DLP Town Square
DLP Town Square
Our second Disneyland Paris fan site/community interview is with Geoff Dodds from DLP Town Square. Enjoy!
How long have you been interested in Disneyland Paris?
Since around 2007 as a fan. Since 1999 as a visitor.
What started your interest in Disneyland Paris?
Enjoying seeing the changing face of the resort. Watching it grow and change.
What made you decide to create a website dedicated to Disneyland Paris?
A real mix of things really. I was living in Paris which only saw my passion grow, but it was my interest in the history that really saw the start of the website. I wanted to research and begin building an unusual history of the resort, as seen through articles about the Tour de France and the train station.
Was there ever a moment when you didn’t believe that your website would succeed?
At the very start you always wonder. It’s a mix of worries, will people visit? Will I enjoy writing the articles? So far the answer to both is yes, but the site is still in its infancy, and now the work is to continue the work. So far, I’m really enjoying it.
How big of a role do you think social media plays in the success of your website?
A big role. Through social media I’ve made great friends, spread word of what I’m writing. I like to see social media as a great way to communicate with the community. I keep the website and social media quite separate. The website is more formal, social media is one big conversation.
What has been your favourite moment since starting your website?
Making friends in the community. The Disneyland Paris community are a great bunch of people. I really think we’re in the friendliest community out there, I’m talking to new people all the time, I love it.
Roughly how many hours a week do you spend researching, writing articles, creating Tweeting etc?
Every available hour. On average, probably about 15-20 hours per week. Some weeks are quieter than others. I try to write about one article a week (that I need to research). Recently that has taken a back seat to website development.
What is it like being part of a special group of Disneyland Paris fansites?
Fantastic, to have people want to read your articles, and talk with you. It’s an amazing feeling. Being accepted by other Disney bloggers and site owners is another good feeling.
How many times have you managed to visit Disneyland Paris?
Over 100. But mostly as I lived in Paris for a while. Actual trips (from the UK) I’ve done around 6 or 7.
What is your favourite attraction at Disneyland Paris and why?
Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s that moment of walking into that castle fort looking building and being totally immersed in this world. Everything is perfect, the queue area is sublime, the smell enters your nose. Then the attraction is one of the best (and longest) in the resort. I have never had a bad Pirates experience. It’s the first and last stop in a Disney trip.
What is the best tip you could give us when visiting Disneyland Paris?
Don’t try and over-structure your day. There are a few reasons I say this, you are less likely to stroll; strolling is how you’ll find the details that just make a Disney park so immersive. But, if you head over to Main Street from time to time and browse the attractions board, you’re more likely to find attractions to visit with short waits. However, if you like structure – start in Discoveryland and work the opposite way. Most people go to Frontierland first. And do the Studios towards the end of the day – again, people tend to visit that park first.
What is your favourite time of year at Disneyland Paris and why?
Christmas. The decorations go up, the music changes and the atmosphere just becomes more and more festive. There is no better feeling that walking out of Market House Deli, hot chocolate in hand with Joy to the World blasting through the speakers whilst it is snowing. It’s just perfect.
Do you have any special memorabilia related to Disneyland Paris?
An extensive pin collection, I can’t stop buying the things! Especially these new attraction pins – I love them and intend to have them all. Other than that, I’ll buy whatever takes my eye, and that tends to be most pins.
Do you have any secrets/rare info that you are able to share with us about Disneyland Paris?
What links Asterix and Disneyland Paris together? The road the Hotel Cheyenne and New York are on is named ‘Avenue René Goscinny’. He was one of the writers of the Astérix comic book series.
Would you ever like to work as a cast member at Disneyland Paris? If so in what position?
I’d love to work at Disneyland Paris. I’d love to write information on their website, or even write on an official blog (such as the 15th Anniversary one). More on the ground? I’d wear a Pirates suit and welcome those brave buccaneers aboard a boat.
Where do you head first when you get to DLP & head to last before having to leave DLP?
Usually, my day at Disneyland Paris begins with a ride on Pirates of the Caribbean. The attraction puts me straight into the magic and really does remind you why you fell in love with the place on your first trip. It’s the perfect attraction. I always try riding it towards the end of the day as well, although I usually close my day off with a stroll down Main Street, doing a little jig to the music and admiring all the lovely details. Depending on season I’ll finish off in the Cafe in Disneyland Hotel.
If you could improve/change/add one thing (money no object) at Disneyland Paris what would it be and why?
With money being no object, I’d work on the Walt Disney Studios Park. Front lot is fantastic, the Toon Studio side of the park is looking good. Now it’s time to really theme that Backlot and Production Courtyard area. Perhaps changing the theme from a ‘working lot’ to a ‘glamorous idea’ of a film studio.
Any others comments (feel free to add any more questions, answers and/or notes) We might have missed something important.
Thank you for having me – and to the community, thanks for accepting me. It’s just the beginning and I’m happy to have had the chance to speak to some of you!