Discovery Arcade is a sheltered walkthrough attraction at Disneyland Paris. The attraction is an exhibition about inventors of the 19th century. It opened with the park on April 12, 1992. It is also used to provide shelter during cold or rain.
Original Concept and Design
When Imagineers were working on the creation of the Disneyland Resort Paris, they had to envision a Main Street that would cope with the changing climate of the region of Paris. Although a huge Victorian style-glass roof covering the street could be built as in Tokyo Disneyland's World Bazaar, the decision was made to build two covered walkways parallel to Main Street instead.
In the very early days of the original Disneyland in Anaheim, California, Walt Disney had imagined two streets adjacent to Main Street, respectively Liberty Street (themed to American values and history) and Edison Square (themed to this inventor's achievements). Although they were never made reality, these ideas became inspiration for both Arcades in Paris. As such, Imagineers came up with Liberty Arcade, themed to the lasting friendship between France and the United States and embodied by Lady Liberty, and Discovery Arcade, themed to inventions of the 19th century.
The Arcade is a long walkway, from Town Square to Edison Avenue, which also gets behind Main Street shops and restaurants. It features many showcase windows, each one displaying models and sketches from the U.S. Patent Office. These models were originally made in the 19th century.
The Arcade also presents a series of posters representing American cities of the late 20th Century, as they were envisionned a century ago.
- One of the showcase windows was originally sponsored by Renault and presented this company's early inventions. In 2002, Opel replaced Renault, so the windows underwent changes. Then Opel also dropped sponsorship around 2009, which is why the window a comparison between the Eiffel Tower and the Ferris Wheel.
- Early concepts intended to create a central room in the Arcade, symmetrical to the inauguration of Lady Liberty in Liberty Arcade. This never-built room would have featured automats from the 19th century.
- Another concept was to build an elevated railway on an upper floor overlooking the Arcade. Trains would then be able to take guests from Town Square up to Central Plaza. This idea was soon scrapped.
- One showcase windows displays a Hyperion Airship model prop, from the film The Island at the Top of the World.