As a special Easter present ED92, a Facebook fan page, has released a long and detailed article explaining the future of Disneyland Paris entitled "GAMES OF THRONE DISNEYLAND PARIS EDITION". All of the following is unconfirmed and is all rumoured at the moment - it may come true and it may not, but apparently it comes at the end of a length investigation which has taken weeks and months to find all this information. Here we present the information to you in English. We also invite you to read the French edition, on the ED92 Facebook page.
Through an investigation Disneyland Paris has come to several conclusions:
- Disneyland Park, like the hotels and the Disney village, looks old and tired. It needs a lot of costly refurbishment work to return it back to "show-ready" level. Philipe Gas greenlit the renovation of these areas a few years ago, but the pace is slow.
- Walt Disney Studios is in relatively good shape but needs a costly plan to rethink the entire park's concept.
Apparently what has now happened is that negotiations between Disneyland Paris and Tom Staggs, President of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, have meant that he has offered financial aid in the form of a vast plan which will be announced in the coming weeks and months. This plan will allow many of the resort's problems to be solved as well as allow it celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2017 in style [Editor's note: We can only assume this will be after the Ratatouille ride has opened to the public.]
There is a look at both self-financed projects here, as well as those financed by The Walt Disney Company.
What projects will Disneyland Paris finance?
Part 1. Entertainment
Disneyland Park will host 4 distinct seasons each year:
- Spring: Pre-launched in 2014 but will be greatly expanded in 2015/
- Summer: This season will launch from 2015 onwards and will have a "beach feel", it was also have a refreshing cavalcade which could use misters/sprayers.
- Autumn/Halloween - Started in 2013, with the idea of developing last year's work and expanding the season to begin from September.
- Winter/Christmas - The season has developed both in 2012 and 2013, but will continue to expand in 2014.
Each season will include:
- Decorations on Main Street and Central Plaza, as well as one other land
- Specific meet and greets with rare characters or specific costumes for characters
- A show/happening on Town Square
- A cavalcade
- A show on the Castle Stage which will include the Fab 5 characters
- At least one season-specific segment that can be included in the nightly Disney Dreams fireworks show
In addition, the Ranch zone and the Chaparral Theatre at the end of Frontierland will hold micro-seasons for a few days at a time such as St. Patrick's Day or St David's.
Part 2 - Refurbishments
The hotels will continue to undergo their refurbishments, and the New York Hotel should start this before the end of 2014.
After that Hotel Cheyenne is next and these works should finish at the same time as the Newport Bay Club renovations which have already started.
The final hotel to be refurbed will be crown jewel Disneyland Hotel. One of the main aims here is to get a Michelin starred chef and restaurant in place. This refurb will take place in 2 phases with a break in the middle for the 25th anniversary in 2017.
Disney Village will have a complete re-theme and make it feel up to date. It will then be enlarged with amongst other things a big new iconic restaurant.
Disneyland park will continue to be refurbished but with more of a focus on speeding up the process. As well as renewed facades we will see:
- Start of 2015: Space Mountain will be closed for approximately 6 months to get new trains, as well as new show elements and effects. The storyline could return to "De La Terre a la Lune" / "From the Earth to the moon" as it was pre-2005.
- Mid 2015 to the start of 2016: Star Tours will be upgraded to Star Tours 3D - The Adventures Continue.
- Start of 2016 to Start of 2017: Big Thunder Mountain will go under a large refurbishment which will include the addition of an extra carriage per train to increase its capacity. There are also rumours of an interactive queue being installed like that in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. There also rumours that the lake will be drained which will allow the geyser effect to return from the park's opening day.
What projects will The Walt Disney Company finance?
Part 1: A re-themed Backlot in Walt Disney Studios
Rumours say that there will be a "Placemaking" (ie. re-theme and re-storyline) of the Backlot area of the park to a theme around Marvel Superheroes. There will be a massive change by 2017 with two projects proposed: one around the theme of a Stark Expo and another around the theme of Manhattan.
There will be allow kinds of new facades and the area will made to look like Times Square. Rock n Rollercoaster's facade will be rethemed to the Daily Bugle and riders will soar amongst the skyscrapers with Spiderman in this re-themed ride (the ride layout inside is expected to stay the same). The stunt show will be replaced by a show themed around the Agents of SHIELD, and the Armageddon attraction will be rethemed to the Fantastic Four.
Part 2: A new major e-ticket attraction and other surprises
Toy Story Midway Mania will be making its debut in Toy Star Playland by the end of 2018. Front Lot and Studio 1 will be reimagined to create a truly immersive experience like that of the Disney Studios in the 1930s.
In addition, Animation Courtyland, la Place des Stars and Hollywood Boulevard will also undergo works to make them more immersive and add a cohesive nature to the park.
The future post-2018 is a lot less certain and things are still very much able to change but here are a few things which are on the drawing board:
- The introduction of Halloween and Christmas seasons into the Studios park. Apparently a past festival entitled "California Dream" may also make a return.
- A new 2000 seater theatre to the right of "it's a small world" to allow large shows to run 365 days a year.
- Star Wars Land should make its appearance in the area around Star Tours.
- Soarin' over the Horizon will be a new attraction located behind Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril in Adventureland, while the Adventure Isle/Pirates of the Caribbean areas will get numerous jack Sparrow touches [Editor note: Maybe this could mean the introducing of the Sparrow audio-animatronics onto the ride].
- Walt Disney Studios will continue to expand with a new e-ticket ride themed around the Avengers which will be similar to Harry potter and the Forbidden Journey at the Universal parks, but in 3D. This area will also house other structures including a new hotel which will be an integral part of the land much like the MiraCosta hotel at Tokyo Disney Sea.
- Hollywood Boulevard will become a real street with a Tramway running through it (think Red Car Trolley in Disney's California Adventure park), with shows and restaurants leading to a hub. One plan even calls for the construction of a real Hollywood hillside.
- A clone of Avatar-land which will open in a few years in Florida. This would be the final part of the long-term plan for Walt Disney Studios park.
There you have it - all the projects which this document rumours will or many be coming to Disneyland Paris. The author seems pretty confident in the project coming up to 2017 and 2018 which are only a few years away. We'd have to say we also agree with these plans and have heard whispers about them all begin realised. In the long-term there are some very ambitious plans there. Of course these are all rumours and are subject to change but this roadmap makes for a very interesting starting point. We can only wait and see...
Update: There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this article over the past few days. This article has merely been translated from the French version (which was not written by us) to provide a discussion point. We do not agree nor disagree with the information provided herein (though from what we've heard from people familiar with the matter a large part of this is true), nor accept any responsibility for it. What do you think of these plans?