Posts Tagged ‘Disney Village’

World of Disney & the future of the Disney Village

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

While our photos here still show the World of Disney Store behind construction walls the new anchor store of the Disney Village today opened its doors (the official grand opening will take place on July 12). According to our sources at the same time as its doors officially open other doors will close – to be specific: the doors of the main area of the Disney Store in the Disney Village.

During a two week period the store is supposed to be re-invented as a kids  store. Instead of the general selection of Disney products and resort merchandise the former Disney Store will then limit itself on kids related products. To enhance the experience the store will be divided into several sections / themed areas: Star Wars, Cars, Candy, Bedtime, Duffy, Boys, and finally Girls.

The smaller extension room of the Disney Store next to the currency exchange office already switched over to Christmas merchandise in the past days. It is supposed to remain open during the transformation of the Disney Store into a kids’s store. No word yet whether it will remain a Christmas shop year round or whether it will be altering between the various seasons / seasonal merchandise as it has in the past years.

The transformation of the former Disney Stores would leave only one store in the Disney Village that stuck to its original concept and themeing since opening day in 1992: Hollywood Pictures. However, as our sources inform us, the remaining days of Hollywood Pictures seem limited as well. It’s replacement isn’t ready to be officially revealed – yet, we have been told that currently the resort is in negotiations with LEGO to transform the space into a LEGO Store. Both at Walt Disney World and at Disneyland Anaheim LEGO operates popular stores in the Downtown Disney areas already, adorned with giant Disney characters recreated out of LEGO that are popular photo spots. However, it should be noted that the negotiations seem to be rather difficult and no dates have been set yet for such addition to the Disney Village.

Hurricanes back in action…

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

When the resort’s sole night club “Hurricanes” closed in 2010 (only to reopen as event space on rare occasion since then) rumors were rampant among fans what management plans to do with the huge indoor space and the outdoor terrace located above the Rainforest Cafe. Two years later rumors have died down as management seemed to have no clue how to use the real estate and in fact repainted the Hurricanes decoration outside the building and the entrance structure during regular rehabs.

But now finally the space will be re-dedicated to a new use as a trusted source informed us – unfortunately not for the resort’s guests. Instead the former Hurricane’s will house an additional cafeteria / sandwich counter shortly for cast members working in the Disney Village. The need for this additional cast member dining location arises in connection with the upcoming opening of the new World of Disney Store at the entrance to the Disney Village. With the opening of the new shop on July 12 (resp. its exclusive soft opening for Annual Passholders and Shareholders’ Club Members on July 6th) an additional 200 cast members will be added to the cast members already working in the Disney Village.

However, even that use as cafeteria will not last forever. Instead current plans of the Disney Village management call for the construction of a new cast member cafeteria in the backstage area of the Disney Village. Once that one is open the temporary cafeteria in the Hurricanes is supposed to be closed down to allow for the space to be transformed into a restaurant for the resort’s guests. Current plans call for an opening of this new restaurant sometime in 2014 – but as usual these plans might change … also there is no word yet on what type of restaurant or concerning the restaurant’s themeing.

World of Disney Store – turning, turning, turning

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

The World of Disney Store at the entrance of the Disney Village is inching closer and closer to its officially announced July 12, 2012 opening. Over the recent weeks more and more details have been added to the exterior of the facade and the light effects have been turned on. This past week guests could for the first time spot a new and unexpected feature of the shop: the giant top half of the globe above the entrance rotunda is not only featuring the maps of the northern hemisphere (complete with stars indicating the locations of the Disney resorts). It also … turns – as can be seen in the long-time exposure above.

On top of the globe a golden statue of Tinkerbell has been placed several weeks ago already which long-time fans of the resort might remember from her previous location at the top of the Sleep Beauty Castle where she was part of the 15th Anniversary decorations. Also last week the “World of Disney” signage was installed above the main entrance facing toward the Disney Hotel / the Fantasia Gardens. Just as the whole exterior of the new store the signage is sporting an art deco style in a nod to the grand department stores of Paris.

The night time shot also allows for a first glimpse into the entrance rotunda as lights are up to allow the work crews to continue the preparations for the opening. This makes visible the walls and roof featuring stars forming constellations in the shape of Disney characters. A decorative feature that similar in style had been used in the original “Constellations” boutique at the entrance of Discoveryland before it was rethemed for the arrival of Buzz Liughtyear Laser Blast (even so the constellations in this original opening day shop were the actual signs just depicted by Disney characters).

Also in the night time shot of the facade above note the Mickey Mouse statue placed on top of the stairs leading up from the resort’s hub to the new store. A fitting Minnie Mouse statue is placed to the right of the entrance (just outside this photo, but visible in the wider shot of the daytime facade to the left. Again long-time fans might remember these – but this time not from Disneyland Paris but from the original World of Disney store on the 5th Avenue at New York City. There these two statues greeted guests till the shop closed on December 31, 2009 to move into a new Times Square location and received a new design in this process.

P.S.: we are looking for Pluto! Any help is welcome!! When still in place above the entrance of the World of Disney store on 5th Avenue a statue of Pluto was placed between Mickey and Minnie on the marquee above the store’s entrance. So far, only Mickey and Minnie have been spotted at the new store location at Disneyland Paris. Any clues??

World of Disney Store – Progress Report

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

It is time for another update on the progress of the large construction side at the front of the Disney Village, right next to the Gaumont multiplex cinema – the future World of Disney Store that is to open during the resort’s 20th anniversary season. In the meantime the large scale reliefs above the shop windows on both side of the store building have been revealed as the scaffolding has come down.

One of the panels facing toward the main street of the Disney Village features the Eiffel Tower with a second relief to the right showing Peter Pan soaring in the sky. On the side facing toward the Walt Disney Studios Park panels include one showing Buzz Light Year, another one with Mickey riding in a cabriolet as well as Ariel sitting on a rock in the open sea with a classic steamliner (one of the Disney Cruise Liners ?) in the back.

While the glass of the shop windows have been installed the doors of the main entrance (which can be expected to be glass doors as well) are not yet in place. Speaking of glass elements to be installed. The photos from the past weekend show the steel framework of the grand cupola above the rotunda of the store’s main entrance in place. In the meantime (during the past two days) the first glass panels have been installed onto that steel framework.

Christmas at the Disney Village

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

Certainly the Disney Village will add its share to the holiday magic during the Christmas Season 2011 at Disneyland Paris as well once again. The Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show will welcome Santa Claus in its program later in December and both on the stage in the street as well as on the stage of Billy Bob’s a special christmas programming can be expected – just as well as seasonal street entertainment and decorations.

After the Halloween stage set had been taken down on Wednesday, the christmas set / background was being installed on the stage in the street of the Disney Village on Thursday morning. In addition over night three wooden huts appeared in front of the terrace of Billy Bob’s and the bar area of King Ludwig’s. Based on the signs at their front guests can expect sweets and other treats to be on sale here during the Christmas season.

Based on the look of these huts (all in white with red trimming) it seems probable that they were part of the “Christmas Market” that could be found on the Production Courtyard of the Walt Disney Studios in the recent years – of which by Thursday afternoon no sign had re-appeared in the Studios.

Best Halloween Decoration 2011

Friday, November 4th, 2011

During the Halloween season 2011 many guests of Disneyland Paris were rather surprised by the scope of Halloween decorations in the Disneyland Park – or rather the lack of these decorations. Where in the past the whole main Street, U.S.A. was taken over by the pumpkin men and Frontierland was transformed into Halloweenland the decorations were far and in between this year. In addition to the Halloween set on the Castle Stage, some pumpkins on Town Square and Central Plaza only the entrances to some selected shops as well as the selected displays in these shops featured (limited) decorations. The immediate result: a significant number of complaints were filed about the lack of decorations with the cast members at City Hall.

Unfortunately the majority of guests missed the most impressive Halloween decorations of the seasons, as only the guests of the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show got treated to those. When entering the pre-show area the decorations started rather subtle with some spider’ webs, while around the next corner a complete cemetery had been set up. Guests had to wlak through the spooky atmosphere, right across the cemetery with tombs (including one of a certain „Van Helsing“) while like large spiders sat in the corners and bats hang in the trees. Once guests had found their way through this spooky set complete with mystic fogs and strange lighting guests found a photo set with a witch’s cauldron and a stone throne.

To further improve the Halloween atmosphere selected cast members in the pre-show area as well as some of the indians and rodeo clowns in the show featured creepy make up. In the show itself the Headless Horseman featured as a special guests in one scene.


From the Earl to the Cowboys

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011


In the Disney Village the construction for the first Earl of Sandwich restaurant in continental Europe continues to race toward the scheduled opening on June 1st. In the meantime another light-up signage has been added on the facade facing toward the main street of the Disney Village. Also further decorative elements have been added to the facade, even so it is not yet complete. Also the final railing has replaced the tempo rare construction railing on the roof. In front of the facade facing toward the main body of Lake Disney the steel structure for the outdoor staircase leading up the the restaurant’s terrace was added and the actual steps are now put in. While not visible in the photo it can be expected that the workers inside are just as busy…

20110521-172513.jpgAcross the Lake Disney up the river a new refurbishment project has begun in the area of e Disney Hotels. The larger pedestrian bridge connecting Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne and Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe has disappeared behind scaffolding.

Photos by InsideDLParis

Good morning … with an update from the Earl

Friday, May 13th, 2011


Another morning – another quick update from the construction of the first Earl of Sandwich restaurant in continental Europe (check out yesterday’s update for the background why it is only the first in continental Europe). Today InsideDLParis shows us some new progress on the decorative turret / “hat” element sitting on top of the building’s roof at it’s front corner. The steel skeleton of the two top levels of the element (looking a bit like the structure of a layered / multi-level cake) has now been covered receiving it’s finalized look (judged based on the concept artwork), while the third and lowest level still shows the bare steel skeleton.

Photo by InsideDLParis

News from the Earl (UPDATED)

Thursday, May 12th, 2011


Following our report from Tuesday here is already another update of the construction at the first European first Earl of Sandwich restaurant in continental Europe – thanks to InsideDLParis. Taken on Wednesday from the elevated position (at the Café Mickey) it becomes visible that the construction crews are already preparing the floor surrounding the future restaurant. While the resort decided to switch from concrete floor to pavements laid of stones inside Fantasyland for the parade route, the floor in Disney Village is kept a concrete floor. The design of the concrete floor in front of the Earl of Sandwich continues the patterns already in place for the surrounding concrete floor of the Disney Village.

In addition to the work on the flooring the photo also shows, that the staircase leading up to the terrace in front of the facade facing toward Lake Disney has yet to be installed. Only the massive concrete base for the upper part is already in place. It can be seen at the far end of the facade. Once the staircase is installed someone at the vintage point from which this photo was taken would look right onto the staircase.

As Park Paradise pointed out in its comment the upcoming Earl of Sandwich is NOT the first Earl of Sandwich restaurant in Europe. The chain opened a restaurant in London, near St. Paul’s, on April 18, 2011 – as detailed on it’s official UK website – which did beat the location in Disney Village by a month and a half (based on the currently scheduled opening). However, the official French website still calls the Disney Village location the chain’s first European restaurant (“Earl of Sandwich ouvre sa première Sandwicherie haut de gamme en Europe” which translates as “Earl off Sandwich opens its first top-of-the-range Sandwicherie in Europe”). This should more correctly now read “first … in continental Europe”.

Photo by InsideDLParis

Earl of Sandwich – all up

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011


Finally once again some visible progress at the outside of the future Earl of Sandwich restaurant. Yesterday, Monday May 9, 2011, the light-up letters “Earl of Sandwich” appeared in the glass facade facing toward Lake Disney.

There is more work to be done to the exterior of the restaurant as well – so there should be more visible progress in the next days. For example the low row of covered panels between the ground floor windows and the first floor windows is still to be finished. Furthermore, the roof still sports a construction railing just as the outdoor terrace to the left of the main building in the photo above – note that the outdoor terrace is actually on the level of the first floor, with the stairs leading up outside the the building right in front of it.

The photo by InsideDLParis also shows that the beige construction fence blocking off the view onto the bridge across the small side arm of Lake Disney were taken down. The bride is still blocked off … but this should change soon, after all Disneyland Paris on it’s official twitter account already confirmed June 1st as the grand opening date for the Earl of Sandwich.

We're hard at work inside the Earl of Sandwich restauran... on TwitpicWith the same tweet the resort also shared a photo taken inside the restaurant and even allowed to put it on other websites via twitpic – so here it is! The photo was tweeted past Friday, May 6, 2011 but it is not stated when it was taken, It shows still some work to do as the stairs leading up to the first floor are still missing any railing. However, the fake library front covering the large backwall of the restaurant looks nearly finished.

20110509-233713.jpgAs the Earl of Sandwich come June 1st should look all new and shiny the Rainforest Cafe next door is trying to improve its exterior at least a little bit. After getting the upper (unthemed) part of its facade facing toward Lake Disney freshly painted in a light blue now the rockwork of the crocodile pool next to the restaurant’s main entrance got a fresh coat of paint (as can be seen in the photo on the left). Unfortunately the fake rockwork covering the lower level of the building now looks even more washed out…

Exterior photos by InsideDLParis; interior photo tweeted by the official twitter account of the resort in English

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