April 12, 1992
Liberty Arcade is a covered walkthrough attraction at Disneyland Paris in France. The attraction is an exhibition about the Statue of Liberty, and a walkway parallel to the main entrance. It opened together with the park on April 12, 1992. The attraction also keeps guests dry and warm during rain.
When Imagineers were working on the creation of the European Disney Resort, they had to envise a Main Street that would cope with the changing climate of the region of Paris. Although a huge Victorian-style glass roof covering the street was built in Tokyo Disneyland in Japan (World Bazaar), the decision was made to build two covered walkways parallel to Main Street instead.
In the very early days of Disneyland in California, Walt Disney had imagined two street adjacent to Main Street, respectively named Liberty Street (themed to American values and history) and Edison Square (themed to this inventor's achievements). Although they were never made reality, these ideas became inspiration for both Arcades in Disneyland Paris. As such, Imagineers came up with Liberty Arcade, themed to the lasting friendship between France and the United States and embodied by Lady of Liberty and Discovery Arcade, themed to the inventions of the 19th century.
The Arcade is a long walkway, from Town Square to Central Plaza, taking people behind Main Street shops and restaurants. It is divided into three parts:
- The first is an exhibition presenting the making of the Statue of Liberty by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and Gustave Eiffel. Showcase windows, paintings and rare items are displayed.
- The second part, known as the Liberty Court, is the central part of the Arcade. This rotunda, ornamented with American and French flags and Victorian paintings promoting the Statue's dedication ceremony, is accompanied by a dark room. In this dark room, guests can behold, through a glass window, a recreation of the inauguration of Lady Liberty, complete with wax figures commenting on the event and the recording of U.S. President Grover Cleveland's speech.
- The third one resembles the first one, but deals with the Statue becoming a world symbol. Showcase windows present Ellis Island, or the rededication of the Statue in 1986.