Controversial New Change Announced for Disney Park, Backtracking on Recent Promise

in Disneyland Paris

A guest waves at Mickey Mouse on a parade float at Disneyland Paris

Credit: Michele Bergami, Unsplash

Disney has made a controversial new partnership for one theme park attraction.

Ever since the opening of Disneyland in 1955, The Walt Disney Company’s theme parks have partnered with brands to sponsor their attractions. Back in the 50s, the likes of Monsanto sponsored the long-closed Hall of Chemistry (a science museum in Tomorrowland that focused on, you guessed it, chemistry), while Richfield sponsored Autopia.

Black and white image of people riding in a line of vintage miniature cars on a curved track at Disneyland, featuring one of the 18 original opening day attractions, Autopia. The Disney logo is seen
Credit: D23

Over the years, several sponsors have stepped back from the Disney parks, while several new ones have stepped in to take their place. For example, General Motors was axed in favor of Chevrolet at EPCOT’s Test Track in 2012 (with the latter set to also be axed when the ride closes for its major transformation in June).

You’ll also find rides sponsored by the likes of Enterprise (Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover and TRON Lightcycle / Run at Magic Kingdom), JCB Co., Ltd. (Star Tours – The Adventures Continue), and Blue Cross (Frozen Ever After at Hong Kong Disneyland) scattered around Disney parks worldwide.

Six Guests grinning as a car drives them at top speed on Chevrolet Test Track - a Walt Disney World ride.
Credit: Disney

This week, yet another ride sponsor has been revealed, but it may not be the most logical choice.

According to DLP Report, Disneyland Paris has confirmed that the freshly renovated Le Pays des Contes de Fées (“The Land of Fairy Tales”) will be sponsored by the water brand Vittel when it reopens.

🍯 New behind the scenes look at the creation of the Winnie the Pooh scene for “Pays des Contes de Fées”. It’ll join the new Frozen and UP! scenes when the attraction reopens later this year.
As part of the changes, the attraction will be sponsored by French water brand Vittel.

The issue? Disneyland Paris only recently (quite literally earlier this week) wrapped up its Earth Month celebrations, which saw it pledge to take small steps to save the planet – a message that isn’t particularly embodied by a brand that retails single-use plastic bottles.

Guests pass a scene on the Storybook Canal Boats (Le Pays des Contes de Fées) in Disneyland Paris
Credit: Disney

In fact, the resort has made a lot of noise about its anti-single-use plastic mission in recent years. Single-use plastic straws and plastic stirrers are no longer available on property. In 2019, it axed plastic bags, and instead started offering reusable Disney-themed bags to shoppers for a small fee.

The resort has also started recycling its cast member costumes and offers drinks at its quick service restaurants in reusable plastic cups, which must be recycled – not thrown away – at the end of each meal for other guests to use.

All in all, the park’s sentiments so far have been in no way aligned with promoting single-use plastics – which is why it’s so confusing that it would choose to commercially align itself with a brand like Vittel.

Guests ride the Storybook Canal Boats (Le Pays des Contes de Fées) in Disneyland Paris
Credit: Disney

This isn’t the first time fans have had an adverse reaction to a ride’s sponsor at a Disney park. Back in 2022, when it was announced that Enterprise would sponsor TRON Lightcycle / Run, fans criticized Disney for being “super cringy” and advertising the partnership so loudly at the ride entrance.

Le Pays des Contes de Fées is the Disneyland Paris version of Storybook Land Canal Boats. Like its Disneyland Resort counterpart, it’s a relaxing boat ride that takes guests through scenes from their favorite fairytale classics.

During its ongoing renovation, the Disney park is stripping previous scenes, such as those inspired by Return to Oz (1985), Peter and the Wolf, and Hansel and Gretel, and instead introducing new scenes inspired by Frozen (2013), Up (2010), and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977).

Do you think Disneyland Paris has made the right choice with Vittel as the ride’s sponsor? Let us know in the comments!

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