At Disneyland Paris, all fathers are not intimidating and possessive like Henry Ravenswood. Quite the contrary, whether they are Super Heroes or just everyday heroes, they would do just about anything to make their children happy! So Happy Father’s Day to them all!
The story behind Disney Parks is that of a doting father, Walt Disney, who used to go to Griffith Park in Los Angeles with his two daughters each Saturday. While quietly sitting on a bench, he would often think how fantastic it would be to have a place where both parents and children could have fun together. This idea paved the way for the creation of Disneyland Resort, the first of many more Disney experiences across the world.
A demanding and severe man, Elias Disney, Walt’s father, did not hesitate to leave his job and the house he had built on his own in Chicago to raise his children in the small town of Marceline—a safe and peaceful location. Disneyland Paris pays vibrant homage to Elias Disney, whose name can be found on metal plates on the ground along Main Street, U.S.A, a subtle reference to his job as a building contractor at the time of Walt’s birth.
On his side, Crush likes to go with the flow. He shares a special bond with his son Squirt and teaches him how to thrive on his own in the ocean. At Crush’s Coaster in Walt Disney Studios Park, Crush allows Squirt and Nemo to freely enjoy the thrill of riding the rollicking East Australian Current, as he follows daring guests on their adventures aboard turtle shells.
From one ocean to the next, Mr. Robinson endeavors to make the best of a bad situation by turning an uncharted island into a haven for his family. To do so, he recycles elements from their stranded boat to build La Cabane des Robinson, equipped with all modern conveniences… on deck!
On a window above Emporium, Pongo—the father in 101 Dalmatians (1961)—is portrayed as the mascot of firefighters—a well-known depiction amongst American firefighters. It also reminds us that Pongo is the one who takes on the responsibility to find his puppies, abducted by the villainous Cruella, by cleverly using “twilight bark” and teaming up with his beloved Perdita on a perilous journey to rescue them.
Gepetto is another emblematic father who does not hesitate to put himself in harm’s way to find his son Pinocchio. He can be found in the attraction Les Voyages de Pinocchio right after Monstro’s attack, and then in his workshop for a happy reunion with his son.
In the show The Lion King: Rhythms of the Pride Lands, Mufasa appears to be a willing accomplice during the song “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” and eventually sacrifices his life to save Simba from a large herd of wildebeest. But their bond grows even stronger—as highlighted by the powerful mashup between “He Lives in You” and “Endless Night”, Mufasa shall eternally remain by Simba’s side through times of joy and adversity!
This intricate blend of harmony and heroism can also be found in the character Robert Parr, aka Mr. Incredible. At Disneyland Paris, he can be seen in Disney’s Christmas Parade(2012), The Incredible Hit the Road (2014-2016) and The Incredibles Challenge (2017). He may not always understand his children, but he does his very best to support them every step of the way, whether it be by solving math problems or looking out for them during missions!