We who have held the title of worst Disney Park in the world for 22 years with Walt Disney Studios Park, new hope arrived in 2018 when Bob Iger unveiled an ambitious redesign and expansion program.
6 years on, Disneyland Paris has finally decided to lift the veil on its final content. Little did we know that the worst was yet to come…

Once upon a time

On September 29, 1999, Disneyland Paris announced the creation of a second theme park for the modest sum of 4 billion francs. For the younger among you, this would have been equivalent to an investment of 800 million Euros in 2018.

Small (half the surface area of its illustrious neighbor), with a minimal number of attractions (you can count them on the fingers of 2 hands), and ugly beyond compare (simple concrete or sheet metal cubes connected by bitumen), the Park was obviously a disappointment when it opened on March 16, 2002. But we’re promised a bright future as it grows and improves from year to year.

This was more or less the case with the consecutive arrivals of Toon Studio (2007) and the Tower of Terror with its little Hollywood quarter (2008), followed in equal time by Toy Story Playland (2010) and Rue de Paris (2014). Each of these, in its own way, has brought a bit of aesthetic punctuality and contentment to the park, if not coherence.

A major overhaul, like the one that put Disney California Adventure back on track as a true Disney Park, was still to come.

Because it’s our project

It’s February 27, 2018, Bob Iger is at the Palais de l’Elysée with President Macron to present a 2 billion Euro investment that will profoundly and permanently correct Walt Disney Studios. We’re talking about an amount more than double that for the park’s creation! All hopes are therefore finally justified.

With an impressive amount of greenery, the overall visual of the project finally lays a solid foundation for the park, broadly inspired by the Epcot plan: a first World entrance corresponding to the “real” historical studios, then a second World embodied by a vast lake around which revolve pavilions that will plunge us into the heart of the universes imagined by the company’s various Studios: Pixar Animation (with various spaces/films), Marvel Studios (with Avengers Campus), Disney Animation (with The Snow Queen) and Lucasfilm (with Star Wars). The first 2 pavilions will also serve as bridges between the 2 Worlds, ensuring a better flow.
Some are even dreaming of the rapid addition of a pavilion dedicated to 20th Century Studios, with Avatar as phase 2.

So all was well in the best of worlds. But that was without taking into account the transition from dream to reality.

The Clone Wars have just begun

The first few years, marked mainly by the interminable administrative part, nevertheless saw the project evolve and take shape. But far from being the original or exclusive proposal we were expecting, it became an accumulation of more or less successful copies.

But after Cars Road Trip in 2021, we could console ourselves by saying that it was better to avoid originality.

The ugliest zone of them all, Backlot to be precise, opened the real hostilities and became Avengers Campus in 2022. A partially adapted copy of a Land opening a few months earlier at Disney California Adventure.

So Spider-Man W.E.B. Adventure finds itself cloned in Paris, but with the scene dedicated to Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! which didn’t make the trip. Worse still, the queue also retains the nod to the Shawarma Palace, which would naturally have found its place in the former Café des Cascadeurs, but has been given another insipid art direction devoid of any direct link to the Marvel universe.
And what can we say about Avengers Assemble: Flight Force, a de-evolution of the Rock’n’Roller Coaster where the bulk of the budget is spent on the façade and an Audio-Animatronic, to the detriment of the content and, above all, the renovation of the ride and trains.

It’s fair to say that things weren’t looking too good. But Disneyland Paris wasn’t about to stop there.

Now it’s time to reveal more about the Snow Queen zone, which will be imported directly from Hong Kong Disneyland. But not in its entirety. We don’t want to take up too much space, or give visitors too much interest in the long walk around the lake.

There, World of Frozen, due to open in late 2023, is divided into 2 areas on either side of a small marina. On one side, the town of Arendelle offers a clone of the small, fast-paced, low-budget update initially offered at Epcot’s Norwegian pavilion since 2016 (so just over 2 years after the film’s release) nonetheless equipped with state-of-the-art Audio-Animatronics. On the other, a wooded area offers a (very short but very pretty) Family Coaster.

Here, only the city of Arendelle and its Boat Ride make the trip. After all, the worldwide success of The Snow Queen doesn’t deserve too much, and a single attraction at the end of the lake will be more than enough, especially as another zone dedicated to Star Wars will arrive “quickly” afterwards, obviously cloning a small part of the American Galaxy’s Edge.

In the meantime, however, the license has suffered several setbacks that have caused major upheavals throughout the Walt Disney Company, and the numerous operational difficulties encountered by Walt Disney Imagineering’s ultimate marvel: Rise of Resistance, have made Disneyland Paris more than a little skittish. So much so, in fact, that the project has been cancelled altogether, to be replaced by another kingdom still waiting to be bathed in light.

Chronicle of a massacre foretold

Let’s move on to what really interests us: the announcements of April 12, 2024, and the answers to almost all our questions.

Let’s start with the elephant in the room: Walt Disney Studios Park will be changing its name to reflect its new identity.

You’ve already heard of Disney California Adventure, PortAventura World, IMG Worlds of Adventure, Chessington World of Adventures, maybe even the Adventure World parks in Japan and Australia. So let’s welcome the highly original and ultra-stylish Disney Adventure World!
We’ve narrowly escaped Axel Foley’s Wonder World, and we’re almost missing a Disney CinéMagique Park, which would have brought Discoveryland full circle since 1992, while justifying the idea of immersing ourselves in the films after crossing a screen, because “in the cinema, anything is possible”.

On this note, we pass through the gates of Disney Adventure World, cross the Place des Frères Lumière downgraded to a simple “Entry Zone”, and arrive in Studio 1, or rather World Premiere, which replaces a dummy Hollywood street with a dummy Hollywood street but with trees. A new Disney Theater façade (complete with red carpet) serves as the exit door.
So, if you’ve been following along so far, we’re about to enter Studios, then a film set, which won’t be a film set, since it’ll be a Hollywood street leading to… World Premiere Plaza, which, as the name suggests, will be a street leading from Flying Carpets to Stitch Live! and will still have a studio atmosphere, but with trees. Not to be confused, of course, with Worlds of Pixar and World of Frozen (with or without an S, it’s up to you to work out the nomenclature), which are another kind of World, but not like World of Marvel either, which simply doesn’t exist, since it’s an Avengers Campus. The Imagineers’ sense of detail and storyline is truly impressive.

Finally, we come to the heart of the project: Adventure Way, which leads to Adventure Bay. After an overdose of World, we’re going to move on to an overdose of Adventure, with the exception of AdventureLand (editor’s note: the typo is deliberate), which remains in Disneyland Park with The Lion King, which is, as everyone knows, in Frontierland.

Farewell, then, to the Toy Story Playland extension with an Alien Swirling Saucers clone, which would have brought a new experience to the Resort and variations of which can be found in all the other Disney Resorts. How about a cup of tea with Rapunzel Tangled Spin? After all, why settle for one Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups when you can have two, and if you want to make it stand out from the crowd, let’s give it the golden award for the most convoluted name in history by mixing French first name, English film title and Spin, in case you haven’t figured out the principle of this type of ride for yourself.

So, if you’re going to include Princesses on Adventure Way, you might as well complete it with an English Garden without Princesses and a Toy Story Garden for good measure.

Similarly, to extend the Art-Deco style of the Park entrance, and as we’ll have magnificent views over the back of the equally Art-Deco Hollywood Tower Hotel, we’ll have The Regal View Restaurant & Lounge taking on an Art-Nouveau style, inherited from Tokyo DisneySea’s Fantasy Springs Hotel. But not the pretty, themed part. No, the painted concrete block part, with a few scrolled reliefs glued to the walls. But it doesn’t matter, because here you can eat with the Princesses and even pay extra to enjoy the Enchantment of the Night from your private terrace.

And they lived happily ever after

Want more? What about the entertainment in the Jardin Anglais, the Parade, the Féerie Diurne and the famous Féerie Nocturne? Move along, there’s nothing to see. Surely Disneyland Paris wasn’t about to announce something really concrete and new to fire our fertile imaginations.

What more did you want? To know what’s happening with the planned third zone, which they don’t say will no longer be dedicated to Star Wars? To know if they’re going to deign to give Adventure Way at least one more ride? You’re asking for the moon!
Hang on, an operator will be taking your call shortly. Your wait is estimated at 4 months to 10 years.