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Disney Village is a shopping, dining and entertainment complex in Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallée, France. Originally named Festival Disney, it opened April 12, 1992 with what was then the Euro Disney Resort and originally covered an area of approximately 18,000 m².

Based on Walt Disney World's Downtown Disney district, it was designed by architect Frank Gehry with towers of oxidised silver and bronze-coloured stainless steel under a canopy of lights.[1] It is adjacent to the two theme parks of Disneyland Paris and its Lake Disney hotel area.

Contents

History

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Original Concept

Logo Festival Disney.gif
The original concept

The chosen Architect, Frank Gehry, was presented with a blank canvas on which to design Festival Disney, an entertainment district for the Euro Disney Resort and also a transitional space for free access from the Euro Disneyland theme park and RER/TGV train station to the Resort Hotels. Festival Disney would attract guests to spend time relaxing with family and friends, finish the day shopping or spend a lively evening in restaurants, bars, attending concerts, seeing shows or having fun in the nightclubs. The concept was a large open space full of life and music, lit from all sides around a central avenue with a starry sky. The columns that supported the starry sky would be the remnants of an old power station, left standing after the site was converted into a festival of 90’s contemporary American entertainment.
Gehry noted:

The idea of a station in the U.S. made me think of power stations which are often found this close to a railway line. Festival Disney is a bright place, full of life. The power stations are illuminated at night, hence my idea of a network of 3,600 low-intensity bulbs that cover all of the structures. Naturally, the lights will be suspended between towers and, as and a measure of the design process, I blew and embellished the towers that I wanted to sparkle without merely being decorative. Once the sky and towers were imagined, I disposed of buildings and other parts of a normal avenue...[2]

Changes & Alterations

The "starry sky"

Although the starry sky was initially seen as appealing, there was much unanimity felt towards Festival Disney. From the outset, the project was accused of giving a cold, industrial and soulless feeling from guests and Cast members alike. Gehry’s concept mangled and misunderstood, metal plates on many of the pylons were now being removed from the centre downwards, with statues or food counters placed in the frames.
In 1996, just four years after opening, Festival Disney is renamed Disney Village and Planet Hollywood opens in front of the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show building. The following year, an eight screen Gaumont multiplex cinema complex is opened next door to Planet Hollywood, blocking the Wild West Show's original entrance.
Many changes and adjustments take place in existing buildings over the next ten years such as the opening of Café Mickey in 2002, replacing the Los Angeles Bar & Grill, the opening of King Ludwig's Castle in 2003, replacing Rock'n'Roll America and the opening of the Rainforest Café in 1999, replacing Key West. 1999 also saw the opening of a large McDonald’s fast food restaurant.
On 03 December 2004, an Art Deco themed multi-story parking structure opened, called VINCI Park. Later in 2004, a 570-seat IMAX cinema opened as part of the Gaumont multiplex.
The atmosphere during night time was the highlight of Disney Village, but daytime was another story. The alterations to Disney Village had so far served nothing but to flout the architectural work of Frank Gehry. The buildings were beginning to look ill and real place making was needed to give coherence to the “Mecca of entertainment”....[3]

Place making project: 2005 -

Disney Village today

In 2005, the resort management begin to tackle the issues head on and launched a place making scheme that would take several years to complete. The starry sky and its supporting pylons on the main thoroughfare, neon lights, oversized signs and the central stage were all removed to release the street and give a better sense of space. Colourfully lit balloons were added onto the remaining columns in order to light up the village at night. PanoraMagique was also opened in 2005: a large helium filled captive balloon that carries up to 30 passengers 100 meters into the sky.
In 2008, in order to break up the space and bring life to the Village, the main thoroughfare introduces large planters that contain trees, hedges and flowers. Terraces are added to restaurants and cafés and the ageing facades of buildings are repaired. Also in 2008, a new beverage stand/snack bar has been added near the entrance to Disney Village, and the tourist kiosk nearby has been rebuilt in more of a neo-industrial ‘Parisian’ style.
In 2009, the Buffalo Trading Company shut up shop and the premises is now occupied by a Starbucks coffee house.
From the outset, there seemed to have been a blatant desire to remove all traces of Festival Disney and Gehry’s original concept. Festival Disney had a unique personality that certainly could offend, but ultimately the changes that followed shortly after opening totally distorted the space, to a point where there was no going back. Gehry’s concept relied on a single theme, a festival of American entertainment and nightlife. Here lies a major shortcoming of today’s Disney Village: no consistent theme....[4]

Current Venues

Attractions & Entertainment

  • Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show with Mickey & Friends. Buffalo Bill's original show has been re-enacted twice nightly in a purpose-built arena since 1992. Although 1990s technology has enabled more dynamic production elements than the 1890s, the show retains a high degree of authenticity, including real Native American Indians, Rodeo Cowboys, bison, longhorn cattle, and quarter horses imported from North America. Most of the more famous elements of the original show also remain, including the Pony Express, Indian Attack, and Stagecoach Robbery. A Dinner Show, entry includes a themed menu including chili and BBQ ribs. A cowboy hat is also included. The show is approaching world-record attendance with over 10,000 shows performed in front of nearly 10 million guests. Since 2009 the show stars Mickey Mouse and his friends.
  • Gaumont Cinemas & IMAX
  • Hurricanes Discotheque
  • NEX Fun Bowling & Games
  • PanoraMagique Balloon. Opened in April 2005, PanoraMagique is the largest captive balloon in the World, and carries up to 30 passengers 100 metres into the sky.

Restaurants & Bars

Planet Hollywood at Disney Village
  • Annette's Diner (Table Service Restaurant)
  • Ben & Jerry's Kiosque De Glaces (Ice Cream Kiosk)
  • Billy Bob's Country Western Saloon (Table Service Restaurant & Snack)
  • Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show with Mickey and Friends (Show & Table Service Restaurant)
  • Café Mickey (Table Service Restaurant)
  • King Ludwig's Castle (Table Service Restaurant)
  • La Grange (Buffeteria)
  • McDonald's (Counter Service)
  • New York Style Sandwiches (Counter Service)
  • Planet Hollywood (Table Service Restaurant)
  • Rainforest Cafe (Table Service Restaurant)
  • Sports Bar (Snack)
  • Starbucks
  • The Steakhouse (Table Service Restaurant)

Shopping

  • Disney Store
  • Disney Fashion
  • The Disney Gallery
  • Hollywood Pictures
  • World of Toys

References

See also

External links


Coordinates: 48°52′09″N 2°47′05″E / 48.86917°N 2.78472°E / 48.86917; 2.78472


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