With its 30th Anniversary in full swing, Disneyland Paris has finally announced a project that’s been rumbling along for at least its previous two big birthdays: the Disney Village transformation is go! Along with a first look at the new-style lakeside park façades, the resort has revealed that a new restaurant replacing a longstanding favourite will be the first addition.
This brand new, just-published concept art (above) shows a future vision of the area currently occupied by McDonald’s and the small lakeside area behind Earl of Sandwich.
Looking directly towards The Steakhouse restaurant, it shows the McDonald’s side on the left transformed with new buildings and façades, finally expanding Disney Village in this direction, while the Rainforest Cafe building has a fresh new exterior featuring wooden columns and an outdoor terrace.
Here’s all the details:
A multi-year transformation plan for an enhanced Disney Village experience?
Located at the heart of Disneyland Paris, Disney Village is the retail, dining and entertainment complex between the theme parks and Disney hotels. The district, which celebrates 30 years in 2022, has more than doubled in size since its opening, constantly adding new options to reinvent the guest experience. By the end of the year, a phased transformation of the entire area will begin to give the district a brand-new visual identity and introduce exciting new offerings into the mix.?
By combining the best Disney know-how with select complementary brand concepts, the reimagined Disney Village will celebrate timeless, family-friendly environments that are uniquely Disney. By day, stylish boutiques and innovative restaurants will draw guests in, and by night, thousands of lights will transform the area into a bustling wonderland.
When the transformation is complete, Disney Village will feature a relaxing lakeside park and boardwalk, enhanced pedestrian walkways, brand-new facades, relaxing terraces and patios, and lush landscaping. Its diverse eateries and collection of shops will expand dining and retail options for guests with innovative concepts from some of the world’s most exciting brands for a completely enhanced experience complementing the theme parks.?
“Our plan to transform Disney Village is yet another example of how we continue to reimagine Disneyland Paris at the resort level, notably with our major expansion plan in progress at Walt Disney Studios Park,” said Natacha Rafalski, Présidente of Disneyland Paris. “We’re very excited to bring new iconic and timeless concepts to the district that will appeal to a new generation of guests, whether they visit from our nearby resort hotels or from the local area. We can’t wait for our guests to be surprised and delighted by what we have in store.”
Also today, the first major change to Disney Village is confirmed as a brand new French-style brasserie restaurant (and bakery take-out counter – YES!), but this will be at the cost of losing the beloved Café Mickey forever.
Rosalie, a new lakeside French brasserie to open in 2023
The first step in the transformation plan will be a contemporary French brasserie in place of the current Café Mickey restaurant. Groupe Bertrand, with its portfolio of renowned Parisian brasseries, has been chosen to take over the location and bring in a fresh new concept that will both elevate the culinary experience and expand dining options for guests looking for French flavors in Disney Village.
Rosalie, the new two-floor restaurant will feature 500 seats in contemporary interiors. Inspired by Parisian brasseries, it will celebrate renowned French “Art de Vivre” and classic cuisine in a modern yet elegant setting, with expanded terraces looking over Lake Disney. Honoring both regional diversity and product seasonality, the restaurant will cater to all cravings. In addition to table service, a counter will offer French bakery-inspired options for take away like viennoiseries, pastries, sandwiches and salads, as well as a selection of products satisfying every taste and level of service. Seasonally, an outdoor terrace will welcome guests on the lake’s edge.
The character meet-and-greet restaurant has remained closed even as COVID-19 restrictions have eased. In truth, though popular in its heyday the location had become incredibly tired, with a poor menu and a somewhat tacky exterior that did nothing to enhance the lakeside setting. Character Dining will hopefully remain an important tradition elsewhere, in more fitting venues.
Introducing a brand new concept, Rosalie, is quite a surprise. Not a tried and tested quick service brand, not a new world food option, but a brand new name and concept — and what seems to be a more premium option at that. But perhaps Rosalie will fill an important gap for French food in the Village, and for a more adult table service restaurant.