Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Disney and More Time Machine : Back on April 12, 1992 - Disneyland Paris Grand Opening

Where were you on April 12, 1992? Some of you were watching the event on their TV, the luckiest one were invited at the party, and some of you were may be too young to know what the words Disney theme park means. But for many people all over Europe, the Grand opening of EuroDisney - that was the name of the park 17 years ago - on April 12, 1992 was for sure a memorable day.

And what a memorable evening! Today, as another memorable day is ending, the Disney and more Time Machine takes you back in time on this April 12 evening thanks to the DLP opening show. As the majority of my readers speak english, the TV grand opening show you will see below is the British one - I believe each country had its own show with their own anchor men, even if the filming of the show itself was the same for everybody. The show is interesting too because it shows the park as it was on opening day. Some elements don't exist anymore, specially some of the "streetmospheres" as they call it. The Main Street Keystone cops, other street orchestras, the Lucky Nugget show or the Frontierland shooting are gone unfortunately forever! You'll see also an interview of Roy Disney and Frank Wells, some filming of the Buffalo Bill Wild West show, and many more!

One of my favorite emotional moment happen on the first part below when a children choir sings "When you wish upon a star". If you look carefully, at precisely 10 min 19 sec, on the top left of the image you'll see a young black girl. If you look in her eyes, you'll see all the dazzler of the world. For her, it was definitely the most magical day of her life, you can feel it, literally. I have tears in my eyes each time i see this moment...Pure childhood wonder, pure innocence, pure magic. Don't miss it! And, of course, enjoy the show!

Photo: copyright Disney

Daily Motion video many thanks to djf06 !


Anonymous said...

Thank You so much for reminding me how wonderful the opening was.
I was there on the opening day(stillhave my opening day Paper ticket to prove it,its a real collectors piece and really beutiflly made)so the videos brought tears to my eyes.

Flounder said...

Thanks for this! But as far as I remember it was shown in television on the evening of April 11th - at least in Germany ;-)

Anonymous said...

The Opening Night was on April the 11th 1992... And the Opening to the Guests on April the 12th... just to correct the dates...

Anonymous said...

Thats true but Eisner still opened the park on the 12th officially also.
One thing I also remember to this day is how perfect the park looked,even the planting in the parks and resort seemed to look like they had been there for years.

Anonymous said...

@Robert/Cologne said...:

Would it be possible to scan in your opening day Paper ticket and put it online? I would love to see how it looked.


Anonymous said...

Ill try dont know if it will be ready untill the weekend but I will send it to Alain if I can.

Ryan Simmons said...

Notice the celebrities putting hand prints into slabs that say "Disney's MGM Studios Europe", which was due to open in 1995, but then transformed into the less glitzier Walt Disney Studios Park in 2002 due to cost problems. These slabs make me wonder if they were destined to a place in Disney's MGM Studios Europe and if so where have these slabs have gone since?

Anonymous said...

I was there at EuroDisney on April 11th and 12th 1992 - very fortunate for me as I was feeling about the way the girl in the video does! Maybe more so. as a grown man. I was crying aloud right on Main Street, coincidentally just a few feet from Jeffery Katzenberg (president of the Walt Disney Studios at the time), as they passed us all chocolate truffles from a silver platter, under the surrounding fireworks. It was a spectacularly beautiful day and evening on the 11th, clear and mild, downright dreamy weather. (I still have the special Mickey sweatshirts which were the ticket to enter; everybody had to have one and many were wearing them as you see in the video)
On the 12th, storm clouds literally gathered over Michael Eisner's right shoulder as he opened the park in the morning - within an hour it was raining. Which did not dampen my impressions one little bit, but proved interesting as things went on from there media-wise. Perhaps I enjoyed my ultra-expensive hotel room only a few steps away all the more. It was also rather empty on that first official day - with crowds scared away in expectation of too many people showing up.

It all looked SO perfect, even improved upon from the incredible original, and was really ready for France, though some of the press was already being quite rude. (I saved every piece of it though and all that I could from the whole event) It was impossible to imagine that it would not be well received, since it was so very well done and impressive form the start.