Thirty years after its inauguration, Disneyland Paris lives a “collector” day

It was the event within the event. One month after the opening of the Disneyland Paris 30th anniversary celebrations, the Ile-de-France amusement park celebrated a symbolic date on Tuesday, April 12, 2022. Exactly three decades ago, the Marne-la-Vallée site opened its doors and was preparing to profoundly transform the French tourist landscape. Since then, it has received more than 375 million views. To commemorate the occasion, some 2,000 “Cast Members” (park employees) formed a long honor guard, from the entrance to the park to Sleeping Beauty’s castle.

At 8:30 am, the first visitors, some of whom had been waiting since dawn, rushed onto the main street, to applause from employees ranging from restaurant servers to security guards, gardeners, managers and even firefighters. Of the 12,000 employees that Europe’s leading private tourist destination has today, 900 were already there on April 12, 1992, when the destination – then called Euro Disney – opened at worldview. Some have even already celebrated their 30th anniversary, as the oldest were recruited when Mickey’s kingdom was still a huge construction site in the middle of the Seine-et-Marne fields.

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Feature S. Feydel, France 3 Île-de-France, L. Barbier – France 3

“I first came to Disneyland Paris for a small summer contract in 2011, I was selling waffles, pancakes and popcorn, and today I am an ambassador for the Parktestifies Carmen Lleó Badal, who will represent all Cast Members internationally for two years. We have more than 500 professions and 124 nationalities, there are many opportunities here.”

“We are all members of the same company and every day we offer a great show to our visitors, whatever our work.adds Quentin Rodrigues, the other 2022-2023 ambassador, in office since January. I worked behind the scenes as an engineer before, and as soon as I got to the Park and saw people’s smiles, I felt the role we had to play in bringing happiness to the public.”

Quentin was an engineer, Carmen a popcorn vendor.  They are now ambassadors of Disneyland Paris for a period of two years.  (Anthony Jammont)

For an hour and a half, the thousands of visitors who had blocked their Tuesday – while the school holidays have not yet started in the Paris region – were able to sing and dance in the midst of the Cast Members, waving little flags “J’ were there” distributed at the park entrance. An “anniversary” plan, offering a comparison of the area in 1992 and today, also allowed fans to gauge the evolution of the site, which has grown in thirty years from 29 to 59 attractions now spread across two theme parks.

In order not to frustrate Disney lovers who might not have won a prized ticket on this anniversary day, the regular schedule for the 30th anniversary event, which will run for a full year, has not been turned upside down. After a photo of President Natacha Rafalski surrounded by 370 children invited by associations, the daytime show “Let’s dream and the world lights up” was presented in the main square, under a bright spring sun. Contrary to custom, most visitors did not rush to the attractions, taking advantage of the festive atmosphere that reigned in front of the castle.

Almost children invited by associations such as the Secours Populaire or the Red Cross posed with the president of Disneyland Paris, Natacha Rafalski, and the characters.  (Anthony Jammont)

Because this day was above all that of the fans of the first hour, of the pioneers of 1992 who come today with their children, or of the collectors who came to snatch a memory from this historic day for destiny. Navigating this phenomenon of rarity that gives each object its dose of prestige, Disneyland Paris had planned some collector’s items for lovers of the world’s most famous mouse.

But you had to be patient to be able to go out with a shirt, a pin or a jewel marked with the date of the event, queues of several tens of meters. Others had to leave at the end of the morning, due to a lack of sufficient stock in the stores. “I was there at 10 in the morning but there were already more than 50 people queuing in front of me.“, blows a mother accompanied by her daughter dressed as a princess.

In the Park or in Disney Village, queues stretched out several tens of meters to get hold of a stamped collectible souvenir

Fans of superheroes, however, will have an additional opportunity to fill their collection: the Avengers campus, a space 100% dedicated to the Marvel universe, will open its doors this summer at Walt Disney Studios, with new attractions, restaurants and shops. . Whats Next? “The park will continue to grow and expandassure Carmen León Badal, bothadrice 2022-2023. A site dedicated to the Snow Queen is currently under construction, with a reconstruction of the kingdom of Arendelle and a large artificial lake that will bring a new experience to visitors.

As for the space of Star Wars, a time evoked, “no information has been communicated recently”, concludes the ambassador. But waiting to explore more distant galaxies and conquer new territories, Disneyland Paris is preparing to refuel, after two years of turbulence due to the health crisis.

Disneyland Paris: 30 years of dreaming… and conquering agricultural land

Report G. De Florival, O. Poncelet, B. Veran, N. Leydier, L. Barbier – France 3

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