Welcome to Extinct Attractions. This week, we’ll be taking a look back at another attraction from the Disneyland Paris resort with just a couple of more weeks until the resort finally celebrates its 30th anniversary.
On April 12, Disneyland Paris turns the big “three-o” and oh goodness, has it grown since its early days as Euro Disney Resort. What was once supposed to be a crowning jewel of Michael Eisner’s Disney Decade of the 1990s quickly fell in the toilet as the European audience simply didn’t have much of an appetite for the theme park experience. But over the years, the resort has done a great job of revitalizing the park, even adding a second park to the mix a decade later, in Walt Disney Studios Park. In fact, the ten year age gap between a first park opening and a second park opening was the shortest gap in Disney Parks history to add that second park. There’re still questions on whether that was the right move, with the massive overhaul currently happening in Walt Disney Studios Park, but I, for one, think it’s a cute little park with some interesting history to it, that we’ll dive into a bit more now.
The early days of Walt Disney Studios Park were much like the early days of its sister park, Disney-MGM Studios. Both parks were designed to teach guests all about how movies were made through various attractions like backlot tram tours and behind the scenes shows that gave in-depth looks at how the sausage was made. Today’s attraction fell into the behind the scenes portion of those categories, though behind the scenes may be a bit generous in this case.
Opening on March 16, 2002, along with the rest of the park, the Television Production Tour strived to give guests a look at what Disney Channel productions were like behind the scenes. In its earliest days, a live cast member narrator took you through each room of the “production studio,” but after a few years, they switched to the more cost effective method of creating a video with a member of France’s Disney Channel to walk guests through the attraction.
I looked far and wide for a video of either the earlier days of the attraction or one where there were English subtitles of the video, but unfortunately the only video I could find in general was the one featured above, which is solely in French. Now, I dabbled in French a bit, taking a few years of it in high school, but unfortunately it was not enough to be able to really understand anything that was going on in the attraction.
Via Photos Magiques
The person above was our host throughout the entire experience, but she didn’t interact all that much with the rooms in front of the guest’s eyes. (To be fair, maybe she was, but was speaking in French, so I didn’t catch it.) The first room was just an introduction room with some character pictures pasted up on the wall and an intro by our host.
That next room was a look at a television control booth to help give guests an idea of what went into actually getting television shows on the air. I think it would have been cool to see the board kind of light up as the host was talking, but alas we did not get that, at least from what I was able to see.
Via Photos Magiques
You can see the last room of the tour above, which was really just a look at the post show room. Our trusty narrator gave another little spiel before unleashing guest on the final room where they could tour around and look at artwork created by kids from the area.
Now, I was a bit confused because from what I had read, some of the games from the recently closed DisneyQuest in Chicago were moved over to Disneyland Paris. But in this video, I did not see any of those games, so either they were in an unfilmed part or had been removed from the attraction by the time the video was created. So assuming that they did move those games in there, I loved that move because it was pretty cool to use something from all the way across the Atlantic Ocean.
Overall, that’s pretty much the extent of the attraction. Most of the action in the attraction just took place on the screens with the host there, but since it was in French it left a lot to be desired, especially when the video really just focused on the screens and not the rest of the attraction.
Via Disneyland Paris
Ultimately, the Television Production Tour closed on April 15, 2007 to make way for Stitch Live. I got to see Stitch Live when I went to Disneyland Paris a couple of years ago and it was definitely a step up from what I saw from the Television Production Tour video, so I can definitely say that this is one of the rare occurrences where the replacement attraction was much better than the original.
As always, don’t forget to check out my interactive maps of the Disney Parks throughout the years where you can watch or learn more about all the attractions from every Disney park around the world.
Thanks for reading and have a magical day!