Starting with the preface: predictions! These are not facts, this is speculation based on their likelihood.
Disneyland Paris has never had a big presence at D23. It always gets a mention, but nothing massive is ever announced. But with the construction of the second phase of Walt Disney Studios’ massive expansion ramping up and the popularity of the on-going 30th anniversay celebrations, this could be the first time where the French resort receives its own segment during the Parks panel.
It’s worth remembering that anything is possible, and I’ve not seen Disney’s plans. So, projects I’ve deemed unlikely may actually end up being announced. This list may be speculative, but it’s everything has been thought through based on the logistics of the projects in Paris.
Big thanks to Josh Jones for helping curate the list!
WD2 Updates – The Kingdom of Arendelle/Lake/Promenade
Marvel Avengers Campus is now open, and construction on the next phase of the Walt Disney Studios expansion is underway. Arendelle: The World of Frozen, the lake, and the promenade will be the next first significant expansion the park has ever seen, and it’s likely we’ll get some updates on the progress.
As seen in previous D23 conventions, Disneyland Paris usually gets a polite mention, but it’s nothing ever worthwhile, and it’s usually a reciting of what is already public knowledge. This year is the perfect time for Disney to have a whole section on the future of Disneyland Paris by giving us news on what kind of nightly entertainment the lake will have and what Arendelle has in store for Frozen fans.
Updates on the Disney Village Refurbishment
Disney Village, Disneyland Paris’ answer to Downtown Disney, is receiving a lengthy phased rehaul that will bring the area up to modern standards. The area has needed some tough love and care for ages, so the updates are more than welcome.
The refurbishment has already been announced, so Disney likely won’t spend too much time on it.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission – Breakout!
This much I know is true – at one point in the past, Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission – Breakout! was indeed on the cards to replace The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Paris. But the plans have been shelved for a long time now. With Marvel Avengers Campus now open in Paris, we could see Disney revive the plans, and if they did, it wouldn’t be a difficult task.
Although constructed and opened first, the Californian version of Tower of Terror used the plans originally drawn up for Walt Disney Studios. Years later, Disney reused the plans again for Paris, making the two versions extremely similar to one another. The only difference is that Paris’ version stands directly right of the Marvel Avengers Campus main entrance.
Disney is also probably keen on paying for one less attraction. In case you didn’t know, The Twilight Zone is owned by Paramount Global who licenses the theme park rights to Disney. As time goes on, Disney has been more focused on their own IP rather than licensing from third parties. The last such partnership was with Twentieth Century Fox for the theme park rights to Avatar, and since the opening of Pandora: The World of Avatar at Walt Disney World, Disney has purchased Fox, so it technically doesn’t even count as a licensed IP now.
Adding Guardians not only makes sense for that area of the park, it also makes finacial sense and then you factor in which property is currently more popular: The Twilight Zone or Guardians of the Galaxy?
Third Land Announcement: (Smaller) Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Star Wars was confirmed to be coming to Walt Disney Studios in 2018. However, the plans were intentionally vague, with a cropped version of the exterior of Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run featured in the concept art and no confirmation on whether it would be Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was ever made.
But then Disney submitted the planning permission, and it was disappointing, to say the least. As per usual, Disneyland Paris would pull the short end of the stick with a version of Galaxy’s Edge that would only include Rise of the Resistance, a shop and a restaurant. All of the unique and immersive theming in the US parks went along with the Millenium Falcon attraction.
Fans have expressed disappointment with the plans as soon as they appeared online, but with Bob Chapek reconfirming that Galaxy’s Edge would not be built outside of the US, it seems we can still expect the lesser version – and that’s if the plans still go ahead.
Rumours have been circulating for more than a year that Paris’ version of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was either being worked on or cut entirely. And now, this week has proven those rumours somewhat true because it seems that the third land in Walt Disney Studios’ expansion may not be Star Wars after all.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway has been another attraction rumoured to be coming to Disneyland Paris, and there are multiple reasons why we know it will be a success in the French park.
For starters, it’s a ride starring Mickey and Minnie Mouse, two of the world’s most famous and popular cartoon characters. Secondly, Disney is loving their trackless dark rides right now, with at least three opening within the past two years. Thirdly, Runaway Railway is an attraction that Disney could play around with; for better or for worse, it’ll be easy for them to clone the ride without making it an exact replica of Florida’s.
If a new attraction unrelated to Walt Disney Studios’ ongoing expansion is announced then the chances are that it’ll be Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Where it could go is anyone’s guess. While it could easily slip into Walt Disney Studios, ideally in the Toon Studio area, it is something that Disneyland Paris would greatly benefit from.
Can I repeat the fact that Disneyland Paris has only ever had three new rides, and the last one, Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, opened in 2006?
Avengers Quinjet Attraction
The major untitled E-Ticket Avengers Quinjet attraction was originally announced to be coming to Avengers Campus at Disney’s California Adventure and Stark Expo at Hong Kong Disneyland. Although rumours said otherwise, we never had any announcement regarding its addition to Avengers Campus.
BUT – that begs the question. The big 580,700 sq ft question, which is currently sitting at the back of Marvel Avengers Campus seemingly abandoned.
Lights, Motors, Action! Stunt Show Spectacular is closed for good, but it’s currently standing abandoned at the back of Avengers Campus. Originally, rumours stated that the theatre would be used for a new Marvel stunt show, and some did suggest the show would be torn down and replaced with a new ride, but both rumours haven’t come true.
As sad as it is, it doesn’t seem like Disney has plans to bring the Avengers Quinjet attraction to Paris any time soon, even with a grand parcel of land waiting to be used.
Hell, we don’t even know if it’s still coming to Anaheim and Hong Kong!
Third Land Announcement: Pandora: The World of Avatar
The rumours of Pandora: The World of Avatar coming to Walt Disney Studios have floated across the internet over the past few years, but they’ve quickly fizzled out as time goes on. But with the Star Wars area’s cancellation being a strong possibility, it leads us to speculate:“what could the third land be?”
If not Star Wars, then we have to look at this realistically. Whether we like it or not, Disney is no longer invested in building attractions with original IP, and Disney is also unlikely to spend any money building an IP-based land that is original to Disneyland Paris. If Star Wars is cancelled, then we will likely see a clone of land from another Disney Park.
The chances are looking pretty good that the replacement IP could be Avatar. With a new movie coming this December, three more on the way and a AAA video game in development, Avatar might seem like a safer bet than Star Wars, whose movies seem to be in a state of flux.
If Pandora: The World of Avatar were to travel across the Atlantic then we can expect to see a scaled-back version with one attraction, much like the original plans for Paris’ Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Why one attraction? Well, it fits in with the little theme Disney has going. Each new land is opening with one brand new attraction. Avengers Campus opened with Spider-Man: Web Adventure*, and The Kingdom of Arendelle will open with Frozen Ever After, and as previously mention, Paris’ Galaxy Edge only had Rise of the Resistance planned.
We can look into this theory a little more with an old rumour posted by Disney & More in 2018; the article mentions that Disney may have plans to bring Pandora to Shanghai Disneyland. In their version, Na’vi River Journey would be cut due to its proximity to two other water rides. The Shanghai rumour may not have come true as of yet, but it does sound like it would fall in line with Disney’s plans for Disneyland Paris.
Third Land Announcement: Cars Land
Alongside Pandora: The World of Avatar, Cars Land is a rumour that often springs up. Now, I think that Cars Land possibly could make its way to Walt Disney Studios in the future; for several reasons, I just don’t think that time is now.
The biggest reason is that Cars is already represented in the park with two attractions that would be on the opposite side of the park if Cars Land were to be built on the “land three’s” plot. The two attractions can be found in the Worlds of Pixar area of the park, already separated from one another.
There’s also the issue that is Cars ROAD Trip. The replacement/retheme of the Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic is already regarded as the worst attraction in the whole of Disneyland Paris, as well as one of the worst Disney has ever made – period. But it’s pretty obvious that this attraction is a temporary people-eater while the new lands are under construction. I would even bet good money on it that Disney only sees future expansion space when they think of this attraction.
If Cars Land were to be built, it only makes sense to do it on top of Cars ROAD Trip, where it not only replaced an awful ride but conveniently connects to Worlds of Pixar. Then there’s the argument against building it: Pixar already has a massive presence in the park. The Worlds of Pixar land alone makes up half of the park’s footprint, so why add an even more expansive Pixar-themed area to go along with it?
Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast
One of the more unlikely theories is that Tokyo Disneyland’s Enchanted Tales of Beauty and the Beast will be cloned for Disneyland Paris’ Fantasyland. It would be a more than welcome addition considering that a Beauty and the Beast attraction was originally envisioned for Paris before being cancelled. But it’s unlikely because Disney seems full-focused on expanding Walt Disney Studios next door.
Some have suggested that a new attraction for Disneyland Paris has been secretly included in the €2 Billion expansion of Walt Disney Studios, and maybe it’s true, but I doubt Beauty and the Beast is part of that.
This all goes without even mentioning that original attractions made for Tokyo Disney Resort are rarely cloned internationally, if ever!
And that’s the list! We could see some of them announced or none of them announced. What do you think could be announced at D23? Let us know in the comments here or on our socials!