For the first of these occasional items I have chosen to look at one of the first attractions visitors to Disneyland Park in Paris can experience: the Liberty and Discovery Arcades.
Both of these are found in the Main Street USA area of the park and run parallel to the left and right of the 'main street' itself. They are a result of plans to make Main Street more suitable for the less clement climate of Paris compared to Florida and California. Dispensing with an idea for a covered Main Street these two walkways were created which run behind the Main Street shops on both sides. Liberty Arcarde also provides the start of a 'cut-through' to Frontierland which proves very useful for avoiding crowds.
Liberty Arcade is themed around the Statue of Liberty. Entering from the left of Town Square, visitors find themselves in a beautiful 19th Century arcade with tall lamposts, a tiled floor and exquisite decorative details. Along the left hand side are glass cases containing photographs, models and documents relating to the creation of the Liberty Statue. Benches line both sides for the weary travellers. The right hand side has entrances into the Main Street Emporium. Tables and chairs at the far end mark an entrance into one of Disneyland's many eateries: Casey's Corner.
In the centre of Liberty Arcade is a 'rotunda', Liberty Court, which has an entrance into a dark exhibit. Lined with red curtains, visitors enter either to the left or right and find themselves in a small, dark room. Behind a glass partition are wax figures of people watching the inauguration of the Statue of Liberty with sound and lighting effects.
Discovery Arcade is maybe a little less impressive and always seems the quieter of the two arcades. The decor and theming is similar to Liberty, this time with various glass-cased displays about inventions such as the Ferris Wheel. It also has entrances to shops of the right side of Main Street as well as a section containing public phones.
Neither of these arcades are found at any of the other parks although streets running parallel to Main Street with similar names had originally been mooted for Disneyland in California, although ultimately the idea was abandoned.
Whilst these two attractions are very minor and relatively insignificant in the grand scheme of Disneyland Paris, they both provide a pleasant place to walk through, a breather from the crowds and a quick cut-through at busy times for getting into and out of the park. I, for one, am rather fond of them.