Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Is Splash Mountain back in the game for DLP's 20th Anniversary attraction ?

A very interesting - and intriguing - news was posted two days ago on Europa Park press web site. For those of you who've never been at Europa Park, it's Germany biggest theme park and the park have a great theming. The park was open long before Disneyland Paris and belong to MACK, the ride manufacturer. On a certain point of view Europa Park is a huge MACH show-room. And that's why this press release is so interesting. Here it is:

"On Friday, 28 August 2009, Al Weiss, responsible for the operative business of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts worldwide with more than 100,000 employees, visited Europa-Park together with Philippe Gas (CEO Euro Disney), Georges Kalogridis (Chief Operative Officer) as well as Andrew de Csilléry (Vice President Strategic Planning) for an exchange of experience. (see picture above)

The guests were especially enthusiastic about the outstanding quality and detailed theming of the 13 European themed areas and about the park´s four hotels. Together with Europa-Park´s managing partner Roland Mack and his sons Michael and Thomas, who are also in the management of Germany´s biggest theme park, the four were able to discover the park´s fantastic offers for the whole family. Especially the new “blue fire Megacoaster”, which was realised by the manufacturing company MACK Rides, thrilled Al Weiss and his colleagues."

Now, all the question is: why Disney top executives like Al Weiss (3rd from the right on the picture) and Philippe Gas (Euro Disney CEO and 3rd from the left on the picture) took the time to come to Europa Park, which is not far from Paris, but a long trip from L.A? Obviously they were not there only to enjoy the good rides of the park. May be the second part of the press release give us a clue:

"For many years, MACK Rides has been delivering rides to Disney theme parks all over the world. Especially the water rides at Europa-Park attracted the interest of the guests, who want to expand the range of water attractions in their company. For Roland Mack, who will be the first German to become Chairman of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) in 2011, the meeting was a good opportunity to discuss the future of the industry with international experts. For the managers of the Disney group it was very interesting to get to know the theme park industry from a successful family company´s point of view. "

Now this press release become really interesting. Why? First, as we know, Disneyland Paris is always waiting for a Splash Mountain. Two, i've been told by good sources that DLP's management really would love to add this beloved attraction to the park - and as we can see Philippe Gas DLP CEO was part of the trip. And three, DLP and Europa Park share one similar problem for water " rides with an outside splash: the long cold and wet weather between November and April. Except that Mack succeed to design a supersplash ride that can be ride even during winter time as you can control the amount of wetness. There can be a huge splash but the riders will not get wet at all. Or only a little bit. Exactly what DLP needs if they finally decide to build Splash Mountain.

Mack is maufacturing many kind of rides and may be one that could be perfect for the future WDS Ratatouille attraction. But it's not me but the press release who says that "Especially the water rides at Europa-Park attracted the interest of the guests, who want to expand the range of water attractions in their company". Of course Disney can have a water ride project that we've never heard about or this "water rides interest" could be for the future Village Nature water park, but considering that DLP's Magic Kingdom really need a big water ride, i think we can put again Splash Mountain in the list of possible future attractions. Although Ratatouille is supposed to be "the" 20th anniversary attraction, may be, finally, the game is not ended yet.

Thanks to leave a comment or discuss this article on D&M english forum on Mice Chat

Press release text and picture: copyright Europa Park


Brian said...

Wow, really smart Alain! I hope that this will really get Splash Mountain built in Disneyland Paris! It's about to get time for a new classic E-ticket in Desneyland Paris's main park. Does the restaurant Cowboy Cookout remain if they'd build Splash Mountain or do they need to demolish it in order to create enough space? Hope we'll get more confirmation within short time!

Alain Littaye said...

No, they will NOT need to demolish the Cowboy Cookout Barbecue if they build Splash Mountain.

Brian said...

Ok that's good to hear, because I really like the Cowboy Cookout, it's really cosy. Frontierland is alreasy my favourite part, will be even better in case Splash Mountain will be built!

Anonymous said...

People always go round in circles discussing how Splash Mountain can't be built at Disneyland Paris because of the cold weather. So what about Tokyo Disneyland? That park is in Japan, which has a similar (ish) climate to France, and THEY have Splash Mountain.

The ride already has the capability to be dry/wet on demand. The splash level can be controlled. So why would Disney be visiting Europa Park to research a solution? They already have one. They solved the problem 17 years ago!

Alain Littaye said...

Eventually they may be looking for a cheaper solution. Mack rides are generally less expensive.

Unknown said...

It is a tad far fetched to say Al Weiss traveled from L.A. for this as he was already in Papenburg for the keel laying of the cruise ship Disney Dream.

Perhaps this little visit had something to do with the Disney Dream as well - LOL

Travel Pics said...

The Americans also came to Paris to make a visit of Disneyland Paris. They audited the quality of the quality of the service proposed by French cast-members. They do this every year after the summer.

Alain Littaye said...

Sure. All what i'm saying is that they've not been to Mack only to take a cup of tea. May be nothing will get out of it, may be not, we'll see.

Anonymous said...

Well, if something is sure, it is that the water ride won't be named "Splash Mountain" because another park in France is owning this name licence !!

Anonymous said...

As one reader said above splash mountain works in Tokyo so it can be made to work in Paris.

What I'd really like to see was a Splash Mountain ride based on another Disney property - that way Paris would get something unique which would draw Disney fans from all over to Paris and avoid any 'its not as good as splash mountain in ...' gripes.

My favorite would be a Jungle Book Mountain in Adventureland. I think that a water ride would fit great in the jungle areas and Jungle book has great potential for show scenes - floating along with Baloo singing bear necesseties, through King Lousies I wanna be like you scene, past the beatle buzzards and a thrilling shere Khan finale.

Jungle book is a very popular classic toon in Europe and the UK and pairing that with Ratatouie could make a real buzz for the 20th - just what DLP needs!

Anonymous said...

Dust off the Thunder Mesa and cowboy ride-through plans! Splash Mountain at WDW is really cool, but I always felt it abruptly ended Frontierland and was a little redundant to have two mountains in one land. If it can fit in somewhere, the sweeping vista of Thunder Mesa would be a great way to make Paris' Frontierland truly unique.

john321 said...

Mack is probably the oldest ride manufacturer still in existence. They are especially known for wild mouse coasters, powered coasters and coaster/flume crossovers. Some of their ride concepts are quite innovative, like the "rotating lift hill", used twice in Europa Park.

The only Mack ride I know of in a Disney park is Mulholland Madness in DCA, but maybe there are some other Mack rides somewhere in a Disney park (but I doubt that).

I do not particularly like Europa Park. It indeed looks a lot like a showcase of Mack rides, there is no concept behind the park other than that it is really huge and has a large bunch of attractions stacked together. Some of them are rather spectacular, like the lovely B&M hypercoaster "Silver Star" or their newest home-built creation Blue Fire, it looks like an Intamin coaster, only it runs almost as smooth as a B&M. Quite an achievement for a first "prototype": It is Macks first looping coaster and it is quite a killer.

Although, anybody who claims Europa Park has good theming must have their head examined. Also, you will notice blatant Disney copies gone wrong, like "Piraten in Batavia", they even included a restaurant inside the attraction. If you're looking for a non-Disney park with unique attractions and a lot of theming AND story, you might find the Efteling in the Netherlands a place to visit.

Disney management on the lookout for some new attractions, maybe... Speculations about Splash Mountain just because of this are a bit too early. Also, I think Disney Imagineering would be perfectly capable of dreaming up a method of regulating the splash, it's been done by many other manufacturers too.

Disney's darkride systems are far superior to anything Mack has to offer. Actually, Mack has it's own copycat version of the Omnimover dark ride system, a copy of the Buzz Lightyear ride system... I don't think Disney will be stupid enough to buy those from them.

And shouldn't any new dark ride in Paris be something truly special? Like an adaptation of the trackless ride system used by Pooh and Aquatopia in Tokyo?

Something they could get from Mack is a working water coaster. Mack has two of them on working display in Rust. The main problem I have with them is that the track-section is almost impossible to theme to Disney quality standards.

I don't get the need for additional water rides in DLP to be honest, we already have quite some water there:

- It's a Small World
- Storybook Land
- Pirates: It has two drops and you even have a chance to get wet here.

So, do we really need a log fume, just for the sake of being a water ride?

Europeans are even more attracted by thrills than Americans, but if I may choose: give us Ratatouille with a trackless ride system, not Splash Mountain. Or even better: something totally new and thrilling, with a great story and not based on any known character or franchise... Something we didn't even think of.

robert said...

dear alian is disneyland paris giong to have same one of our disney park in usa or different one ?

Alain Littaye said...

Honestly, i'm not sure if we'll have the same Splash Mountain or a new one - if they build it. I hope it will be the same.

Anonymous said...

Mack builts great rides from a technical perspective. I don't consider the theming of Europapark to be outstanding... by far it isn't. The only European parc I know (besides Disney) offering quality theming with real atmosphere is Efteling parc in The Netherlands. This parc has also a coaster with a splash and an adjustable water level in view of the Dutch weather. The only problem is that this coaster misses the technical perfection of Mack and Intamin rides. As Disney itself is a master in theming, there is no need to visit Efteling. I can understand they visit Europapark for the products... not for the theming.

Anonymous said...

Wow - Philippe Gas spends way too much time on the sunbed.

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Anonymous said...

Now that we're in September 2010, I think it's safe to say that Splash Mountain wont be coming to Disneyland Paris in 2012. It just isn't going to happen.