Things You Might Not Know About Disneyland Paris

3 October 2011

I have never accepted a guest post before from someone that wasn’t a friend or fellow blogger but since many of my readers have children or are children trapped in adult bodies, I found this post about Disneyland Paris particularly pertinent. Plus I can’t help but wax nostalgic for those carefree summers I spent as a kid making myself dizzy on roller coasters and hopping from one Disney gift-shop. Written by an expert, some things you might not have known about Disneyland Paris….

With magical shows, hair-raising rides and the chance to say ‘bonjour’ to your favourite characters, the Paris Disneyland Resort has been entertaining kids and adults for almost two decades. Here are a few things about the popular park that may surprise you.

It’s all in the Name
Originally known as Eurodisney Paris, the park changed its name to Disneyland Paris in 1994 due to poor visitor numbers in its early years. Market research found that there were negative connotations of the word ‘Euro’. The word in America is thought to suggest exotic glamour and cultured excitement, however to a European audience; the word is associated with mundane finance and dour, repetitive work. Not the image Disneyland Paris wanted!

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle
The Disney parks in America, Japan and Hong Kong all feature a castle, but the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland Paris is unique. All the other castles are modelled on various historic castles across the world; however Disneyland Paris decided to go for a ‘fairy tale’ design, inspired by classic book illustrations, illuminated scripts and the animated Sleeping Beauty film.

Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty Castle) is the only castle in the world with its own dragon and La Tanière du Dragon (Dragon’s Lair) sits right underneath it. At 79 feet long and 5,500 pounds, the dragon is the largest Audio-Animatronics figure at Disneyland Paris. It resembles the ‘real’ dragons of European folklore, rather than the animated dragons in Disney movies.

State-of-the-Art Attractions
Some of the most spectacular rides in the world can be experienced on Disneyland Paris holidays. The first Disney rollercoaster to integrate a synchronised on-board audio system was Space Mountain: De La Terre à la Lune – the system has since been used on many more Disney coasters around the world. Space Mountain: Mission 2 launched in 2009 and was the first of the Space Mountain rides to include inversions – turning riders upside down in loops and corkscrews.

Disneyworld in Florida will always reign supreme for me but I enjoyed my time at Disneyland Paris. Have you been? What do you like best? 

{Photo credits: Hollywood Tower of Terror by David Jafra; Space Mountain Mission 2 by Loren Javier}