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Oo la la! A look at Disney in France
Paris in Print - Disneyland Paris, From Sketch to Reality

This book is now available at MouseShoppe - Click here to purchase - Promotional photo  Nouveau Millenaire Editions -  Disney
This book is now available in its English language edition at MouseShoppe - Click here or on the photo above to purchase - Promotional photo Nouveau Millenaire Editions - Disney

Another Disney coffee table book just what you need, right? If you're like me, you already have a bookcase overflowing with everything Disney. Well, make room Dear Readers; here's another one you need for your collection: Disneyland Paris: From Sketch to Reality.

If you have any interest in Disneyland Paris, I would be inclined to offer the advice that this book is a necessity. I certainly wish I had read it before the last trip I took there this past February. It would have made my stay at Disneyland Paris a richer experience.

Promotional image  Nouveau Millenaire Editions -  DisneyPromotional image  Nouveau Millenaire Editions -  Disney
Above, the opening page of Main Street USA's section. Each chapter about the five lands of the park begins with a large reproduction of one of the famous "attraction posters," which park visitors can find located under the Main Street Station. Promotional image Nouveau Millenaire Editions - Disney

The project of putting together the book was helmed by Allain Littaye and took five years to complete. The text of the book was written by Disney historian Didier Ghez who conducted numerous interviews with the Disney Imagineers who worked in bringing the park from concept to fruition. And that is exactly what makes this book such a gem. It's filled with marvelous anecdotes gleaned from these interviews.

Promotional image  Nouveau Millenaire Editions -  DisneyPromotional image  Nouveau Millenaire Editions -  Disney
Above, this Main Street station double-page allows the reader to discover the creation process. The station's rendering is reproduced along with a picture of its model, plus there is a photo of the station in its achieved state, and a shot of Eddie Sotto, Main Street's show producer. Promotional image Nouveau Millenaire Editions - Disney

As you read, you learn about the layers and layers of detail put into every section of Disneyland Paris and frankly, it's absolutely fascinating whether you've been to Disneyland Paris or not. The insight into the creative minds of the Imagineers, the reasons for the choices they make and the depths to which they will go to provide a good experience for the park's visitors are astounding. This is especially true considering that the average person never really sees these details even though they are all there.

Promotional image  Nouveau Millenaire Editions -  Disney Promotional image  Nouveau Millenaire Editions -  Disney
The design of the book also includes some spectacular "silhouetting" of some decor elements in the park. Above left, Alice's Curious Labyrinth, and right the giant beanstalk, both of which are located in Fantasyland. Promotional image Nouveau Millenaire Editions - Disney

Attention to detail is, of course, what Disney is famous for and it's all here in this book. From the reasons why certain music choices were made for the soundtrack played on Main Street, to landscaping challenges faced; from a Roc egg resting at the gateway to Adventureland and why it is there, to the description of Imagineers on their hands and knees stacking coins in the treasure room of Pirates of the Caribbean just as pirates would stack their gold, and even to the placement of Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant so that it will never be backlit for picture-taking tourists.

Imagineer John Grizienski is quoted in the book as saying, "Everything has to be meaningful, that's what makes all the difference." This book makes the reader completely understand that statement.

Promotional image  Nouveau Millenaire Editions -  DisneyPromotional image  Nouveau Millenaire Editions -  Disney
One of the most spectacular features of the book are its numerous double-pages reproducing large-scale photos. Here one looks upon the Nautilus and Space Mountain - literally the reader is "immersed" into the center of the park. Promotional image Nouveau Millenaire Editions - Disney

The details are not the only reason to buy this book, however. Equally important are photos and Disneyland Paris: From Sketch to Reality is chock-full of them. The 320 page book is filled with page after page of concept art, drawings, models, photos of Imagineers at work, and dozens of gorgeous photos of the attractions within Disneyland Paris.

In all, the book contains 750 illustrations, 250 of which came directly from Disney Imagineering and have not previously been published. You can see Marc Davis' concept art for the original Pirates of the Caribbean, Imagineers crawling over a full-sized scale model of Disneyland Paris, scenes inside Phantom Manor, models used in La Taniere du Dragon, attraction posters, and on and on. Even the hotels on the Disneyland Paris property and the Disney Village have not been forgotten in this book.

Promotional image  Nouveau Millenaire Editions -  DisneyPromotional image  Nouveau Millenaire Editions -  Disney
Above is another example of the creation process with this double-page coming from the long section dedicated to Phantom Manor. Shown are rare renderings, a picture of the first version of the model, with Imagineer Jeff Burke, and a picture of Phantom Manor today. Promotional image Nouveau Millenaire Editions - Disney

Although Disneyland Paris: From Sketch to Reality is a bit pricey and has a few flaws (for example, Walt Disney was 16, not 18 when he went to France to be an ambulance driver, and a few of the photo captions are incorrect), the book is lavish in its presentation and the errors are minor and easily overlooked.

Promotional image  Nouveau Millenaire Editions -  DisneyPromotional image  Nouveau Millenaire Editions -  Disney
Another layout coming from the 14 page section detailing the whole creation process of Space Mountain. The reader will discover the first concepts of "Discovery Mountain," see the rare rendering of the "Blue Moon Mining Co.," and look at one of the Imagineers working on the model of the attraction. Promotional image Nouveau Millenaire Editions - Disney

Disneyland Paris: From Sketch to Reality is a worthy addition to any Disney fan's library and a must-have for those in love with Disneyland Paris or those interested in the creative process of Walt Disney Imagineering.

Click here to purchase this book


You can e-mail Sue Kruse at:
tggrfn@aol.com

Disneyland Paris, From Sketch to Reality

CREDITS:

Article by Sue Kruse

Promotional photos and copy used by permission and Nouveau Millenaire Editions - Disney

PUBLISHER'S DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK'S CHAPTERS:

The introduction features a presentation by the Imagineers of the historical context that surrounded the creation of Disneyland Paris. It also introduces the readers to the concept of the book, and the various steps of the creation off a Disney theme park. This chapter features concept art, models of the various attractions and photos of Imagineers at work on the project as well as of the park under construction.

There are then 52 pages about the "legend" of Main Street, USA, including the Disneyland Paris Railroad, "Discovery" and "Liberty" Arcades, the architecture of Main Street, plus the restaurants and the shops of Main Street. With dozens of photos, renderings, models, and, reproduced in book form for the first time, all the "towns of the future" posters located in "Discovery Arcade."

The Frontierland chapter details not only the major attractions "Big Thunder Mountain" and "Phantom Manor", but also the Mark Twain, the River Rogue Keelboats, Fort Comstock, the restaurants, the shops and Cottonwood Creek Ranch. Also included is a special section about "Halloweenland"... all this within an extensive 46 pages, with dozens of photos of the attractions, concept art, models and stunning photos of "Disneyland Paris from above" by Yann Arthus Bertrand, author of "The Earth from Above."

There's a chapter about the Adventureland "legends", from the Bazar and Aladdin to Africa and the ex-"Explorer's Club", plus a section about "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril", "Adventure Isle" and "The Swiss Robinson Treehouse." And of course, "Pirates of Caribbean" is featured in 26 pages including its Audio-Animatronics. All in all, there are 56 full pages about Adventureland, and, as in the previous chapters, dozens of photos of the attractions, concept art, and photos of Imagineers at work.

The following 56 pages focus on Fantasyland, featuring a long section about Sleeping Beauty Castle, all about the "dark rides" (Snow-White, Peter Pan and Pinocchio), as well as "Alice's Curious Labyrinth", the "Mad Hatter's Tea Cups", "Storybookland", "Casey Jr." and a section about "it's a Small World" with stunning photos of nearly all the scenes. Here, again, the shops and restaurants are fetured, there are a lot of renderings and models, photos of the Imagineers at work and photos of the attractions...

Continuing, there are 52 pages about Discoveryland, with large sections about the Visionarium, the Nautilus, Star Tours, Space Mountain, and everything about the other attractions of Discoveryland - Autopia and Orbitron - and, for all of them renderings, models, Imagineers at work, and photos of the attractions.

Then there are sections all about the hotels, Disney Village, the Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and the Rainforest Cafe, with many renderings and dozens of photos.

Also featured in the book are all the very famous "attraction posters" located under Main Street Station, all of Marc Davis' concept paintings which are at the origin of "Pirates of Caribbean" (and are located in the "Blue Lagoon" restaurant) and of course 500 photos of all the park chosen among the most beautiful ever taken.


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