Main Street Station becomes blank canvas for ‘Swing into Spring’ overlay

Thursday, 3rd April 2014 at 12:53 by
Anthony
3 Comments

Swing into Spring on Main Street Station © DisneylandBerry

Welcome to turn of the 20th Century America! At least, that’s what Main Street Station was designed to say. In practice, it has suffered an innumerable series of seasonal overlays over the years that often do little to embellish its period style. The latest, for Swing into Spring, was completed this week ahead of the new season’s launch on 5th April.

Production quality looks surprisingly good for a fledgling season — the main “Swing into Spring” marquee is big but thankfully well-designed, compared to previous efforts. The way the typeface springs out of the oversized daisy is quite classy, the character illustrations are a welcome “Disney” touch, the flowers (albeit fake) give a feeling of life. From a distance it looks like a fantastic, bright, fresh welcome into Disneyland Park for Spring. Great job!

It’s just a shame it’s all over Main Street Station. After the 20th Anniversary overlay, Halloween, Christmas, and many more in the years before, you almost need to remind yourself what this landmark is supposed to look like. So here we go:

Main Street Station Disneyland Paris

Now where do you begin? Let’s start with the windows. The four stained glass windows of the original station are beautiful and should simply never, ever be covered over. Definitely not with flat yellow backgrounds for 2D cut-out Disney characters.

Then there are the 20th Anniversary leftovers. The two plasticy gold garlands along the top of the façade, the three golden arches above the walkways and the four circular castle motifs are all still in place two years later. The thinking could be they’re yellow (ish) and vaguely fit the colour scheme, the reality is that they cheapen a building which, along with the stunning Disneyland Hotel, was designed to instantly tell guests they’re not in any old tacky theme park.

Also part of that overlay was the black “Disneyland Paris” sign. It seemed fitting for the 20th Anniversary, but isn’t it about time the old “Main Street Station”, with its higher quality embossed gold letters and warm red background returned?

After all that, the flowers and even the logo are rather inoffensive. Indeed, imagine how good the station could have looked if it was simply “plussed” with a colourful floral overlay, not just treated like a blank canvas — as if there’s nothing of quality there to actually work with and the only option was for the designer to cover it with their own, bright yellow, canvas.

Main Street Station Disneyland Paris

It’s been easy to shrug off the Halloween and Christmas overlays in the past because, besides the fact they’re well-established holidays, they’re only there for one and two months respectively, giving us nine more months to see the park entrance as it should be seen.

Swing into Spring will last for a record three months. If it returns with the same decorations next year (spending on these seems to suggest it will), that means only six months to see the station untouched: January to March and July to September. That’s provided they ever take the 20th Anniversary elements down. The situation is similar to the oversized Tinkerbell of the 15th Anniversary castle overlay, which outstayed its welcome (and spoilt the forced perspective of the castle) for several years after the anniversary ended.

At least, these days, it’s not the castle. That’s what we need to remember.

• Discover more Disneyland Railroad Main Street Station photos on the Guidebook

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Comments

  • Well i dont know for you but i think that these festival is a shame compared to the previous one back in 1997. There is nothing special at all… if we remember those extravagant creations of the past not only in Main street , central plaza but also in fantasyland….

  • Just arrived home, and i have to agree. The deco is not at all what it used to. Visiting disney around the World for about 20 years, it is easy to see that it is not what it used to be. Hope you shape up for 25 years anniversery!

  • What Would Walt Do  9th May 2014, 19:10

    Once upon a time, a long time ago, Storytelling was Everything. Now,Disneyland Paris’s Main Sreet,U.S.A. is rapidly turning into another ‘not so wonderful shopping street with the same stuff everywhere’. The Swing into Sring decorations, or any seasonal decorations, hould be placed at the park’s entrance and don’t need to be that elaborate. Main Street Station should take you back to that turn of the 20th Century America. This is where the story, Walt’s story, is supposed to begin. The French team just doesn’t understand Disney and they don’t care a single bit. They spoil everything with pink paint and glitter. Look what they’ve done to Space Mountain, the Explorer’s Club, the Visionarium, Main Street Motors and Town Square Photography. Monsieur Gas doesn’t care the park is turning into another amusement park as long as the hotels are full. Why spend money on quality when cheap tickets and cheap annual passes for the French attract visitors instead of guests?

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