Last Tuesday announcement of a Two Billion investment plan to build new lands and attractions at Disneyland Paris Walt Disney Studios stunned all DLP fans and we’ll have today a closer look at it with more infos and answers to some of your questions.
Let’s start first by what is probably the most important as i know that many of you had a very close look at the artwork released last week and some have even complain about this or that. So, let’s say it directly: this rendering is NOT the final rendering and was done mostly to show where will be what, with different elements copy and pasted – a bit like they did many years ago for the first bird eye view rendering of Shanghaî Disneyland – as Disney needed to have something to show for the big announcement. So, save your energy and no need to complain as the final artworks for each land will come later. For instance, looking at the new artwork some of you said that Star Wars land looks smaller than the ones in the U.S. Actually i can tell you that it won’t be really smaller, may be a little bit but not as smaller as some of you might think.
Also, DLP Imagineering is still in “blue sky mode” on all these new additions for the Walt Disney Studios, meaning that some of the attractions or restaurants, shops, etc… that will be in each new lands are not totally decided yet – except of course for the Iron Man ride officially announced last month. Final artworks will be released in a near future so take the artwork released last Tuesday with a pinch of salt as there WILL be changes, even if the global look of the lands and their locations will remain the same.
However, obviously some of the additions will have similarities with others already built or opening in a near future in others Disney theme parks. For instance, the Frozen land obviously will look quite similar to the one which will be open at HKDL, even if the different elements ( the Arendelle village, the castle, the mountain with Elsa ice palace ) will be placed differently. So, a look to the HKDL renderings below is probably the best way to have an idea of how the Frozen land will look once it will be built at Walt Disney Studios.
Also, although not announced officially last Tuesday, everyone has noticed ( picture on the top left below ) that DLP WDS Toy Story Playland will get a new addition with the Alien Swirling Saucers attraction, similar to the one opening next month at WDW DHS Toy Story Land. I can confirm that indeed Alien Swirling Saucers will be added to WDS Toy Story Playland and the artwork released for the WDW DHS version give you a perfect idea of how it will look. By the way, some think that this attraction will be too similar to the little Cars ride in front of Crush Coaster but, although it may look similar, it will be in fact a different ride.
One more thing: on the new WDS artwork some have also noticed a giant Woody near the attraction. Logically, to fit with the little green aliens ride it should be a giant Buzz Lightyear like the one they will put at WDW DHS but, as there is already a giant Buzz at the entrance of WDS TSL, of course they are not going to put a second one. That said, a giant Woody near Alien Swirling Saucers don’t look to me to fit perfectly thematically, so may be they will move the giant Buzz near Alien Swirling Saucers and put the giant Woody instead at the entrance of Toy Story Playland which would be much better, in my opinion. Or may be the giant Woody will simply be cancelled, we’ll see what happen.
Let’s have a look now at both the rendering and a Google Earth screen capture shot more or less on the same angle than the official bird eye view artwork. As you will see on the picture below ( click to enlarge the picture ), once built – in addition to the new lake at the center – the Frozen and Star Wars land will take a lot of room and probably will – or almost – reach the regular road in the back of the WDS or the road on the left. DLP Imagineers will still have room for a new land on the right in what was previously DLP backstage offices and they’ll be able to use the land as most of the people who were working there have now moved in new buildings built nearby at Val d’Europe.
First, obviously you can say goodbye to the Tram Tour as well as Catastrophe Canyon and the London scene. Some will regret Catastrophe Canyon ( i will ) but most won’t regret the rest of the tour, and anyway there is no other choice, so…
In Marvel land in addition to the Iron Man ride the “Moteurs, Action” stunt show will become a Marvel stunt show. Although you can’t see it clearly on the artwork it’s no big secret as it it was rumored since months, and it will be a brand new stunt show, not just a change of background sets! Also, and always in the Marvel land, everyone knows that the first attraction to get the axe will be the Armageddon attraction and it remain to be known which kind of ride will replace it. Rumors that the area will be used for a Marvel characters meet and greet may be right, but it should be temporary.
The new stunt show should stay however for a few years and, no, contrary to what some of you think – or may have think by seeing on the artwork the Avengers jet plane at the entrance of the stunt show, the big E-Ticket Avengers attraction that will open in five years at HKDL ( artwork below ) will not be built at WDS Marvel land, at least for now. The completion date announced by Bob Iger for all the new lands is 2025, and the Avengers ride will not be built for that date. As i know that some will be furious, let’s put it like this: there is limits to everything, including to a 2 Billion euros investment. At one point you need to make choices to make sure that you can have the best possible expansion plan. Again, it doesn’t mean that this highly awaited Avengers ride will not be added in the future, and my guess is that it probably will be, but the good point is that they’ll have the room for it when it will be decided as the Stunt Show takes a huge space so they’ll have the needed land to build the Avengers ride.
One more thing, about the Iron Man ride: the good folks of ED92 indicates that it will be an “Augmented Reality coaster”. Actually, this might not be quite the case but i can’t tell you more for now, so i’ll keep more details about this for a future article specially dedicated to the Iron Man ride.
Let’s have a look now at Star Wars land which, as i’ve said above, should not be much smaller than the versions at DL and WDW, even if it look smaller on the artwork. Will the land include a big E-ticket ride like they’ll have in the U.S? Yes, it will and for now i can’t tell you more about it. Also, some have been quick to notice that the Millennium Falcon is not on the artwork on the platform where it will be in the U.S versions. Does that mean that the Millenium Falcon ride in which DL or WDW guests will enjoy a simulated mission in the Falcon cockpit won’t be included in WDS Star Wars land? The truth is that no final decision has been taken yet and my guess is that they might wait for DL and WDW Star Wars lands opening next year to see how popular the ride will be and if the capacity per hour is satisfying. So, you’ll have to wait a bit more for this one to know if it will be at WDS SWL, or not.
However there is something interesting to notice, and it’s the fact that Star Wars land will be located on the left of Frozen land, and not on the right, placing it not far from the road with Val d’Europe on the other side and a big piece of land in between. It has long been rumored that DLP envision to build a hotel near the WDS and, considering the proximity of Star Wars land, i’m wondering if they intend to build a Star Wars hotel on this land just like they will do at WDW near DHS Star Wars land. I don’t know yet if it will be the case – i really don’t – but i suggest that we’ll keep a look at this area to see how they will use it in the future.
Let’s move to Frozen land which, as you saw, will certainly have a lot of similarities with the one to be build at HKDL. Among the questions that you had about it was if there will be a ride inside the mountain – a kind of “Matterhorn” coaster” with a Frozen theme and with the Marshmallow character instead of the abominable snowman. It sure would be an exciting ride and as you can guess you are not the only ones to have think about it. And the truth is that no decision have been taken yet, for a lot of different reasons, not necessarily financial ones. So, for that one too, you’ll have to wait that DLP Imagineers end their Blue Sky period and announce the final attractions projects. One thing is sure: there will be at least an E-Ticket attraction in the Frozen land, one way or another.
There was also a question about the preserved little forest located on the right of the Ratatouille area – where i’ve put a white question mark ( point d’interrogation ). What is sure for now is that none of the three new lands announced will be build in the forest area, so so far the forest area is preserved.
Another question was about the long avenue going from the exit of the Studio 1 to the central lake where it seems to have no building left and right of the avenue but just vegetation. Although i think they don’t intend to extend the Hollywood Blvd up to the lake that part is among the ones which could see changes. But there will be probably vegetation one way or another, at least to hide show buildings nearby.
One last thing, and it’s about the lake at the center as all of you have noticed the fountains on it and suspect that there will be an evening fountains show like World of Color. So, yes, an evening fountains show is planned and, no, it will NOT be World of Color but a brand new show, and a spectacular one!
Also, the announced investment budget is 2 Billion Euros and the cost for the three new lands including the Toy Story Playland addition is probably between 1 and 1.3 Billion. Meaning that on the 2 Billion will remain around 1 Billion or 700 Million Euros to be spent on others attractions. I was not alone to do the maths and of course many of you have listed their favorite attractions that they wish to have at DLP Magic Kingdom or the WDS, wondering if they are in the plans. Although i’m not allowed to tell you how will be spent the remaining amount or what attractions will be build i can tell you what will be NOT build. So, in the list of the attractions that were wished i can confirm that there won’t be a Cars Land, as well as no Toy Story Mania, no Soaring, no Mysterious Island, no TRON Lightcycles ride, and no Discovery Bay. None of them are envisioned for now whether for the WDS or DLP “Magic Kingdom”. And no Avatar land too, at least for now, we’ll see what the future will bring if the upcoming sequels filmed by James Cameron happen to be as successful as the first Avatar film.
There was also questions about the long rumored third gate/park: i know every DLP fan is dreaming of a third park but the truth is, if you read well the convention signed between EuroDisney and the French state, that there is no mention explicitly of a “third park” but only of an entertainment area, or so. In two words, i’ll be you i’ll forget about a third park, at least for the near future, except if the plans will be changed.
Is there anything more? Of course there is more, there is always more coming in Disney theme parks, but sorry, that will be for another day. In the meantime, have some sweet dreams as for once DLP future looks bright!
Pictures: copyright Disney