Walt Disney Studios Park is the second theme park of Disneyland Paris, and is also owned and operated by Euro Disney S.C.A. It is located to the west of the hub, next door to Disneyland Park at the heart of the resort in Marne-la-Vallée.
To all who enter this studio of dreams...welcome. Walt Disney Studios is dedicated to our timeless fascination and affection for cinema and television. Here we celebrate the art and the artistry of storytellers from Europe and around the world who create magic. May this special place stir our own memories of the past, and our dreams of the future. - Michael D. Eisner, March 16, 2002
The park opened on March 16, 2002 and is themed after a working film studio, with the "lands" being studio lots. Most of its attractions are imported from the other Disney parks in California, Florida, and Tokyo, although the park has original attractions including Moteurs... Action! Stunt Show Spectacular, which was later exported to Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World in Florida.
It was traditional for a period of time for Walt Disney Feature Animation to have a satellite animation studio at each of the company's resorts, but the Paris studio was located in Montreuil, at the city limits of Paris and was never associated with the park. Originally the Brizzi studio owned by brothers Paul Brizzi and Gaëtan Brizzi, Disney purchased the studio in the early 1990s and renamed it Walt Disney Feature Animation Paris (WDFA). WDFA Paris' first films were A Goofy Movie and the Mickey Mouse short Runaway Brain.
WDFA Paris contributed sequences to every Disney film from The Hunchback of Notre Dame to Atlantis: The Lost Empire, most notably producing the Firebird Suite sequence for Fantasia 2000. It was closed in 2004 following Disney Florida and Disney Japan, when Feature Animation was downsized to save production costs.
Disney-MGM Studios Europe was the original plan for a second theme park and was scheduled to open in 1996. However, these plans were cancelled around mid-1992 due to the resort's financial crisis of that time. After the resort began to make a profit, plans for a movie themed theme park went into development again but on a much smaller scale. In 2002, the Walt Disney Studios Park opened.
In June 2007, a brand new "land" opened in the Animation Courtyard area of the park. Called Toon Studio, the new area is themed as a "toon backlot", apparently representing the film studio work place of animated characters, where they produce their animated classics. The concept has been created exclusively for Walt Disney Studios Park and features two brand new attractions, not seen in any other Disney Theme Park, along with small merchandising locations and many character meet-and-greets.
The key attractions in this expansion phase are Crush's Coaster, a custom-designed Maurer Söhne SC 2000 indoor spinning roller coaster, and Cars: Race Rally themed to the 2006 Disney/Pixar film Cars, with the ride taking the form of an enhanced tea cups ride. Similar attractions can be found in Mermaid Lagoon at Tokyo DisneySea, a bug's land and the upcoming Cars Land in Disney's California Adventure. On December 22, 2007, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction soft-opened with the new Hollywood Boulevard on Production Courtyard. Stitch Live! has replaced the Disney Channel Studio Tour.
In 2009, new attractions and entertainment opened at Walt Disney Studios to run alongside with Mickey's Magical Party, which began in April 2009. A new attraction Playhouse Disney Live On Stage! opened next to Stitch Live! and is presented in English, Spanish, and French. For the first time, Walt Disney Studios Park received a full parade, Disney's Stars 'n' Cars is a smaller version of Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade, which had previously come from Disney's Hollywood Studios park in Walt Disney World, Florida.
The Walt Disney Studios features four lots.
- Flying Carpets Over Agrabah
- Crush's Coaster
- Cars Quatre Roues Rallye
- Animation Academy
- Monsters Inc. Scream Academy
- Mickey and the Magician
- Ratatouille: L'Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy
- Stitch Live!
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic
- Disney Junior - Live on Stage!
- Moteurs... Action! Stunt Show Spectacular
- Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Avec Aerosmith
- Armageddon - Les Effets Speciaux
Walt Disney Studios Park is considered a sister park to Disney's Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney-MGM Studios) in the Walt Disney World, which opened in 1989. Both parks feature a show business theme, and the two parks share numerous attractions. The Earffel Tower, Walt Disney Studios Park's water-tower icon structure, is basically identical to Hollywood Studios' Earful Tower; Hollywood Studios' icon formerly was the Earful Tower prior to the construction of the Sorcerer's Hat in 2001.