With around 15 million visitors a year and representing 6.2 percent of France’s tourism income, Disneyland Paris is Europe’s most visited theme park. But the popular tourist destination and its 15,000 cast members aren’t resting on their laurels.
At the first Disneyland Paris Media Expo held in a townhouse a few steps from the Champs-Elysées, an ambitious programme of attractions and seasons for 2020 was announced, while more details were teased of the two billion euro expansion of Walt Disney Studios Park, which will radically transform Disneyland Paris to infinity and beyond in its 30th anniversary in 2022.
So what can you expect of future visits?
Do you want to build a snowman? From January 1 to May 3, 2020, you can try when Disneyland Paris hosts its first season dedicated to the Oscar-winning 2013 animated film Frozen and the forthcoming sequel. Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven will be joined by acrobats and dancers for a toe-tapping show, performed four times a day along the parade route that snakes around Sleeping Beauty Castle.
The season follows hot on the heels of the reopening of Art Of Disney Animation on November 19 this year as Frozen: A Musical Celebration. Let It Go with Elsa in her ice palace as part of the interactive sing-along, which concludes with a warm hug from Olaf.
Young children and their families will be in fine voice in the spring when Mickey, Minnie and friends from Disney Junior welcome guests to Studio D in Walt Disney Studios Park. This new interactive show encourages little ones to sing, dance and make merry.
The Disneyland Paris Run Weekend of family-friendly races over 5km, 10km and 21km is already a popular fixture in the September calendar. From May 8 to 10, 2020, the first edition of the Princess Run will invite athletes of all ages and abilities to greet regal Disney characters over different distances. Limited edition medals reward participating princesses and princes, who successfully greet their loyal subjects at the finish line.
In summer 2020, Disney’s Hotel New York reopens its doors after almost two years of renovation and remodelling, as the first hotel in the world dedicated to Marvel Comics art. A vast lobby welcomes guests with back-lit black and white comic panels, Iron Man suits and columns embossed with super-charged characters.
Throughout the building, designed to evoke luxurious Manhattan-style living, visitors can find more than 300 specially curated pieces of art, including comic book covers, film storyboards, original sketches and posters. Some works have never been seen before.
Marvel artwork is set to festoon all 471 superior rooms, plus the 65 Empire State club rooms inspired by Tony Stark’s bedroom, and 25 themed suites boast a dedicated check-in reception and private lounge for breakfast. Two restaurants and bars take a culinary journey through a cosmopolitan New York and serve themed cocktails, biodynamic wines and bottled beer from microbreweries.
Super Hero Station inside the hotel hosts one-to-one encounters with Marvel champions, which could include Spider-Man, despite recent news the friendly neighbourhood web-slinger will no longer be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“Spider-Man is, I think, the most popular Marvel character in Europe,” said David Wilson, vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering. “The guests like to see him. He will be part of the hotel and things we do beyond that.” Reservations open on November 5.
In 2021, Disneyland Paris unveils the first phase of a multi-year expansion of Walt Disney Studios Park to create three new immersive, themed zones of wonder. Avengers Campus will provide a permanent home for Black Panther, Dr Strange, Thor and friends, plus a Spider-Man ride-along attraction, which will have guests shooting webs at an infestation of Spider-Bots.
The new land will incorporate the now closed Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith, which will be transformed into a high-speed white-knuckle adventure with Iron Man and his fellow Avengers.
The snow-capped mountains of Arendelle provide a dramatic backdrop to a dedicated Frozen winter wonderland set on the banks of a vast lake that will become a must-see visitor destination in itself, with daytime and nighttime shows. Judging by the LED-lit model we saw on display at the Expo, it looks highly likely that the Frozen Ever After water ride in the Norway pavilion at Epcot in Florida will be making a big splash in Paris too.
In another phase, George Lucas’ sprawling sci-fi universe will no longer be a galaxy far, far away, when Paris jumps to lightspeed with its own Star Wars experience following the opening of immersive intergalactic outposts at Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in Anaheim, California this year. The force will always be with you.
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