In 2012 we were treated to a fantastic book 20 ans des rêves which was published for the 20th anniversary festivities. This tome sought to retell the history of Disneyland Paris through a series of glimpses into the years of Disneyland Paris. This was our first anthology of Disneyland Paris which has allowed today’s fans to understand the history of the resort that they so love. Fast forward 5 years and the 25th anniversary festivities have allowed a new book to emerge Disneyland Paris A à Z. This new and novel book also tells the story of Disneyland Paris but in a very different way. Where the previous book asked a simple question: What has happened at Disneyland Paris?, this new volume asks a much more profound question: What makes Disneyland Paris?
This book is presented in a very different way to the 20th anniversary book; this book is a dictionary of Disneyland Paris and presents 26 chapters on a wide range of topics ranging from the obvious attractions all the way to the more obscure (yet captivating) urban planning. Each is presented by a glossy covering page introducing the concept with gorgeous photographs or concept art followed by pages littered with text in a wonderful font and accompanied by relevant photos (many of which feel like they have been taken especially for this book).
As previously mentioned, this book feels complete and gets right to the heart of the question of what makes Disneyland Paris the place we love. Each element is carefully considered to give the reader as much of an understanding as possible as to the work of the 15,000 Cast Members at Disneyland Paris – and this is a real strength of the book, the Cast Members are the lifeblood of Disneyland Paris and this book really does pay homage to them in the most sincere of ways.
The book also has content that will excite any Disneyland Paris fan, from those who enjoy rides to those who enjoy characters on parade; to my surprise it also will please anybody with a keen interest on the complete operations of Euro Disney SCA with an in-depth look at Villages Nature and the Val d’Europe complex. It is to the author and editor’s credit that such fantastic information is seamlessly blended into the book in a way that will interest even the most casual of fan whilst also diving into the company’s reasons for investing in such projects. Val d’Europe is explained by the 1987 convention but also Walt’s keen interest in urban planning (let us not forget the EPCOT was originally conceived by Walt Disney to be a living, breathing community). Such information is skilfully made accessible in this book.
The Disneyland Paris round the clock segments are a work of pure genius. Ever wondered what is going on at Disneyland Paris at 3am and which Cast Members are at work? This book provides that valuable look behind the scenes and exposes how Disneyland Paris truly is a 24 hour operation. This is done through Cast Member testimonials and beautiful imagery each combined to provide the reader with that complete picture of company operations.
The content of this book is exhaustive and complete, it regroups all elements of Disneyland Paris and renders them accessible whilst answering many questions that fans will have.
Each chapter is accompanied by wonderful images, many taken for this book but many others have been dug out of the Disneyland Paris archives to illustrate articles to the highest quality. Many pieces of concept art have been included, some of which have not yet been printed for fans in this high quality before; for example, seeing the beautiful Star Tours: L’avenutre continue concept art occupying two large pages was a real treat.
Sometimes in books designed for collectors, images can feel forced in because ‘it would be nice to have’, whilst fantastic for collectors it can break the rhythm of a book. Here, nothing is forced, everything has been very carefully selected and is a real treat to inspect.
It really is hard to fault any of the images selected in this book, each provides a unique look at Disneyland Paris and some even provide intriguing glimpses into elements of Disneyland Paris we have not before been afforded the opportunity to see. For Disneyland Paris fans, the images themselves are worth the price of the book.
A wonderful companion to any of your Disneyland Paris books
This book is different to anything that has come before in the Disneyland Paris collection. From Sketch to Reality focuses on the conception and design of the resort, 20 ans des rêves focuses on the history of the resort and this Disneyland Paris de A à Z focuses on what Disneyland Paris is today and the hard work that goes into the resort.
Each has a unique place on your bookshelf and each work together in order to create a complete Disneyland Paris library. The officially published Disneyland Paris books (this and the 20th anniversary book) and printed on the best quality paper we could hope for meaning that they are durable and will withstand any repeat reading for years to come, they are also of the highest quality in content; Mathias Dugoujon and Jérémie Noyer have a love of the resort that many of the fans will share and have a passion for the stories that they are telling, this book makes that obvious and helps make the book a joy to read.
The additional bonus of this book is a special Euro Disneyland Passeport Commémoratif that is tucked nicely into the first page of the book. For many fans, this type of gift in itself is worth the purchase and provides those who, for whatever reason, were not able to get hold of this most prized of tickets the chance to own one for themselves.
For the 25th anniversary the book is also presented in a souvenir box which is of a very high quality and provides additional protection and durability to this beautiful book.
Disneyland Paris de A à Z is a book that deserves to be on the bookshelves of all DIsneyland Paris fans and will be a book that I will treasure and read and re-read over the years. There is so much to take in here that repeat readings will certainly be rewarded.
My congratulations to the book team for another formidable read!