Theme Park of the Week: Disneyland Paris

March 6, 2022, 2:36 PM · The Disneyland Paris Resort kicked off its 30th anniversary celebrations today. That makes Disneyland Paris an obvious choice for our Theme Park of the Week.

Disneyland Paris opened April 12, 1992 as EuroDisneyland - The Walt Disney Company's second theme park outside the United States, after 1983's Tokyo Disneyland. Disney changed its Magic Kingdom formula for European audiences, most notably allowing the sale of alcohol on a Magic Kingdom park for the first time. But Disney here also replaced its Cinderella Castle with a Sleeping Beauty Castle [Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant] that evoked the art of Eyvind Earle from the 1959 Disney animated film.

The EuroDisneyland development struggled with financial losses after it opened, with the park dragged down by a surrounding real estate development that did not pan out as Disney and its financial partners had hoped. That made EuroDisneyland an easy target for pundits around the world. But the people who actually visited the park generally loved it.

Eventually, Disney changed the resort's name to Disneyland Paris to distance it from the wounded EuroDisney brand. And in 2017, Disney completed its takeover of the Euro Disney SCA holding company, brining the Disneyland Paris Resort completely within what is now the Disney Parks Experiences and Products segment of The Walt Disney Company.

Joined by a sister park, Walt Disney Studios, in 2002, Disneyland Paris remains the most-visited theme park in Europe. Its highlights include unique takes on four classic Disney theme park attractions.

For its 30th anniversary, Disneyland Paris is celebrating with a new "Disney D-Light" preshow to its Disney Illuminations nighttime spectacular. Drones will form a sparkling "30" in front of the castle accompanied by a new 30th anniversary theme song, "Un monde qui s'illumine."

That "30" looks like something else, too, doesn't it? Anyone else having old Disney Channel flashbacks?

Also on the schedule are a new character show called "Dream... and Shine Brighter!" will play several times daily in the Central Plaza in front of the castle, where guests also will find an installation of 30 new Disney character-inspired art pieces in 10 themed gardens.

But the biggest addition to the resort this year will come next door at Walt Disney Studios, where Avengers Campus will open this summer.

For tickets to the Disneyland Paris theme parks, please visit our international travel partner's Disneyland Paris tickets page.

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Replies (3)

March 6, 2022 at 9:59 PM

No disrespect to the golden statues made for Orlando's 50th, but I find these character models to be FAR more visually appealing.

March 7, 2022 at 11:16 AM

Nice to see it bounce back after years of mockery. Even Eisner admits the mistakes they made at the start building too many hotels and not understanding Europeans vacation differently than Americans. Yet still some great stuff to it and a magic and really would like to visit it one day.

March 9, 2022 at 12:18 PM

If only the Disneyland Park would receive a new attraction. ANYTHING new. No attraction has been added since the last time I visited 13 (THIRTEEN) years ago. Entrance fee has doubled since then and fast pass needs to be paid for now.

The Walt Disney Studios are still an ugly half day park so until this lake and announced but never heard of again Frozen and Star Wars attractions et all are up and running (I am looking at you 2030), I don't think it is worth the money going there.

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