“Experience the thrill of a day at EURO DISNEYLAND Park! Four exciting games of skill and chance – a gold rush around Big Thunder Mountain, a chase in the maze with Alice in Wonderland, a nerve-racking journey through space! Ride the railroad around the gameboard, collecting prizes as you race to join Mickey’s victory parade on Main Street, U.S.A.!”
This bold and exciting sounding claim can be found on the box of the 1992 Euro Disneyland Board Game, one of the more exceptional items published in relation to the opening of the new Euro Disneyland theme park.
When Euro Disneyland was about to open it was met with a lot of excitement and anticipation all over Europe. News updates & specials about the upcoming European Disney theme park were featured all over newspapers, magazines, radio and television. A lot of companies jumped on the bandwagon and offered Euro Disneyland prize competitions, branded their products with Euro Disneyland imagery or even released special ‘Euro Disneyland’ editions of their regular products. But the 1992 Euro Disneyland Board Game is certainly one of the more ambitious products of that era.
If this game would have been released today surely all the Disneyland Paris fan blogs would report about it in great detail. In the early 1990s there was no such thing as a blog, but now we can relive the experience of a buyer through an ‘Unboxing & Review’ to introduce this unique item to the Disneyland Paris fans of today.
Unboxing & Review of the 1992 Euro Disneyland Board Game
The Euro Disneyland Board Game comes in a nicely designed and quite large box (32 x 50,5 x 6,5 cm). The design of the box features heavily the colours purple and red of the original Euro Disney colour scheme and shows on the front not only the Euro Disneyland logo, Mickey and Tinkerbell but also depicts the whole game, fully set up, so that one can see what to expect inside.
The main piece of the game is it’s beautifully illustrated gameboard. Designed by the artist David Sque, whose generous interview with this blog appears later in this article, it represents the layout of Disneyland Park, with a spot for Sleeping Beauty Castle in the centre, the Euro Disneyland Railroad laid in a continuous circuit around the park, with Main Street Station at the bottom of the board and the five lands within the park. The order of the lands is a bit mixed up, not by error or for artistic reasons, but, according to David, based on requirements given to him.
Complete game with design details:
Complete game fully set up:
The following descriptions are taken in parts from the game’s manual:
The player’s Journey Around Euro Disneyland Park
The object of the game is to collect four different souvenirs from your day at Euro Disneyland Park and be the first player to join “Mickey’s Victory Parade” on Main Street, U.S.A. The souvenirs include a pair of Mickey Mouse ears, balloons, a teddy bear and a souvenir shopping bag. The souvenirs the player collects will fit onto his playing piece. The players can collect them in any order, but they must collect the souvenir shopping bag first, which can be collected at Big Thunder Mountain.
To collect the four souvenirs and to join Mickey at the end of the game, the player must win each of the four challenges around the Euro Disneyland gameboard.
There are two ways for the players to get around Euro Disneyland Park: They can travel around the park using the Euro Disneyland steam train or they can follow the inner path on foot. The Euro Disneyland steam train takes up the same amount as two spaces on the footpath, so travelling by train enables you to get around the board faster than on foot.
Frontierland: Big Thunder Mountain
The object here is to catch a gold nugget in the mining trolley at the bottom of the mountain. The player has to trigger the train by pulling back the retaining barrier at the top of Big Thunder Mountain. The train will rush down the track and knock the gold nugget into the depths of the mountain’s inner tunnels.
If the nugget appears in the left hand chute, the player has dug up nothing but rubble and failed to collect the souvenir. If the nugget drops into the shovel the player can try again. If the nugget lands in the mining trolley the player has ‘struck gold’ and can collect the souvenir shopping bag.
Adventureland: Pirates of the Caribbean
Here the object is to stack all six treasure chests without making the galleon keel over. The player has to carefully place each chest, one by one, anywhere on board – in the rigging, in the crow’s nests, or on deck. If any fall into the Blue Lagoon or if the ship tips to one side, the player lost the challenge and failed to collect the souvenir. If he manages to stack all chests successfully he wins the Mickey Mouse ears souvenir.
Discoveryland: Master of the Orbitron
The object of the unusually named “Master of the Orbitron” game segment is to guide the “cargo module” along the space path using the magnetic power of the Orbitron spaceship. To do so the Orbitron module hides a magnet in its tip which repels the also magnetic cargo module forward. If the player reaches the destination safely he wins the teddy bear souvenir.
Fantasyland: Alice’s Curious Labyrinth
The object here is to join the White Rabbit by making it through the maze, going through various doorways which come in three different sizes (small, normal & big). To get through the player must be the right size. On the way through the maze the player finds bottles which shrink or grow him to a different size. If he reaches the centre of the maze he wins the souvenir balloons.
Reaching the Finish
As soon as the player has collected all four souvenirs he heads back to the “Tinker Bell space” where Tinker Bell magically transports him to the top of the ramp in front of the castle door where another game of chance awaits him: the player has to drop a marble into the top of the castle. The falling marble now either falls out the back of the castle or it kicks the castle door and makes it swing, the player’s playing piece will slide down the ramp, join Mickey’s Victory Parade on Main Street, U.S.A. and by that win the game!
High resolution image of gameboard
The gameboard itself is a piece of art and an excellent example of pre-digital, hand drawn game design. Click below for a high resolution image to examine the extraordinary details in close-up.
Interview with the artist David Sque
To find out more about this game and the process which led to its conception this blog contacted the gameboard’s designer and artist David Sque, who generously agreed to answer questions.
DLPTreasures: Dear David, thank you so much for giving the Disneyland Paris Treasures blog this interview. I’m really honoured to talk to you.
David Sque: Thank you.
DLPTreasures: Looking at your work displayed on your website and on your Facebook profile it is clear that you are not only a very talented but also an incredibly versatile artist. Your portfolio includes Portraits, Landscape Paintings, Illustrations for Books, Technical Illustrations and even Comic Strips. But designing the gameboard for the Euro Disneyland board game seems exotic, even for the most multi-faceted artist. How did that come about?
David Sque: First I was sent a brief laying out all the elements that they wanted me to include. I then did a few rough layouts for them to choose from. Then I drew up the one they liked and got that approved by them and Disney and then I was able to go ahead and do the final colour Artwork. Through my career as an illustrator I have been asked to draw anything and everything and that has helped to develop my versatility.
DLPTreasures: Being a graphic designer myself I am very curious on your process. Would you be so kind and walk me through the step-by-step process that you went through to get to the final result?
David Sque: Basically as above. Sketch ideas gleaned from the Brief. Design the layout. Draw up the final approved choice. Then do a full colour layout. Once approved I would go on to the final Artwork. Submit it for approval and do any corrections or changes that they may decide on, and that is it.
DLPTreasures: I imagine the game play itself and the items to put on the board were already finished when you received the task to design the gameboard?
David Sque: The prototype items were sent to me to work from and to give me a feel of the Game.
DLPTreasures: Why is the order of the lands “mixed up”? In the real Disneyland Park Frontierland is at the bottom left, Adventureland at the top left, Fantasyland at the top middle/right and Discoveryland at the bottom right (that one is correctly positioned as is Main Street). Was this for artistic or for gameplay reasons?
David Sque: When I got the brief for the job I was given a rough layout to work from. This dictated where every element should be situated on the finished game board. Whether this was for ‘game play’ reasons or not, I don’t know. Aesthetically, I think it works well.
DLPTreasures: Looking at the copyright date on the back of the box the game was released in 1992. When did you receive the task?
David Sque: I got the commission in early 1991.
DLPTreasures: How long did the whole design process take?
David Sque: I think, from memory, it was about six weeks from brief to finished Artwork.
DLPTreasures: Did you know anything about Euro Disneyland when you received this task?
David Sque: Only what I had read in the newspapers, magazines and TV.
DLPTreasures: The game’s board is incredibly detailed and true to the original attractions and landscapes of Disneyland Paris. What reference material was given to you? What kind of research did you do for this?
David Sque: I was supplied with a large parcel of all the visual references that I needed and I then did my own drawings of them to work them up in my own style.
DLPTreasures: I noticed the characters (Mickey, Donald etc.) look very good, just like if a Disney illustrator would have drawn them. How did you achieve that?
David Sque: I am lucky to have a gift for copying anything and I was given good references, by Disney, to work from.
DLPTreasures: What was the size of the artwork? Do you still have the original or any of the concept sketches?
David Sque: The Artwork was about 50cm x 60cm. All the original Artwork and sketches were kept by the commissioning Studio, ‘Masterstroke’ in London, unfortunately.
DLPTreasures: Do you know who designed the game play?
David Sque: No, I’m afraid I don’t.
DLPTreasures: Was Disney involved in any way?
David Sque: Only in supplying refs that I needed and approval at every stage of the project.
DLPTreasures: Did you ever design the gameboard for any other board game?
David Sque: No, this was the one and only but I have done a lot of Box Tops for games.
DLPTreasures: Have you worked on other Disney projects before or after designing this gameboard?
David Sque: No.
DLPTreasures: Have you received a copy of the full, finished game? Did you play it? Do you still have it?
David Sque: No, unfortunately, I didn’t, Masterstroke kept it all!!!
DLPTreasures: Did you ever visit Disneyland Paris and if so what did you think when you saw those landmarks that you illustrated so beautifully for the first time yourself?
David Sque: I always intended to, but never did. The Masterstroke guys took all the paid for ‘Jollies‘ to Disneyland Paris!!!! I have seen loads of TV programmes about it and it made me feel good that I managed to get it right!!
DLPTreasures: Was this assignment in any way special to you, it being Disney or it being the largest building project in Europe at that time?
David Sque: I was very honoured to contribute to the launch of such prestigious venture and being involved with Disney.
DLPTreasures: Thank you so much for taking the time to do this, David.
Ahoy Matey! Ye come seekin’ treasure and salty old pirates, eh? Sure ye come to the proper place!
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– Game Design & Game Manual: Copyright Hasbro International Inc.
– Disney Characters: Copyright Disney