Disneyland Paris After The Guests Go Home

Written by Rick Wright. Posted in Disney Parks, Disneyland Paris, Features, Weekend Update

Tagged: ,

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Published on July 20, 2013 at 2:00 am with 7 Comments

One can only imagine how much maintenance work takes place in a Disney park after the guests go home. Alain Littaye and the Disney and more blog team had access to Disneyland Paris after closing and brings us some fascinating behind the scenes stories and photos. ~~Rick

A Night Inside Disneyland Paris
by Alain Littaye
Disney and more blog

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Today’s Disneyland Paris update is pretty exceptional. Have you ever wondered what happens in the parks at night when the doors are closed and guests back at home or in the hotels? Well the following is what you might see, thanks to DLP who invited Disney and more and Max Fan, D&M contributor, and DlrpWelcome webmaster, for an exclusive look at the many activities happening in both parks between sunset and sunrise.

Not only do we have plenty of pictures to show you of what we saw, but Max also filmed a video:

The following will show you some things that don’t appear in the video as well as great night shots of the parks without any guests, like these Main Street photos below.

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The Disney Dreams show requires a team of 10 technicians, 5 firemen and 5 other people for the fireworks. Below, pictures of the Disney Dreams control room and of the recalibrating of the projectors on the castle, an operation that occurs each week.

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2:00 am: We’re learning from Alexandre Theophile, DLP Duty Manager that between 200 and 300 cast members are in the parks each night to clean up after the thousands of day guests. There are also three duty managers to control the activities at both parks and Disney Village. For instance, at WDS Toy Story Playland, from the top of Toy Soldier Parachute Drop, the maintenance guys check every night that all the cables and pulleys are working correctly, all with this great night view of the park.

Below, some pictures of Toy Story Playland at night as well as night views of the park shot from the top of the Parachute Drop.

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Ratatouille ride construction as seen from the parachute drop.

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It’s the same at Tower of Terror, where everything is double checked. The TOT sign is located at 135 feet from the ground – there’s a fantastic view from up there as you will see. The Tower elevators are falling from this height and also go down 40 feet into the ground.

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3:45 am: The show decor team is refurbishing the stands for the Lights, Moteurs, Action! stunt show market scene. During the show, these hide the airbag mattress used when the red car is falling.

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Another team checks the lighting on the town decor – inspired from the french town of Villefranche sur Mer.

Without the lighting:

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With the lighting:

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5:00 am: the carpenters team of Laurent Picard are here in Adventureland on the Hakuna Matata bridge to assess a new technique of antiskid. Some fiberglass will serve as a skeleton on which the product will mold before the addition of sand. All this to keep the antiskid in place. It requires 24 hours to dry and it will take one month to complete the work in this location.

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Same problem on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril where special steps were previously installed backstage. The products used for the antiskid are less toxic for the environment, as well as for the wood. In the case of the Hakuna Matata bridge, it is important as although the bridge is 20 years old its wood is still of excellent quality.

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6:00 am : It’s sunrise and eight gardeners are entering Central Plaza to take care of the lawns around the castle, with three of them on the little hill on the left. For safety reasons, gardeners must be attached to a “stop fall” cable. The lawnmowers work on air cushion which help to have a better maneuverability. The lawns are cut each week, and when the lawnmowers are finished cutting, the cut grass is aspirated. Some of the square shaped Cypress trees will be replaced next year with the addition of two new ones.

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7:00 am: Eric Peigne, glazier at Disneyland Paris for 15 years, is doing some cleaning and restoration work on the stained glass of Sleeping Beauty Castle. When one thinks about stained glass in the park, we instantly think of the glass inside the castle. There are plenty of others on Main Street U.S.A for example and also some in Frontierland. That’s why a special department was created for this kind of work.

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It’s now 8:00 am, and it’s time for us to leave the park as the gates will be opening to the guests soon!

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We would like to thank Elisabetta MARIGLIANO, Sébastien FRANK, and Mathias DUGOUJON from Disneyland Paris for their invaluable help in the making of this report. As always, thanks to Max Fan for his pictures and video.

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We’ve been out of our Disneyland Paris: From Sketch to Reality books for several months. But we have some good news for you. A small final shipment of English Edition has become available. They have JUST gone back on sale in the MiceChat Store at a discounted price which includes shipping! Act quick, these are extremely popular books!

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Pictures and videos: copyright Max Fan – Dlrp Welcome

About Rick Wright

Rick has been a long term MiceChat author and co-founder of the Weekend Update. You will often find Rick in the position of "Greeter" at official events due to his warm and welcoming spirit. If you've got photos, news or trip reports to share, Rick would love to hear from you: [email protected]

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7 Comments

Comments for Disneyland Paris After The Guests Go Home are now closed.

  1. Alain, this is a fantastic and very interesting article.

    I’m sure that like every other kid out there, I dreamed of hiding away in Disneyland after closing and then having the whole park to myself. In reality, the park is filled with people performing all sorts of maintenance and planning. Great stuff!

  2. Awesome article. I love the shot in the video from the side of the ToT sign. I might have to go back to Paris.

  3. Wow, I’m shocked that Disney let you do that but that’s awesome you go to see the park empty. Walking through DL after it had closed and all the guests were gone was always one of my favorite parts of working there. Did you notice how different everything is without the noise of all the guests? You don’t realize it at the time, but 60,000 people all talking to each other is loud, and after they leave the park feels almost uncomfortably quiet.

  4. Alain, I know I have told you about the time back in March 1993, when the EDL park had closed for the public and they let Michael Jackson and his kids all come in. Operators had to stay over to operate the attractions for them. That was the last time I ever got to meet and talk with him, but got his thumbs up approval on what I was doing. It’s great to walk the parks at night with the lights and music going as well as each lands soundtrack.

    • Hi DisWedWay, as a huge fan of Michael Jackson, I would LOVE to hear more about this story. Any chance of a more detailed account of what would be a wonderful memory for you? If you didn’t want to share publicly, perhaps a DM, or I could give you my email?
      Warmest regards, and thanks for your consideration -Q.

  5. Alain, excellent work as always. Just amazing at the amount of work that has to be done in a short period of time to get the park ready for the next day.

  6. When I worked at Disneyland, the original, in California; I gained a much better perspective on just how much goes on, night AND day, behind the scenes, to keep Disneyland in great operating shape. Thanks for this peek at Disneyland Paris. Also, thank you for the beautiful pictures of all the stained glass. Disneyland Paris is a work of art, all of that stained glass is real, not cheap fiberglas.