Here’s the full press release, released to coincide with today’s Shareholders annual general meeting:
Marne-la-Vallée, 28 February 2013. During the group’s annual shareholder meeting on 28 February, Euro Disney Chairman Philippe Gas announced plans for the continued development of Disneyland Paris, with the addition of a new attraction based on the hit Disney/Pixar movie Ratatouille.
‘Our new family-focused Ratatouille attraction, which is scheduled to open in 2014, symbolises all of the creativity, innovation and emotion that guests associate with a Disneyland Paris experience,’ Gas said.
Set to open in Walt Disney Studios Park, the attraction is part of the group’s long-term commitment to investing in high-quality guest experiences. That strategy has been fundamental to strengthening the appeal of the multi-day destination, which achieved record-breaking attendance of 16 million visits in 2012.
This unique attraction will take guests into the world of the Oscar-winning Disney/Pixar movie Ratatouille which tells the tale of Remy – a talented young rat who dreams of becoming a renowned French chef. Disney storytelling and state-of-the-art technology will come together in this romantic, larger-than-life, Parisian experience.
‘By developing this new Ratatouille attraction, we continue to ensure our guests can experience their favourite Disney stories in memorable ways that only Disney can provide,’ Gas said. ‘The theme, which is very français, is a tribute to our capital and the unforgettable characters that make Ratatouille the ideal choice for an attraction that fits perfectly at Disneyland Paris.’
These magical Mickey ears will change colour in time with the show, making ‘Disney Dreams!’ an even more spectacular experience for the whole family.
From today’s annual general meeting, the operating group’s strategy for the resort is now more firmly fixed on expanding Walt Disney Studios Park into a viable partner for Disneyland Park, though no detail was apparently given beyond this already-under construction development.
The press release naturally fails to give many details away about the new attraction — there’s plenty of time ahead for that. Hopefully this is just the start of a well-organised promotional campaign to maximise this €150 million investment. Disneyland Paris has been notoriously poor at “hyping” its new attraction openings, compared to other theme parks and the American Disney resorts — notably California — which build interest with updates and teasers well in advance of the opening date.
Videopolis Theatre in Discoveryland saw a packed house at 10.45am on 12th April 2012, as the Disneyland Paris Ambassadors welcomed legendary Imagineer Tony Baxter to the stage for a one hour discussion of its history, creation and progress “from concept to reality”. From broader points about the challenges his team faced in bringing a Disney park to Europe, he went on to discuss his favourite hidden details in the park, anecdotes of meeting Walt Disney, and even shares his very own version of the contested Phantom Manor storyline…
Couldn’t make it there yourself? We’re proud to present our own, exclusive video of the entire event for you now, above — including the special appearance of all the worldwide Disney Ambassadors from every resort to pose questions to Tony himself.
Try not to feel too much like the child who gets an action figure of Jar Jar Binks instead of Han Solo for Christmas here — Star Wars has made an official return to Discoveryland! Yes, Disneyland Park just welcomed the official return of Star Wars characters Darth Vader and Chewbacca, who are now even listed on the daily park Programme times guide (PDF) appearing near Star Tours. Last year, the pair were spotted on the odd occasion near the 1987 classic but their presence was never given a definite time or location. For fans of the saga, the pair’s return will be especially appreciated, coming just in time for the Blu-Ray re-release of the films, and it really helps to give the parks’ character offering that much more variety and widespread appeal than the usual animated stars.
We’d have preferred the updated, multi-destination, 3-D Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, that just opened in May and June at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland respectively (just FYI, Euro Disney SCA), but maybe this at least gives us “A New Hope” that Disneyland Paris still knows the George Lucas universe is a hot property to have within its gates.
See Chewie and Darth most days (currently at 11:30, 12:30, 13:30 and 15:45) this Summer!
What’s more surprising — that, for once, a Disneyland Resort Paris television commercial features the actual locations and landmarks of the Parisian park, not Florida or California’s, or that, to achieve such a visual, the production crew apparently headed all the way to South Africa, taking those kitsch costumes and Stitch’s brand new DJ podium with them?
Still, with a spot of green-screen special effects, you’d never know, and the sun is almost guaranteed… unlike Paris. And so, here it is — the large, colourful, apparently jet-powered podium which will roll into Discoveryland for the new show It’s Dance Time… in Discoveryland, Stitch standing atop scratching up the dance tracks on a set of mixing decks.
The podium is like a small parade float in its construction, expected not to remain in Discoveryland all day long but to only roll into the land specifically for each show time, similar to the High School Musical shows at Walt Disney Studios Park.
You’ll notice those circular shapes with different coloured quarters all over it, too — as mentioned in several previous articles, guests will be invited to step onto the circular dance mats shown above and follow the colour-coded dance steps. Quite how these will be announced to a multi-lingual audience remains to be seen, but the bright primary colours certainly won’t be easily missed amongst the bronze and turquoise tones of Discoveryland.
So, has the new advert revealed the location of the show, too? Almost certainly not — well, not unless the Entertainment department are planning to bring complete chaos to the land by blocking a main thoroughfare and the entrance to Space Mountain: Mission 2. It’s likely this location was simply chosen because it looks so good on camera.
Will it go over by Star Tours as rumoured then? Don’t be too sure of that either — the fences were taken down just this weekend to reveal…
…a relayed floor. Brighter, no longer full of holes — yes. But no clues whatsoever that this is where the show will be presented. Keep watching this space (and preparing your dance moves), Stitch fans…
But, if the latest word is true, it won’t the more classical, Verne-inspired area of the land welcoming DJ Stitch and his loud party tunes, but the other side of Discoveryland… that arguably even more strange, 1980s/90s corner which houses Star Tours and Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. Discovery fans, breathe a small sigh of relief.
Current work going on over by Star Tours has seen the entire ground dug up around its towering entrance sign, from Videopolis right across to Star Traders.
This would be a completely new location for a live show in the park, since the few other entertainment events held in the land have been positioned further toward its entrance. You could even suggest that, by positioning a live Stitch-hosted show here, they might also be trying to drum up more trade for Star Tours and Honey, I Shrunk the Audience themselves, both taking noticeable dips in guest numbers in recent years.
Why do they need to dig up the ground, if this is work for the new show (which is supposed to be hosted by Stitch atop a moving podium, with just coloured dance mats on the floor)..? Unfortunately, we don’t know yet. If only this were a true Tomorrowland like all the others…
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