It was on April 12, 1992 – at 9.01 a.m. on the dot – that Disneyland Paris opened its doors for the first time. It was the beginning of the dream and yet, so much had already been accomplished!
The idea for the park may date back to 1976, but it wasn’t until the success of Tokyo Disneyland in 1983 – the first Disney park outside the United States – that the project moved forward. Once the ideal location was found and years of planning complete, the first stone was laid on August 3, 1988. It marked the start of four years of construction work and the most ambitious undertaking in European history since the Channel Tunnel! It took more than 10,000 workers from across Europe to bring to life the 600-hectare property designed to make dreams come true.
When the time came to inaugurate Disneyland Paris, it became apparent that a one-day celebration would not be enough! Festivities began on the evening of Friday, April 10, 1992, with the official opening of five of the resort’s six hotels and Disney Village, then called Festival Disney. The evening concluded at 12:30 a.m. with “La Féérie du Lac Enchanté,” a nighttime spectacular combining sound effects, lights, lasers, fireworks and projections on Lake Buena Vista.
The next day began at 9 a.m. with the dedication of Disneyland Hotel, a preamble to a star-studded evening of spectacle that was broadcast internationally with artists like Gipsy Kings, Cher, Spanish tenor José Carreras and actress Angela Lansbury, who plays Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast. Once the ribbon was cut, Mickey Mouse invited audience members to join him in Disneyland Paris. At last, everything was ready to open to guests the next morning.
So, on April 12, 1992 – at 9.01 a.m. on the dot – guests entered Disneyland Paris for the first time. But, that is another story to be told!