Disneyland Paris is a 1,700-acre theme park that has been one of the most popular and joyous holiday destinations for millions of tourists across the globe. It is owned by Walt Disney Company. There are so many fun facts about Disneyland Paris to learn.
For several decades, the park’s breathtaking rides, spectacular fireworks, and beloved cartoon characters (Mickey Mouse and friends) made countless kids and parents very happy.
If you’re thinking about visiting Disneyland Paris, you may want to learn more about it and what it has to offer. There are quite a few interesting things that are worth knowing about this popular theme park. These facts can make your Disney experience more memorable and fun.
It is made up of two theme parks. The original one is the Disneyland Park which opened in April 1992. In March 2002 a second park called Walt Disney Studios Park opened up.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at nine amazing facts about Disneyland Paris.
1. Disneyland Paris Changed Its Name a Few Times
Yes, Disneyland Paris wasn’t the park’s original name. It changed its name a few times. It was first called Euro Disney Resort when it opened decades ago. However, the poor visitor turnout forced the management to rebrand.
Even though this theme park isn’t really located in Paris but in Chessy, the Disney guys added the name of the French capital at the end. Its purpose was to improve guest attendance. So, in June 1994, the park’s name became Euro Disney Resorts Paris.
However, the word Euro happened to be the real issue behind the problem. Many found the word inappropriate for a fun holiday destination. For them, it sounded so complicated and less amusing.
That said, the park changed its name to Disneyland Paris in October 1994. Despite its simplicity, the Disney team once again rebranded and changed the park’s name to Disneyland Resort Paris in 2002. However, the management reverted to Disneyland Paris in 2009.
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You’d be surprised to know that there are tunnels underneath this theme park. However, don’t get creeped out, they aren’t like the Catacombs of Paris or World War II secret passages. These tunnels are built to let employees move around the park without being noticed by guests.
Also, this underground facility is where cast members change their outfits from their street clothing to Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Disney princesses, etc. Likewise, employees use these tunnels to move food and goodies.
Did you know that you can sign up for Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom tour and have access to this hidden facility?
3. Disneyland Paris Has Europe’s Most Visited Castle
While Europe has several castles that are worth visiting, like Neuschwanstein, Alcázar de Segovia, and Hohensalzburg, the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland Paris is said to be the most visited castle in that part of the world.
While this castle was created for an imaginary character, millions of people go and see it every year. In fact, in 2021 alone, around 3.5 million tourists visited this amusement park.
This 141-foot castle has been recently refurbished in preparation for the theme park’s 30th-anniversary celebration in 2022. Disney was anticipating that a significant number of tourists would come and see this castle during the celebration. This is one of my favorite Disneyland Paris facts!
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4. Adorable Wildlife Roams Freely in the Park
We’re not sure if you’ve been to a theme park where wildlife can roam freely, but in Disneyland Paris, it’s not uncommon to spot a rabbit or two hopping around the area. Several bunnies have made this amusement park their home.
Likewise, you can see a multitude of feral cats in the park. They were allowed to stay because of the field mice infestation that happened years ago. While these mice had been an eyesore for some, many found the presence of stray cats useful in countering the rodents.
Having said that, tourists and employees alike adore these felines. Some of them give these cats goodies whenever they see one.
5. Eerie Sounds and Sightings at Phantom Manor
While Disneyland Paris is known for its colorful characters and festive parades, it doesn’t fall short when it comes to supernatural stuff. If you’re into recreational fear, the Phantom Manor is the place to be.
Knowing that it’s located next to Boot Hill Cemetery makes this house eerier. So head on to this manor and look for a black sarcophagus in the area.
If you place your ear real close to the sarcophagus, you’d hear the sound of a beating heart coming from within. It’s said that it’s the grave where the ghost bride Melanie Ravenswood lies.
Moreover, you can sometimes see her ghost on the veranda of the Phantom Manor. You’d see her as her young self in her wedding dress.
6. Hidden Mickey by the Hundreds
If you’re a fan of Disney animated films, chances are you’re familiar with Hidden Mickey. Looking for Mickey’s hidden silhouette in a busy movie scene is an exciting thing to do.
However, Hidden Mickeys aren’t exclusive to movies only. You can also see them by the hundreds all over Disneyland Paris; that is if you closely and patiently observe the surroundings. You’ll also find them in the other Disney parks, like the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland, and on Disney Cruise Line ships.
So, try to look for three circles that form the head and two ears of Mickey. You can find them in the most unexpected spots and structures such as the park’s entrance gate. Likewise, you might see them on store walls, rides, and decor.
7. Famous Celebrities Have Been in This Theme Park
Disneyland Paris welcomed many well-known celebrities and personalities from different parts of the world.
The world-renowned singer-songwriter, Sir Elton John, is one of the first celebrities to have visited the theme park. He went there in 1995 to perform for the opening of Space Mountain.
The two tennis superstars Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal were also spotted in the park. Nadal went there in 2010 to celebrate with Mickey and friends his second Roland Garros championship win.
The big names in Hollywood also spent time with their loved ones in Disneyland Paris. In 2013, Dances With Wolves star Kevin Costner flew there with his family. Andrew Garfield and his then-girlfriend Emma Stone likewise visited the park together in 2014.
While Disneyland originated in Anaheim, California, United States, its expansion didn’t stop there. It branched out to other locations such as Florida, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.
Paris was the second city outside the U.S. to enjoy the magic of a Disneyland park, with Tokyo as the first. The idea for this Parisian amusement park was conceived way back in 1976. However, it took 16 years for the park to materialize.
The success of Disneyland in Tokyo served as an inspiration and catalyst for this European theme park to become a reality.
So, at exactly 9:01 am, April 12, 1992, pixie dust was sprinkled all over France when Disneyland opened its doors.
Disneyland Paris is as big as 1,285 American football fields combined. Despite its sheer size, Disney used forced perspective in this theme park to create the illusion that it’s bigger than it really is.
Forced perspective is an optical illusion that’s often applied to films and photography to make the surroundings big and the characters small.
In Disneyland Paris, this technique is very evident in Main Street. The park engineers designed the building facades along Main Street in such a way that made the thoroughfare look big and wide.
This architectural approach also helped the Sleeping Beauty Castle. Looking at the castle from Main Street, it’ll appear like it’s situated at a considerable distance, which adds to its allure.
10. You’ll Hear It’s A Small World A Lot
The song It’s A Small World plays throughout the park a ton. You may even hear it before you actually enter into the park.
It came from the New York World Fair in 1964. It was only supposed to play in the park for about a year. The song became so famous and popular though, so it’s now played in every Disney park a lot.
11. You Can See Disney Movie Props
On the Studio Movie Tram Tour you can see the limousine that Cruella de Vil uses in the live-action movie 102 Dalmatians.
12. A Stained Glass Expert Worked On The Castle
A stained glass expert named Paul Chapman designed the stained glass windows on Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. He was in his 80s at the time. He also worked on a Notre Dame Cathedral restoration.
13. The Paris’ Version Of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Is Unique
There are different versions of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad across the different Disney theme parks. The Paris one is the only one that is on an island. It has underwater tunnels that are connected to it.
14. Disneyland Paris Has Seven American Themed Hotels
These hotels are The Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Newport Bay Club, Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch, Disney’s Hotel New York, Disney’s Sequoia Lodge, Hotel Cheyenne, and Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe.
15. Mont Saint-Michel Inspired The Castle
Mont Saint-Michel is a castle in Normandy, France. The design of it was used to inspire the look of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland Paris.
There are so many things that make Disneyland Paris interesting to travel to. For instance, knowing what to look for in Phantom Manor could make the experience creepier yet more fun.
Not to mention that knowing that there are Hidden Mickeys, underground tunnels, and adorable wildfire roaming around adds to the overall excitement.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to head to Disneyland Paris!
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