Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Discovery Arcade

To compensate for the more temperate and seasonal weather of Northern France, the Imagineers behind Disneyland Paris deliberately developed a pair of arcades to usher visitors through Main Street USA on snowy and crowded days. Whereas Main Street in Disneyland USA uses an ad hoc system of doors between shops (which have increasingly little distinction between them or relation to the actual storefronts), these covered arcades are marvelous attractions in their own rights. These arcades mirror those that one can find throughout the streets of Paris.

A Parisian shopping arcade.

On the left-hand side as one faces the castle, they may enter the Liberty Arcade that leads to Frontierland. Imagineers were very careful to draw connections between French culture and Disney product as they built Disneyland Paris, so as to overcome the inherent mistrust of the cultural elite to this incursion of American pop-culture. Liberty Arcade was built in honour of the Statue of Liberty, France's gift to the United States. In the centre of it is a delightful little diorama replicating that grand unveiling of the great copper idol.

On the right-hand side, leading to Discoveryland, is the Discovery Arcade. This avenue looks at inventions real and imaginary, fanciful and practical, reinforcing Discoveryland's theme of Vernian science and technology. In addition to displays of models are a set of incredible illustrated posters showing retro-futuristic visions of American cities at the turn of the millennium.  

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