What you may not know is that Disneyland Paris, much like Disneyland Tokyo, isn’t solely owned by the Walt Disney company. In its early days, Disney sold shares to investors in order to keep the park afloat during difficult times. This year the Walt Disney company increased its ownership of Disneyland Paris to 85.7% and they are starting to push more money and changes into the park
The Ratatouille ride, which opened in 2014, is a prime example of how more investment and attention to evolving these parks can draw in more visitors. As a mark of how successful this ride has been, early this year at D23, it was announced that the Ratatouille ride is coming to EPCOT world showcase.
With Disney investing and developing more in Disneyland Paris we can already start to reap the benefits. Here are five things that have already been actioned:
- Disneyland Paris Food Festival
This September, Disneyland Paris hosted Le Rendez-vous Gourmand de Disneyland Paris, a two-week food festival held within the Walt Disney Studios park. The festival showcased food and drink from 6 different regions of France similar to the Food and Wine Festival, held in EPCOT each year.
Probably one of the first time a hard-ticketed event has been seen at Disneyland Paris; Electroland, a concert at the base of Hollywood Tower Hotel in Walt Disney Studios, took place in July 2017. The concert had a whole host of world famous DJs including Steve Aoki, alongside a stunning projection on the Hollywood Tower Hotel.
Now on its second year, RunDisney hosts a 5K, 10K and half marathon event in September. Participants get a chance to run through the Disneyland Paris parks, an exhilarating Disney experience.
- Updates to the Disneyland Paris App
This might not sound like the most exciting update, but for those of us who have experienced the ease of being able to see what rides are open, wait times and parade show times at the touch of a button in the US parks cannot wait to have this at our disposal in Paris. It still isn’t as sophisticated as the US App, where you can make dinner reservations or book FastPass time slots, but hopefully that will soon follow.
- Star Wars: Season of the Force
Star Wars has been slowly creeping into the park since the first (or 8th) film was released. Firstly with the update of Star Tours, rebranding of Space Mountain to Hyperspace Mountain, Jedi training sessions and character meet ups. Now it has its own special event: Season of the Force takes place between January and March each year and includes: an evening show projected onto the Hollywood Tower, an action-packed live show, the first order march, more character interactions and additional scenes in the Illuminations night time spectacular.
We have visited Walt Disney World several times and within the last two years have both been to Disneyland in California. They offer so much more than Disneyland Paris as they have been around such much longer and are much more of an institution to America. Here are the 5 Things we would like to see come from the US Disney Parks to Disneyland Paris:
- More hard ticketed events
These events provide unique opportunities, often exploring the parks after normal closure times. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, is an afterhours trick or treating event in the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland. As well as being allowed to dress up as your favourite character whilst gorging yourself silly on free candy, you can also enjoy stunning night time shows, a ghostly parade and the best firework display we have ever seen (ever!)
Other hard ticket events include: Mickeys Merry Christmas, a Christmas celebration including all you can eat cookies, hot chocolate, eggnog, snow cones and spiced apple cider depending on where in the park you are; and Fireworks dessert Party providing unique sweet treats with prime viewing areas for the evenings fireworks.
- Food variety
We often find when the parks are busy it is difficult to find food which isn’t fast. The US parks have really upped their culinary game, with EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival each year showcasing the best food from countries around the word, and its newest land, Pandora, has shown us the amazing food items you can create that can still be completely on theme with the land they reside in. We often visit DLP out of season, and find again food choices to be limited because half of the outlets close.
- Immersive hotel experiences
Announced at D23 earlier this year Disney are opening a Star Wars hotel in Walt Disney World Florida by the Hollywood Studios. This will provide a unique cosplay live-in experience you can’t experience anywhere else. It was also revealed that Disneyland Paris’ Hotel New York in getting a reskin, turning into the Worlds First Marvel Hotel, but we’d like to see more effort put in rather than just a superficial design overhaul. It sounds as though it will be more of a façade showcasing props and costumes from Marvel movies, rather than a whole new exciting place to explore.
- New Lands
The question on most people’s mind is – will Disneyland Paris be getting a Star Wars land? In both of the US parks construction is underway for a 2021 opening but will this come to Europe? Or will there be an extension on one of the current lands? New fantasyland at Walt Disney World is a great example of this. Over time here they have updated the area to include a new eateries (Be Our Guest and Gaston’s Tavern), rides (Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid and Enchanted Tales with Belle) and the Story Book Circus.
- More diverse characters in the park
We’d like to see some of the newer Intellectual Properties (IPs) come to the park. Seeing Mickey and the gang is always good but we’d love to see them shake it up a bit – although since the 25th Anniversary celebrations commensed we have seen a whole range of characters including Moana, Max (Goofy’s son) and the gang from Emperor’s New Groove, we hope they keep this up!
We hope some of these changes are just around the corner, if Mickeys Not-So-Scary Halloween Party came to Paris we would booking our flights and tickets without hesitation (like when they announced the inaugural runDisney half marathon weekend!).