As we have now entered a new decade this gives us an opportunity to think what will the Disneyland Paris parks look like in 10 years time? What new attractions and lands might we expect and which ones will we lose?
This is simply my opinion or judgement but it’s fun to speculate and we will see how much is correct in 10 years time.
What we know is coming to the parks?
So with the Walt Disney Studios, we have been given a great insight into how the next decade will pan out as far as attractions go.
Marvel – Avengers Campus
This land is very much into its later phase of development, opening in 2021. I am going to guess at Spring 2021 to coincide with the Marvel Season of Superheros next year.
Iron Man Rollercoaster
We are going to see a reimagining of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster into an Iron Man attraction. This was always a good, popular attraction and I can only see an improvement with the re-theme.
Spiderman – Web-Slinging Ride
This is going to be an interactive dark ride where guests will be able to practice ‘slinging webs’ as Spiderman. This ride will be set in a training facility and guest will be scored as they progress through the ride.
From plans of this and the identical ride being built in California, this is going to be the same sort of ride system to Toy Story Midway Mania in the other parks. Guest will be seated back to back in a tracked vehicle and go around different scenes to accumulate points. Unlike the other interactive dark rides like Buzz Lightyear and Midway Mania guest will not use a gun to hit the targets but will use their own wrist to sling the webs at targets.
This land is slated for a 2023 opening along with the new lake area at Walt Disney Studios Park. One attraction is planned for this land, along with restaurants, shops, and meet ‘n’ greet opportunities. From concept art and the limited details released many are assuming this will be similar to the Norway pavilion at Epcot in Florida. A version of this land will open in Hong Kong in 2021.
Frozen Dark Ride
The plans for the development show a show building, a large building build which indicates this is going to be a dark ride which will tell the story of Frozen. Many commentators what said this will almost identical to Frozen Ever After in Epcot.
I, however, think there will be more to this ride than a simple clone of the Florida version. The Florida version was a re-Imagineering of a boat ride which developed in the 1980s which could be much improved without the limitations of the existing show building and ride system.
I believe that the Frozen ride will use the same ride system as “Battle for the Sunken Treasure”, the pirates ride in Shanghai Disneyland. This is more of a tracked ride system than a boat ride, although it does give the guest the feeling of a boat ride. This system allows the boats or cars to change direction and rotate within show scenes. This ride also uses screens and projections to add depth to the scenes in the ride, I will anticipate that these techniques will be used in the new Frozen attraction. The release of Frozen 2 also gives Imagineers the opportunity to build this into the storyline for the ride. There is no doubt this ride is going to be popular so hopefully, it will be built for the capacity it is likely to draw.
Star Wars Land
Slated for 2025 this is the last planned stage of the lake development at Studios Park. From the concept art, we can only assume this is going to be a scaled-down version of Galaxy’s Edge which opened in Florida and California last year. Paris will not be getting the Millenium Falcon – Smugglers Run attraction, where the guest gets to pilot the Millenium Falcon on an interactive mission. With the multitude of different languages spoken in the Paris parks and the reliance on instructions, it has been deemed too complicated to bring to Paris.
From the concept art and plans released I suspect we will get a version of ‘Rise of the Resistance’ as well as the marketplace, shops and restaurants. Rise of the Resistance is a trackless dark ride which takes you onboard a Star Destroyer ship and it’s your mission to escape.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
This is the only planned development we are aware of for the Disneyland Park. This is going to be situated on the path between it’s a Small World in Fantasyland and Star Tours in Discoveryland.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is opening in Hollywood Studios in Florida in March this year and is currently having a version built in Disneyland in California. On announcing the California version last year they also mentioned this attraction was also coming to the Paris park.
A ride featuring Mickey, Minnie and other classic characters in the new style shorts. This ride is going to use projections and set pieces in a concept being called 2½D which will give the impression of 3D without the need for 3D glasses. As this ride is using the trackless ride system we can expect the ride vehicles to interact at certain points during the ride.
We do not have a date for the planned opening of this attraction yet.
Which Current Attractions are Most at Risk of Closing?
At Paris, we have not seen many attractions closed permanently. As the Studios changes its theme from the original film production theme to immersive movie based lands we should expect a few ride casualties along the way.
This is a little bit harder to predict for the Disneyland Park where I cannot see much change except for a re-theme or two.
Moteurs… Action! Stunt Show Spectacular
Like Hollywood Studios in Florida, Walt Disney Studios in Paris is moving away from attractions based on film production. Moteurs…Action! is the last of this type of attraction in the Studios Park. The cost of this production is fairly high, it uses a large amount of space which will be between the Marvel – Avengers Campus area and the new lake are. It’s also fairly low capacity as it generally runs two shows per day with a throughput of about 5’000 guest per show, compared to Phantom Manor which has a throughput of around 3’000 guests per hour.
This show is also likely to be losing its backstage practice area, as the new Frozen land is due to be built on this plot of land. Given this, I think this show will cease in 2021 when the Avengers Campus opens.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
The Tower will not be demolished but the fact that Disney does not own the Twilight Zone as intellectual property and the Spiderman ride is being built right in the backyard of the Tower of Terror puts the future of this attraction in doubt. This ride is screaming to get the Guardians of the Galaxy treatment which the same attractions got in California.
Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission Breakout opened in California in 2017. Although fans of the original attractions were very sad to see the end of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, the new Marvel-inspired attraction has been very well received.
I actually believe the recent updates on the ride are actually in preparation for this change. Mission Breakout relies on screens and projections during the drop sequence of the ride. It wouldn’t surprise me if Disney has already installed the technology and software into this attraction so minimise any downtime when they convert the ride. In California the conversion was extremely quick, the ride was closed for just less than five months.
This change won’t happen before Avengers Campus opens but I suspect shortly after we should prepare for a change.
Cars – Route 66
Yes, I know this attraction has not opened yet! but I don’t anticipate it will be around for long.
Cars – Route 66 will be opening in Summer 2020. This will be a re-imagining of less than half of the old Studio Tram Tour which, will include the Catastrophe Canyon section. I suspect that they will pop a few set pieces or props related to the Cars films and Route 66 around what is left of the tram tour and present this with a story on the screens on the trams.
This attraction will add much-needed capacity to the park, while the lake development is being built. I can see this attraction hanging around until Frozen opens, maybe even until 2025, but then It will close, releasing the land for later development.
Unfortunately, I think we are going to be stuck with this very odd place overlay for a few more years.
Star Wars has never really fitted the theming of our Space Mountain in Paris. It’s not because I don’t like Star War, I do, I really enjoyed the new Star Wars lands built in the US parks. I go to Disney to be immersed, for the attention to detail and design of the attractions. The Jules Vern, steampunk design our the Paris Mountain does not make me feel immersed into the world of Star Wars. It feels like it been sandwiched into the attraction because of the need for promoting a film franchise rather than giving the guest a genuine quality experience.
In 2025 the Star Was land should open at the Studios Park and the Paris Space Mountain turns 35 year old. I would like to see a return of a modern version of ‘From the Earth to the Moon’ (De la Terre à la Lune). The Paris parks are lacking a unique, quality attraction. Space Mountain has the capability to be this attraction as it is very different from the ones in other parks around the world.
What could Disneyland Paris be getting?
So we have talked about the attractions in development and some potential re-themes of Tower of Terror and Space Mountain. Now for some pure speculation, what else could we expect to get at Disneyland Paris in the next decade?
One more immersive land for Studios
It is possible that a fourth immersive land is announced for Studios. This would be a land directly linked to a film franchise rather than a generic land. Given that lands for Frozen, Star Wars and Marvel have been announced other possibilities for immersive land that have been planned or built at Disney Parks around the world recently are Pandora the World of Avatar, Zootopia and Pixar’s Cars.
Pandora the World of Avatar
While new Avatar films are currently in production I’m not sure this would come actually to Paris. Firstly I think that Paris would stick to the safety of a more family-based franchise and secondly the immersion of the tropical world of Pandora would be lost in the much cooler climate in Paris.
Disney is building a Zootopia based land in Shanghai Disneyland. I doubt this would be built in Paris as this was not as hugely popular in Europe as it was in China.
I think (and hope) a fully themed Cars Land could be a strong possibility for the Paris Walt Disney Studios Park. The family films have been very popular and Disney has seen very successful merchandise sales. The Cars Land in the California Adventure Park was the start of a real revival for that park. Even those who did not connect with the Cars theming would appreciate the romanticised neon-lit Route 66 town and the scale of Ornament Valley.
The lands main attraction, Radiator Springs Racers, is part dark ride, part thrill ride. I can see this and possibly one other attraction in this land if it came to Paris. I suspect if this land is built the existing Cars Four Wheel Rally ride would either be relocated to the new land or removed from the park.
If this land is to be built it would probably go where Cars Route 66, Tram Tour and Catastrophe Canyon is currently.
Disneyland Park – Adventureland
In Disneyland Park, Adventureland is one of the largest lands but only has two attraction which you could call ‘rides’, Pirates of the Caribbean and Indian Jones, The Temple of Peril. All the other attractions are play areas or walkthroughs. Adventureland could really do with another attraction.
Flying Carpets over Agrabah
Yes, I am talking about moving ‘Flying Carpets over Agrabah to well…. Agrabah, or at least the Arabian Town Bazaar area of Adventureland.
Flying Carpets is currently shoved into the corner of Toon Studio. It would work much better in a prominent position in Adventureland giving guest views over the Bizarre as it does in the Magic Kingdom in Florida.
I am not sure about this area of Adventureland. Indiana Jones – Temple of Peril historically had long wait time but recently has not been quite as popular. Essentially this is an off the shelf attraction which was put in during the hard times at Paris to improve the attraction line up.
This could be a strong candidate for replacing this decade. Indiana Jones is a good fit in this area but I more immersive experience could replace this ageing small and compact rollercoaster. Disney does have Indiana Jones dark rides using the ‘enhance vehicle movement’ ride system in California and Tokyo. This system is also used on the Dinosaur attraction in Florida.
At a minimum, this coaster could do with a really good soundtrack adding to enhance the ride experience.
So essentially that’s my thoughts on what we can hope for over the next decade at Disneyland Paris. I haven’t touched on entertainment as this is generally always changing. No doubt we will see a new Parade in Disneyland Park and Nighttime Spectaculars in both parks.
I am looking forward to seeing the Studios develop as a park. Its feels a bit sad in its current stage of construction but I am hopeful once the Marvel Land opens this will jump-start the feel of the park.