Once Upon a Date: Grand Opening Disneyland Paris

Sunday April 12, 1992, right at 9.01am, Disneyland Paris opened its doors for the first time. While we all know April 12 as being the day of the Grand Opening, the festivities started a few days before and lasted in total three days.

From idea to opening

The idea for the park could 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.

Friday, April 10

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 12:30am with “La Féérie du Lac Enchanté,” a nighttime spectacular combining sound effects, lights, lasers, fireworks and projections on Lake Buena Vista.

Saturday, April 11

Saturday April 11 saw the dedication of Disneyland Hotel. The entire day was filled with festivities including a star-studded evening 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.

Sunday, April 12

After two days of special events, it was time for regular guests to experience Disneyland Paris. At 9.01am guests entered Disneyland Paris for the first time.

Watch Grand Opening of Euro Disney TV special

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