Forbes is not an unusual destination for news as we pull together posts for DSNY Newscast; their coverage of the business side of movies is an important source of background reading and ideas.
However, it is a little unusual to find a Forbes story on a theme park in France. That said, Disneyland Paris is working hard (and effectively) to ensure American audiences consider their park a worthwhile destination for Disneyphiles – so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that they’re getting some good coverage.
So, today —thankfully — I stumbled upon Christian Sylt’s “The Secret Behind Disney’s Festive Sparkle,” a story that sheds light on the ever-evolving work to keep DLP current to the season and push the envelope on themed entertainment.
Sylt began by speaking to the amazing, year-round work done at Europe’s Disneyland.
“If you’re someone who can’t stand the sight of Christmas baubles until after Thanksgiving then spare a thought for the decorators at Disneyland Paris,” he wrote. “They finalize the
“It is no mean feat as they have just four or five days to do it.”
But, thankfully for this North American Disney dude, Sylt reminded readers about the makeup of the Parisian park and gave needed context:
At the heart of the complex on the outskirts of Paris are two parks – its eponymous flagship and the movie-themed Walt Disney Studios. The former covers half a million square meters whilst the latter is around half that size. It doesn’t stop there. There are also eight on-site hotels, 55 restaurants, two convention centers, a 27-hole golf course, and a 44,000-square-meter shopping and dining district. Decorations they’re over almost every inch of the resort.
Some stats on those decorations from Sylt’s piece:
- There are around 100 natural Christmas trees in the park, and many are wrapped in ribbons.
- The castle itself is the shiniest object in the park as its turrets are covered in 60,000 tiny LED lights which shimmer like icicles at night. Just installing them involves ten people and two 60 meter-high cranes.
- Disney’s staff are known as cast members, due to the role they play on a themed set, and around 100 of them work on the Christmas preparations throughout the year.
- It takes 54, along with external suppliers, to install the decorations.
- Many of them are needed just to put up the tree which is 24 meters tall, weighs over 24 tons and has 17,963 branches dripping with tinsel illuminated by more than 500 light bulbs.
In my head, I am comparing the holiday decorations I have seen at both the Disneyland Resort and in Walt Disney World near Orlando and the numbers here seem to parallel the two parks in the United States.
Moreover, we’ve seen videos of how Disneyland and WDW pull together their own decorations.
DLP has their own video, too:
I am pretty intrigued about this whole process at any park, and Sylt’s story puts the entire thing — and the process in all the parks — in pretty good perspective.
As we reported in British newspaper The Times, Disneyland Paris makes all of its festive season production decisions by March to give eight months of lead time. Come November, the decorations have to be installed in less than five days, and the majority of the work is done overnight so that it minimizes disruption to guests. A huge team is needed to sprinkle this Pixie Dust in such a short time-frame.
It won’t take you that much time to read the piece, either. It’s very informative.
But what do you think? Do you think you’ll ever make it to Disneyland Paris? And if you’ve been to multiple parks, which has the best holiday decorations – and which holiday period is best (Halloween or the December holidays)?
Let us know in the comments below…