An Interview with Daniel Delcourt — Part 2

Monday December 21, 2015 — Compass Club, Disney’s Newport Bay Club

On Monday, December 21, Daniel Delcourt, COO of Disneyland Paris, invited representatives of nine fan sites / pages to a Q&A session. This is the second part of our report, you can read Part 1 at the link at the bottom of this page.

On with the questions:

9) Is there a plan to build a new hotel?

Projects are underway, but Daniel Delcourt cannot tell if they will materialize or not.

10) Announcements (Spiels) have been played in the parks. Is the goal to inform visitors?

One was agreed to by Daniel: the one about RATP (Paris transport). During a strike, 2500 Guests were stuck at the train station with no RER (commuter train), replacement solutions had to be found, it was a headache. In order for this to not happen again, Daniel agreed to the announcements during other RATP strikes, so that Guests would not be stuck again.

11) Will you try the Star Wars Night experience again ?

The lighting, the photo-locations, the Star Wars characters.. “It was fun, pretty”. But the feedback is mixed, “Not enough product”. If it happens again, the product will be stronger.

12) Will Cast Member selection criteria change during castings ?

During the “Journées Tradition”, emphasis will be on courtesy. It will be closely evaluated during the trial period.

13) Comment from participant:

The Christmas Season 2015 really put the emphasis on the shows, the characters, and Guests like it. It was a demand fro, Guests. Same thing for the food: increase quality at the restaurants (buffets, table service, fast food) upon Guests demand.

14) Will there be another film after « Ant-Man », at Discoveryland Theatre ?

A plan was in the works for Discoveryland Theatre, but it could not happen. So two solutions: keep it open or close it. Daniel wants to keep it open for the cold winter season. New content is expected for March/April.

15) Is there an “Ambassador” type of program in the “Courtesy” project ?

A jury selected Cast Members who volunteered to become “Courtesy Representatives” (non-official term).Daniel wanted Cast Members — and not representatives higher up — to deliver the message on courtesy to their fellow Cast Members. “It can only come from Cast Members, not from us”.

16) WiFi in the parks: what is the current state ?

WiFi will arrive in October-November 2016 at the Walt Disney Studios, then at Disneyland Park for the 25th Anniversary (April 2017). Daniel also announced the arrival of an RFID card that will group the equivalent of all the paper vouchers/cards used today (park tickets, hotel key at select hotels at first, restaurant vouchers, shops). The expected launch is January 2017. Also, starting January 2016, Guests in select hotels will have access to a card of this type that can contain banking information to pay bills (restaurants, shops…).

It will not be a Magic Band per se. This card will simplify the life of guests and Cast Members.

17) Will the Newport Bay Club and the Disneyland Hotel be upscaled ? Will the Disneyland Hotel lose rooms in order to gain new suites ?

Getting more upscale is the goal for both hotels. For the Newport Bay Club, they are waiting for the inspectors’ opinion. For the Disneyland Hotel, studies are being conducted to “Completely revisit the Hotel” and “Deliver a higher level of service with a number of rooms matching the service we want to provide”.

18) Will the Walt Disney Studios receive a nighttime offering ?

Nothing has ben decided but it is being considered.

19) Are there any plans to revamp the Annual Passport offer?

Daniel says this does not depend on Operations, but Marketing.

20) What can you say about the rehabilitations, like La Cabane des Robinsons ? Will there be new effects ? Will there be any communication on this ?

At La Cabane des Robinson, a lot of effects that do not work anymore will come back, plus new ones. Persons with limited mobility will be able to visit, but not the entire attraction.

Daniel then talks about Big Thunder Mountain: the Geysers will come back, and the breakdowns will decrease — and their length diminish as well.

21) What is the future of the Mark Twain ?

“It is in my 10-year rehabilitation plan”. “It is in a terrible state”.

22) Let’s talk about It’s A Small World ?

All the dolls will be gradually changed. It is currently not planned to add Disney characters. The entrance sequence has changed, to accommodate people with reduced mobility. During the rehabilitations, measures to conform to French laws for accessibility are taken as much as possible.

23) How is the rehabilitation plan created ? What is the criteria ?

It depends on the state of the attraction (Daniel talks about Star Tours, Peter Pan), number of breakdowns (Big thunder Mountain). A lot of things are being looked into but not confirmed, so Daniel cannot say more.

24) Opinion of participant:

The recent video about the current rehabilitations was a great idea.

Daniel reminds us of the “Cast Member Forum” organized when he and Tom Wolber arrived in order to present the road map: “You know where you are going and everyone has the same vision”. It also allows Cast Members to be able to answer Guests’ questions. “Everyone knows what we are working on and where we want to go”.

The interview ends with those words. Participants thank Daniel Delcourt who answers “I thank you” and adds: “Let’s do it again whenever you want!”.

Our team leader Darth John and the entire ED92 team thank Daniel Delcourt for his kind invitation, his warm welcome and his honesty.