Walt Disney Studios: Past, Present & Future

The Walt Disney Studios park at Disneyland Paris has always been known as the poor relation in the Disney Parks world. Opening in March 2002 it was a scaled back version of what Euro Disney S.C.A. wanted as their second gate. This article looks back to opening day, what was in the park, what WDS is like today and what it could be in the future.

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Above is a comparison of the Walt Disney Studio park maps from 2002 and 2015 respectively. As you can see there was only a handful of attractions open and very little in the way of restaurants and fast food outlets.

Walt Disney Studios Attractions – 2002

Toon Studio

  • Art of Disney Animation
  • Animagique
  • Flying Carpets Over Agrabah

Production Courtyard

  • CinéMagique
  • Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic

Backlot

  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith
  • Armageddon: Les Effets Speciaux
  • Moteurs… Action! Stunt Show Spectacular

As you can see it is pretty light on quality attractions. When I first found love with Disneyland Paris it was because of the theming and roller coasters (not many of them I know). With this in mind all the park had for me was Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. I loved it. But not enough to take a special trip to the Studios park. The right hand side of the park that we know today was nowhere to be seen. To make the park map look somewhat decent-ish they had to include one of the backstage buildings, not good.

Fast forward to the present day and we are blessed(?) with the following attractions:

Walt Disney Studios Attractions – 2015

Toon Studio

  • Flying Carpets Over Agrabah
  • Crush’s Coaster
  • Cars Quatre Roues Rallye
  • Art of Disney Animation
  • Animagique
  • Toy Soldier Parachute Drop
  • Slinky Dog Zig Zag Spin
  • RC Racer
  • Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy

Production Courtyard

  • CinéMagique
  • Stitch Live!
  • Disney Junior: Live!
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic

Backlot

  • Armageddon
  • Moteurs… Action! Stunt Show Spectacular
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Avec Aerosmith

It is hard to deny that Disneyland Paris are tying to improve the experience of this park. More than 8 new attractions on 13 years including 2 new mini lands in Toy Story Playland and La Place de Rémy. But guests are still being let down by the lack of entertainment (or streetmosphere) and the amount of concrete. Yes the story of the park is that it is supposed to be a working film studio. This has not been the case for some while now, even then it was just the Disney Channel.

2015 and Beyond

It is great to speculate and discuss what the future may bring for Walt Disney Studios. People have so many ideas and opinions. Here are mine:

What needs to improve?

Although attractions are what mainly attracts guests into the park, theming is also important. The whole left hand side of the park is really poorly themed. I would love this to change into some kind of Marvel area. Could it be a city with tall buildings, taken right from films such as the avengers and Iron Man? Would it be possible to re-theme it all around Star Wars and move the new Star Tours into this area? At the moment anything is possible and many wouldn’t miss the attractions in this area if they were to go or be re-themed.

Now that the Walt Disney Company own the lions share of Disneyland Paris it must be one of their biggest priorities to give this park a make over. Just look what they have done to California Adventure and are close to doing Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The future can be very good for Walt Disney Studios, lets hope it is!

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