LP Lotion: Come Along to Disneyland Paris with Le Groupe from the Disneyana Fan Club
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On April 9th, 2012, 49 members of the Disneyana Fan Club from four countries and 14 states began arriving for a special event to help Disneyland Paris celebrate its 20th Anniversary.
The first full day was Wednesday, April 11 with a buffet lunch at Inventions in the Disneyland Paris Hotel, the landmark hotel that straddles the Disneyland Park’s entrance. From there the group moved to the hotel’s Founder’s Club, where they heard presentations from Tracy Eck, Disneyland Paris’s Art Director and an original cast member, and Tony Baxter, Senior Vice President, Creative Development, Walt Disney Imagineering, who was Disneyland Paris’s Executive Producer. Tracy talked about her job and showed slides of some of the 20th Anniversary decorations and recent art designs in the park. Tony, a familiar face to the Disneyana Fan Club, reminisced about the resort’s design philosophy and the park layout.
There was also a surprise. The “Global Disney Ambassador Team”, the eight current Disney Ambassadors from all the parks around the world, were conferencing at Disneyland Paris and they came in to wish us well and answer any questions we had about their duties.
Thursday, April 12 was the 20th Anniversary. The group assembled early at the Disneyland Park entrance and was let in to watch some of the ceremony rehearsal, then joined the general public for the celebration itself — a short speech in French by Philippe Gas, the Chief Executive Officer of Disneyland Paris, a flyover that skywrote a huge “20”, a confetti drop, and a walk down Main Street through a “flash mob” of cast members, all delivered with the usual Disney pizazz. Some members went to see Tony Baxter’s hour-long presentation to the public at Videopolis in Discoveryland.
Then it was lunch at Walt’s, the upscale restaurant on Main Street, USA, and another surprise: Disneyland Paris’s Chief Operating Officer Joe Schott came by to thank us for coming and answer any of our questions about the resort’s operations.
It was another early morning on Friday, as the group was escorted into the Disneyland Park at 8 am for a stroll down Main Street for a group photo in front of the most beautiful castle this side of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. The original plan was to have an outdoor breakfast in the shadow of Phantom Manor (the Disneyland Park’s Haunted Mansion), but the weather was not cooperating. Although the morning was sunny and clear, the temperature was a bit too crisp, and breakfast was moved inside The Lucky Nugget Saloon (think Golden Horseshoe, then kick it up a notch). Our guests of honor were Goofy and Pluto. That evening many of the group attended the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Dinner Show in the Disney Village as an optional ticketed event.
Saturday, April 14 was devoted to an all-day bus tour of the City of Lights as an optional ticketed event, organized by DFC member Ted Bradpiece of Two Bears Travel. The group set out at 8:30 from the Sequoia Lodge with two lovely ladies as guides. Stops included a trip to the observation deck of Tour First, at 59 stories the tallest building in Paris (unfortunately, the elevator capacity at the Eiffel Tower was reduced by half due to maintenance, making that stop impractical), a boat cruise along the River Seine, a visit to the art colony in Montmartre, and a lunch stop along the Avenue des Champs Elysées. (Hey, that’s where The Disney Store is!)
Since returning home, our travelers have been comparing photos and we’d like to share some of our favorites with you.
By the way, the next Disneyana Fan Club special event will be an exclusive Adventures by Disney Backstage Magic Tour October 28 through November 2. All the details are at this link.
Click below to view DFC's video about their event
Tracy Eck, Disneyland Paris's Art Director, speaks to the group in the Founder's Club. Photo by Thom Gimborys
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The DFC was happy to welcome Tony Baxter, Senior Vice President, Creative Development, Walt Disney Imagineering. Photo by Ronald and Ellen Clauss
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The Global Disney Ambassador Team introduce themselves. Photo by Ronald and Ellen Clauss
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