Disneyland Paris has let slip plans for new guest accommodation, revealing what appears to be a new value hotel in the style of Florida’s Art of Animation and All-Star resorts, earmarked for land opposite Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe.
Comprising a sizeable central building with four accommodation blocks and space reserved for a fifth, each with three wings, the plot also includes several large parking areas and bus drop-offs. 950 rooms would be included in the first phase of the project, apparently dubbed “New Wave”, reported ED92 forum which first shared the plans online.
The plans match existing rumours that Disneyland Paris was considering a hotel similar to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, which opened in 2012 at Walt Disney World in Florida and features four different Disney animation themes spread liberally across ten otherwise fairly basic blocks.
Part of that resort’s value offering, it’s similar in style to earlier All-Star and Pop Century resorts — in fact originally left half built as an intended extension to the latter — though the landscaping and theming overlaid is significantly more accomplished.
Across the hotel, two buildings reference Finding Nemo, two The Lion King, three Cars, and three The Little Mermaid. There are three outdoor pools and numerous amenities in the central Animation Hall with its beautiful sketch drawing walls.
With only four buildings to begin with, the proposed Disneyland Paris value hotel would be significantly smaller. Should it indeed use the same concept, unless each building had its own theme, perhaps we could expect to see only two different movies featured?
The Cars overlay of Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe rules that theme out for a start. Finding Nemo would likely be an incredibly popular choice, not least with this year’s Finding Dory sequel, and would offer something truly alternative to the resort’s current more placid American-themed on site hotels. Between The Little Mermaid and The Lion King, Simba is obviously more popular, though Ariel and friends could create a wholly underwater-themed hotel befitting the “New Wave” project title.
Of course, it wouldn’t take much to come up with an entirely new overlay. “New Wave” could equally suggest newer animated films… Frozen? Monsters, Inc.?
Maybe we also shouldn’t rule out the hotel having a different, more singular theme.
Shanghai Disney Resort is about to open an entire Toy Story Hotel and, though that particular theme will be taken by the Woody overlay happening at Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne, it shows Disney doesn’t always want to just copy and paste its earlier ideas.
It’s certainly logical that Disneyland Paris is now considering a value property of this style. Recent renovations have seen its existing hotels being upped in both quality standards and pricing, most notably Disney’s Newport Bay Club which now boasts a fourth star.
This has left a considerable gap at the lower end of the market, and particularly for families, for whom booking out several rooms at the existing hotels is hugely cost inhibitive.
By contrast, a Disney’s Art of Animation hotel could offer proper family suites — the majority of rooms in the Florida property are set up as such — in a vibrant, heavily character-featured environment.
While there are (unsurprisingly) no outdoor swimming pools shown on the plan, the central building is large enough to suggest an indoor pool, though this would then put the property at an odd advantage to Cheyenne and Santa Fe.
It might be a shame that the resort doesn’t continue with the American backstories to its hotels, but perhaps as a standalone “value” option it’s right that this hotel would stand out and have a wholly different style, rather than diluting that idea.
The plans as published also show significant road changes in the area, probably the reason for their consultation within Val d’Europe.
The congested Avenue Robert Schuman would be turned into a dual carriageway between Disney’s Sequoia Lodge and Hotel Santa Fe, with the tight junction towards the bus and railway station on Avenue René Goscinny turned into a much more sensible roundabout.
Fans will be well aware that the hotel sits precisely where the almost mythical Lava Lagoon water park should have been constructed.
Is that project, with its fantastic volcano centrepiece and richly themed indoor/outdoor lagoons finally a no hope?
This may be open to interpretation… or wishful thinking. ED92, at least, suggests the middle property of the other new development plan, below, is in fact not another hotel, like that earmarked for opposite Newport Bay Club further down, but a reimagined water park with a smaller car park and riverboat link into the existing Lake Disney.
It’s clear that even the huge water park planned for the Villages Nature holiday park, opening 2017 next to Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch, won’t satisfy fans’ desire to see Disneyland Paris completed with this legendary lagoon.
For the resort, the numerous accommodation plans for various sites around the existing properties are now becoming ever more finite, simply awaiting the visitor growth and finances to make them a reality. When that happens, it seems very likely indeed that this “value” accommodation project will be seen to provide the best immediate value itself, as the first real on-site accommodation expansion in the resort’s 25 year history.