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by Lee MacDonald (archives)
January 30, 2002
Lee looks at some of the upcoming Grand Opening events for the Walt Disney Studios park in Paris.

Our newest column, Lee & Lindsay, debuts today. Written by either (or both) Lee MacDonald or Lindsay Cave, the column by these two world travellers can hit upon any aspect of Disney theme parks around the world. Lee and Lindsay have already contributed articles on Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland to LaughingPlace.com. This first article discusses the upcoming Grand Opening events for Walt Disney Studios in Paris.

It's Coming

Just one of the many strap-lines being used by the Disneyland Resort Paris about its new “baby”: a $600 million new park to sit alongside the Disneyland park.

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Last weekend, a rather large faux filmstrip can landed on my doormat with a heavy thud. The logo embossed in the lid was a rather significant clue as to the contents: “March 16, 2002 Grand Opening of the Walt Disney Studios Park”. Inside the tin were several documents containing details of the V.I.P. and media events that will be running for the long weekend over the Grand Opening. The theme of the movies is carried throughout the program with the schedule being broken up into “scenes” and the invitees being called “principals”!

The flyers inside also promised a “special celebration of 10 years of Disneyland Paris”. There has been immense speculation over whether the Resort would choose a low-key celebration for the tenth birthday which falls on April 12. When the rumoured opening date for the Studios fell in April, it seemed that the sister park was destined to avoid the hurrah that greeted the “It’s the Year to Be Here” celebration that was the fifth birthday at Disneyland Paris (watch this space for an article about the 5th birthday celebrations in 1997 in future weeks). However, with the Studios opening a full four weeks prior to the birthday, it seems that the Cast Members at the Resort will be given the opportunity to join guests in a true celebration of this momentous achievement.

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The front of the flyer
(c) Disney

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The back of the flyer
(c) Disney

Disneyland Paris' “Mulan: The Legend” show is not returning in 2002 due to the Resort refusing to renew the Chinese acrobatic company’s contract, which means that at present, Videopolis in Discoveryland is to remain empty for the summer season for the first time. In addition, the Fantasyland Theater currently has no residents and has remained idle during the peak season recently, except for Magic Music Days. I suspect that we will see a brand new show in either theater to commemorate the 10th birthday. I would hazard a guess at Videopolis being the favourite choice as it is a considerably larger space (similar in seating thresholds to the Fantasyland Theater at Disneyland in Anaheim). Watch this space!  

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