Disneyland Paris from the sky: New projects (1998-2002)

Terrassement du Walt Disney Studios Park en 2001.


A few years before the end of the 20th century, new projects for Disneyland Paris multiplied. In 1998, the major changes were concentrated around Disney Village, where the new features launched two years earlier (cinema, Planet Hollywood restaurant, etc.) completed the offer of restaurants and entertainment facing the esplanade. On the other side, the arm of the lake, which originally went towards the Paul Séramy Avenue roundabout, has been filled in for the next extensions of the village.

At Disney’s Newport Bay Club the convention centre is now in operation.


Still in Disney Village, the main changes are now located at the back of the Village. McDonald’s has been added to the restaurant offer at the bend of a new road. Just next door, the Disney Village Dome will be set up on one of the Venturi car park plots. It will host many shows. This is still the case today.

But it is especially in the direction of Walt Disney Studios Park that all eyes are on the construction of the second park of the destination…


The end of the 20th century marked the beginning of the construction of the Walt Disney Studios Park. First earthworks of which can be seen on these images. The desire to open this second park dedicated to the world of cinema was present from the opening of the Euro Disneyland Resort. At the time, the project was called Disney-MGM Studios Europe and was initially scheduled to open in 1995, only 3 years after the first park! It was finally confirmed on 29 September 1999 that it would be built by 2002 under a new name: Walt Disney Studios Park.


In the first picture some amazing structures are installed on the whole of Main Street, U.S.A. If you didn’t know them, they were gigantic lighted arches set up from Town Square to Central Plaza during the Christmas festivities between 1993 and 2004.

Back on the Walt Disney Studios Park construction site in February 2001 where the buildings are revealed. Some are still under construction. The pathways linking them are almost in their final form while the layout of Studio Tram Tour : Behind the Magic is complete. Catastrophe Canyon, located at one end of the route, is being assembled. On the other hand, the “Reign of Fire” stage in ravaged London does not yet exist. It will take a short time to install.

This was indeed the case 9 months later, in November 2001, when the stage was almost completed, as was the entire shell of the future new park. Only a few months separate the image below from the inauguration on 16 March 2002…


The second park was created. The inauguration took place on 16 March 2002 with a host of personalities. After the glitter of the opening, the Walt Disney Studios Park quickly attracted criticism. Too small, few attractions, minimalist theming, lack of vegetation… Imagine, at that time, most of today’s must-see attractions did not exist! The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Crush’s Coaster, Cars Quatres Roues Rallye, Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop, RC Racer, Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin and Ratatouille : L’aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy would not arrive until much later. However, the shows set the tone! Animagique, CinéMagique, Moteurs…Action! Stunt Show Spectacular… shows that would last for years before disappearing. The long story of the development of the Walt Disney Studios then begins…

Read more about this journey through time between 2004 and 2014 here and find the previous article from 1992 to 1996 here.

© IGN et Google Earth