It was April 12, 1992. At precisely 9:01 a.m. Disneyland Paris (then called Euro Disneyland) finally opened its doors. The dream was just beginning. But we’d already come a long way!
The idea dates back to 1976, but it was not until the success of Tokyo Disneyland (1983), the first Disney Park outside the United States, that the project was really launched. Once the ideal site had been found and after several years of development, the foundation stone was laid on August 3, 1988 and marked the start of four years of monumental works – the largest construction site in European history after the Channel Tunnel! The figures are staggering: more than 10,000 workers from all over Europe are expected to work on a gigantic infrastructure of more than 600 hectares that is destined to become a dream destination.
At the time of the inauguration of this magical place, it was obvious that a single day of festivities would not be enough! So the festivities began on the evening of Friday, April 10, with the inauguration of five of the destination’s six hotels and Disney Village, then known as the Disney Festival. The evening ended at 12:30 am with “La Féérie du Lac Enchanté”, a flamboyant show combining sound, lights, lasers, fireworks and projections on the waters of Lake Buena Vista.
The next day, the day began at 9am with the inauguration of the Disneyland Hotel, the prelude to an exceptional gala evening broadcast on Mondovision, in the presence of a host of international stars ranging from the Gipsy Kings to Cher, including tenor José Carerras and actress Angela Lansbury (Madame Samovar in Beauty and the Beast). Once the traditional ribbon was cut, Mickey was finally able to invite the crowd to join him in this magical kingdom. Everything was ready for the opening to the general public the next morning.
It was April 12 at 9:01 a.m. sharp.
The dream had just begun, and it was not about to end. But this is another story…