Bonjour! Are you ready for an Escargot McMuffin and a Wine McFlurry? Great, because it's time to visit Disneyland Paris at McDonald's!
Disneyland Paris opened in April of 1992, and back then it was known as Euro Disneyland. I've never been there, but I remember watching the Grand Opening on TV, hosted by Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. This special mentioned some Coming Attractions, including a Little Mermaid ride and a Beauty and the Beast show (neither of which was built), Discovery Mountain (the French version of Space Mountain, which did open in 1995), and the Disney MGM Studios Europe (which transformed into the Walt Disney Studios Park that opened in 2002).
Euro Disneyland had a bumpy start, which led to the new name of Disneyland Paris and a change in plans. The park has been promoted at McDonald's locations in Europe a number of times over the years, and this 1997 3D Relief Map/Puzzle Disneyland Paris Happy Meal illustrates some of the early additions and French Twists.
The Disneyland Hotel is located right at the front entrance to the Disneyland Paris theme park. The Disneyland Paris resort also has other hotels on property, including Disney's Hotel New York, Disney's Newport Bay Club, Disney's Sequoia Lodge, Disney's Hotel Cheyenne, Disney's Hotel Santa Fe, and Disney's Davy Crockett Ranch.
The Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland Paris features the Liberty Arcade and the Discovery Arcade, covered walkways to protect visitors from rain and snow.
In France, Frontierland and Adventureland switched places. Big Thunder Mountain is located on an island, and the roller coaster trains run through a tunnel under the water to get to the Mountain.
Phantom Manor is a Western version of the Haunted Mansion, with a whole new story set in Frontierland's town of Thunder Mesa. This continues a tradition of having the Haunted Mansion in a different land in each park. At Disneyland in California, the Haunted Mansion is in New Orleans Square. At Walt Disney World, it is in Liberty Square. The version in Tokyo Disneyland is in Fantasyland. The upcoming Mystic Manor in Hong Kong Disneyland will be in a new area called Mystic Point.
There is no Splash Mountain at Disneyland Paris. There have been rumors for years about a completely different theme for a version of the attraction in France. Due to the cold winter months, perhaps it is not a priority. If it ever gets built, my guess is that it would have a Woody's Round-Up theme, and feature Jessie, Bullseye and Stinky Pete.
Exclusive to Adventureland at Disneyland Paris is Indiana Jones et le Temple du Peril (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril), which is the first looping roller coaster at a Disney park (check out the loop on the attraction in this park map piece). This mine cart ride opened in 1993 as part of an accelerated expansion plan to increase park capacity.
Adventureland is also home to Pirates of the Caribbean, La Cabane des Robinson (Swiss Family Treehouse), Adventure Isle (this park's answer to Tom Sawyer Island) and another 1993 addition, Le Passage Enchante d'Aladdin (Aladdin's Enchanted Passage Walkthrough). There's no Jungle Cruise here.
Adventureland has also been a rumored location for a version of Splash Mountain over the years. This may be a totally baseless rumor. At any rate, I'd love to see a Splash Mountain with characters and settings from The Jungle Book (I know Baloo and King Louie and their movie have been very popular in Europe).
The European Fairytale characters have "come home" to Fantasyland at Disneyland Paris. Here you'll find Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty Castle). Exclusive to Disneyland Paris is La Taniere du Dragon (The Dragon's Lair) and an elaborate hedge maze called Alice's Curious Labyrinth. Classic attractions include Blanche-Neige et les Sept Nains (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), Les Voyages de Pinocchio, Le Carrousel de Lancelot, It's a Small World, Peter Pan's Flight, the Mad Hatter's Tea Cups, and Dumbo The Flying Elephant (note that the Dumbo vehicles on this map are wearing goggles---the artist took some artistic license here).
In 1993, Fantasyland expanded with Les Pirouettes du Vieux Moulin, a ferris wheel based on the 1937 Disney short, "The Old Mill" (you can see it on this map). In 1994, Fantasyland added Le Pays de Contes de Fees (Storybook Land Canal Boats) and a mild roller coaster called Casey Jr., Le Petit Train du Cirque (Casey Jr. Circus Train).
Tomorrowland at Disneyland Paris is called Discoveryland, and is based on the works of Jules Verne. Discoveryland opened with the Orbitron, Autopia, Star Tours and Captain EO. In 1994, Les Mysteres du Nautilus "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" walk through opened.
Space Mountain: De la Terre a la Lune opened in 1995, and was based on Jules Verne's "From the Earth to the Moon." The attraction got a new theme ("Mission 2") in 2005. The Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast was new for Discoveryland in 2006.
Disneyland Paris had a big McDonald's promotion in Europe in 1995/1996.
Squeeze a plastic Disneyland Paris building, and it pops open to reveal a hidden Disney character.
Since Space Mountain was the big new attraction, it was naturally a big part of this promotion.
Here's another French Twist for you: This set was also sold at Blockbuster video stores in the United States. That's where this Donald Duck toy is from.
In 2001, Disneyland Paris celebrated with a Circus/Carnivale theme at McDonald's.
I like the pairing of Genie and Abu.
This McDonald's set is a mix of plush puppets and plastic action figures.
I wonder why they did not use Dumbo for this Happy Meal.
I think the Hippo is the funniest character in this set.
Wow, McDonald's in Europe sells "Fish Fingers." Do they sell Mincemeat pies along with the Apple and Cherry variety (and currently, Strawberry Creme) we see in the United States?
Bon Anniversaire, Disneyland Paris! I hope to visit you someday!
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