Monday, February 25, 2008
As promised yesterday, today we will have a look at Disneyland Paris future.
As you know, i don't work at DLP, i don't have inside secret agents in the management building, i am not the boy friend of Karl Holz secretary, and i don't have any time machine to travel in the future!
So, how is it possible to "see" in the future of DLP? First, the park released some infos, some of them forgotten, but the most important thing is to understand how they think - i mean: how the park's direction think. The younger DLP fans who love the park for its attractions and the fact that it is another "reality" - a kind of "virtual" reality - often forget that, for the management, it's all about money.
Not necessarily in the bad meaning of the word, but they are in charge of a company, and they need to have good financial results at the end of each fiscal year. And, if possible, better than the previous year.
I know, all this seems obvious, but if you don't keep this in mind, you can't make good prospective.
For instance, who do you think is the best allied of DLP fans? WDI imagineers? They surely are, as they love to built new attractions as much as we love to enjoy them.
But what about the "FED"? Could the FED be the best allied of DLP fans? Yes, the American Federal Reserve. Sounds odd to you? I can understand. But the FED is definitely one of the best allied of any DLP fans awaiting big "E" ticket attractions.
Why? First, because the FED keep the dollar "low" - right now one dollar makes 0,67 euros - and, two, because WDI invoice to DLP is in DOLLARS!. Which means that a big E-ticket attraction like, let's say, Indiana Jones Adventure who may cost, more or less, 130 M $ will cost to the park "only" 87 M euros! At this price, it's a bargain for DLP!
Of course, the building itself and all the security systems inside will be build in France and paid in euros, but the change rate between the $ and the euro is still a really good opportunity for the park to save money and, in the same time, to be able to build new major attractions that will help to bring more people in the parks, which is what they need, more than anything.
With all this in mind, let's now have a look about what we may expect in years to come. One last thing before i begin: i may be wrong! But it's not dramatic, prospective is a game, sometime you're right, sometime you're not. And not to mention that DLPI imagineers have very probably some secret projects we've never heard about.
To have a look in the future, we have first to look back in time, at the previous stockholder meeting when the park shows to everybody a huge model of the resort, as you will see on the pictures , thanks to Mouetto of the DCP forum and Alexandre Rosa.
If you look well on the picture below, you'll see on the model some white buildings, right after the parking lot close to the WDS, and in front of the Newport Bay Hotel.
Well, these white buildings are for the next major hotel that the park WILL build, as well as a big convention center. No "theme" has been announced yet, but we can count on this new hotel for sure. Why? Because, as i showed you yesterday, the hotels are almost full all year long, and this new "business" hotel, specially dedicated to conventions is a win-win project for the park. I will give to this project a 100% chances to be realized, with an opening in 2010-2011.
Always close to the parking lot and the WDS, we can see another white structure. This one was announced one year ago as the future "World of Disney" superstore. But not only. A ESPN restaurant and a new night club were also envisioned. Will they be built? May be, but because i don't think it's DLP priority, i will give here a 60% chances, and probably not before 2010, but we can have some good surprise...
Talking about the WDS, let's first give a clear answer to those of you who always ask if the park have more land available for future expansion. And the answer is yes! There is PLENTY of land available "behind", as you can see on the picture below.
Always about the WDS, what can we expect for the next attractions. Personnally, i am still betting on "Soarin'", and in a near future - not before 2010 however as they need the time to build it, but i will give a 90% chances on it.
Although, as i've explained in a recent article, i think that Mickey's Philarmagic instead of Animagique will be a good choice, but the cost of the re-building of the Studio 3 can stop DLP executives. Let's give to this one only 50% chances.
Before they decide a major expansion of the WDS, they will try to "use" the land still available in this "phase one" for another attraction. Which one? well, this one is the big mystery, as a new and unexpected rabbit could come out from the hat of DLP Imagineering. Could be Toy story mania, or something using the same technology on another theme, or something really and totally unexpected. I'm afraid we will have to wait a bit to have more infos on this one. However, i will give a 65% chances that another new attraction - in addition to Soarin' - will open at the WDS in the next three years.
Let's have a look to DLP Magic Kingdom, now. To have a better view, double click on the picture below to see it in big size. We've not heard about the expected Star Tours 2.0 since a while, but, if this new version of the beloved attraction finally open in the U.S , i think we can count on it for DLP, as new attraction without having to build a new facility is always a good business choice for the park. So, if this Star Tours 2.0 finally exist, i will give a 80% chances that we will see it in Discoveryland.
The land who need the most a new E-ticket is definitely Adventureland. As we saw in a previous article, the land to build this major attraction exist, so the problem is not here. The main problem is the cost of the attraction AND the maintenance cost, something we must never forget, because it's for DLP's management a very important point - as the park maintenance cost is already very high.
However, because of what i've explained above and probably also of the upcoming success of the Indiana Jones 4 movie, i will give a 85% chances to IJA.
Frankly, if we except a maintenance cost a bit high, the park couldn't make a better choice than Indiana Jones Adventure. A hero that everybody knows and love, a fantastic ride, incredible theming and vehicle technology...it should have been built since a long time!
Some people also say that the marketing campaign may be difficult as a previous Indy attraction already exist, and people may not think that it will be a new one...I can accept this remark, but frankly, there is so many strong IJA visuals which can be used in a marketing campaign that i can't imagine the marketing department to don't succeed to "sell" an attraction such like this.
And i must add that IJA would make a perfect 20th anniversary attraction in 2012.
Another attraction was supposed to open some years after the park's opening, and everybody thought it was dead forever...until Tony Baxter succeed to resuscitate it at California Adventure: The Little Mermaid ride. Not only the ride is going to be even better than the one envisioned for DLP, but once a first version is built, the research and development expenses are paid and the molds for the AA figures exist.
For sure, it won't be a cheap dark ride, but, because of the "federal reserve effect" explained above, and because this part of Fantasyland miss an attraction, i think that a Little Mermaid ride at DLP could finally resuscitate.
And there is another reason for that, one that could be important in the final decision: The Little Mermaid ride is the perfect ride for young girls. And the park need desperately an attraction for girls between 4 and 10 years old. I will be a DLP executives, i won't forget that in a family of 4, there is often a young girl.
So, let's give a 70% chances to The Little Mermaid, and for the date, certainly not before 2012.
Apart all this, smaller additions could happen, like the AA of Jack Sparrow in POTC, or new electric vehicles for Autopia, not to mention other secret projects that DLPI only knows about that, hopefully, will be some good surprises. For now, the only thing really sure for 2009 is a new parade at the WDS!
Let's end with a video who is not linked with the future, but with the past. On this video you will see some interesting shots about the making of DLP, almost 20 years ago!
Photos by Mouetto from the Disney Central Plaza forum
Other photos by Alexandre Rosa