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|Location||Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallée, Paris, France|
|Owner||Disney Parks International|
(Disney Parks, Experiences and Products)
(The Walt Disney Company)
|Operated by||Disneyland Paris|
|Opened||16 March 2002|
|Previous names||Disney-MGM Studios Europe|
Walt Disney Studios Park (French: Parc Walt Disney Studios) is the second of two theme parks built at Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Vallée, France, which opened on 16 March 2002. It is dedicated to show business, themed after movies, production, and behind-the-scenes. In 2017, the park hosted approximately 5.2 million guests, making it the third-most visited amusement park in Europe and the 22nd-most visited in the world. Its sister park is Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Florida.
On 27 February 2018, Bob Iger announced a Transformative Multi Year Expansion, opening in phases from 2021 to 2025 to coincide with the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, which will completely transform the park. The cost of this expansion is EUR2 billion. It will feature new areas based on Marvel, Star Wars and Frozen, all surrounding a new man-made lake.
To all who enter this studio of dreams...welcome. Walt Disney Studios is dedicated to our timeless fascination and affection for cinema and television. Here we celebrate the art and the artistry of storytellers from Europe and around the world who create magic. May this special place stir our own memories of the past, and our dreams of the future.-- Michael D. Eisner, 16 March 2002
Initial plans for a second theme park, named Disney-MGM Studios Europe or Disney-MGM Studios Paris, were scheduled to open in 1996, though these plans were cancelled around mid-1992 due to the resort's financial crisis at the time. After the resort began to make a profit, these plans were revived on a much smaller scale. Walt Disney Studios Park opened on 16 March 2002.
In June 2007, a new "studio lot" opened in the Animation Courtyard area of the park, named Toon Studio. It is themed as a "toon backlot", representing the film studio work place of animated characters, where they produce their animated films, including The Little Mermaid, 101 Dalmatians, and The Jungle Book. The concept has been created exclusively for Walt Disney Studios Park and features two rides not seen in any other Disney theme park, along with small merchandising locations and many character meet-and-greets. In this expansion phase are Crush's Coaster, a custom-designed Maurer Söhne SC 2000 indoor spinning roller coaster, and Cars: Race Rally themed after the 2006 Disney/Pixar film Cars, with the ride taking the form of an enhanced tea cups ride. Similar rides are found in Mermaid Lagoon at Tokyo DisneySea and A Bug's Land at Disney California Adventure. On December 22, 2007, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror soft-opened with the new Hollywood Boulevard on Production Courtyard. Stitch Live!, imported from Hong Kong Disneyland, replaced the Disney Channel Studio Tour.
In 2009, new entertainment opened at Walt Disney Studios to run alongside Mickey's Magical Party, which began in April 2009. Playhouse Disney Live On Stage! opened next to Stitch Live! and is presented in French, English and Spanish. Walt Disney Studios opened with a full size parade called 'Disney's Cinema Parade', which was themed after popular Disney animated and live action films. In 2008 the parade was replaced with 'Disney's Stars 'n' Cars', a smaller version of Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade, which came from Disney's Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World in Florida. In August 2010, Toy Story Playland opened to coincide with the new Disney·Pixar film Toy Story 3, "shrinking" guests to the size of a toy. The three attractions are a Half pipe coaster named RC Racer, a parachute jump style ride named Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop and a Music Express train named Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin, all themed intricately around the first 2 Toy Story films.
Walt Disney Studios Park is divided into four "studio lots", representing various aspects of film production present at a Hollywood film studio.
Front Lot serves as the park's main entrance and is home to most shops and services of the park, the Earffel Tower is located here. The entrance courtyard, La Place des Frères Lumière, is designed in Spanish Colonial Revival style, a style common to 1930's Hollywood. It is loosely based on the design of the original Disney Bros. Studios on Hyperion Avenue. The central feature of the courtyard is a large Fantasia fountain. The name of the courtyard is a tribute to the French inventors of cinema.
Front Lot features Disney Studio 1, a covered walkway with shops and restaurants themed after a soundstage with a recreation of a Hollywood street inside.
Toon Studio is inspired by Disney and Pixar animated characters. The lot features such Disney and Pixar characters as Crush (from Finding Nemo), The Genie (from Aladdin), Mater and Lightning McQueen (from Cars), Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Slinky, and other characters from Toy Story, in addition to the other Disney characters present in the land's show, Mickey and the Magician.
When the park originally opened in 2002, the land was known as Animation Courtyard but in 2007, as part of the park's 5th Anniversary, two new rides were added (Crush's Coaster and Cars Quatre Roues Rallye). In 2009, the area was expanded with Toy Story Playland. In January 2012, construction began on a new Ratatouille themed ride and restaurant.
Toy Story Playland
Production Courtyard's theme revolves around the production aspect of Hollywood movies and the Hollywood mythos, including movie legends. The land contains two distinct parts: Hollywood Boulevard, which features Hollywood-inspired street sets and the rides The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic; and Place des Stars themed around the production facilities of movie lots, containing Stitch Live! and Disney Junior: Live on Stage!.
The Backlot is themed after actual movie backlots with an industrial theme and is very plain. This lot showcases the high thrills of movies and is targeted toward older children and adults with one attraction.[needs update] The Backlot also features soundtracks from blockbusters such as Mission: Impossible 2, Planet of the Apes, Batman, or Independence Day.
Walt Disney Studios Park has a sister park at Walt Disney World, named Disney's Hollywood Studios, originally Disney-MGM Studios, which opened in 1989. Both are themed after show business, and have provided attractions to each other. The Earffel Tower, which represents Walt Disney Studios Park, is nearly identical to the original tower that existed on the backlot of Disney's Hollywood Studios from 1989 to 2016.
On 27 February 2018, Bob Iger announced that The Walt Disney Company will invest EUR2 billion into the Disneyland Paris resort. The Walt Disney Studios Park will be expanded with three new areas based upon Marvel, Frozen and Star Wars. In addition to the three new areas, the expansion includes a new lake, which will be the focal point for entertainment experiences and will also connect each of the new park areas.
The first phase of the expansion will feature Avengers Campus which is scheduled to be completed in 2021. The area will include a re-theme of Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith to feature Iron Man. a Spider-Man ride, (taking over the Armageddon - Les Effets Speciaux spot, closed on April 1, 2019) and a Doctor Strange interactive show. in addition to several restaurants and shops.