Thirty years ago, today, Disneyland Paris welcomed its very first guests! To celebrate the 30th Anniversary, we’re sharing 10 things you may not know about this iconic resort, which will surely make your next visit feel extra special!
1. The Beauty of the Great Outdoors
Did you know that there are four different versions of Big Thunder Mountain across Disney Parks? The attraction at Disneyland Paris is unique in many ways – it is the only one located on an island, accessible by underwater tunnels. It is also the largest attraction at the resort in Paris, spanning across about five acres on both shores of Rivers of America!
2. It’s Time to Dance
The soundtrack for Disneyland Paris’ 30th Anniversary celebration was exclusively composed and arranged for the event, with 20 songs from Disney and Pixar around the themes “laugh harder,” “open your heart,” and “believe in your dreams.”
It took six months of development to bring this soundtrack to life, followed by three months of synchronization, programming, and mixing of the 448 audio tracks involved.
3. Grim Grinning Ghosts Know No Borders
What makes Haunted Mansion so special across Disney Parks is that each one is located in a different land. If Phantom Manor is emblematic of Frontierland at Disneyland Paris, the attraction is set in New Orleans Square at Disneyland Resort, Liberty Square at Walt Disney World Resort, and in Fantasyland at Tokyo Disneyland, where ghosts belong to the fairytale world. At Hong Kong Disneyland, a whole land called Mystic Point was imagined around the attraction Mystic Manor.
4. Magical Festival Floats
Can you guess where the inspiration for the 30th Anniversary “Dream…and Shine Brighter!” show floats came from? Disneyland Paris looked to artists like Daniel Buren and Olafur Eliasson for their work with color and transparency, as well as architect Frank Gehry for his curved paper-like forms. The surface of the floats behaves like stained glass to better highlight the Disney Characters, creating a magical experience for every guest.
5. At World’s End…
Pirates of the Caribbean is an iconic attraction across Disney Parks, but did you know that there is a clear connection between the different versions? The jail scene featuring the dog can be seen in all of them, but at Shanghai Disneyland, the pirates have turned into skeletons waiting for the dog to give them the key to their escape!
6. Everything That Glitters
More than 200 costumes, 190 pieces of jewelry, and over a hundred pairs of shoes were created for the Disneyland Paris 30th Anniversary celebration. Even the dancers shared their preferences for clothing, hair and makeup to make sure everything was perfect.
7. Get Ready for Take-Off!
At Disneyland Paris, Hyperspace Mountain launches guests to space from a cannon. This sequence was inspired by Jules Verne’s novel “From the Earth to the Moon.” Originally, trains were launched out of the cannon to the top of the mountain, which was a world first. In 2005, the attraction was recalibrated so that trains could be launched from the bottom of the cannon to send travelers even deeper into space.
8. A Series of Innuendos
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is based on the popular television series that first aired in 1959. Imagineers had fun hiding certain props reminiscent of the show. In the library, a broken pair of glasses recalls the episode “Time Enough at Last,” in which an avid reader suddenly finds himself deprived of his passion after accidentally stepping on his glasses. A camera, like the one used in “A Most Unusual Camera” which produces self-developing photos of the future, can be found in the “Modern Wonders” window underneath the ride’s photo location.
In 2019, Imagineers recalibrated the attraction with different storylines and drop profiles depending on the elevator shafts, making it unpredictable and a unique experience to Disneyland Paris!
9. From Fantasyland to the Highlands
Peter Pan’s Flight pays vibrant homage to Walt Disney’s classic animated film but it also includes many references to Sir James Matthew Barrie, the author of the original novel. In the queue, the name of the writer’s hometown in Scotland – Kirriemuir – is written on a small gate.
“it’s a small world” features 281 different costumes created by Disneyland Paris Costuming. Each piece is the result of in-depth research which required teams to read hundreds of books and magazines on ethnic and folk costumes, as well as visit museums and festivals dedicated to world culture.
So, tell us — did you learn something new today? Stay tuned as Disneyland Paris continues to roll out more exciting experiences as part of its magical 30th Anniversary celebration!