A parade with Mickey Mouse at Disneyland Paris – Michele Bergami / Unsplash
“If you can dream it, you can do it too”. No more prophetic words, those from the great Walt Disney, the creator of the imagination that moves the magic of modern fairy tales, can approach the Disneyland Paris park project. Exactly thirty years have passed since the inauguration of the first Disney theme park in Europe, and the magic and passion, for all those who walk along Disneyland’s various magical worlds, has not been scratched in the slightest. Like the great stories that the creator of Mickey Mouse liked, even Disneyland Paris in these thirty years has gone through more or less easy periods, if we then tell about the very last moment of the pandemic. There was no real birthday party, as a sign of respect for the war victims plaguing Eastern Europe, but there has been news for this 2022 and also significant news.
But what is the magic that moves this particular park? Without a doubt, the love of Disney classics and all the world that contains the now most famous brand in the world is the fundamental driving force at the heart of Disneyland. Is it an experience that everyone can have? Absolutely yes, but only those who are in love with that world, those who have grown up with videotapes and the first visions in the cinema, those who at Christmas find themselves waiting confidently for the broadcast of one of the great classics, and who in moments of boredom yes find themselves humming the songs of the same cartoons can really understand the project and fully appreciate this place. Yes, because there are parks where adrenaline and attractions are the focal point, and then there is Disneyland, where even the most rational and pragmatic can find their Neverland and immerse themselves in “the happiest place on Earth” (at least according to Walt’s ambitions) . Disney itself) takes off all the brakes of the adult world, even for just one day.
This means that as you walk through the gates, you enter one mood inexplicable, where in every corner of the park you can find your own child, where there is no shame in dancing in the middle of the street with the music of Snow White or Cinderella and being moved by the arrival of the parade of all the most beloved characters: it is simply the magic of this place that goes beyond any queue, entrance ticket or bet. Disneyland Paris opened its doors on April 12, 1992 and has since become the leading European tourist destination with more than 16 million visitors each year. Since that year, Disney is no longer only represented by the classic Mickey Mouse icon and his adventures, but has constantly expanded with the acquisition of the Star Wars and Marvel brands (in addition to the Pixar division), which has also gradually changed the fortune of the park, which yielded a new lymph in the dark years of crisis, when interest began to wane.
The Disneyland Paris area, with an area of 2,230 acres if it were a garden would be the largest in Europe, with over 35,000 trees, 450,000 shrubs and more than 1 million flowers planted each year, it has two large parks: the aforementioned Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios. These two locations offer a total of 59 attractions, 7 hotels, 2 convention centers, 59 restaurants, 10 bars and around 60 shops, which from 1992 to 2019 together contributed 6% of the entire French tourist market share, enabling a turnover estimated at almost 85 billion euros. The post-pandemic data is still being analyzed, especially considering that 2022 is the first year the park has reopened its doors without special blocks, so to get a new figure you have to wait until the end of the year.
As for the induced work, the bet even here has been more than won, as Disneyland in addition to direct employees, according to an estimate for 2019, has created about 63 thousand jobs. And the tourists? Despite an almost skeptical initial impact on the part of the Parisians and the French, 44% of the total visitors come from the French nation, with British neighbors in second place, also helped by direct communication between the Channel Tunnel and Eurostar and TGV.
The park’s birthday was, as we have written, April 12, but given the unfortunate war situations, it was not decided to make a real party, which is why the 30th anniversary can be experienced throughout 2022 with the news from The Wonder of the Gardens: 30 statues of Disney figures like you’ve never seen before, an artistic interpretation of the most beloved symbols, with a tribute to the worlds of Salvador Dalí.
In addition, the traditional procession of characters who cross the main road has been totally renewed to involve the public even more. In addition to the return of various theater performances and musicals, and the opening of the Avengers Campus in the summer of 2022, the most interesting news is Disney D-Light, a combination of video projections, glowing water jets, lighting effects and above all a drone choreography that closes the park every night. All of this contributes to Walt’s big dream, to immerse himself in the atmosphere, in the scenography, to change one’s mood if one is in the Western world, rather than walking along Alice’s maze, enjoying the hidden details in every inch of the park and for how difficult it is to get that child hidden in each of us by recalling the words of its creator “always remember that this whole adventure started from a mouse”.