Walt Disney Officially Removed From Park, Updates Arrive After Controversial Decision

in Disney Parks, Disneyland Paris

Walt Disney with characters at Disneyland in the 1960s

Credit: Disney

When you think of the Disney parks around the world, there are a few things that instantly come to mind. Mickey Mouse may be one of them, as the official icon and mascot of Disney, perhaps the castle is a quick thought, whether it be Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty, maybe you think of Pirates of the Caribbean or your favorite attraction, and of course, Walt Disney, the creator of The Walt Disney Company, and originator of Disneyland.

Walt Disney with his Imagineers
Credit: Walt Disney Imagineering

Walter Elias “Walt” Disney was an American entrepreneur, business magnate, animator, voice actor, producer, director, writer, and the eponymous founder of The Walt Disney Company. One of the most famous and well-known motion picture producers in the world and a pioneer of the animation industry, Walt co-founded his namesake company, Walt Disney Productions, with his brother, Roy in 1923.

In the late 1940’s, Disney drew sketches of his ideas for an amusement park where he envisioned his employees spending time with their children. These ideas developed into a concept for a larger enterprise which was to become Disneyland. Disney spent five years of his life developing Disneyland and created a new subsidiary of his company, called WED Enterprises, to carry out the planning and production of the park.

Walt Disney with Mickey Mouses
Credit: D23

A small group of Disney studio employees joined the Disneyland development project as engineers and planners and were dubbed Imagineers.

Disneyland, one of the world’s first theme parks, finally opened on July 17, 1955, and was immediately successful. Visitors from around the world came to visit Disneyland, which contains attractions based upon a number of successful Disney properties and films.

After 1955, the Disneyland TV show became known as Walt Disney Presents, went from black-and-white to color in 1961—changing its name to Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color—and eventually evolved into what is today known as The Wonderful World of Disney, which continues to air on ABC as of 2005.

Rides like Autopia, Disneyland Railroad, King Arthur’s Carrousel, Mad Tea Party, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Peter Pan’s Flight, Snow White’s Enchanted Wish, Storybook Land Canal Boats, and more opening with the theme park, with more attractions being added later that year, and into the future.

Walt and Mickey at Disneyland
Credit: Disney

Cut to Walt wanting to expand his theme park business into Florida, and Walt Disney World Resort was created. As we know, sadly, Walt did not make it to see the Magic Kingdom come to life. However, his legacy lives on, with his words gracing the entry of the theme park: “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.”

Walt’s idea has grown so big that it has grown globally, and in 1992, Euro Disney, now known as Disneyland Paris, was created. Although the people of France were not too fond of the theme park when it opened, as many saw it as cultural appropriation, now, it is highly beloved by locals and tourists alike.

Now, Disneyland Paris is facing major change.

Disneyland Paris Park is currently undergoing construction at the entrance of the park, as well as on the Disneyland Hotel itself. There are areas within the park that are covered in tarps or construction facades, with rides shutting down for routine refurbishment each month. For example, Hyperspace Mountain and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will both be closed at points of November.

Although Disneyland will always be expanding, the major change is coming from Walt Disney Studios Park. This second park acts as the Disney California Adventure or Disney’s Hollywood Studios-themed park for Paris. It is focused on the movies and allows guests to feel like they have entered Hollywood.

Sleeping Beauty Castle in the end of Main Street, U.S.A, at Disneyland Paris
Credit: Disney

Right now, the park is expanding to add a Frozen land, which will add nicely to the current Pixar theming of Cars, Toy Story, Ratatouille, and Finding Nemo. There will also be a Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge added. This will latch on to the previous renovations, which created an Avengers Campus at the theme park.

When guests enter Walt Disney Studios Park, they do so through Studio 1, which is a movie set-themed space, allowing guests to feel like they have entered a sound stage. Here, guests can get food, and shop for merchandise. The indoor area is highly unique to this park, making it one of the larger features.

Walt Disney in front of disneyland castle
Credit: Disney

That being said, the construction will soon affect this building as well, as Disney intends to shut it down from 2024 – 2025 next year. They have even asked guests to leave the park for food, as they will no longer have too many affordable options. The decision for this necessary yet upsetting closure has been highly controversial.

At the front of many Disney theme parks is the partner statue, which features Walt Disney as a decorative commemoration to the man who started it all. At Walt Disney Studios Park, things are no different. However, Disney will now be removing that partner statue.

DLP Report (@DLPReport), shared, “At Walt Disney Studios Park, the big area behind walls on Hollywood Blvd. has been completely flattened, including the Partners Statue planter. The statue will return in a new nearby location and facing the other way.”

The good news? Walt will one day return — but it may take a while for fans to see him again. It will be exciting to see what the new location is for Walt, and if his statue changes at all. These changes will certainly be a large boost for Disneyland Paris, which has been suffering some scrutiny following the end of its 30th anniversary. 

Bed bugs have infested Paris, mold is being found in Disneyland Paris hotel rooms, cleanliness is a major issue, crowd control is not being dealt with too well (as Disney’s solution is telling guests to leave), and now, even more offerings are being removed.

What do you think about the current status of Disneyland Paris? Would you want to hold off on visiting? 


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