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Disneyland Paris' 10th Anniversary Preview
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by Lee MacDonald
April 16, 2002
A quick look at the 10th anniversary celebration at Disneyland Paris.

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10th Birthday Celebrations at the Disneyland Park, Paris

The Grand Opening date for the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris had caused a great deal of consternation and debate amongst the executives at the Resort. Opening the Studios at the same time as the 10th Birthday on April 12 would mean that they would have to deliver two messages, which would have diluted the overall impression of the Resort. The Resort had always planned a celebration for the 10th anniversary, and therefore opening the Studios nearly a month early on March 16 would not only provide fiscal rewards with an extra 4 weeks’ unexpected revenue and giving cast members longer to "learn the ropes", but also provided much needed distance with April 12. In the planning of the Studios grand opening, the marketing team had also wanted to highlight the new entertainment at the Disneyland park and therefore on March 14, guests and media invitees were asked to join Roy E. Disney at the Central Plaza to commemorate the birthday, in advance.

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The Stage
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On arrival at the park, guests might not realise that the park was on the verge of celebrating its tenth year of operation. Five years ago, guests were greeted by a castle dressed in a jesters outfit with a giant "5" hanging above the drawbridge. Central Plaza was adapted to fit three giant bells, each with a gargoyle to celebrate the release of Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame. This year’s celebration was to be considerably lower key, to ensure that the lion’s share of the media exposure would be for the new second gate. This time, a scroll with a blue "10" was suspended from the first balcony of Sleeping Beauty Castle. The central circular flowerbed at the Plaza had been covered by a large two-tier stage, designed to look like a birthday cake.

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