NEXT time you go to Disneyland Paris, look out for a little bit of Worcestershire.
UK Loco, an engineering company based in Cropthorne, near Pershore, has helped construct elements of a new Ratatouille ride – based on the Disney film of the same name – at the resort.
The company – which is run by Stephen Pagett and Stuart Watson – employs 24 people who worked over two years to design and create electromechanical doors for the ride, as well as various props and thousands of “leaves” that decorate a functioning restaurant at the end of the ride.
Mr Pagett, managing director of the company, said his team worked hard to add to the experience of the 3D indoor dark ride.
“We have worked with Disneyland before and this time we were awarded three contracts for the three different pieces of work on the ride,” he said.
“The ride is great – when you are on the ride you become the rat, so you travel through different areas of the ride and the props are very big, which makes you feel very small. At the end of the ride you can eat in the Ratatouille restaurant.
“We created 2,500 leaves that hang from the ceiling above diners at the restaurant and also in the ride’s loading and unloading bays. This was a challenge. We employed three scenic painters to work on the leaves. They spent around 5,000 hours working on them, but they look fantastic. We are really happy with how it all turned out and Disney are very pleased too. The ride has had rave reviews so far.”
Mr Pagett, 58, formed the business in 2005 with Mr Watson after they were both made redundant from a previous company. But he said the business has grown over the last few years and Disney is now a regular customer.
“We are proud of our team as they all work really hard. We got our first contract with Disney around three or four months after we first started up and since then we have worked on several projects with them, including on Disney Pixar’s Cars ride and a Finding Nemo ride.”
“It’s always great to see people enjoying the completed ride.”