“Disneyland Paris is almost a small town in itself!” Julien Kauffmann, Chief Transformation Officer, Disneyland Paris, told the Annual Assembly of Agoria’s Technology Clubs on November 28th, at BluePoint. The wise will understand: “We are always looking for suppliers who can offer not only innovative but also reliable solutions, as safety is absolutely crucial for us.”

Speaking to a packed auditorium, Julien Kauffmann, Chief Transformation Officer, Disneyland Paris, presented the vision and projects of Europe’s largest amusement park. With Two theme parks, 7 hotels (including the largest in France), 6,000 rooms, a shopping centre and 320,000,000 visitors a year, Disneyland Paris is also the French employer bringing together the largest number of employees in one geographical location.

An Urban Hub to boost employment, the economy and tourism

“Disneyland is also a genuine urban hub that keeps growing east of Paris,” added Julien Kaufmann. “We signed with the French Government a contract, renewable every 10 years, in which we commit to supporting the economic development of the Region, the Val d’Europe.”

This is how Villages Nature Paris was created (in collaboration with Center Parks), but also structures for the organisation of sports or professional events, and of course all the reception and accommodation infrastructure that this implies (hotels, restaurants, transport, shops, etc.). A third theme park is also in the pipeline.

Innovation to keep the dream alive

“Our business is not just about creating new rides or managing a theme park. We give people the chance to escape in a dream world and make memories. This means that we must invest in projects that allow us to offer each visitor the most memorable experience ever. Whether in the world of Disney princesses, Marvel’s super heroes, or the Star Wars universe.”

“This is why innovation is crucial for actors like Disneyland Paris. To create magical worlds, without visitors noticing any of our tricks, we must be able to use the most advanced technologies available. Virtual reality, augmented reality, new cinema techniques, digitization in general… All these innovations open up new horizons.”

“The world of entertainment is one of the sectors where innovation and digital technologies are evolving most and at the fastest pace!” Julien commented.

A positive experience throughout the customer journey 

When Disneyland Paris pledges to offer visitors a magical experience, they must be able to feel it from the outset, from online booking, to arriving at the park, hotel stays, restaurant meals, and so on. Julien Kauffmann explained: “If you have trouble booking your tickets, if your trip is a nightmare or if you queue up for hours at the restaurant, your experience will be spoiled in the end. It means we did not do our job. Consequently, we are also constantly trying to improve all these stages of the customer journey, with the help of technologies.”

“This is why Disneyland Paris is always exploring new projects. Geolocation, 3D printing, drones and other such technologies open up a lot of possibilities for customers, especially children, to leave our parks with stars in their eyes.”

Keeping a local anchoring and supporting start-ups

Julien: “Digital technology also helps us improve our park management. We set up a Start-Up Programme, because we also want to work with small businesses. This programme focuses on 7 areas, including robotics, data management, IoT and Smart City solutions.”

Even though concepts are developed in the United States, Disneyland Paris attaches great importance to working with local players, especially start-ups.

No to unbridled virtualization

For Disneyland Paris, the goal is not to move towards increasingly virtual rides. “I think that, in the fight against this ‘virtualization’ of entertainment, we can draw from our three main strengths:

  • the quality of our services,
  • our focus on the ‘family experience’
  • and… our characters, of course!

To give you an example, can you imagine your little girl leaving the park without having met Elsa of Arendelle, the Snow Queen from Frozen?!?” Julien Kauffmann concluded.

Disneyland and Agoria, fighting the same fight

When the Chief Transformation Officer of Disneyland Paris told the audience, as if making an announcement, that the group is constantly looking for innovative suppliers, he echoed, almost word for word, the mission set out by Agoria’s Building & Urban Technology Club: 

Project developers, architects and contractors all over the world are continually looking for suppliers that can provide innovative, high-quality and high-safety answers to the ever-increasing need for more sustainable construction and infrastructure projects.

No wonder the participation of Julien Kauffmann at the Annual Assemblies of Agoria’s Technology Clubs last November 28th was a hit. The 400 people who had registered for the plenary session and/or the 7 parallel sessions were not disappointed. Discover our photo gallery of the event.