And on that note, I've also seen people write, "Les Court des Anges," which is also incorrect. That translates to "The Courts of Angels," with "les" pluralizing "court." Instead, it is "Le Court des Anges," which translates directly to "The Court of the Angels" or "The Court of Angels."
Does anyone know of the story of the Court of Angels or Court de Angels area in New Orleans Square?
Yes. I know a bit about it.
First, its original name until just fairly recently was "Le Grand Courtyard." I have no idea why the powers that be decided to go with the Angel angle just a couple of years ago, but I remember it ticked me off when they did, and inserted the relief plaque on that one wall proclaiming its new name. Why? Because of the story and history behind this courtyard.
It was designed by Disney Legend Herb Ryman, who was asked personally by Walt to provide some inspirational drawings and painting of various areas of the then in-design New Orleans Square, based on the style of actual courtyards that existed in the real French Quarter. He actually did 4 different versions of this particular courtyard, but basically they all looked the same...just in different mediums (pencil, pencil with watercolor wash, oil, etc).
Walt Disney saw Herbie's "Le Grand Courtyard" and loved the painting so much than he ordered the Courtyard constructed exactly as Herb depicted it! No changes could be made! Here's that painting:
And that's exactly how it got built and what it was officially named. I believe even the iron gates to the courtyard had "GC" on them for most of their lives. But a few years ago someone got the bright idea of changing the name for God knows what reason (I find a lot of Disney folks these days like to change things just for the sake of changing them and perhaps to be able to point to their friends and say, "I named that!" ).
Here's a very early shot of Le Grand Courtyard from a 1967 Park postcard. They lady in it is Beverly...who used to run the One-Of-A-Kind Shop and later worked up at the Disney Gallery until she retired a couple of years ago. And the big doll on the bottom left is one of several Mary Blair originals that were sold at the Park back then:
Herbie also designed the other courtyard of New Orleans Square...The Royal Courtyard. This was the courtyard for the 21 Royal Street Disney family apartments (now the Disney Gallery). Here's the art on that one:
This courtyard is still there too. This was actually the "front" entrance to the apartments before they built the double stairways that exist above the entrance to Pirates now. At the base of that stairway was a small "speakeasy" just like Club 33's. You rang the bell and the receptionist upstairs would buzz open a little gate at the base of the stairs.
I will never call Le Grand Courtyard the Courtyard of Angels. Sorry. It's always going to be Walt & Herbie's "Le Grand Courtyard" to me. To me...calling it anything else would be tantamount to calling Sleeping Beauty Castle something else.
Originally Posted by Mr. Liver
Originally Posted by Opus1guy
I have no idea why the powers that be decided to go with the Angel angle just a couple of years ago, but I remember it ticked me off when they did, and inserted the relief plaque on that one wall proclaiming its new name. Why?
The plaque and the name of the courtyard were changed in dedication to a cast member who died tragically.
Americanized or French, by any name it's a beautiful piece of historical Disneyland -- and deserving of better than being turned into yet another merchandise location.
"With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
imagination or art. All you need is a brand."
- Neil Gabler