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.
A senior member of Disneyland Paris management has suggested a plan to renew Disney Village will be “the next step” after recent park renovations, sparking much speculation about the entertainment district’s future. Read More…
Here’s how the two new Disney Village restaurant signings opening within the next few months will look in their new home.
Underneath the existing Gaumont Cinémas IMAX building, Italian fast-casual restaurant Vapiano will take the first, larger unit on the left, while American burgers and fries concept Five Guys will be located at the current end of this non-boulevard on the right. Read More…
Five Guys will open a restaurant in Disney Village at Disneyland Paris in 2017, the “burgers and fries” chain has confirmed. The resort’s entertainment centre will become the first Disney property to host the rapidly expanding brand and one of only a handful of locations so far within France. Read More…
German-owned restaurant chain Vapiano will become the fourteenth dining option at Disney Village when it opens a new location in the Disneyland Paris entertainment district this summer. Specialising in Italian-inspired dishes of pasta and pizza, the “fast casual” concept prides itself on a fresh and informal way of eating. Read More…
We all have those odd jobs we never quite get round to and you’ll need to be a longtime reader of DLRPToday.com now to remember the demise of Hurricanes Discotheque back in March 2010. So it’s with some relief that, three years on, we report the unmistakably ’90s nightclub spot in Disney Village is at last being white-washed into the history books.
The latest photo above by DisneyGazette.fr shows the exterior stripped of its colourful fake palm trees and the stairs repainted in plain white — removing the previous Hurricanes Discotheque branding and slogans. Here’s hoping the tacky beach shack and all other remnants will be removed soon, too.
Below, the venue as it was before, pictured in April 2012.
Current consensus seems to be that the location will become a Cast Member restaurant or break space, a slightly disappointing use for a prime space within Disney Village which would itself still benefit from an improved dining offer. Previous rumours, soon after the nightclub’s closure, were for an ESPN Zone, a new Sports Bar or an Italian restaurant.
Long-standing rumours of a LEGO Store in Disney Village have been given new immediacy by the posting of a job recruitment notice for assistant managers. Posted on the Mercuri Urval website, the listing originally made explicit reference to a LEGO-branded retail store at Disneyland Paris and even went so far as to claim it will be the biggest in Europe. The page has now been amended to become more ambiguous, but still references a “flagship / concept store”.
Following World of Disney opening last July, which sells the vast majority of general Disneyland Paris merchandise, the older Disney Store was reconfigured into more of a “character merchandise” location featuring franchises such as Star Wars and Cars. A “boutique” refit of Disney Fashion was also completed last year, leaving the remaining Disney Village stores to find a new raison d’être.
LEGO Stores have recently opened elsewhere in France at Lille and Paris’ SO Ouest shopping mall. Locations at the Downtown Disney districts in Florida and California, which are more of an “experience” with large custom-built Disney brick models, were originally given more prestigious “LEGO Imagination Centre” branding, but now appear to be being titled with simply the LEGO name.
Given the floorspace of Hollywood Pictures, the Disney Village location could be big, but maybe not particularly huge. Perhaps LEGO could use the World of Toys store next door too, especially since it would have its through-access cut off from the row of shops here anyway.
Just please, do something about that orange shopfront…
Ah, the Disney Store. Not the one in your nearby shopping mall, but the generically titled store that used to be the largest in Disney Village. Now effectively replaced and superseded in both size, style and location by World of Disney, you might well think this rather tired location will be at a loss to find a raison d’être. But, reopening after a short closure on 14th July, it now sees a renewed focus to character groups and a new dedicated Christmas section — the first outside the parks.
Little else has been renewed, however. All the old 1990s props and decoration — including the large spaceship mobile hanging in the centre of the store — remain intact. The ugly dayglo-coloured flat signage outside is still in place, still carrying the generic “Disney Store” name.
Some effort has been made to tie the interior together better, with a smart new mural or “fresque” installed above the displays around the edge of the store, signifying areas for franchises such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars and Cars or even individual characters such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse. This is slightly different at least to the displays at World of Disney, which largely group items by categories such as homewares and favour resort merchandise over franchise ranges.
Meanwhile the small lower area of Disney Store, historically the original La Poste postal office, is now a dedicated Christmas space. Since the 15th Anniversary it has featured the current season’s merchandise, most recently changing to 20th Anniversary displays for a few months before this recent change. The modest decoration of lights, tinsel, trimmings and props isn’t bad at all, but only stuck-on snow in the window announces this as a Christmas shop from outside.
Presumably all of these changes are merely a stop-gap measure before it’s decided what to do with this space in the longer term. Perhaps split it into several smaller, well-branded boutiques? Or a large (and much-needed) new restaurant? Or why not demolish this whole oppressive, monolithic block and start again, using some of the empty backstage space to create more space out front? We can dream.
In the short term, the restricted opening hours, nondescript name (still curiously overlapping with the actual Disney Store brand) and dated interior almost give the feel of a cut-price outlet store. The store now only opens from 4pm onwards each day, an obvious sign that it’s living on borrowed time.
Though the store largely presents a kind of “best of” collection of merchandise available at an array of stores across the resort, organised largely by product type through hats, mugs, towels, and so on, it does also introduce a few of its own exclusive ranges. These displays, signified by special “World of Disney – Produits Exclusifs” placards, include items from the colourful Disney by Britto range, designed by pop artist Romero Britto.
One of the main benefits of World of Disney, besides perhaps not having to visit several stores to buy the merchandise that’s taken your eye, is that the aisles between the actual shelves are much wider and more spacious than in any other store at the resort.
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