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Disneyland Paris Craftworkers in the Spotlight

Prop decorators, cabinet makers, carpenters, upholsterers, letter painters and more! Altogether, there are more than 250 Cast Members who contribute to the preservation of Disneyland Paris’s heritage by using their know-how across the resort.

Behind all Disneyland Paris decorations are craftsmen and women, often unknown but essential to guarantee the incredible level of detail that the resort is known for. Central Workshop Cast Members work in our parks, hotels and at Disney Village to take guests on a journey through immersive environments. Let’s take a look at these crafts – and the guardians of the magic at Disneyland Paris.

Among the 250 talented Cast Members working at the Central Workshops, 10 or so are responsible for maintaining and refurbishing the many sets and accessories at Disneyland Paris. They regularly walk through the parks to take stock of anything that may need attention. Any accessories identified are then restored in the workshop using traditional techniques and returned to their original location. To do this, Central Workshop Cast Members work in close collaboration with Walt Disney Imagineering teams, which provide very precise specifications to follow. They then define the most suitable process for restoring the accessories. Some objects were found in antique shops nearly thirty years ago, so Cast Members sometimes need to carry out meticulous research in order to restore them as accurately as possible. It’s not always a question of giving the objects a ‘fresh look’ though. Prop makers sometimes work with objects that have been bought new, and the challenge lies in giving them an aged look. Each year, no less than 500 accessories are refurbished.

Letter painters are responsible for restoring shop signs, restaurant signs, and even the lettering on the Disneyland Railroad steam train cars. Using traditional techniques, they work with oil paint, gold leaf or silver leaf, depending on the surface. In order to withstand the elements and last for a long time, they sometimes use copper leaf that is painted gold, which is the case with horses on the Carrousel de Lancelot, for example.

A team of a dozen boilermakers also work in the parks, hotels, at Disney Village and even backstage. They are in charge of rebuilding the rail sections of the attractions and can also work on the vehicles that travel in the parks. Recently, they rebuilt several sections of the iconic Big Thunder Mountain attraction. The temporary closure of the resort allowed the team to carry out this large-scale work during the day, without having to close the attraction or wait overnight.

These Cast Members typically have initial training as propmakers which enables them to master various production techniques like modelling or the creation of moulding, as well as provides them with knowledge of different materials like resins, paints and plaster. As passing on knowledge is important at Disneyland Paris, Cast Members are also trained internally in other crafts to broaden their capabilities and encourage versatility. These include carpentry, cabinet making, upholstery, glassmaking, ropemaking and even seamanship – the creation of rope knots, which can be seen on the twenty kilometers of bamboo fences in Adventureland. They are also trained in welding and ironwork.

“All of the objects and accessories that we work on have a life of their own, some for almost thirty years in our parks,” said Eric, a prop master and glassmaker responsible for the restoration of glass objects like lamps and lanterns. “Every piece tells a story. It is important that we respect this history by working in a traditional way, using a reference that is as close as possible to the original object. And of course, we take into account the evolution of the safety standards for the techniques we use.”

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French Craftworkers Bring New Life to Sleeping Beauty Castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle is undergoing its first major refurbishment since 1992, making this iconic symbol of Disneyland Paris more sparkling than ever for guests to enjoy.

Disneyland Paris has a long-standing history of collaborating with French and European craftsmen to create all those beautifully detailed locations at our Parks. And To carry out this large-scale project with respect for the craftsmanship and level of detail that our resort is known for, Walt Disney Imagineering and Construction teams are calling on French specialists in the field of historical monument renovations. Nine companies – all French – have been mobilized to carry out the work, including carpentry, roofing, painting and metalworking. Disneyland Paris has a long-standing history of collaborating with French and European craftsmen to create all those beautifully detailed locations at our Parks

One such French company is Le Bras Frères, renowned for its incredible work on the greatest French monuments and now providing its unique know-how for the refurbishment on the framework and roof of our Castle. Have a look on the incredible work they are doing now!

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Disney Parks Add ‘Inclusion Key’ to Cast Member Training

At Disneyland Paris – and at Disney resorts around the world – we strive to create a culture of inclusion, where everyone is welcome. As part of this focus, we are always evolving and actively listening to our guests and cast members, creating an environment where all people feel valued, welcomed and appreciated.

In 2019, we actively solicited input from our cast members from all over the world in a series of ideation sessions that generated more than 100 ideas, including the addition of Inclusion to The Four Keys.

For more than 65 years, our cast members have welcomed guests from around the world with the help of The Four Keys – Safety, Courtesy, Show and Efficiency – which guide our renowned approach to service around the world. Each of these embody a core value that serves as a guiding principle for cast members in their daily work. The addition of the Inclusion Key emphasizes its ongoing importance in all that we do and will be a constant reminder to us that all who come to this happy place are welcome. Watch the video below for more details!

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This is just the beginning, as we continue to work toward a world where we all belong. There’s more to do, but we are excited for what’s next as we continue to listen, learn and work towards a more inclusive future for our cast and guests. You can read more about Inclusion Key on the Disney Parks Blog.

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Orbitron – The Refurbished Space Adventure

Orbitron is a journey to the edge of space – an adventure inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s visionary drawings of the solar system – which has been present since the Park opened in 1992. This futuristic odyssey has now landed in another galaxy to undergo a refurbishment that began in January.

For several months, Disneyland Paris’s Facilities Asset Management and Central Shops (main workshop) teams have been working together with local service providers to give the attraction a true refresh. On the agenda are renovating floors, repainting, overhauling the audio system and refreshing the queue, including the addition of a new gatehouse. Refurbishments will also be done on the landscaping which includes the shrubs, rocks and craters surrounding the attraction.

That’s not all… Most impressive is all the pieces that were dismantled and transferred to the Central Workshops for optimal care. Thus, the huge rising structure and its 12 rockets that lift our Guests up to 7.8 meters above the ground, as well as the rotation system of the planets, have been completely removed. Coming back more resplendent than ever, guaranteed! Stay tuned for more news on the progress of this attraction you absolutely must see at Disneyland Park.

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Disneyland Paris Provides Location to Assist Seine-et-Marne Prefecture, Fire Department and Health Authorities in Vaccination Efforts

Starting April 24, Disneyland Paris will provide the convention center at Disney’s Newport Bay Club to serve as one of the mass vaccination centers in the country for local authorities to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to the local community. The site will be open weekends from 9:30AM-5:30PM and appointments can be booked on Doctolib here.  

The vaccination center will be separate from the hotel and will be equipped and managed by the Seine-et-Marne fire department (SDIS), which will oversee the logistics and operate the ‘vaccinodrome’ autonomously, under the authority of the prefecture and the French health authorities (ARS).  

The SDIS aims to deliver 1,000 vaccinations every Saturday and Sunday according to prevailing government guidelines. Disneyland Paris will provide the location necessary to carry out the operation.  

This is part of the country’s wider efforts in the national vaccination campaign and is a continuation of Disneyland Paris’s efforts to support the local community this past year.  

“Disneyland Paris is proud to help support the authorities by allowing the Seine-et-Marne Prefecture to use the Disney’s Newport Bay Club convention center to administer vaccines,” said Eric Marion, VP Operations of Disneyland Paris 

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Progress Continues on Disneyland Paris Solar Canopy Plant

In celebration of Earth Day, get a first look at the solar canopy plant coming to Disneyland Paris. As part of the resort’s continued commitment to environmental stewardship, construction began last year for the phased development of one of the largest solar canopy plants in Europe.

Developed in collaboration with Urbasolar Group through a co-investment, the plant located in the main guest parking lot will contribute to the reduction of Val d’Europe local territory greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by approximatively 750 tons of CO2 per year while providing an enhanced guest experience with shade and shelter from direct sunlight, rain and snow. Construction is expected to be completed in 2023, with the first phase completed later this summer. About 12,000 panels have already been installed, covering 1,770 parking spaces!

The solar canopy plant will also contribute to Disneyland Paris’s ongoing environmental strategy, aiming for a significant reduction in GHG emissions and a full decarbonization of the energy supply. This is one of six focus areas put in place by the company, in addition to moving toward sustainable waste management including reduced use of plastics, preserving water resources with for example a wastewater treatment plant, developing a responsible supply chain, preserving and fostering biodiversity, and supporting global actions to preserve the environment for future generations.

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EARTH MONTH 2021: A CELEBRATION OF NATURE AT DISNEYLAND PARIS

This week marks the start of Earth Month, an opportunity for Disneyland Paris – and all Disney Parks around the world – to celebrate the conservation and protection of nature through continued actions and new initiatives that benefit the entire resort and the surrounding community.

We put this into practice every day thanks to our Magic Keepers who continue to look after our natural spaces and environmental actions, while work progresses on exciting projects like the construction of one of the biggest solar canopies plants in Europe. Announced last year to extend our environmental efforts into the future, the first phase of the project will be finished at end of this summer, generating clean energy while offering an enhanced experience in our guest parking lot. This new initiative is just one of many environmental projects already underway at Disneyland Paris.

All month long, you will discover all the magic of the resort’s green spaces that contribute to a unique and immersive experience – and all of it is accessible to you virtually!

Through exclusive content, you will get a peek behind-the-scenes on how we are working to preserve the environment. There are even a few surprises in store! Stay tuned for more, right here on our website and on our social media channels all month long.

The long-term growth of Disneyland Paris is rooted in a responsible tourism model with an ongoing commitment from our employees and partners. Discover our 6 priorities for action!  

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Let’s take a look at the work of Nature and Environment teams with Alison Le Flem, Biodiversity Project Leader at Disneyland Paris:

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Disneyland Paris Announces Next Step in its Resort Hotel Transformation Plan.

As final touches are made to the highly anticipated Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel, due to open soon, Disneyland Paris announces a regal transformation of the iconic Disneyland Hotel, which will be the first Disney Hotel to celebrate a royal theme. This complete refurbishment is the next step in an ambitious renovation plan for all Disneyland Paris hotels spanning years and more than 5,700 rooms. The impressive transformation demonstrates Disneyland Paris’s ongoing commitment to continually invest in the guest experience and its successful strategy to infuse more beloved Disney franchises and stories into its hotels.

Disneyland Paris hotels are much more than a place to sleep – they are the best way to enjoy our resort! Beyond the many advantages such as early park access, free transportation to the parks, dedicated shopping services and even Disney character encounters, hotel guests are immersed in themed environments and compelling stories like nowhere else beyond the parks.

Following the infusion of Cars storytelling in the completely refurbished Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe and a similar approach to add Toy Story in the new guest rooms and public spaces at Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne, the best example of this transformation plan is the soon-to-open four-star Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel. It will be the first Disney hotel in the world celebrating the Art of Marvel, where guests can discover more than 350 Marvel art pieces from 110 artists around the world, meet with one of their favorite Super Heroes and even dine in an atmosphere inspired by Marvel comics and movies.

Disneyland Paris is now accelerating its refurbishment plan by embarking on a transformation of the Disneyland Hotel, which will strengthen its flagship status at the resort and offer guests an even better five-star experience. This hotel is known not only for its privileged position at the entrance of Disneyland Park, but also for its impeccable service that has propelled it to be a guest favorite and the iconic resort hotel of Disneyland Paris.

The elegant Victorian architecture that guests have come to know when approaching Disneyland Park will remain, while the Disney magic that guests love will be enhanced. The Disneyland Hotel will be infused with a royal theme and become the true kingdom of many favorite Disney Princesses and Princes, from classics like Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, but also recent hits Frozen and Tangled. Guest public areas will be reimagined to pay homage to these beloved films and their characters, while all hotel rooms and suites will be entirely rethemed to offer the most immersive experience. Expect refined, creative décor and magical touches that will surprise the whole family, as only Disney can do.

“At Disneyland Paris, we create enchanting experiences for all ages,” says Sylvie Massara, Walt Disney Imagineering Paris – Design and Show Quality. “The completely refurbished Disneyland Hotel will do just that, immersing guests in a timeless royal atmosphere. Guests will be welcomed with unique refinement as soon as they enter the lobby and will stay in rooms and suites with elegant décor celebrating Disney Princesses and Princes.

To meet and exceed the ever-evolving expectations of our guests, the layout of the hotel’s public spaces and equipment in the rooms will also be enhanced to provide improved, personalized services while leveraging the latest technologies for even more comfort. Guests will benefit from a larger pool area, indulge in an expanded spa and dine in updated restaurants and bars – all adding up to the most magical experience at this stunning five-star hotel.

“When it reopens, Disneyland Hotel will offer to our guests an enhanced experience even more worthy of the prestigious French five-star hotel rating,” adds Tomás Feier, General Manager of the Disneyland Hotel. “We are proud to welcome a lot of repeat visitors at our iconic hotel, and we want them to be immersed in a 360-degree experience using the power of beloved Disney fairytales, with an array of brave and kind heroines as a central theme. Our loyal guests expect to be enchanted and surprised by their stay each time they visit us, and we take pride in delivering impeccable service to create memorable moments. A full Disneyland Paris experience can truly be achieved only when staying in one of our themed hotels, and we cannot wait to welcome guests to the Disneyland Hotel after its transformation.

Stay tuned for more details on this exciting project as it develops!

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Cars ROAD TRIP: Immersion Through Landscaping

In Cars ROAD TRIP, opening soon at Disneyland Paris, landscaping plays a key role in allowing our Guests to feel completely immersed in storytelling as they travel through the emblematic roads of the American West. Let’s meet with Walt Disney Imagineering landscapers, whose mission is to bring these new natural spaces to life.

Cars ROAD TRIP will take Guests right into the world of Pixar’s Cars for an unusual journey along the mythical Route 66, discovering natural – and mechanical – wonders. The transformation presented a challenge for Walt Disney Imagineering teams, as it involved completely rethinking the landscaping evocative of the American West. From selecting the vegetation, to transporting the trees, planting them and taking care of their daily maintenance, Walt Disney Imagineering teams pay constant attention to the flora on this attraction as it is an integral part of the Guest experience. 

Extensive research work was necessary to identify plant species that could adapt to the climatic conditions and soils of the Seine-et-Marne area, thus guaranteeing a feeling of immersion in the West, no matter the season. To bring Cars to life as much as possible, Walt Disney Imagineering teams at Disneyland Paris worked in close collaboration with the Creative teams based in Glendale, California. Landscape Architect Julia Malichaud says that she was inspired by the great national parks and the vegetation along those famous roads… and naturally, she admits to watching the Cars movies over and over again!

Another element the teams considered was the Livrain Woods where the attraction is physically located. They had to make sure that the species chosen would blend in harmoniously with those already present. Picea omorika (Serbian Spruces), Field Maples, Blood Dogwoods and Colorado Spruces, all easily identifiable by their bluish tint – the teams scouted out European nurseries selecting each tree, shrub and bush with the greatest care. As a result, more than 500 were planted for the attraction’s transformation! Among the most impressive are Giant Sequoias and three particularly large trees: a Metasequoia glyptostroboides and two Quercus robur ‘Fastigiata’ – one more than 14 meters high – all brought to the site very carefully.

As explained by Marc Boulanger, who is in charge of bringing to life the landscaping designed by Julia, the presence of each species helps to create a contrast in the passage between attraction scenes and advance the storytelling.

“Nothing is done randomly,” says Julia. “We chose each tree in the nursery and each one was planted in a specific place where it has a role to play in terms of scenery and also utility. Be it to direct the Guest’s attention or to support an element of the story, these plants also serve to naturally conceal what’s behind the attraction and invite Guests further in this experience as told by the Imagineers.