In this new series of monthly articles, we’ll be bringing to discussion the very hottest of speculation about the future of Disneyland Paris – straight from the rumour mill! Keep in mind that this is all unconfirmed guess work on the part of ourselves at Magical DLP and all the Disneyland Paris fan community, but it sure is fun!
If you’d like to join in the discussion, feel free to comment below or join us on twitter @MagicalDLP!
The Rumour Mill turns…
It seems ridiculous to be wondering what’s next at Disneyland Paris when Ratatouille: The Adventure is so new – but the rumour mill is too addictive…! This month the rumours have focused on the possibility of upgrades and maybe even a new attraction for the celebration of Disneyland Paris’ 25th birthday (which is in 2017, by the way).
Firstly, how likely is the premise that Disneyland Paris will be getting some big birthday presents? Fairly so is the answer, it is typical of Disney parks to celebrate in this way so the chances of us having something new and exciting to do in Disneyland Paris are considerably likely. Disneyland Paris have also said officially that the 25th birthday celebration is going to be huge! Which leaves the big question: what will we get?!
Upgrade: Star Tours 2
Let’s begin with Star Tours. The Disneyland Park has seen little real love in terms of attractions since Buzz Lightyear Lazer Blast in 2006, so it’s a common feeling that the park is in need of something new. The Star Tours attraction at Disneyland Paris is in fact the only of its kind still in operation in the world, all other Star Tours attractions have been upgraded to a new 3D version entitled Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. There are two main reasons why this attraction upgrade is likely to happen: out-of-date technology and cost. It is unarguable that Star Tours’ visuals are highly out of date. The CGI was created in the late 1980s and now with CGI which is practically photorealistic in many current movies, the attraction seems pretty old hat – not to Disney’s high standards. Cost is the other reason I’ve picked out: Disneyland Paris still doesn’t have that much money (in fact, recent financial reports show the report has slowly declining profits year-on-year) so expensive attractions are difficult to fund. However, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue has already been developed by Imagineering so Disneyland Paris can simply be quoted a price to pay for a fairly simple change over of the simulator facilities in the Discoveryland attraction. This is much cheaper than developing a new attraction. In my opinion, this is fairly vital to Disneyland Paris. As much as I love the original attraction, one has to admit the visuals are so out of date already and as technology progresses it will only become more embarrassing for Disneyland Paris. To be honest this is barely a rumour, because with all other versions around the world updated, this is simply a matter of when Paris decides to upgrade, not if.
New attraction: Toy Story Midway Mania
Toy Story Midway Mania is an attraction similar to that of Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, though uses 3D screens to virtualise the guest shooting targets in multiple different arcade-style mini-games. Rumours suggest that it is to be built behind Toy Story RC Racer in Toy Story Playland which would mean another shift of the Studio Tram Tour route, but that’s never really stopped them before! Disneyland Paris does appear very fond of building PIXAR themed attractions in Walt Disney Studios, which makes this rumour seem likely, as does the same cost factor as I mentioned with Star Tours. Toy Story Midway Mania does not need to be developed, it just needs to be built, so it is far cheaper for Disneyland Paris. Toy Story Midway Mania is a remarkably successful attraction in other Disney themeparks across the world, which is just another reason why Disneyland Paris might be enticed to invest in it.
However, this rumour is not compatible with @InsideDLP’s 10+2 update speculation (detailed below) because that suggests that there will be no new attractions until after 2017. That’s not to say that one item of speculation is necessarily more believable than the other, but its very unlikely that both would happen.
Major refurbishment for Phantom Manor
@InsideDLP broke this piece of speculation, claiming that the attraction will reopen in 2017, perhaps with a re-theme, because apparently we might not like it… Sounds ominous, eh? Certainly does. But should we be worried? Certainly not! Let’s not be kidding ourselves, Phantom Manor is an attraction which is really showing its age – and not in the sense that it’s suppose to look old and decrepit! The omni-mover ride system it runs on is very out-of-date technology, the special effects don’t really seem that special anymore and the animatronics are old and creaky. This is an attraction which needs a refurbishment, but the controversy is rising because this is also a ride which is very dear to so many of our hearts. Including mine, I might like to add.
Phantom Manor is part of the classic Disneyland family of attractions, being that it is a version of the classic Haunted Mansion – every Disneyland Park/Magic Kingdom has one. And what makes it even more special is that it is such a fundamental part of the Thunder Messa story. It was of course the owner of this manor which tempted fate by mining on Big Thunder Mountain! So this is why the fan community is worried by a potential refurbishment, the worry is that we’ll lose that fantastic story of Thunder Messa and have to wave goodbye to Disneyland heritage.
But I don’t believe we should be worried. Granted, the major refurbishment of Space Mountain to Space Mountain: Mission 2 was a bit of a disappointment (in terms of damaging a great story – I love Mission 2 and there’s nothing any nostalgia-peddler can say to change that!), but that was nearly a decade ago during a time when the resort was in far more serious financial difficulties than today. And why would the Imagineers break that beloved story? They know as well as we do that it’s a great story, and they have no reason to get rid of it. More importantly though, why don’t we trust the Imagineers to do a great job with a refurbishment? We are all fans of the Imagineers here, so clearly they must be at least quite good at their jobs!
Phantom Manor needs a refurbishment. However great the current story is, we need to accept that blunt fact. And I believe that we need to trust the Imagineers to do their brilliant work once more, and give us an upgraded Phantom Manor which we’ll be equally proud of. They made it great in 1992 – I’m sure they can keep it just as fantastic. Fantastic by today’s standards, that is.
The big rumour: The 10 + 2 Updates rumour.
This month @InsideDLP has continued to tease us with the rumour that in the run up to Disneyland Paris’ 25th birthday in 2017, Disneyland Park will receive 10 attraction updates and the Walt Disney Studios Park will receive another 2. @InsideDLP is a reputable source and it’s no secret the the Disneyland Park is in need of some love, so this could be true. Although, to counter that, Disneyland Paris’ official line is that they currently plan on beefing-up Disney Village and making a full-day park out of Walt Disney Studios Park – which doesn’t exactly scream lots of updates for Disneyland Park! But, we know how tight-lipped Disney can be about what they’re up to.
Really though, this speculation is big because the idea of us getting 12 updates in three years (presumably they will all be finished by summer 2017) is simply awesome. I must say that because of the grand scale, and precise numbers given with this rumour, I’m sceptical that it will actually be happening. Regardless though, I’ve been keeping tally of what these updates might be…
Walt Disney Studios Park:
– 2015: Tower of Terror (Source – @DisneylandBerry) A potential repair job on the exterior of the show building.
– [Unknown date]: Replacement for Animagique, which is reportedly closing this year.
– 2015: Space Mountain (@DisneylandBerry) A major upgrade to a Mission 3 (or equivalent).
– 2016: Big Thunder Mountain (@DisneylandBerry) “full refurbishment with surprises”.
– 2017: Phantom Manor, as described above.
– 2017: Star Tours, as described above.
– [Unknown date]: Cafe Hyperion to host Jedi Training Academy
– [Unknown date]: Update to Adventure Isle area?
– [Unknown date]: Autopia to use hybrid engines.
– [Unknown date]: Parade update
– [No conclusive rumour yet]*
– [No conclusive rumour yet]*
– [No conclusive rumour yet]*
*You do hear bucket-loads of rumours which could go here, but I’m only interested in the one’s that seem to have some sort of grounding.
So, that’s a round-up of the rumours and speculation this month. But the best part of speculation is debating it, so let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter @MagicalDLP, or the author of this article @SIMCITYWEST.