keep writing such kind of information on your blog. Im really impressed by your blog.

  4. Appreciating the time and energy you put into your site and in depth information you present. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed information. Wonderful read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.|

  5. What’s the point of attracting adults and “reconnecting them with childhooh emotions and memories” if once they’re there you’ll treat them like they’re not welcome?
    Maybe the problem is not our perception is wrong. Maybe the problem is you really don’t want us to go.

  6. There’s a Santa Fe style hotel? Oh my! Will have to go back and stay there! Only hotel I had time to see on my first visit was the Disneyland Hotel on my way into the park to see Captain Eo after it re-opened in June 2010. I was on a one-day visit via the Eurostar from London (on holiday there from Australia) so very limited time – too limited. But I loved it.

  7. I’ve been 4 times to Disneyland Paris in the last 3 years and each time the service has been absolutely dredful and not even apologetic – would love to see how this changes.

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  12. Also my question:-) Is there a way to buy something although i’m not working at Disneyland Paris?

  13. So, so sad to see this icon show close! I first saw it in California in 1987 and was blown away by what was then incredible 3D technology, as well as Michael’s performance. When I visited Disneyland Paris for the first (and thus far, only) time on 24 June 2010 I was on a EuroStar day trip to the park from London which I was visiting for Michael Jackson 1st anniversary events with his UK fans. When I heard that Disneyland Paris and other Disney Parks were re-opening the film as a tribute to Michael, I HAD to make the journey across the channel to see it again. Needless to say, I made the most of the opportunity for repeat screenings on that day. And though I’ve since seen it repeatedly in Anaheim and Tokyo (shortly before it closed there last year) I’ll never, ever forget seeing it on the big screen for the first time since the 80s at Disneyland Paris. I’m not sure I want to go back now. 🙁

  14. It’s a shame this classic has to go, really!
    I’m glad I got the chance to experience it once again with the tribute performance.

    It was not quite the same since many of the original effects and the look and feel of the cinema were missing, still the old 3D glasses/technique and and analogue! print/and projector was used, which was and is kind of lazy from Disney. Also, the print was very worn out the last time I’ve seen it and should have been replaced long ago.

    But, still better than no Captain EO.

    Since Captain EO will never return to the Disney parks, please release a worthy blu-ray of this classic masterpiece (in 3D and 2D). I’m sure plenty of Disney-, Michael Jackson-, Anjelica Huston, Franics Ford Coppola- and George Lucas-Fans would buy it in an instant!

    I sure would!

  15. Why oh why is this closing?

    Have seen it several times at Disneyland Paris in the last couple of years and and each showing was packed out! Judging by everyone’s reaction on the way out, the audience clearly loved both the film and its effects.

    Bad decision, Disney 🙁

  16. The reason it has closed is that jardly anyone watches. Figures have dwindled and have been for years. It has been declining in the mast few years. Everyone moans and groans but it costs Disney to keep it running and if the audiences ain’t coming, who can afford to keep it.

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  19. We used these just after Christmas. Such a vast improvement since our last visit in summer 2014. Well done! I still had to wait from about 9am to get a good spot in the queue, but then we only waited about 10 minutes in the actual pavilion, as opposed to 70 minutes last time!

  20. We had a wonderfull new years evening at euro disney 2015 – 2016!!!!
    It was fantastic!!
    Thank you!

  21. Will the foliage be refurbished? Many leaves and small branches are missing and spoil the attraction so hopefully these will be refurbished.

  22. Hello We are a family of 4 with my husband and 2 children.I am 32 weeks pregnant.With the easy access card will I have access to attractions with my family.

  23. would changing the perception around DP to attract adults or a particular age groups not be at the expense of other age groups eg kids, teenagers.

  24. What a shame that they cast aside the park’s heritage, people’s memories and their love of DLP by destroying the named stones and replacing them with bland slabs.
    There were a few broken and loose ones, but surely they could have been kept and relayed to a better standard than they had previously.
    It has really dampened our DLP experience. What next? Removal of the castle?

  25. it’sasmallworld is more beautifulthan before.

    I will ride to it’s a smallworld during go to disneyland paris.

  26. i come to disney land for 20 years every year 2or3 times
    i am a real disney fan i collect it also but my complain is this year
    when y order to stay in the hotel why did they not mention
    that there is so many attraction close in the park you mention about the hotel but let also know about what happen in the park
    i hope you understand why i writhe this
    i hope that you will reply
    thanks yolande

  27. I want cast menbers . business chaienge back stage new shw works
    my challenge .
    U.S.A I want art work project menbers.

  28. Hello, I am staying at the Hotel on 9/23/16. That day is my daughter’s birthday. Do you have the opportunity to purchase a cake?

  29. Can anyone help with getting in touch with photopass for Disneyland Paris. Tried sending email through contact us but email keeps coming back undeliverable. All photos are not coming up and need them to find my photos.

  30. Not Impressed! Big Thunder mountain is one of my favorite Disney Rides! Shut! Simlarly, the Star Wars events are apparently unavailable.No mention of these attractions being shut when my booking was made in June. My grandson, for whom we arranged this trip, has extatically reached the height limit, and a star wars addict/devotee will now be denied these pleasures. Will there be a refund/discount offered?

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