Tuesday, January 12, 2010

DLP Update : A look at Disneyland Paris future

As promised, we will have a look today at Disneyland Paris future. Recently, two DLP fans web sites - Disneytheque and DLRP Today - did articles about it and since then all DLP forums keep talking about it. Although all is not wrong in the Disneytheque article the one from DLRP Today seems to be more accurate. You can have a look at them HERE and HERE.

Toy Story Playland or Toy Story Mania?

This year, in June or July, the new Toy Story Playland will open at the Walt Disney Studios with what will be, basically, three carnival rides themed on the Toy Story theme. There is no doubt that WDI Imagineers will do a great and probably enjoyable theming on this little land and DLP fans will be happy to have three new rides at the WDS, but they will be a little bit less happy when they will know that, at exactly the same location, Toy Story Mania was also envisioned to be build.

Considering the financial situation of the park and the huge price difference between Toy Story Playland and Toy Story Mania nobody needs to be a genius to understand that once again it's the budget price which had the final word. Although i'm sure that young kids will enjoy Toy Story Playland rides we must not forget that all three will be outdoor attractions and when we see the incredibly freezing temperatures we have this winter in Paris we can wonder if Toy Story Playland was finally the right choice for the guests.

Ratatouille, 20th anniversary attraction?

Disneyland Paris 20 th anniversary will be in two years from now and of course the biggest DLP fan question remains the same: what will be the 20th anniversary attraction? Since months everyone wonder which one between the Ratatouille and Little Mermaid dark rides will be the next E-Ticket and i'm sorry to say that, if no announcement have been done it's probably because nothing yet is totally sure.

As usual it's all about money and although 2009 guests attendance was good, last year financial results were not fantastic. So, what is doing the park when they need to build a E-Ticket attraction and don't necessarily have the money for? Well, they do exactly like we do when we want to buy a new home or a new car, they go to see their bank and ask if they can borrow some money! They did a financial plan which was sent recently to the banks, and now everybody - including us - is waiting for its approval and the funds which will come with it. It will take probably some months to have the bank's answer but the park still have some time before the works must begin to make sure that a new E-Ticket will open on time in April 2012.

However, considering that almost two years are generally needed for this kind of attraction, next June will probably be the dead line to begin the works. And, depending where these will be, DLP fans will know immediately - even with no official announcement - what is the final choice. I'm still betting on the Ratatouille dark ride not only for reasons explained in one of my previous article but mostly because the attraction is now on WDI schedule. Historically, when an attraction appear on the WDI schedule it means that the attraction has received the green light from the park. So, if you have to bet on one attraction as the next DLRP E-Ticket, i think you can put your bets on the Ratatouille dark ride. And for more infos about the ride itself, have a look to my previous article HERE.

What about Soarin' ?

Since Walt Disney Studios opening the room to build a Soarin' attraction was kept. the good news is not only that the room is still available but also that the park is still considering to build it......someday. The new "Soarin' over the World" movie is expected to begin in 2013 at Disney's California Adventure and i really think that the main reason why Soarin' is not built yet at the WDS is simply because the new movie is not yet available. DCA and Epcot will probably have it first and then, with a bit of luck (and money!) the ride may come to the WDS. However, all this didn't stop WDI Imagineers to work on the design of the building facade - i remind you that WDS location for Soarin' is in Production Courtyard between the Cinemagique and Stitch live! buildings - and from what i've been told the facade will be beautiful, with an art-deco style just like the buildings nearby. You can find more details about the "Soarin' over the World" movie in the article i did some months ago HERE.

Anything new in 2011 ?

2010 will see the opening of Toy Story Playland - with also the New Generation Festival - but what about 2011? Well, considering that the next year will be the 20th anniversary we can expect that the park will save its money for the big event. However something highly expected will open in theatres in 2011: the new Pirates of Caribbean movie.

It's time to remember that Disneyland Paris is now the only park which didn't "update" the attraction with the Jack Sparrow / Barbosa audio-animatronics. Considering the huge success of the first trilogy and the low budget of this update i was surprised they didn't do it before... until i thought they may envision to do it later. 2011 could be a perfect date for this POTC update and would be a good way to have something new in the park for a low amount of money. We'll see if it'll be the case.

Star Tours 2 at Discoveryland

Star Tours 2 will open next year at Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios and the big question is: when will it come to DLP Discoveryland? I think there is litlle doubt that Star Tours 2 will open at Discoveryland - not only because the attraction really needs an update but also because the budget of this new version won't be excessive - but the only question is when? In the Disneytheque article they announce it for 2013 and they may be right on this one. As the park did with the 2007 15th anniversary which has ended early 2009 (!) the 2012 20th anniversary will probably run through 2013 and a Star Tours 2 opening on that year would be a good way to expand the "birthday party". However we must not forget that 2012 is the 20th anniversary of the Disneyland Park (and not the Walt Disney Studios) and so it would be legitimate that DLP Magic Kingdom have a new attraction on that year. We'll see what happen.

As for the attraction itself - read my previous article for more details about what has been "unofficially" announced - one thing is sure: Star Tours 2 will have not only the new podrace 3D movie presented last September by Jay Rasulo at the D23 Expo, but several different movies - i would say probably four different movies. And this will be a good thing, specially when we think that we've spent the last 20 years with the same ride movie! Until now, Star Tours was probably the only travel agency of the universe offering only one destination!

However, don't expect each movie to be totally different as what will change in each of them will probably be only the "middle" part - the opening and the end of each movie should be the same. Which by the way is logical as our Starspeeder will be supposed to lift off each time from the same base. But, of course, the guest will have a different experience with each movie.

And what about the pre-show, you ask? Well, the biggest elements of the pre-show like the real-size Starspeeder and 3CPO - will remain but you can expect a re-design of some elements. The big Starspeeder in the first room of the pre-show will have a slightly new design on his front as well as the big screen next to it - the one announcing Star Tours destinations - where we can expect a incredibly high-definition screen, and more. Changes will also occur in the second room - the Droid room - and inside the Starspeeder simulators Captain Rex will have a totally different design which is a really good idea as its current style looks more like a robot escaped from the 1979's "Black Hole" movie...

I've also heard that the queue may be interactive and that ,depending of your choice, you will be sent to a Star Tours destination or another. Although i think it would be a good idea it may be difficult to put in place, not to mention the additional budget for this interactivity. As i don't have confirmation on this interactive queue, please consider it for now only as a "rumor".

New Convention Hotel and Disney Village.

Both Disneytheque and DLRP Today articles talked about the future Convention centre and hotel, but i think it's DLRP Today which announced the right location - see DLRP Today map below. This Convention centre and hotel project exist since many years but for the theme of the new hotel, nothing has been announced yet. But considering its location close to the Walt Disney Studios it won't be a surprise if WDI Imagineers choose an art-deco style which will fit perfectly with the WDS buildings style nearby. I, personally, love the art-deco style and nothing could make me more happy than to have a new hotel with the style of the Ambassador Hotel at TDL or the Hollywood Hotel at HKDL. The convention centre and hotel are supposed to open before 2015 and have an investment of 100 M Euros.

In a previous article i told you that the park is also working on an expansion of the Disneyland Hotel, and it's still in the plans. When it will have the green light this new wing which will be build on the hotel parking lot will be a kind-of boutique hotel with its own restaurant and swimming pool and room prices as high as the one of the DLH Castle Club. They were looking for an opening on the 20th anniversary but i cannot confirm you that this will be the case.

As for the Disney Village we're still waiting for the long rumoured changes beginning by the World of Disney shop which will be build in front of the Gaumont Theatres. Once the World of Disney will be open many of the others shops - beginning by the Disney Store - will definitely change but so many different concepts were envisioned since the last two years that i prefer to don't announce you anything before they are really sure. The only thing which is sure for now is that big changes will happen soon to the Disney Village.

A Night Show for the Walt Disney Studios?

Recently i saw on french forums a rumor talking about a lake that should be build behind WDS Hollywood Blvd and Tower of Terror. Well, DLP fans will be happy to learn that more than a simple rumor it's a real project. The Walt Disney Studios generally close each day around 7 p.m, mainly (but not only) because the park don't have a night show. So, the plan is to build a lake which will host not Fantasmic! but the World of Color show - yes, the same one opening in April at DCA.

Why World of Color instead of Fantasmic!, you ask? Well once it is built the World of Color show need less cast-members, so the operation cost won't be as high as Fantasmic! Still, DLP executives are probably waiting to know more about the maintenance cost of World of Color at DCA and then, eventually, and if the funds are available, World of Color will come to the WDS. As this is a long term project, don't expect it before at least 2015. But it's a good news that Imagineers are working on a WDS night show as the park really need one

O-kay, that's all for today. Always remember that DLP choices may change depending of the financial results and funds available or not. Each of my DLP updates are a "picture" of the situation at the time i post it. Next DLP update won't be before some months, the needed time to have confirmed infos and not simple rumors.

In the meantime make sure to check the special offer about the great Disneyland Paris book if you don't own it yet! You will find it right HERE.

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

Pictures: copyright Disney, Lucas Film and DLRP Today.


Juanpa said...

Oook. Thanks for the great (as usual) article. With your permission, I'm gonna explain some things I think about it.
DLP seems always to be moving on the cheap side... as usual. So I say bye to timeless rides like Indiana Jones or Splash Mountain, it's sad, but I assume it.

- About Toy Story Playland; I have proved Toy Story Mania and yes, it's fun, but not a state-of-the-art ride. It's kinda ugly and simple so, I will not miss it. Maybe the same technology with better themeing and a strong storyline will arrive later. Meanwhile I hope that Toy Story Playland just disappears in a few years; I dislike all of those ugly carny-ride areas that are populating the Disney parks. Din-o-rama at Animal Kingdom, It's a Bug's land at DCA, now that "thing"... CHEAP!

- Not into Star Wars, but at least it would vary after 20 years, not a bad new. And please, I wish Honey I bored the audience disappeared, too.

- About Soarin'. Not a bad simulator, but WDS needs more rides (dark rides, at least), and less movie attractions.

- About Ratatouille/Mermaid rides, I prefer the Mermaid theme (I doubt that in a few years the children will even know who the characters of Ratatouille are, and Little Mermaid is a young classic IMHO), but WDS needs DESPERATELY something to do and see so, the prize should go to WDS.

- About the Nighttime show; ok, but when I go to the park, it's hard to find something to do after 3pm, as well as you have done the whole park, so I don't see how to make people wait for the show. But it will be a great addition, if it happens.

- About the hotel/etc; not interested. Maybe next time.
again; great article. Cheers.

Dagobert said...

Another great article Alain and by the way your book about Disneyland is amazing, although I have the French version and my French is not very good.

Concerning your article I really hope that this all comes to reality although I highly doubt it. Like the previous post already said, Euro Disney SCA is on the cheap side and that's not wondering concerning their financial situation. I'm not good in financial things, but shouldn't Disney write all debts down and start all over again.

And why doesn't TWDC pay for any rides? They are still part of the company (40% or so).

I can't wait until Disney Village gets a WoDS and I also hope that the hotel plans (new hotel and DLH expansion) become also reality.

I'm also for The Little Mermaid, because DLP deserves also a new attraction.

Brian said...

Thanks for this great article, enjoyed reading it! Hope that DLP finally will be a little faster with building some bigger E-tickets. My vision is that when they build two E-ticket rides in WDS and one or two in the Magic Kingdom, they'll benefit from this for many, many years. Those benefits will make DLP more profitable, makes it get more money, in order to use for even more nice rides. Investing a lot in the parcs at this moment, can change a lot.
If they stop spending money, there won't be ay development, so there will never be some growth.

Read on forum that DLP company has 340 million to spend, do you think that's true Alain? And what do you guess, will be the future destination for the costume building?

Anonymous said...

wow good for DLP but about WOC I really hope they don't do it; WOc should be exclusive to DCA, if DCA can get a overhaul why can't WDS? IO think that's what's needed not more copied attractions or shows from other parks.

Jones said...

We should consider ourselves lucky that we can still enjoy a POTC *without* the characters from that insipid movie trilogy.

Scott said...

I'm all for WoC coming to WDS. Odds are DLP park goers will ever go to Disneyland Resort in California. Therefore, I don't see the big deal.

Kristin said...

It'll be interesting to see what new attractions they come up with for Paris. I'm a little sad to see the Toy Story element pared down to just outdoor play areas, but I guess we'll see what happens.

Juanpa said...

I was thinking... Can it be true? In the best of situations (if Little Mermaid Ride happens) would have passed seventeen (17!) years since the last E-ticket ride in Disneyland Paris Park?? I'm starting to feel old...

Alain Littaye said...

It's incredible, but you're right! The last E-Ticket that open in the Disneyland park was Space Mountain in 1995 and in 2012 it will make 17 years...IF the Little Mermaid was opening, which is not even sure! Incredible.

Robert/Cologne said...

For me it seems that the suits are thinking wrong.We dont need fairground attractions in the parks but new exciting rides.A must would be a dark ride,just look at the queue for Peter Pan its always a long wait.Little Mermaid would be the best decision and after all it is our ride.

PWK said...

In my opinion, the best optoin for DLP would be an adaption of the Indiana-Jones-Ride of DL Anaheim.

And for the Studios WOC and Soarin would be my preferences, but I would also accept the Rat-Ride.

Anonymous said...

I`ve been lurking around and read alot of your articles, and I must say they`re all great!

About this...

-A Ratatouille dark ride would be excellent. As much as some of you could prefer The Little Mermaid, keep in mind that Ratatouille was huge...no, GIGANTIC in France, being the biggest one of the biggest markets for any Pixar movie to date. It`s logical to have a unique R-ride at the Paris location with it`s popularity. If they use the higly acclaimed trackless system as rumoured, attendance at WDS could skyrocket.

-Of course, a new ride for the Magic Kingdom isn`t either out of the question. The park needs some more love, even though it`s four times as visited as WDS. DLP hasn`t had an E-ticket for 17 YEARS. Star Tours II could do well, since Discoveryland does need a new addition.

-Soarin` I think should fit more into DLP (Discoveryland). Okay, I just said that Star Tours II is already a good addition, but think about the possibilities. It could be themed to one of Da Vinci`s concepts, as you fly all over the world/Europe with it. However, budget does have the final word, so let`s see what happens.