After the announcement was made last week that The Walt Disney Company would be investing €2 Billion on The Walt Disney Studios at Disneyland Paris Resort, I have had time to sit and digest all the talk and rumours about what we will see come from this expansion. I thought I would break it down into the new lands.
With Marvel being a big love of mine (Check out S.T.R.I.K.E. The MCU Podcast With a British Twist), I chose to start there.
Starting with what we already know, having been announced at The D23 Expo in Tokyo, just a week before the major announcement, is the much needed re-theme of Rock n Roller Coaster Featuring Aerosmith. The 0-52 MPH indoor rollercoaster in the far corner of the Studios park will be closed at the end of 2018 for it’s makeover. Gone are the days of 80’s hair rockers to be replaced the comic book movie heroes,The Avengers, including the first of those to appear up on the big screen in The Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tony Stark/Iron Man. Not much else is known about what the makeover will feature but expect to see the rest of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
At the front of what will become this new Marvel Land sits the Cinemagique Theater. Formerly home to opening day attraction Cinemagique, a film that pays homage to cinema of days gone by, starring Martin Short and Julie Delpy, which closed in March 2017. In it’s place will come Marvel Superheroes Unite, a stunt show that will showcase scenes from Captain America Civil War, where we will see Steve Rogers face off against the aforementioned Armoured Avenger, Iron Man, alongside elements from the upcoming Avengers Infinity War which will see all the Avengers team up to take down the Mad Titan, Thanos. This due to open at some point this year, alongside the new festival The Summer of Heroes.
Also coming as part of the Summer of Heroes, making the transition from Disney’s California Adventure, is interactive show, The Guardian of the Galaxy Dance Off, featuring Star-Lord and Gamora. No confirmation on if we will see Groot who features in a meet and greet once the Dance Off is complete at the Anaheim park
We will also see a new meet and greet added to the park. Alongside the current Spider-Man meet, Captain Steve Rogers will join in the fun. He can only be met currently again in California Adventure, though he was available to meet during the 2016 Run Disney event in Paris.
Introduced during the Summer of Heroes, comes a new experience, The Disneyland Paris Signature Package Marvel Edition. This will give you an exclusive meet & greet with the previously mention Spider-Man (rumour is it won’t just be Spidey awaiting your arrival). On top of this you will also get an exclusive character meal, set in The Manhattan Restuarant at The Hotel New York. Plus a bonus $60 gift card to spend in any of the Disneyland Paris Resort shops.
Lastly one rumour regarding the Summer of Heroes, is that we will also see a street show similar to what we see with Stormtrooper March during Season of the Force. This has been rumoured to feature Black Widow and Thor working together to take down The God of Thunder’s mischievous adopted brother Loki. No confirmation on this yet, but fingers crossed. Black Widow did have a show similar in California Adventure during their own Summer of Heroes.
Now on to my own thoughts of what is to come for the Marvel Land. Let’s start from back to front of the land. We already know about Rock n Roller Coaster, so let’s start on Armageddon. Quite clearly this is an attraction that people don’t hold much affection for. My opinion is, despite other peoples thoughts, I don’t believe this will be a meet and greet area. Hong Kong had a walk through attraction called Dimensions of Danger which followed a story featuring Doctor Strange and other Marvel heroes. This I believe will fit the layout of the current building. See below for a video of the attraction in Hong Kong.
Two attractions that hold a place close to me are ones that share a building, Disney Jr Live On Stage and Stitch Live. Not because anything is particularly wonderful about them but that our son, Sam, loves both of these shows. That being said they no longer fit
I believe this is where you will get your meet and greets. Across the US and Asian parks and even the Disney Cruise Line Ships there have been multiple meet and greet areas featuring many of our heroes. Thor and Loki, Cap and Spidey, Dr Strange and Iron Man and Star Lord and Rocket. Across these two buildings I think you could probably fit two or three really good meet areas.
Attractions wise, it only leaves one area and that is Moteurs Action. I’m not sure what is going to happen here. The artist’s rendering leaves it very unclear. It’s possible that it will stay a stunt show. Whether that involves car and bike chases is something that is completely unknown. We have seen many a scene similar in the MCU. Could it also be that the show that has been developed for The Cinemagique Theater be updated to fit an outdoor arena, in a similar vein to The Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular at Hollywood Studios. I have also heard talk the land maybe re-utilized for an E-Ticket attraction. What that could involve is anyone’s guess. Multiple different attractions have been developed for the Asian parks, including an Iron Man simulator similar to Star Tours and a new ride though attraction that is an upgrade to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, featuring Ant Man. Rumours started last year they were also developing a new Spider-Man ride, originally thought for California, could it be for this plot of land instead??
Then you have the two restaurants. While The Blockbuster Cafe has a slight theme towards Iron Man, that theming is minimal at best. It also includes a Pirate of the Caribbean room as well. But overall the restaurant has had very little updating for many a year. With the Spiderman meet and greet to the rear of the building could there be room for expansion??
And the second of the restaurants, Restaurant Des Stars is currently a buffet style restaurant, with, again, no real theming. It used to feature a animatronic Remy from Pixar’s Ratatouille, but this was removed once Bistro Chez Remy opened on the other side of the park. For me, this is the ideal spot for a character meal with other members of The Avengers, character meals being something The Studios are desperately lacking currently.
Lat but not least comes something that was talked up long before this expansion was announced, but has kind of been glossed over during the announcement. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
After the conversion to Guardians of The Galaxy Mission Breakout over at California Adventure, everyone pretty much thought Paris was going the same way. A major refurb was announced that would take the Tower out of action for months. Then it was rumoured this refurb was just to strip out the Twilight Zone theming, as Disney would not be renewing the licencing deal with CBS who own The Twilight Zone.
Once the announcement was made including the about concept are nothing had changed with the Tower. Unless you look really closely. To the right of the Tower you may notice something oddly shaped and brightly coloured. In my opinion that is a Nova Corp jet seen in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1 and it hasn’t been placed there randomly. I still believe Paris will receive the Guardians overlay. It doesn’t make sense to leave that random Hollywood piece of real estate situated on it’s own when there is an attraction that will provide connective tissue to a land that is due to be built.
I believe the bulk of the tower will change in this first lot of down time later in 2018, before going down again once The Avengers coaster is open in place of Rock n Roller Coaster, to fit the ride system.