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|Location||Disneyland Paris, Paris, France|
|Theme||Outdoor Entertainment Area|
|Operated by||Euro Disney SCA|
|Opened||April 12, 1992|
|Website||Disney Village Homepage|
Disney Village is a shopping, dining and entertainment complex in Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallée, France. Originally named Festival Disney, it opened on April 12th, 1992, inside the then- Euro Disney Resort and originally covered an area of approximately 18,000 square metres (190,000 sq ft).
Based on Walt Disney World's Disney Springs, Disney Village was designed by architect Frank Gehry, with towers of oxidized silver and bronze-coloured stainless steel under a canopy of lights. It is adjacent to the two theme parks of Disneyland Paris and the Lake Disney hotel area.
Disney specified that the primary focus of the new facility should be on entertainment. Originally named Festival Disney, it was to be an attraction inside of the Euro Disney Resort, as well as a free transitional space for visitors of the Euro Disneyland theme park, and train passengers from the RER/TGV train station traveling to the resort hotels. The space would include numerous shops for visitors to relax with friends and family, as well as bars, concerts, shows, and nightclubs.
The original concept was a large open space full of life and music. It would be lit from all sides around a central avenue, and include a starry sky as its crowning feature. The columns that supported this sky would be the remnants of an old power station, which had been left standing after the site had been converted into a festival of 90’s contemporary American entertainment.
The idea of a station in the U.S. made me think of power stations which are often found this close to a railway line. Festival Disney is a bright place full of life. The power stations are illuminated at night, hence my idea of a network of 3,600 low-intensity bulbs that cover all of the structures. Naturally, the lights will be suspended between towers and, as a measure of the design process, I blew and embellished the towers that I wanted to sparkle without merely being decorative. Once the sky and towers were imagined, I disposed of buildings and other parts of a normal avenue...
Changes & alterations
Although the starry sky was generally well-received, the same could not be said for many other aspects of Festival Disney. From the beginning, guests and cast members alike criticized the project, perceiving it as a cold, industrial, and soulless atmosphere. As a result, many changes were made to Gehry's original concept. Metal frames that had been placed on many of the pylons were removed and replaced with statues and food counters.
In 1996, just four years after opening, Festival Disney was renamed Disney Village. Popular restaurant chain, Planet Hollywood, opened in front of the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show building and the following year, an eight screen Gaumont multiplex cinema complex was opened next door to Planet Hollywood, blocking the Wild West Show's original entrance.
Many changes and adjustments took place in existing buildings over the next ten years, such as the opening of Café Mickey in 2002 (replacing the Los Angeles Bar & Grill), the opening of King Ludwig's Castle in 2003 (replacing Rock 'n' Roll America), and the opening of the Rainforest Café in 1999 (replacing Key West). On 25th of January 1999, a large McDonald’s fast food restaurant opened whose theme was based on Italy's Commedia dell'arte. Later in 2004, a 570-seat IMAX cinema opened as part of the Gaumont multiplex. Finally, on the 3rd of December 2004, an Art Deco themed multi-story parking structure called "VINCI Park" opened.
Place making project: 2004
In 2004, the resort management team began renovations that would take several years to complete.
The neon lights, over-sized signs and the central stage were all removed from the main area. Colorfully lit balloons were added onto the remaining columns for nighttime lighting. PanoraMagique was also opened in 2005, which housed a large helium filled captive balloon that can carry 30 passengers up to 100 meters into the sky. In 2008, resort management added large planters that contained trees, hedges, and flowers to the main thoroughfare. Terraces were added to restaurants and cafés and the facades of buildings were updated. In the same year, a new beverage stand/snack bar was added near the entrance to Disney Village, and the tourist kiosk nearby was rebuilt in more of a neo-industrial "Parisian" style. In 2009, the Buffalo Trading Company closed and the premises is now occupied by a Starbucks coffee house.
Attractions & entertainment
- Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show with Mickey & Friends - Buffalo Bill's original show has been re-enacted twice nightly in a purpose-built arena since 1992. Although 1990s technology has enabled more dynamic production elements than the 1890s, the show retains a high degree of authenticity, including real Native Americans, Rodeo cowboys, bison, Longhorn cattle, and quarter horses imported from North America. Most of the more famous elements of the original show also remain, including the Pony Express, Indian Attack, and Stagecoach Robbery. A Dinner Show entry includes a themed menu including chili, BBQ ribs, and a cowboy hat. The show is approaching world-record attendance with over 10,000 shows performed in front of 8.5 million guests. Since 2009 the show stars Mickey Mouse and his friends.
- Gaumont Cinemas & IMAX
- NEX Fun Bowling & Games
- PanoraMagique Balloon. Opened in April 2005, PanoraMagique is the largest captive balloon in the World, and carries up to 30 passengers 100 metres into the sky.
- Disney Village Marina
- Lake Disney Road Train
Restaurants & bars
- Annette's Diner (Table Service Restaurant) - named in honour of Mickey Mouse Club regular Annette Funicello
- Ben & Jerry's Kiosque De Glaces (Ice Cream Kiosk)
- Billy Bob's Country Western Saloon (Table Service Restaurant & Snack)
- Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show with Mickey and Friends (Show & Table Service Restaurant)
- Café Mickey (Table Service Restaurant)
- Earl of Sandwich (Counter Service Restaurant)
- Five Guys (Counter Service)
- King Ludwig's Castle (Table Service Restaurant)
- La Grange (Buffeteria)
- McDonald's (Counter Service)
- New York Style Sandwiches (Counter Service)
- Planet Hollywood (Table Service Restaurant)
- Rainforest Cafe (Table Service Restaurant)
- Sports Bar (Snack)
- The Steakhouse (Table Service Restaurant)
- Vapiano (Counter Service)
- World of Disney (Large retail outlet)
- Disney Store
- Disney Fashion
- The Disney Gallery
- World of Toys
- Lego Store
- Planet Hollywood Gifts
- Rainforest Cafe Retail Village
- Bureau de change
- Streets of America - Closed in 1993
- The Surf Shop - Closed 1993
- Key West Seafood - Closed in 1999
- Los Angeles Bar & Grill - Closed in 2002
- Rock'n'Roll America - Closed in 2003
- Buffalo Trading Company - Closed in 2009
- Hurricanes Discotheque - Closed on March 1, 2010
- Hollywood Pictures - Closed in July 2013
- Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort
- Downtown Disney (California) at Disneyland Resort
- Ikspiari at Tokyo Disney Resort
- "Voila! Disney Invades Europe. Will the French Resist?". TIME.com. 20 April 1992.
- "Evolution de Disney Village". DLRP Times. 2008-12-08. Archived from the original on 2011-07-10. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
- Sylt, Christian. "Disney To Give Magic Touch To French Entertainment Complex". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
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