Reports about the opening day and the preparations
Pictures of the opening ceremony
Celebrities attending the ceremony
Television specials of the ceremony
You can read a dozen brochures, look at a hundred pictures, but there's nothing so convincing as someone's enthusiasm, gained from their own personal experience.That's part of the thinking behind Preview Days. They started with the Cast Member preview evenings on 27th and 28th April, and finished with the local communities on the 24th May, just in time to make way for the rehearsals of the inauguration ceremony. Preview Days are also, of course, and excellent way of showing out appreciation of all those who have helped and continue to help our Company.
In total, more than 50,000 people were invited. Our Participant companies, Philips, Coca-Cola, Esso, France Télécom, Kodak, IBM, American Express, Renault, BNP, Nestlé and Mattel, each invited around 2,000 guests for a day in the park, including a voyage "from the earth to the moon". All our marketing and travel alliance partners received invitations, and out annual passport holders were not forgotten either. They are now not only Space Mountainauts, but also Space Mountain ambassadors throughout Europe!
Around 1,000 French and a similar number of European travel agents accepted the offer of a "sneak" preview and a privatised evening in Discoveryland. With our Space Mountain package (until 13th July) and the approach, later this year, of our Space Festival (see below), we'll be counting on their support. And what was their reaction to being catapulted into space? "It's out of this world!"by Christine Tweedly (published in "En Coulisse", the DLP-Cast Member newspaper)
Euro Disneyland SPACE MOUNTAIN Opening Day Invitation May 18, 1995Nifty slick-print, full-color card that serves as an invitation to the opening of "la nouvelle attraction de Disneyland Paris SPACE MOUNTAIN le jeudi 18 mai 1995." Invitation is all in french. Cover is pictured. Inside features the Kodak logo and the Space Mountain logo along with information on the party (valid for only one person). Back has a map of Paris and how to get to Disneyland Paris. A nifty and very rare item that was only sent to members of the press and other specially invited people to the grand opening spectacular. Measures 5" x 8".Found at www.ebay.com
DLP Passport AVANT PREMIERE"special event pass", given to some people by American Express (one of the DLP sponsors). Valid 4/20 - 5/19/1995Found at www.ibazar.fr
Discoveryland is black as the surrounding night. Suddenly, the silhouette of Space Mountain apears.Runners carrying whistling torches weave though thirty "starmen", the points of their stars spilling fountains of light. The queen of the night hovers by Space Mountain while an naria fills the air and signals the arrival of the sun, in fact 120 suns - spinning, sparkling wheels of light carried aloft by 120 Cast Members. Space Mountain transforms into a volcano and, in a crescendo of music and coulour, the sky is filled with exploding stars and planets as the event draws to a spectacular close.
The audience is left starry eyes and breathless. In the temporary bunker in Parking Nord, however, Guilio Fissore and his team of 6 assistants can breathe easily, knowing that they have successfully completed yet anonther great firework show. Five of the team were recruited specially for the occasion. Guilio was surprised to find that three of the recruits were girls. "It's unusual to find girls in this business, so three...! But they were great. Very professional," he adds hastily!
It took ten nights of concentrated effort to get everything prepared and into place, for a mere 15 minutes of light and noise. But what spectacular light and noise! "It was more than just a firework display," confides Guilio "it was an integral part of the artistic concept of the event." Guilio can rest assured that his 15 minutes of pyrotechnic brilliance made the event one of the most memorable we've ever had!by Christine Tweedly (published in "En Coulisse", the DLP-Cast Member newspaper)
"Can you come up with an event for the inauguration of Space Mountain? It has to be sensational - something unforgettable for our guests and also something suitable for the TV cameras..."Up to that point, there's nothing unusual. Entertainment gets requests like this all the time. Except this is a bigger challenge than most, since the aim is to create an impression as great as that of Grand Opening. "We're going to have a great evening of entertainment - something truly third millennium, but still in the style of Jules Verne ... Know what I mean?"
When Jean-Luc Choplin and his creative team get to work on something, it works like a well-oiled machine. The "ideas" people dream up a Queen of the Night suspended high in the air from a shining moon, a Jules Verne-style rocket pulled by mules, a Rocket Man to fly over Space Mountain, a pyrotechnic parade, a lavish party ... Christian Trévenet's team, Public Relations and Special Events, translate this in terms of logistics, development, guest stars, entertainment... All these different aspects multiply into a million details, each one more important than the next: invitations, hotel reservatitions, plane, train or boat transport for the invited guests, how they will be welcomed on arrival (hostesses, guides...), meal-coupons, themed buffets, decisions on costumes, decor, sound, recruiting and training volunteers... All these details have to be decided individually, but in perfect harmony with each other. "To keep everyone in tune, we've never found a better solution than the "Production Book", a large notebook in which everyone involved in the project writes down what has been done, what's going to be done, when and how ... it's our bible," confides Isabelle Calbrecht, in charge Special Events.
Nothing can surprise them...
Other, more unusual, problems in the creative line have also to be solved: where do you find a Rocket Man? Do you have any mules available on 31st May= Could you build us a rocket which will open up and hold Jules Verne, without being too claustrophobic? The Special Events team are used to brain-storming sessions which produce requests a little ... out-of-the-ordinary. But filfilling someone's dreams doesn't mean you don't keep your feet on the ground. Practical details are equally important - whether is's signage, telephone line, computer equipment, plants, a red carpet for the stars or a prefabricated unit. Everything has to be ready for the big day. Each deals with his own speciality. To be even more efficient, Cast Members from the different departments concerned were seconded to the Special Events team. "Two Cast Members from Transportation were with us for two month, as were the VIP Department of the Disneyland Hotel and a member of the Finance team," explains Isabelle. "A special reservation desk for the guest stars was even installed next to out offices! It was the best way of coordinating everything efficiently. Many departments worked with us as and when necessaey, and it has to be stressed that without them it would never have been possible."
The Artistic Direction team coordinates all the aspects of entertainment, from recruiting the performers and the volunteers, to dismantling the decor. Every night during the last week of May, the Special Events Department held rehearsals to ensure that the show would be a success. Reviving an old tradition of performing groups, everyone stayed together, living and eating on site, sharing all the moments of stress and emotion. Between difining the concept and the big day itself, many months passed - months of creative fervour and supercharged atmosphere, frazzled tempers and telephone lines, meetings and walk-throughs ... But finally calm descends - the calm after the storm, the time when each and every one can felld proud and relieved that everything went well - that is, until the next surprise, the next event!by B.S.-P. (published in "En Coulisse", the DLP-Cast Member newspaper)
Some pictures of the ceremony (provided by Nicolas):
"To all the inhabitants of the Earth, I declare Space Mountain, From the Earth to the Moon, officially open."Roy Disney
Fountains of lights from the "starmen", closeup
Fireworks on the ground and in the sky.
Pictures from RTL
Pictures from SuperRTL
Some pictures of the ceremony (provided by Nicolas):Buzz Aldrin and Philippe BourguignonSpace Mountain is physically more impressive than a real rocket, because accelerations are more brutal. This attraction could be compared with an aircraft fighter, even though the real sensations from a real rocket are nearer to a Boeing flight.Buzz Aldrin (NASA astronaut on Apollo XI) after riding Space Mountain
Claudia Schiffer, David Copperfield and Philippe Buorguignon riding SM
Peter Gabriel leaves his handprints for posterity
Marie-Helene and one of her many admirers: Jean Reno
The French Minister of Finance and Economy, Alain Madelin
More Pictures of stars (at Disneyland Pascal Pages )Alain Decaux, Eddie Barclay, Stéphane Collaro
Sylvester Stallone, Gérard Depardieu
Jean Pierre Foucault, Severine Claire
Pictures from RTLPeter Gabriel
Claudia Schiffer and David Copperfield
"We're gonna see it ..."Peter Gabriel asked about his dinner after riding Space Mountain in May 1995
"... and of course it has a loop, sharps turns, goes upside down ... and it is a very exciting one"Cliff Richard after riding Space Mountain in May 1995
Celebrities riding Space Mountain at the opening day:Peter Gabriel, Cliff Richard, Jakob Sisters, Claudia Schiffer, David Copperfield, Dave Prowse, Roman Polanski, Jean Pierre Foucault, Severine Claire, Alain Decaux, Eddie Barclay, Stéphane Collaro, Michael Jackson, Sylvester Stallone, Gérard Depardieu, Roy E. Disney, Catherine Deneuve, Boney M, Paul Young
Worlds Apart!Also Worlds Apart took a ride on Space Mountain on a later visit.found and scanned by Cindy Yung
Opening CountdownSpace Mountain's opening countdown broadcast on Dutch TV
mj_010695inauguration.mpg [0m38s MPEG1 605kB]provided by Mark Jochems
Opening CountdownReport on SuperRTL (Germany) about the opening of Space Mountain and the Space Festival
rtl_disneynews.mpg [0m40s MPEG1 827kB]captured by FeLIX
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