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France Télécom hangs up on “small world”

Tuesday, 13th January 2009 at 10:22

ImageClose contacts since the grand opening in 1992, France Télécom and "it's a small world" have quietly parted ways as we enter 2009, stripping the attraction of an official sponsor.,

Compared to the complexities of attraction sponsorship at other Disney resorts, Disneyland Resort Paris has always been far more reserved. And indeed, though its grand opening saw everything from Le Visionarium to Star Tours coupled with an official corporate partner, this decade in particular has seen many of them change — or disappear altogether.

So, it might come as no surprise to hear to hear that Disneyland Park just lost another attraction sponsor. But then again, this was perhaps the last remaining original sponsor from opening day (if we don’t count the shift of Kodak from Captain EO to Honey, I Shrunk the Audience) — France Télécom at “it’s a small world”.

France Telecom at it's a small world

When the attraction returned from its refurbishment in late November (17th to 28th), all signs of the national French telecommunications company had vanished. The most obvious, of course, being the large flag with the company’s logo in the attraction’s entrance fountain.

This was quickly switched-out for a new purple flag reading “Join the happiest cruise that ever sailed around the world”.

France Telecom at it's a small world
Source: Scrooge, Disney Magic Interactive forum.

As you walk up the hill toward the queue line, the secondary attraction logo has had its “France Télécom” footer removed and replaced with a few musical notes, which appear to be those from the attraction’s famous Sherman Brothers theme song.

France Telecom at it's a small world
Source: Scrooge, Disney Magic Interactive forum.

Though it’s the ‘World Chorus’ post-show with which France Télécom has always been synonymous, the branding of the company was never strongly present, at least in recent years, and so this land of animated video clips will continue to live on.

France Telecom at it's a small world

Now, whilst the France Télécom name may have apparently disappeared for good from the resort, that’s not to say the corporation itself has hung up completely. Besides continuing as a telecoms provider for the resort behind-the-scenes, they’ve got arguably an even more important brand somewhere else — Orange, at Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic.

One of the most easily-missed sponsors it may be (particularly since the Hollywood transformation of the attraction’s entrance), but for France Télécom this is a brand that doesn’t only have significance in France — you’ll find Orange in Belgium, Spain, Switzlerand, Austria and the UK to name a few.

But, for “it’s a small world”, France Télécom have made their call.

• Find more photos of “it’s a small world” at Photos Magiques.

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  • Has France Telecom been replaced in the park maps by Orange too?

  • Yes it has, since at least the April 2008 map (maybe longer?). The current partners list is now: Coca-Cola, Danone, Dole, Ford, Hasbro, Hertz, IBM, Kellogg’s, Kodak, Nestlé, Orange, Unilever.

    And in fact, the maps havn’t featured “Presented by France Télécom” next to the attraction for at least that same time period, so perhaps these changes have been a long time in waiting.

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