“…when the building was new it literally stopped traffic. Once the theme park was opened, the facade was painted over and the [prefabricated buildings] were used for other purposes.”
Robert A. M. Stern - monograph 'Buildings'.
The Euro Disney Resort quickly caught the imagination of Europeans. Between December 6, 1990 and April 12, 1992, approximately 800.000 people visited the Euro Disney Preview Center. Just before the Grand Opening of the Euro Disney Resort, most of the props and costumes were installed in or shipped to the Euro Disneyland theme park.
From that moment on, the Preview Center started its struggle for survival. It had completed it tasks. Its exterior was stripped of its Disney references and painted in a monochrome and inconspicuous color. Euro Disney S.C.A., probably wanted to avoid confusion among the general public. The abandoned structure wasn't Euro Disney. The magic could now be found a few kilometers away.
According to mister Robert Rowe and mister Jim Cora (Walt Disney Imagineering), no specific alternative future use was planned for the Preview Center after the theme park opened. Of course, there were many possibilities. The Preview Center at Walt Disney World has been used as offices, a Credit Union (bank) and a number of other alternatives since its closure. The same fate was expected for the Euro Disney Preview Center.
One of the possibilities for the Euro Disney Preview Center was the integration of the structure in the soon-to-be built business park, part of 'Val d'Europe', a community developed by Euro Disney S.C.A. Another option was the continued future use by Disney.
Although, because of its unfavorable location in relation to the Disneyland Park, Disney couldn't reuse the building for leisure activities. 'Val d'Europe' was to be opened with the Euro Disney Resort in 1992. But due to budget constraints, it was not until early 1998 that the master-planned community saw the opening of its first businesses, which included a hypermarket and boutiques.
Awaiting it's final destination, Euro Disney S.C.A. made the facility available for scheduled socio-cultural events organized by the municipality of Serris. Some questionable sources say that the buildings were utilized by the 'Disney University' too. In 1999, the site was used to store trees felled by the storm of December, 26 that affected the Davy Crockett Ranch (formerly known as 'Camp Davy Crockett', once housing the first employees of the Resort).
In 2004, the new "Goodman Val d'Europe" Business Park (Boulevard Michael Faraday 4, Marne la Vallée) opened its gates on the parcel adjacent to the Euro Disney Preview Center site.
Goodman European Business Parks Fund is a fund which invests in, develops and manages business parks located in major economic hubs across Europe.
The "Goodman Val d'Europe" Business Park would offer 660.000 square meters of office space (on 180 hectares) at completion as well as a full range of support services.
In 2004, the Euro Disney Preview Center building was still in a good condition. This changed dramatically in 2005, with the coming of inadmissible persons. For months, the facilities were vandalized by scum, gypsies and vagabonds.
To prevent the building from further decline, and release the neighborhood from disturbance, the access road to the property was blocked with rocks and the parking lot was broken up.
In order to be able to sell the Euro Disney Preview Center site and integrate it in the "Goodman Val d`Europe" Business Park, Euro Disney S.C.A. took the decision in 2008 to demolish the Center. After all, in the past years, the building had become un-inhabitable. It's complete renovation and conversion in an office building didn't make sense from an economical point of view.
Euro Disney S.C.A. has been granted a demolition permit by a September 2009 decision of the municipality of Serris. The site was leveled in spring 2010. The building itself has been demolished last month. The sale of the Euro Disney Preview Center site was officialized in the (most recent) deal between the French Government and Euro Disney S.C.A. (September 2010). In the near future, an office building for a human resources consulting firm will occupy the parcel.
Did you ever visit the Euro Disney Preview Center? Have you worked there? Or did find inaccuracies in our text? Please contact us using the 'comment' form within the site, and share your memories, photos and / or knowledge! Together, we can preserve precious Disney history!
Photos Euro Disney Preview Center ca. 2010:
Randall Van Gurchom