Coup de Cœur #1 – Front Lot

You’re standing in the resort hub in the inevitable queue for the security control, and in the distance you hear the Star Trek theme, it’s ironic that there is the theme to a film from a rival studio that lets you know that you have arrived at Disneyland Paris.
Gates to the Walt Disney Studios ParkAt Disneyland Paris we are lucky to have two Disney parks with beautiful entrances, the grand Victorian entrance to Disneyland Park is unique in the world and is, in my opinion, the most beautiful theme park entrance in the entire world. The second represents a Hollywood film studio, we are invited in with the words “Welcome behind the scenes” as we delve into the world of film making and tributes to the seventh art form (Cinema). As we walk to the park entrances we are greeted by the lot entrance gates featuring the Studio emblem of Mickey Mouse
Sorcerer Mickey Statue operating a camera, as we veer off to the sides we are greeted by Hollywood ‘porters’, with a polite ‘Bonjour’ they take our ticket place it in the turnstile and give it back to us. ‘Bon Journée’. The sights and sounds of the Studio surround us, in front of us the impressive Studio 1 building, the ‘gateway’ to the park, and for us an opportunity to see a Hollywood sound stage set up with its props and reading for a day of filming. In the centre a fountain with our studio emblem once again returning, Sorcerer Mickey from the 1943 Disney Classic ‘Fantasia’ representing one of the most iconic pieces of Disney animation ever created, Mickey controlling the brooms filling up with water. This provides us with one of the early photo opportunities of the park as we pose with the broom on the pavement. To our left, the Walt Disney Studios store designed with beautiful studio theming, the walls adorned with photos from the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, all of which featuring the man himself, Walt Disney. The store almost feels like a studio set itself with its dark ceiling and lighting rigs and a dangling lighting fitting. We truly have entered the wonderful world of the silver screen, this is no functional film studio, this is the glamor of what we have dreamed it to be, this is the showcase section of the Walt Disney Studios Park.

Place des Freres Lumieres, Front LotAs we move back into the Place des frères lumières, so named as the Lumière brothers were the french inventors of the art of film making, just across the square is located Studio Services and our studio lot clock tower (Well, we need to know what time we have to be on set!), underneath the clock tower we can visit the Studio Photo store, which essentially is a slightly smaller version of Town Square photography in Disneyland Park, nevertheless the theming is once again that much more magical and links perfectly to the park’s theme of the movies with its old film cameras from an earlier era of cinema, the walls feature film reels and clap boards, and this is when we realise, we’ve made it on the studio lot! As we turn our backs on the photography store and head towards Disney Studio 1, we enjoy the sight of the ‘Earful tower’, of course it’s not a functional water tower but it’s almost a staple of a film studio such as the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, our water tower in this studio has been given a pair of Mickey ears, again to pay homage to the biggest star the studio has produced, who knows? Maybe we might just bump into him today, I’ve heard he likes to take photos with the extras! We continue towards Studio 1, walking with the excitement of what awaits us. We are living the magic of the studio. What’s that? PLACES EVERYONE! That’s our cue, to the set!

Coup de Cœur is a regular feature in which we take a look at a particular attraction of Disneyland Paris in detail and enjoy what makes Disney parks so beautiful be it a ride, a walk through experience, a shop, a restaurant or an entire land.