Walt Disney Studios Park

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Walt Disney Studios Park
Walt Disney Studios Park logo.svg
Location Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallée, Paris, France
Coordinates 48°52′2.28″N 2°46′44.43″E / 48.8673000°N 2.7790083°E / 48.8673000; 2.7790083
Theme Show business
Owner Euro Disney S.C.A.
Operated by Euro Disney S.C.A.
Opened March 16, 2002
Website Official website

Walt Disney Studios Park is the second of two theme parks built at Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Vallee, France, opened on March 16, 2002. It is dedicated to show business, themed after movies, production, and behind-the-scenes. In 2013, the park hosted approximately 4.4 million guests, making it the third-most visited amusement park in Europe and the 21st-most visited in the world,[1] though it has the lowest attendance figures of all eleven Walt Disney parks.

The park is represented by the Earffel Tower, a water tower similar to the Earful Tower in Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Dedication[edit]

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, March 16, 2002

History[edit]

Initial plans for a second theme park, named Disney-MGM Studios Europe or Disney-MGM Studios Paris, were scheduled to open in 1996, though these plans were cancelled 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 March 16, 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 work place of animated characters, where they produce their animated classics, including The Little Mermaid, 101 Dalmatians, and The Jungle Book. The concept has been created exclusively for Walt Disney Studios Park and features two attractions not seen in any other Disney theme park, along with small merchandising locations and many character meet-and-greets. The key attractions in this expansion phase are Crush's Coaster, a custom-designed Maurer Söhne SC 2000 indoor spinning roller coaster, and Cars: Race Rally themed after the 2006 Disney/Pixar film Cars, with the ride taking the form of an enhanced tea cups ride. Similar attractions are found in Mermaid Lagoon at Tokyo DisneySea and a bug's land in Disney California Adventure. On December 22, 2007, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction 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 attractions and entertainment opened at Walt Disney Studios to run alongside with 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 (see 'Disney Wiki'). 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, and comprises three attractions, as well as several photo opportunities. The three attractions are a Half pipe coaster named RC Racer, a parachute jump style 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.

Studio lots[edit]

Walt Disney Studios Park is divided into four "studio lots", representing various aspects of film production present at a Hollywood film studio.

Front Lot[edit]

La Place des Freres Lumiere

Front Lot serves as the park’s main entrance and is home to most shops and services of the park, the Earful Tower is located here. The entrance courtyard, La Place des Frères Lumière, is designed in classic Spanish architecture which was common of the grand entrances movie studios of the 20s and 30s had. La Place des Frères Lumière 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 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 Hollywood inside. The exterior of Disney Studio 1 is loosely based on the first soundstage Walt Disney owned. The parks primary gift shop, Walt Disney Studios Store, is located in this lot as well as the park's largest restaurant.[citation needed]

Restaurants:

  • Restaurant en Coulisse

Shops:

  • Walt Disney Studios Store
  • Les Légends d'Hollywood
  • Studio Photo

Toon Studio[edit]

Studio 5, home to Crush's Coaster.

Toon Studio is inspired by classic 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, Woody, Slinky, and other characters from Toy Story, in addition to the classic Disney characters present in the land’s show, Animagique.

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 Quatre Roues Rallye). In 2009 the area was expanded with the attraction Toy Story Playland. In January 2012 construction began on a new Ratatouille themed ride and restaurant.

Attractions:

  • 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. This attraction originated at the Magic Kingdom.
  • 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. This is a unique attraction to Walt Disney Studios Park.
  • Cars Quatre Roues Rallye is a Zamperla Demolition Derby attraction where guests are 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. This is a unique attraction to Walt Disney Studios Park.
  • Art of Disney Animation is an interactive exhibit where guests watch a film about the process of animation, engage in interactive activities teaching about the history of animation, and can participate in Animation Academy. This attraction is based on similar attractions located at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney California Adventure.
  • Animagique is a live show featuring the Disney Classics. This attraction is unique to Walt Disney Studios Paris.
  • Toy Soldier 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 Zig Zag 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.
  • Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy is a motion-based trackless dark ride based on the 2007 Disney·Pixar animated film Ratatouille. The attraction opened in a new Paris themed area of the park in conjunction with a new restaurant following the Ratatouille theme.

Restaurants:

  • Toon Studio Catering Co.
  • Jessie's Snack Roundup
  • Le Bistrot Chez Rémy

Shops:

  • Disney Animation Gallery
  • Toy Store Y

Production Courtyard[edit]

Disney Studio 1 as seen from Production Courtyard

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 rides Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic; and Place des Stars themed around the production facilities of movie lots, containing the attractions CineMagique, Stitch Live!, and Playhouse Disney: Live on Stage!.

Attractions:

  • CinéMagique is a theater show which portrays many classic scenes of Hollywood films. Often viewed as one of Disney’s best and unique attractions by fans and visitors alike, this attraction has grabbed attention and shines as one of the parks premiere attractions. This attraction is exclusive to Walt Disney Studios Park.
  • Stitch Live! Is an interactive, living character show where guests communicate with Stitch from Lilo & Stitch. This attraction originated at Hong Kong Disneyland.
  • Playhouse Disney: Live on Stage! is a live theater attraction utilizing puppet characters from popular Playhouse Disney shows. Featured are characters from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny, and Little Einsteins. This attraction originated from Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is a large freefall thrill ride where guests enter the fictional Hollywood Tower Hotel, and follow the story inspired by the television series. The finale of the ride is a thrilling experience where guests drop nearly 200 feet. This ride originated at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic is a tram tour attraction where guests are given a gentle tour of the “movie studio”. Highlights of the ride include stops at Catastrophe Canyon and Reign of Fire sets. This ride is adapted from the Studio Backlot Tour located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Restaurants:

  • Restaurant des Stars
  • La Terrasse
  • Café Cafés

Shops:

  • Tower Hotel Gifts

Backlot[edit]

The Moteurs... Action! Stunt Show.

The Backlot is themed after actual movie backlots with an industrial theme and is very plain. This lot showcases the high thrills of movies and is targeted toward older children and adults with three thrilling attractions. The Backlot also features soundtracks from blockbusters such as Mission: Impossible II, Planet of the Apes, Batman, or Independence Day.

Attractions:

  • Armageddon – Les Effets Speciaux is a walkthrough attraction based on the 1998 Touchstone film, Armageddon. The attraction strives to demonstrate set effects and guests experience thrilling special effects present in the movie.
  • Moteurs... Action! Stunt Show Spectacular is a car stunt show revolving around a series of stunts featuring automobiles, motorcycles, and jet skis. This attraction originated at Walt Disney Studios Park and was cloned to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Avec Aerosmith is an enclosed steel roller coaster and the fastest ride at Disneyland Paris. The ride is themed around an Aerosmith music video and takes place in the recording studio. This ride is a clone from Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Restaurants:

  • Blockbuster Café
  • Café des Cascadeurs

Shops:

  • Rock Around the Shop
  • Backlot Accessory Trucks

Sister park[edit]

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, Walt Disney Studios Park's icon[clarification needed], is nearly identical to Hollywood Studios' Earful Tower; Hollywood Studios' original icon was the Earful Tower prior to the construction of The Sorcerer's Hat in 2001.

Attendance[edit]

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Worldwide rank
2,612,000[2] 2,655,000[3] 4,500,000[4] 4,710,000[5] 4,800,000[1] 4,470,000[1] 21

Gallery[edit]

New for 2014[edit]

Toon Studio

Production Courtyard

Backlot

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°52′2.28″N 2°46′44.43″E / 48.8673000°N 2.7790083°E / 48.8673000; 2.7790083

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "TEA/AECOM 2013 Global Attractions Report". Themed Entertainment Association. 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2008 Global Attractions Report". Themed Entertainment Association. 2008. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2009 Global Attractions Report". Themed Entertainment Association. 2009. Archived from the original on June 2, 2010. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  4. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2010 Global Attractions Report". Themed Entertainment Association. 2010. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  5. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2011 Global Attractions Report". Themed Entertainment Association. 2011. Retrieved November 20, 2012.