World of Disney, the new flagship store at the hub of Disneyland Paris and entrance to Disney Village, has finally had its opening date set in stone: 12th July 2012! An unusual Thursday opening, then; perhaps a nod to the 12th April, or a chance for the newly-opened store to prepare itself ahead of summer weekend crowds? At least this puts an end to confusion over the date, which has been moving back and forth between June and September for the past few months. Work is suddenly flying ahead on the exterior, which will eventually end up looking like the visual above.
This new concept art, first included in the ‘Disneyland Paris: 20 Years of Dreams’ book, shows the final design of the Hollywood Art Deco-inspired exterior and its signature globe dome. You might remember from earlier concept art that the original idea was for a second half of the globe to continue inside the store itself, visible through the windows to create the effect of a floating Earth. Now, just the dome on top is part of the final design, with the double-height atrium inside to be decorated with stars; its centrepiece a hot air balloon carrying the Disney characters to destinations around the world, which will be featured in different areas of the store’s interior design.
The new design also clearly depicts how the boutique is raised slightly from the hub itself, with a small set of stairs around the front and sides to offer some protection from the surge of visitors at park closing. Naturally, a ramp is also provided on the right-hand side.
There, we also see the beginnings of an intriguing new perimeter gate. Rumours have suggested that the opening of World of Disney could see changes to the operation of the resort hub and its security barriers, perhaps allowing guests to go between the parks and Disney Village without leaving the security-controlled zone, though exact details of this are unconfirmed.
Along with the opening date announcement, Disneyland Paris has also shared photos of two important arrivals, all the way from New York City: Mickey and Minnie Mouse!
These two statues, which now sit either side of the main World of Disney entrance in Paris, were salvaged from the marquee of the former World of Disney store on Fifth Avenue in New York, which closed on 31st December 2009.
Disney moved to a new retail space in Times Square in late 2010, branded as a general Disney store, leaving only the two — and very soon to be three — theme park locations. Of which, Paris certainly has the most beautiful, unique exterior. But isn’t that always the case?
Halloween 2011 Preview — Something strange has come over Disneyland Paris. As we approach the launch of Disney’s Halloween Festival this Saturday, you’ll see not a hastily-crafted static Pumpkinman in sight. Instead, the decorations are new, the pumpkins have ears and Castle Stage… has come back to life. At last this season appears to be heading in the right direction. After years trailing around misguided creations such as the Pumpkinmen, Pink Witches and Stitch, Paris — the Disney resort which pioneered the Halloween season in 1997 (before trashing it all with orange paint in 2003) — has now looked to Disneyland in California for inspiration. This year, we’re seeing brand new decorations lifted directly from the Anaheim park’s popular HalloweenTime. High quality, considerately-designed and most importantly more “Disney” in their execution as well as their style, they should go a long way to giving Disneyland Paris guests the Halloween they expect from the park.
For fans, it’s a double surprise. As well as a park plussed rather than spoilt by the season, the majority of those new decorations have so far arrived at Le Théâtre du Château, which will be coming back to life to host the new Mickey’s Halloween Treat in the Street event. Vines wrap their way around the bronze columns, pumpkins top the towers and a giant Mickey-shaped pumpkin head (similar to that on Town Square in California) is the centrepiece. The mini-show will feature the full line-up of Mickey and friends in special costumes and dialogue in both French and English. After highlighting several times this year what a wasted opportunity the stage is, it’s a delight to see it fully decorated and back in use.
Plans for Main Street, U.S.A. seem a little lower spec, with just colour-coordinated flower beds, Mickey-eared pumpkins and a spot of bunting on the concept we’ve seen, but it’s still a step up from last year’s near complete lack of Halloween decoration on the street. Hopefully now that Disneyland Paris has finally found the right path for its Halloween decorations, Main Street will gradually begin to match the warm and vibrant Harvest “Pumpkin Festival” theme seen in California (below).
Meanwhile, one old decision hangs on, for a little while longer at least: Central Plaza Stage. That behemoth will at least be hosting a big new show, titled Disney’s Maleficious Halloween Party, which amongst other surprises is said to see Snow White’s Evil Queen transform into a Witch, courtesy of the stage lifts, and Dr Facilier from The Princess and the Frog return to the park.
Rumour suggests Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade won’t feature its usual Halloween pre-parade this year, although Jack Skellington and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas will be making a return for meet ‘n’ greets, despite not being mentioned in any publicity. It remains to be seen if Halloweenland will return to Frontierland in any form. In truth, the land has felt more like a boneyard for discarded decorations rather than a proper overlay for the past few years, anyway. A cleaning out of the junk and a shot in the arm in quality is exactly what the festival needed.
Eighteen months into his role as chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Tom Staggs has announced a big reorganisation for the department that appears to bring Disneyland Paris more tightly under Disney’s managerial wing. The former President of Worldwide Operations position has been eliminated following the retirement of Al Weiss; in its place a new expanded role for Walt Disney World President Meg Crofton, pictured above, who will now not only oversee the resort and four parks in Florida but serve in a new position as President of Operations in the US and France. Reporting to Meg will be George Kalogridis of Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California (and previously chief operating officer in Paris) and our own Philippe Gas of Euro Disney SCA, the group which operates Disneyland Paris. Meanwhile, previous Euro Disney CEO Karl Holz will add Disney Vacation Club to his current role overseeing Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney.
In a memo sent on Tuesday Tom Staggs writes,
“Meg’s strong leadership abilities and broad experience make her the perfect person to lead resort operations in our established markets in the United States and Europe. Meg will report directly to me and become a member of my executive committee, allowing us to continue the great work of sharing best practices and leveraging our operational expertise across our properties. Meg understands and respects the unique heritage and characteristics of each of our theme park resort locations, which gives me great confidence in her ability to fulfill this role while preserving and enhancing what makes each of our properties so special in their own right.”
Whilst crossovers between Disneyland Paris and the American resorts have been noticeably increasing in recent years (the UK even had a joint Paris/Florida TV campaign earlier this year), this appears to be the firmest move yet in bringing their trans-Atlantic management closer. In fact, the Orlando Sentinel reports that it is all part of an initiative known as “One Disney”, which has been seeking to merge functions and responsibilities between resorts. What do you think — Is it a good thing for Disneyland Paris to be brought closer to the American resorts? And is Meg the right person to do it?
There’s a grand “Happy Birthday” and many congratulations in order today — for Disney California Adventure, the problematic second park at Disneyland Resort in California which opened back on 8th February 2001 and is currently nearing the end of an enormous $1 billion makeover project that will transform the original, mediocre gate into a park worthy of the Disney name. If you’ve not been following progress, you’re missing out — be sure to check the official site, Yesterland, MiceAge, this fantastic infographic and all the other great Californian fan sites — it’s a fascinating look at what can happen when Disney really, truly puts its money — and more importantly, its heart — into making something work. Those three beautiful new attraction posters above, a Disney tradition brought forward for a new generation, are the final signature of intent.
What’s the relevance to Disneyland Paris? Well, it’s looking more and more like our own second gate, a similar project of early 2000s misguidedness, has just lost its running partner; been left behind at the starting block. Whatever analogy you want to use, Disney California Adventure is finally getting really good, really fast — and Walt Disney Studios Park, well, it’s still ambling along like all is well. Of course, though they’ve been lumped together for years as Disney’s follies, the two parks were very different. Where California Adventure had in many of its original areas and attractions a disheartening sheen of “hip” tackiness that Imagineering are now having to steam-clean out of the place, Walt Disney Studios was (and still is) simply massively under-built. And not under-built in the rather charming “there’s plenty of room to expand” style of 2005’s Hong Kong Disneyland, either. As a member on our forum succinctly put it, it’s like “a place filled with nice Disney attractions still in their boxes, waiting to be put in a Disney park.” Ironic, then, that Toy Story Playland, probably the best (at least, most fully-realised) themed area in the park is based around toys being unpacked from their boxes.
Even that expensive new land has almost entirely failed to be integrated into the park around it, as seen above. When Walt Disney Studios doesn’t even get a themed path leading to its new land, what hope is there for going back and readdressing the original, lacking areas, like California is doing? What for the original portion of Toon Studio — the barren, soulless area in front of Animagique — do Euro Disney SCA really consider that to be Disney quality? Will Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic ever be given a raison-d’être beyond being an extended drive out to Catastrophe Canyon? Whatever happened to those plans Imagineering dreamed up to turn the depressing and utterly theme-less corner of Production Courtyard into a buzzing Theater District to match Hollywood Boulevard, complete with Soarin’, a new period-specific façade for CinéMagique and new dining and retail? At one time, we we seemed sure to see the terrible, emotionless “Production Courtyard” name become “Hollywood Studio”, to match its “Toon” neighbour, with Backlot following suit. Where Disneyland has “lands”, the Studio would have a collection of different theme “studios”, and finally some vision.
Yes, Walt Disney Studios has been given Toy Story Playland whilst California Adventure will get an expensive Little Mermaid dark ride and an enormous Cars Land, but right now this isn’t about size or scale, it’s about vision and intent. Disneyland Paris doesn’t have the money for a Cars Land, but it probably doesn’t need it. The best part of the California makeover isn’t the new attractions but the sensible and thoughtful re-touching of the original park — adding detail, atmosphere, charm and soul. Paris could spend as much as it likes on that mythical Ratatouille dark ride to be nestled at the back of Toon Studio, but it will just be another self-contained patch of quality. The park as a whole still won’t work if the original areas remain unfinished. Luckily, these corners of the park are so devoid of anything that they’re practically a blank canvas. There’s no giant tile mural needs knocking down here. The attractions are top quality, they just need to be unpacked from their boxes, wrapped in a cohesive theme. So where is the vision for Walt Disney Studios, the intent? Maybe it’s still to come. We’ve heard rumblings of a “30-year plan” — but that means if you’re in your 30s today, you’ll be just about retiring by the time the park has moved forward. Today, to the eyes of a visitor, the Studios isn’t going anywhere — and the worst thing a Disney park can ever be is static.
But, unlike our dear Studios, Disney have long given up on a piecemeal approach to fixing the disastrous second gate and have thrown themselves (with perhaps more than a little pushing from John Lasseter and co) head first into a billion-dollar expansion and improvement programme. Check out the website here, if you’d like to be jealous.
Now back to Paris.
Though it appears DCA is getting all the luck with its $1bn investment, that doesn’t mean Walt Disney Imagineering haven’t also been planning the future of our second gate. Drawing up plans, throwing around ideas. Thinking about the future way, way ahead of Toy Story Playland and the Ratatouille dark ride; to a time where the Studio Tram Tour route would finally be thrown aside and the park allowed to expand outwards, along an extended Hollywood Boulevard.
And what would be at the end of the new boulevard, according the latest proposals from a few years ago? A lake. Yes, water! In Walt Disney Studios Park! It’s a fan’s dream come true, finally a body of water in the parched concrete kingdom of the Studios.
But this wouldn’t just be any body of water. Though the talk of a lake or large area of water in the park has recently, and very quietly, turned from the dream of fans to something actually on the drawing board, no-one guessed what the Imagineers might use such an asset for.
Well, who’d have put World of Color together with Walt Disney Studios? But according to a recent blog post by Alain Littaye, that’s exactly what WDI and Euro Disney SCA are pondering for the future. At the end of this grand, extended Hollywood Boulevard, leading right up past the current service road, the body of water wouldn’t just sit there being all watery, it would become a giant nighttime spectacular — the first of its kind at Disneyland Paris.
Don’t head to the park this year — or perhaps even most of this decade — looking for something like that, though. This is a truly long-term project, major long-term. Alain says “don’t expect it before 2015”, but even that seems incredibly generous unless the proposals have since been rejigged to put the lagoon closer to the heart of the park.
Because, to get to the point where even just this lagoon, bay and stadium — yes, unlike DCA there’d be proper seating — are ready to be built, the park would have to expand right the way back, along the full length of the forest. That’s a major expansion and investment programme even before you get to the frightening cost of the lagoon itself.
There’s a chance that by the time Walt Disney Studios Park is ready for this, World of Color might not seem so exciting. Plus as Alain points out, the people involved in these decisions at Disneyland Paris will also need to look in-depth at how it actually turns out. With the show still under preparation, they’ll want to know the full cost of daily performances, maintenance and of course, guest reaction, before it gets anywhere near Paris.
Although it seems like the odds are stacked against Paris for this one as we currently stand, a “nighttime spectacular” is certainly a very real aspiration for the resort. Not only would it extend guests’ visit to either park, prompting more nights in Disney Hotels, it would finally give the resort, well, exactly that — a real nighttime spectacular.
Being so constrained with firework shows due to nearby villages, a show involving comparably quiet fountains and pyrotechnic effects is the perfect solution. The parks would have a draw and a reason to open later for more of the year. And, if you’ve ever visited Versailles or Futuroscope, you’ll know that the locals are already very familiar with the format. They have expectations just waiting to be blown away.
Regaining interest since the death of its lead earlier this year, the short film will return to its original home in Disneyland, California, for a “limited engagement” from February 2010.
Since this rumour first appeared, and especially since these plans were confirmed, fans of the other international resorts have obviously been questioning whether ‘EO’ could also, even temporarily, replace ‘HISTA’ in their home park.
Now, Disneyland Paris have given their answer. As confirmed by the press department in Le Journal and reported by Photos Magiques on Twitter, Captain EO will not be returning to Marne-la-Vallée.
Original CinéMagique: Captain EO entrance.
The 3-D special effects attraction originally played in Paris from opening day on 12th April 1992 up to 17th August 1998, when it closed to become Honey, I Shrunk the Audience (HISTA). On this date, Disneyland Paris was the last park in the world you could see the film — it having closed elsewhere over a year earlier and at Epcot over 4 years earlier.
Starring Michael Jackson in a film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, executive produced by George Lucas and featuring music by James Horder, it was one of the flagships of Michael Eisner’s arrival at the company when it premiered in the US parks in 1986. In Paris, the attraction was actually named CinéMagique, a variation on the “Magic Eye Theater” of California, making the resort perhaps the only one to have had two completely different yet identically-named attractions in its history.
With Honey, I Shrunk the Audience hardly doing a roaring trade over the back of Discoveryland, opening such limited hours as 11am to 6pm during the Summer high season, it remains to be seen what all-new replacement will eventually come about for the tired 3-D film. Rumours on MiceAge.com have suggested the limited-time showing of ‘EO’ in California could be followed by the arrival of Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, a living character show (think Stitch Live!) from Florida’s Magic Kingdom. Could this be rolled out to ourselves and Tokyo? That’d still leave the problem of Epcot’s theatre.
In any case, Paris will likely have to wait for the other resorts to make their move in replacing HISTA first. It doesn’t appear to be much of a priority and, with the Californians now buying time with a nostalgia trip, this firm “non, merci” to EO‘s return means Wayne Szalinski will likely be winning Inventor of the Year a good few more times yet — even if there’s hardly any Audience left to shrink.
For newly-promoted Kalogridis, this also ends a three-year reign. George became Chief Operating Officer (COO, or French title, Directeur Général Adjoint: Opérations) for Euro Disney SCA, operating group of Disneyland Paris, back in 2006 after Karl Holz was promoted to Chief Executive Officer.
In that time, we’ve seen new parades, new shows and no less than six new attractions — including of course, the formidable Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. We’ve also enjoyed a renewed focus on the resort’s upkeep and details, increasingly wonderful Cast Members, new initiatives like Extra Magic Hours and E-Tickets, and in pure number terms, the most successful years of the resort’s life to date.
Meanwhile, characters have taken over some of the magic of the original park, proper entertainment has been shunned in favour of street dance-alongs, attractions have been forced into reduced operating hours, hotel pools have stayed closed until 3pm, the official website has remained incredibly poor, and progress, generally, at Walt Disney Studios Park has been disappointingly slow and half-hearted. And of course, during his entire run as COO, George Kalogridis would never have seen the front of Disney Studio 1 — it being flanked first by Chicken Little and Cars advertisements, then later a “refurbishment” covering for the past 14 months.
Overseeing such a large programme of expansion should certainly have set him in good step for the continuing billion-dollar expansion and improvements still ahead at Disney’s California Adventure park, if his time overseeing the opening of that park didn’t already — he was their senior vice president of operations first, from 2000 to 2002. Further back, he has history in Paris as one of the original Cast Members on the pre-opening development team in 1988.
The past three years have been spectacularly successful for Disneyland Paris, and we can only hope that the incoming COO is somebody who knows exactly what Disneyland should be — (preferably the Californian or Japanese version, eh?) — and how to achieve that kind of quality more consistently in Paris.
Euro Disney SCA have yet to announce a replacement.
UPDATE (01:46 GMT) — The OC Register “Around Disney” blog has just posted an exclusive Q&A with George Kalogridis, with several interesting comments on the similarities between the California and Paris resorts and some operational tricks learnt in Paris. Here’s an excerpt:
Q. What have you learned from other resorts and your previous stint here that you can bring to the new job?
A. Probably, the one thing that’s most interesting is Disneyland Paris and Disneyland California are the two sites that are the most similar. Both have two theme parks, resort hotels and a retail-entertainment center. Both are in an urban environment. Secondly … in the last three years, I’ve opened a new major attraction each year in my time in Paris. So, I think I also have very recent experience opening a big new attraction. I see the same opportunity here.
Q. What lessons did you learn from the similarities of Disneyland and Disneyland Paris?
A. I think the dynamic of guest visitors and whether or not they choose to cross over to the other park and what makes them choose to do that. It’s an interesting dynamic. There’s no recipe for it. But it’s a big issue as to how you operate. I think we had some learning in Paris. For example, turning the direction of the parade made a big difference in terms of the crush exiting to get to the other park. Again, it’s not that it’s the right thing or the wrong thing here, but it’s learning. … I think the Paris site and this site are the only ones where guests can walk between two parks without a mode of transport.
And some good news for Disneyland Resort fans (and MiceAge columnists) — George states very specifically that “I’m in the parks and hotels more than I’m not. I’m a visible person. […] My goal is to be very visible. And in my time with the company, that’s always proven to be something that’s doable.”
Ever wished you could see a Disney Cruise ship drop anchor in the UK, in France or in Germany? Stop dreaming — start saving. Disney Cruise Line is returning to Europe, and this time it’s coming even closer to home for many Disneyland Resort Paris fans.
For five months, from April to September 2010, the majestic Disney Magic will once again be sailing in European waters, taking guests on brand new family-friendly cruises to the places where the magic of Disney truly began. The ship’s first visit to Europe came during the first year of the 15th Anniversary in 2007, when it ran European cruises out of Barcelona, Spain.
This time, Disney’s hugely successful seaborne venture will also be offering a brand new Northern European Capitals Cruise. What’s more, you can even book a cruise to enjoy the unique legs of the ship’s journey as it travels to and from these main departure ports — transatlantic from Port Canaveral, Florida to Barcelona and — believe this: Barcelona to Dover, UK!
Disney Cruise Line’s outgoing president, Tom McAlpin, announced the new routes online:
The new 12-night Northern European Capitals cruises sailing out of Dover include stops at Oslo, Norway; Copenhagen, Denmark; Warnemünde (for Berlin), Germany; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; and Stockholm, Sweden; whilst the returning 11-night Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona include Malta, Italy, Tunisia, Corsica and Villefranche, France.
Northern European Capitals Cruise
Or, enjoy a shorter spell on the Disney Magic by tagging along for 8/9-night Barcelona/Dover cruises, which stop at Gibraltar, UK; Cadiz, Spain; and Lisbon, Portugal outward as well as Cherbourg, France and Vigo, Spain on the return.
You can find all the itineraries and details at the special website here. Better start saving now, though — these cruises will set you back anything from $999 per person to well over $2,139 per person (prices for the longer cruises aren’t even listed).
Interestingly, Tom McAlpin was just recently replaced at the helm of Disney Cruise Line by “our own” Karl Holz, former CEO of Euro Disney SCA, operating group of Disneyland Resort Paris, when his New Vacation Opportunites department was merged with the Cruise Line.
Whether Holz will seek to cross-promote the cruises with his Disneyland Resort Paris successor Philippe Gas, the way Walt Disney World does with the Port Canaveral/Castaway Cay cruises, remains to be seen. When the Cruise Line’s two huge new ships come into service in 2011 and 2012, there is a strong likelihood the venture will have a more regular presence in European waters, just in time for Disneyland Resort Paris’ 20th Anniversary.
However, the business does still seem mostly US-focused. Because, whilst we wouldn’t see Europeans taking a Disney Cruise combined with a trip to Disneyland Resort Paris, for Americans already travelling a long distance, a combined parks/cruise package could be a good venture for the resort. Already, the original 2007 cruises were actually highlighted in Paris’ 15th Anniversary press releases, and the loading dock in Barcelona did feature a large advertisement for Disneyland Resort Paris.
So, in 2010 at least, the Disney Magic will be much closer than you think… sailing the English Channel, for example!
• Find the Disney Cruise Line’s European cruise website here.
The agreement with MGM began back in 1986 as Michael Eisner’s new management sought after more “adult” properties for the park Disney hoped would beat Universal Studios’ Florida outpost.
On 1st May 1989, Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park opened its gates in Orlando, Florida, the third theme park at Walt Disney World Resort. Since then, fans have long used the ‘MGM’ tag to refer to the park, but not for much longer…
The troubles began way back in the 1990s, as MGM became unhappy with Disney’s use of the name and Disney became unhappy with MGM’s use of the name for casinos, hotels and a small theme park in Las Vegas. The news of a name change has been expected for years… but did fans expect this? Not a hint of ‘Pixar’ in sight, a possible sign that the park will return to its purely Hollywood roots…
Disney-MGM Studios name to be put to rest January 2008
The press release from late yesterday:
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Aug. 9, 2007) — In the Walt Disney World theme park famous for all things Hollywood, it’s curtain up on the launch of new attractions, new looks, new breakthrough experiences…
…and a brand-new name.
Disney-MGM Studios will be renamed Disney’s Hollywood Studios, effective January 2008, announced Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney World Resort.
“The new name reflects how the park has grown from representing the golden age of movies to a celebration of the new entertainment that today’s Hollywood has to offer — in music, television, movies and theater,” she said.
Framed by the park’s supporting cast of classic Hollywood architecture are shows and attractions straight from contemporary Hollywood, such as Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, “Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show” and many more. Disney’s Hollywood Studios is also the place to meet favorite character stars of today including Lightning McQueen and Mater from Disney-Pixar’s “Cars,” Power Rangers and Little Einsteins.
With exciting coming attractions and experiences, the best and brightest of Hollywood is about to emerge for park guests, Crofton said.
“As Disney continues to grow and invest in our family entertainment business, we constantly explore new ways to deliver high-quality, immersive experiences for our guests,” she added. “As a park all about entertainment, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will deliver like never before. Now we can say that Hollywood is literally our middle name.”
Initial reaction from a Paris perspective: relief.
The ‘Disney-Pixar Studios’ name was always the favourite (or rather the “most likely”) amongst most followers, but there was always the off-chance that Disney-MGM could become something along the lines of ‘Walt Disney Studios Florida’, casting our much-loved little park in Paris into the shadows, in the eyes of the public nothing more than an offshoot from the older brother.
Luckily, that hasn’t happened. The park in Florida stays true to its “Hollywood that never was” roots and the fast-growing park in Paris can stand on its own two feet, still the only park with Walt Disney’s name on it… whether its critics like that or not.
Still the one and only Walt Disney Studios Park
The release goes on to confirm several new attractions for the park — ‘Toy Story Mania!’, ‘Block Party Bash’, a new ‘Playhouse Disney-Live on Stage!’, ‘Disney’s High School Musical 2: School’s Out!’ show and ‘Handy Manny’ meet ‘n’ greets. Obviously having exclamation marks at the end of names will be a new criteria for Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Ever confident and superlative of their offerings, Walt Disney World announce this line-up as “one of the most ambitious attractions rollouts in the 18-year history of the park.”
‘Toy Story Mania!’ has been anticipated for a long time to be the attraction to launch the new park name, but not confirmed until right now is the second new offering — Block Party Bash. The high-energy parade from Disney’s California Aventure park coming to Florida means that the old 2002 Disney Stars and Motor Cars parade finally jumps ship…
Is that really likely to happen? Visit Disneyland Resort Paris tomorrow and watch the current parade, Disney Cinema Parade. A little later, hop over to Disneyland Park and catch the new Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade — the difference is quite shocking, don’t you think? For all its charm and interesting avant-garde designs, Disney Cinema Parade is, after over five years of daily “lights, camera, action!”, tired and ready for replacement — especially next to the dazzling show on offer next door.
A brand new parade on the scale and budget of Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade is out of the question, so the park would be a fool not to pick up the Stars and Motor Cars to celebrate its very own new Hollywood, don’t you think?
“Walt Disney Studios: More than just Hollywood”
So, as it works out, Disney’s Hollywood Studios could mean very good things for Paris’ Walt Disney Studios Park. A new parade, it’s own identity. Good things at least… so far.
Yes, the shadow being cast over this “good news” for Walt Disney Studios Park is that several online news sources continue to push Crush’s Coaster as a possible new attraction for the new ‘Pixar Place’ area of the park, next to ‘Toy Story Mania!’.
Kevin Yee mentions it as a rumour in every ‘Rumour Rundown’ article on MiceAge.com and today Jim Hill even spoke of Pixar Place as the area that will “play host to the studio theme park’s ‘Toy Story Mania’ attraction as well as the soon-to-be-announced stateside version of ‘Crush’s Coaster‘.”
Crush’s Coaster, “soon-to-be-announced” for Disney-MGM Studios? The bright blue showbuilding and its wacky blue rockwork don’t seem like an instant match for the more serious Florida studio, not to mention this would give Walt Disney World its third consecutive Nemo-based attraction at a third different park (after The Musical at Animal Kingdom and The Seas at Epcot).
Haven’t folks in Orlando had enough ‘Nemo’ yet?
It’s no secret that Crush’s Coaster was built on a fairly tight budget for Paris, so a second version in Florida could end up teasing unlucky fans in Paris with enhanced effects. Even if the attraction arrived in Florida in identical form, it would mean Walt Disney Studios Park losing a unique attraction, one which has finally helped to edge it onto the Disney map in a very positive way.
Hopefully rumour of Crush’s Coaster in Florida will go the same way as the ‘Disney-Pixar Studios’ name… to a Hollywood that truly “never was”.
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