Last week, the European theme park community was blown away by some major news. A 2 million euro (2.5 million dollar) plan for Disneyland Paris, which includes a major expansion for the Walt Disney Studios park! Of course, we can’t avoid this news and we’ll have a look on what we can expect coasterwise!
A February 27th to remember
Bob Iger paid a visit to the French president Emmanuel Macron last Tuesday with a big surprise. The European Disney resort, which was taken over by the Walt Disney Company pretty recently, gets a major expansion plan. Iger wants to bring more of the big brands to Paris by opening up three new themed areas in the Walt Disney Studios: Marvel, Star Wars and Frozen. This big plan is one fans have been waiting for since a very long time.
The makeover will, based on the concept art, remove two attractions: Studio Tram Tour and Armageddon. Are we crying for these? Not at all. In addition, there’s questions wether Stitch Live! and Playhouse Junior will remain as well. Then there’s the Moteurs! Stunt! Action! show. Two options for this one: either it will become a Marvel Stunt Show or the Marvel attraction also planned for Hong Kong Disneyland. It’s hard to tell. As for the rest of the existing park, there are two other noticable things: The Hollywood Tower of Terror remains identical and there’s a new ride for Toy Story Playland, most likely the Alien Swirling Saucers also coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Just like in Disney’s California Adventure, where you have Francis’ Ladybug Boogie and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, two very similar rides will be very close.
Okay, but let’s talk about the big announcements. Probably the first area that will open completely in 2021 is the Marvel area. Basically it’s an upgrade of the former Backlot with a brand new theme. Of course we have a coaster here that’s being rethemed completely: Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster. Say goodbye to Aerosmith and hello to… Iron Man! Yes, it was long rumored that Spiderman would take over, but they chose for Tony Stark instead. We can only encourage this as the preshow with Steve Tyler was getting pretty dated. Otherwise things don’t seem to change that much based on the concept besides theming. The restaurants will probably get a makeover plus we can expect some super hero meet ‘n’ greets. We do see that a new building is right next to the former Armageddon one, so this can indicate that we might see a different attraction here.
Before we discuss the other two themes, let’s talk about that lake. Walt Disney Studios is all about concrete these days. Here we clearly see the will to introduce some nature in the park, a true blessing. The walkway towards the lake seems very green and only a few stalls can be spotted instead of buildings. Maybe they haven’t decided yet on what to do here. Still a green lane could be very interesting. As you walk towards the end of the lange, you end with the sight of a large rock… Interesting…
Looking at the lake, we think that rock might be home to projectors. Why? Well, there are obviously fountains on the water so the rumor of a World of Color for the park might be coming true. But there’s more on these waters! There’s a boat! This makes us thing about how large this lake will be, cause concepts may deceive. Finally on the right side, there might be either a parade or a kind of show going on. Plus a large path towards… well, nothing really.
The Kingdom of Arendelle
The most beautiful piece of work on this concept is probably the Frozen area. The Arendelle castle seems nice, but look at that mountain! Wow! It’s surrounded by the Arendelle Village so shops and restaurants are a definite yes. The mystery lies in the mountain… In Hong Kong Disneyland, the Frozen area seems very similar and they can expect a dark ride there. However for Paris, the land looks more like Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventure. Maybe it’s wishful thinking but let’s not stop there. This mountain resembles slightly to Matterhorn or Expedition Everest, so could it be home to an indoor coaster?
Crush’s Coaster is one of the most popular attractions in the park, so it could do with a large family coaster. However, there’s one other thing that the whole resort is missing: a water ride. A new twist on the Splash Mountain concept maybe? If you look closely on the artwork, you can see what could be a drop area slightly left of the church tower. It’s all speculation, but we have to admit that a water ride might be the best option. This new area was the biggest surprise of the revelation, cause the Frozen dark ride was actually rumored for the main park.
The final area: (John Williams opening music)… Star Wars! After many speculations, Star Wars won’t be an extension of Discoveryland at the main park but a copy of what’s coming to the American parks! Well, not everyone is entirely sure if it will be a copy-paste as it seems smaller. So only one ride could be envisioned instead of two. Fans have an interesting proposal though. The Tron coaster is considered for almost every resort probably and what if we put one here? Instead of the futuristic concept, it could be the speed bikes from “Return of the Jedi” racing through the green that’s drawn allover the park. Wouldn’t that be neat? Maybe it’s wishful thinking again but let’s hope it’s a selffulfilling prophecy instead. Europeans love Star Wars, which makes this a no brainer.
What about the main park?
All the additions are marvelous, cool and out of this world. But what about Disneyland Park? It is still waiting for a new additional ride since 1996 so isn’t it about time to add something there too? Bob Iger said that the plans included the additions for the Walt Disney Studios. They must have something ready for this park too. He loves IP, so maybe a mini Indiana Jones Land with the EMV dark ride finally added? Or would Tron end up here after all? Maybe even something we never thought of? Time will tell. This announcement gives a lot of room for speculation…again. Only this time, we know at least something! Thank you, Bob!
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