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Natacha Rafalski – New President of Disneyland Paris

Natacha Rafalski

Today, Disneyland Paris announced the appointment of Natacha Rafalski to the position of Présidente, effective immediately. 

Natacha Rafalski has had a 23-year career with The Walt Disney Company, holding a variety of senior leadership positions throughout the world.  She joined the Disneyland Paris team in 2017 as Chief Financial Officer and since then has taken on responsibility for real estate, transformation, corporate alliances and operating participants.  

The announcement comes from Catherine Powell, who recently served as Présidente of the resort before being promoted to President of the Disney Parks Western Region in March 2018 and now has responsibility for Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Paris.

Catherine Powell

“It is a very exciting time for Disneyland Paris as we continue to transform our organization and move forward with the expansion of our resort,” said Catherine Powell. “Natacha has proven to be an exceptional leader with a global viewpoint who has the versatility and experience needed to lead the continued success of Disneyland Paris.”

In this role Natacha Rafalski will be responsible for bringing Disney magic to life for nearly 15 million guests each year at Disneyland Paris, Europe’s top tourist destination and the beacon of Disney in the region.  She leads a multinational team of 16,000 Cast Members and oversees two theme parks, eight themed hotels, a 27-hole golf course and Disney Village, a themed dining entertainment and shopping destination. She will also oversee the ambitious expansion plan for The Walt Disney Studios Park announced earlier this year. 

“I am incredibly honored and excited to assume this position at such a transformational time for the resort,” said Natacha Rafalski.  “France holds a special place in my heart, and I’m looking forward to leading and growing the business as we continue to build on and expand the promise of Europe’s top tourist destination.”

Prior to joining the Disneyland Paris team Natacha Rafalski was CFO for The Walt Disney Company Greater China headquartered in Shanghai between October 2013 and October 2017.  During that time, she provided instrumental leadership related to various major strategic initiatives and spearheaded work that continues to drive long-term financial growth to that region. 

She began her career with Disney in 1995 and has held various positions in corporate treasury and finance including a key role on the Shanghai Disney Resort negotiation team. Prior to this she held roles that included oversight for corporate finance and projects related to Disneyland Paris.

Natacha Rafalski has been a key champion and leader for Diversity and Inclusion at Disneyland Paris, establishing a woman’s leadership group, D Elles P and encouraging Cast Members to form a network dedicated to women. In addition to the many initiatives she continues to lead for Disneyland Paris, she was among the 2017 winners of Profiles in Diversity Journal’s 16th Annual Women Worth Watching® Awards. 

Natacha Rafalski was born in Montreal, Canada, and raised just outside of Paris, France.  She holds an M.B.A. in Finance from Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California at Los Angeles and a B.A. in Mathematics/Economics, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of California.

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Last Chance Pins – Change of Operation

Disneyland Paris today changed the operation of the last chance sequence for limited edition pins to be operated through the ‘Lineberty’ app rather than simply queuing. 

LAST CHANCE for limited edition pins sales is evolving.

A digital ticket will be needed to access to the LAST CHANCE and maybe offer you the chance to get limited edition of the day. Reservation will be opened the day before the sale at 6 p.m. Only people who didn’t get a ticket for the limited edition sales can get a LAST CHANCE ticket.

The number of digital ticket is limited.

LAST CHANCE’s rules are the same as before.

Tickets do not guarantee a purchase.

Limited edition pins are sold until the stocks are exhausted.

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New Years Eve – Interview with Creative Director

Concept visual of the New Years Eve Parade

Disneyland Paris were kind enough to give us a copy of this interview with the creative director of the 1 hour long New Years Eve Parade! 

Prepare for the most magical party of them all, because on 31st December 2018, Disneyland Park will be bedazzled by exciting New Year’s Eve delights. We went to meet Christophe Leclercq to find out more.

How is a New Year’s party prepared for Disneyland Paris?

An event of this size requires a lot of organization. We have been working for one year on the preparation of this exceptional evening! Last year, at the end of New Year’s Eve, we started thinking about what we would like to do the following year. We must re-imagine this event each time to propose something ever more unique and magical. All this goes through a reflection on the parade, the shows but also new choreographies and costumes. It is a huge job that mobilizes a lot of talented people.

This year again, the evening promises to be exceptional. Will there be any differences from last year?

It’s an evening that is exceptional because the content is unique! We could never offer our visitors a parade of this size every day … And of course, the evening this year has a lot of novelties both in terms of the parade but also meet ‘n greets with Disney Characters which are very much appreciated by our visitors. We want to renew each time and we give the maximum for that.

What makes the New Year party at Disneyland Paris unique?

This evening is unique because it only happens once a year! As a result, we want to bring the most magical experiences to our guests. The New Year is an event that deserves the greatest attention because it is important for everyone. And when we come to live this in the heart of a Magic Kingdom, we want you to leave the evening with lots of stars in your eyes.

Do you have any key figures or anecdotes to share about the Incredible’s New Year Eve Parade?

This gigantic parade consists of more than 32 floats / cars, a hundred dancers, about 140 Disney Characters, nearly 70 positions of drivers and guides who will take care of our units. But it also requires more than 60 dressers / hairdressers / make-up artists for the magic to come alive. Finally, more than 20 people in Production and Management at the service of Disney magic.

Has the parade changed since last year? What differences will identify the most observant fans?

Yes ! New floatss will make their appearance, it will be unheard of in a parade of the New Year! Also, all the choreographies have been redesigned by our choreographer to propose a unique show.

New Years Eve Fireworks long exposure

How do we conceive a 1h parade mixing different worlds?

I admit it’s complicated! But also very exciting! We must see this as a story we want to tell. We must therefore think about which units will introduce our story, then those who will tell it and finally those who will conclude it. It’s an extremely interesting creative exercise. Music is also very important in the design of the parade. Everything is based on the choice of music that must mix with history and make our history and therefore our parade even more alive.

One last question, what is your favorite float that we can see that night?

It is a very difficult choice but if it were necessary to choose one, I would say the new float which will present all our Princesses, a case of beauty and enchantment for all!