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Disneyland Paris will soon include 'Star Wars,' Marvel and 'Frozen'

Maria Sergeeva
March 6, 2018

If you are so in love with Disneyland that several cool new rides seem to be a good pretext to plan a Disney trip, then Paris might be your next Disneyland destination.

At an Elysees Palace meeting this week with French President Emmanuel Macron, Disney’s CEO Robert Iger confirmed a $2.5 billion expansion of its Disneyland Paris Resort. Three new lands, devoted to Frozen, Star Wars and the Marvel Universe, will group around a new lake area and effectively double the size of Walt Disney Studios, the resort’s second theme park in Marne-la-Vallee.

Now, if you dream to travel to a galaxy away or you have always been a fan of Star Wars, now it’s your turn to plan a journey to Paris which now prepares to welcome beloved superheroes, stormtroopers, and even that loveable reindeer Sven into Disneyland Paris’ second park.

A new “Frozen” section will include both the village of Arendelle and Elsa’s ice palace, while Paris’ Marvel expansion only confirms that the scope of superhero experiences is greater than what had been previously announced. In addition to a forthcoming land themed around the comic book films, one of the park’s hotels will soon be re-themed around Marvel art and an Iron Man-themed ride will take the place of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith.

Meanwhile, there’s no confirmation that Walt Disney Studios’ forthcoming Star Wars land will include features of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which will open at Disney parks in Florida and California in 2019. Still, the odds are likely. The recently updated Star Tours and Space Mountain’s transformation to Hyperspace Mountain at Paris’ Disneyland Park have been large successes, leading the way for opening the same intergalactic battle and Millennium Falcon-helmed attractions soon to debut stateside.

This expansion seems a historic event, as when Disney made its appearance in Europe, starting by Paris,), the park trapped it in a cycle of unpopularity and underinvestment. At that time, Disney  was required to partner with a French company that borrowed heavily, couldn't get out from under its debts, and ended up beholden to creditors who forced it to limit spending on the park.

Half-hearted attempts to improve the park followed, most notably the construction of a "second gate," the Walt Disney Studios, modeled on Florida's Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney Hollywood Studios, a park with a most unfortunate acronym). The Studios park is unquestionably the worst Disney park in history, ill-conceived, understaffed, and uninspired, though it was notably improved by the recent addition of a Ratatouille ride.

Disney now controls its French partner, having bought out the company's debt, and this has sparked an ambitious across-the-board redevelopment of Disneyland Paris, which is about to enter a new phase with a €2B ($2.5B) expansion that will include a Star Wars land, a Marvel Comics, and a Frozen land.

The development won't start until 2021. New attractions, including roller coasters themed to “Tron” and “Guardians of the Galaxy,” a Ratatouille-themed attraction, new dining and entertainment to the Orlando-area theme park resort are expected to appear in Paris.

At the same time, it was revealed the resort’s existing New York Hotel would undergo renovation, being remade into NY-themed lodgings suitable for Tony Stark and Spiderman. The remodeled hotel is expected to begin welcoming guests by 2020.

The upheaval of Walt Disney Studios Park is only one of the many overhaul projects Disney Parks & Resorts have in the works worldwide.

Meanwhile, the resort is still the most visited theme park in all of Europe. Itcovers 4,800 acres (19 km2)and encompasses two theme parks, many resort hotels, a shopping, dining, and entertainment complex, and a golf course, in addition to several additional recreational and entertainment venues.

According to the Disneyland Paris website the theme park's top five attractions are It's a Small World, Space Mountain: Mission 2, Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean and Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters. It's a Small World, located in Fantasyland, takes visitors on a musical tour of world attractions, Space Mountain: Mission 2 is a roller coaster in Discoveryland. Big Thunder Mountain is a mine train roller coaster in Frontierland. Pirates of the Caribbean is located in Adventureland; and Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters, located in Discoveryland, was inspired by the Disney/Pixar film Toy Story 2 and features people shooting lasers at targets to earn points. 

Photo via Wikipedia Commons / Heather Cowper