Exclusive Interview: Imagineers Share the Creative Vision Behind Disney Village’s Transformation at Disneyland Paris

Stéphanie Meillier

by , Manager, Walt Disney Imagineering Paris Communications

Amidst Disneyland Paris’ 30th celebration and as part of the overall transformation of the destination, we announced the phased transformation of the Resort’s dining and entertainment district, Disney Village – starting with the addition of Rosalie, a traditional French brasserie.

As the turn of the year will soon carry new developments on this side of the Resort, we sat down with Imagineers Jean-Marc Mounet, Senior Project Manager, and Greg Ashton, Executive Architect.

The current transformation of Disney Village is an opportunity to rethink the design of this key area holistically and strategically.

True to its original purpose and design, Disney Village will remain a dining and shopping district that celebrates Disney storytelling in an artistic and contemporary style. This creative vision governs the current transformation of the area and is also an opportunity to reintroduce consistency into an area that has considerably evolved over the years.

As Greg Ashton explains: “As originally conceived, Disney Village was a much smaller location and was subsequently added to in stages. Some of those additions sometimes compromised flow and connections with our offerings. Our team was given an opportunity to look at the development as a whole and were able to make several thoughtful, strategic changes to the existing infrastructure that will significantly and positively impact the guest experience.”

More than ever, Imagineering is taking inspiration from the Parisian way of life.

While you might wonder whether a transformed Disney Village would take after other Disney resorts’ entertainment districts around the world, the Imagineering team assures it will keep its own identity. “Our team was less inspired by a single, specific place, but more by the vibrant and active lifestyle that Parisians seek out,” Greg shared. “Our challenge is how to integrate that within the context of Disneyland Paris and how to make it work year-round.”

Disney Village will continue to complement the guest experience at Disneyland Paris by celebrating Disney storytelling in a contemporary style.

As a bridge between the immersive worlds guests get to experience in our Parks and real life, Disney Village will offer a smooth transition and the opportunity to prolong their Disney experience if they wish.

“Our approach at Disney Village is more celebratory of the stories and experiences our guests cherish,” Greg mentioned, adding that the touch of Disney magic will include “lights, music and a series of unique art installations that represent our characters and stories in contemporary styles.” In this regard, landscaping will fulfill an important function: “The landscape is what threads Disney Village together. This cohesive approach will enhance the overall identity of Disney Village and ensure that the space is easy to navigate with plenty of places to relax.”

The next steps in the project include the start of work for Rosalie brasserie and a new façade wall on Disney Fashion Junior.

Jean-Marc Mounet shared that the team is already working in the backstage areas of Disney Village to get ready for onstage works. “The true start of the overall transformation is the construction works for the new French brasserie Rosalie, which we aim to kick off in January 2023,” Jean-Marc reveals. He adds that the next step will be a new façade on Disney Fashion Junior: “This will be the first of many new façades on the whole street. Due to its specific condition on this side of the building, with the arcade, it will also serve as a ‘first article,’ to help Imagineering adjust the design and all the construction process for the future portions.”

It takes a village …

If there is one trade secret Jean-Marc is willing to give away, it is that it takes a village to bring such an ambitious creative vision to life. “Transforming an existing infrastructure is not only a challenge from a design and development standpoint. It also requires taking all conditions into consideration, including the fact that the streets will remain open to guests throughout the entire transformation process! To make sure Disney Village caters to all current and future guests’ expectations, our project team involves creative forces like Imagineering, but also several Disneyland Paris operational and support teams.”

We look forward to sharing more news from the ground into the new year on this side of Disneyland Paris’ transformation!

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