Today will be last operating day of Town Square Photography, a shop that used to be hugely popular in the early years of Disneyland Paris for guests who forgot their photo camera’s or film rolls. Today in the age of digital photography and iPhones, and due to Kodak pulling out of the resort as a partner and sponsor, Town Square Photography’s core business became irrelevant. Pins, plush and green-screen souvenir photos couldn’t stop the shop’s demise.
Although it was certain the shop had to reinvent itself, for many fans it came as a shock that the store would not only be replaced by a new concept, it would be gutted on the inside as well. Although no details have been confirmed, we will likely see all the current turn of the century props and references (partly) ripped out, including the fictitious shop-owner’s office which was installed by Walt Disney Imagineer Eddie Sotto himself.
Town Square Photography is also an important part of the Main Street, U.S.A. story. It is one of the only shops that features a reference to the early ages of electricity, with electric wiring running over the ceiling in plain sight instead of being hidden. This was a common practice by home owners in the early 1900’s to “show off” to visitors that they could afford electricity.
It’s inevitable, a fan favorite shop is closing. The reasons are clear. No sponsor, a core business that’s way out of date and possibly part of a corporate deal? The new shop, Flora’s Boutique, will sell “Paris-inspired souvenirs”, does that ring a bell? Why yes, a similar shop will open soon in Walt Disney Studios Park called “Chez Marianne Souvenirs de Paris”. Coincidence?
Take a final tour of this beautiful, lavish shop. An Imagineering master piece and something that hasn’t been done ever since at Disneyland Paris and probably will never be done again.