The dust is starting to settle on the reactions from the D23: Disney Parks, Experiences and Products panel. The room may have been filled with cheers and applause, but many online have voiced their upset at what budget brother Josh D’Amaro revealed – or what he didn’t reveal.
The panel’s biggest takeaways were that more Meet and Greets are coming to the American parks, San Fransokyo will be introduced to Disney’s California Adventure, and that the Imagineering team have… ideas??? The international parks received some love, although it was pretty much surrounding the three Frozen lands that are coming to the Hong Kong, Tokyo and Paris parks.
The panel as a whole has received a lot of negative feedback, but none are as displeased as the European Disney fans, who took to Twitter to voice their complaints about The Walt Disney Company’s lack of love for their only European resort.
Fans of Disneyland Paris had huge hopes and expectations when the €2 billion expansion for Walt Disney Studios was announced in 2018 but with every “new” piece of information that they receive, the more disappointed they become.
An expansion of Walt Disney Studios is an ongoing process, and the park was only just able to open phase one of the expansions: Marvel Avengers Campus. A retheme of the Backlot area, Avengers Campus has received mostly positive responses, but even the executives are displeased with some aspects of the land.
The next phase in the expansion will be the promenade and The Kingdom of Arendelle (aka Frozen Land), which will feature a copy of EPCOT’s Frozen Ever After (with some differences). A third land will follow however the theme is still being thrown around.
It’s looking like the land will be a smaller version of Pandora: The World of Avatar or a supremely smaller version of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and when we say supremely smaller, we mean supremely-incredibly-massively-hugely-smaller because the original plans for the land consist of one shop, a small restaurant and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Gone will be nearly all of what fans love about Galaxy’s Edge in the US. From the immersive “streets” of Batuu to the unique character interactions – nowhere to be found as far as we can see in the original plans. Solidifying statements made by the other budget brother, CEO Bob Chapek.
The mention of Paris’ Frozen area was piggy-backed onto the updates for the versions in Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. No real updates for Paris were given, but from what we can tell from the construction plans, it will be the smallest version of the three, and it’s all but confirmed that the Frozen roller coaster is a Hong Kong exclusive despite Paris having ample space for it.
Most of Paris’ time was spent “announcing” the upcoming promenade and lake – two fixtures announced in 2018. That’s right, Walt Disney World fans; you may have been waiting four years for Disney to build a roller coaster, but European fans have been waiting even longer for them to build a single straight road! And many felt that re-announcing a road during the parks panel was like a pie in the face.
Even worse was that Disneyland Paris Park didn’t receive any announcements at all. Rumours have been circulating of a copy of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway or Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast, though the announcement of the latter was massively unlikely. But as per usual, Disneyland Paris was completely shut out.
And let’s be clear – Disneyland Paris’ has only ever received three new rides: Space Mountain, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril, and the last being Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, which, to add insult to injury, opened in April 2006.
Nearly 17 years ago.
The only attraction announcements were for a new Pixar-themed show at Walt Disney Studios and the unnamed Tangled attraction. Which made fans scream even more because the Tangled ride will be an off-the-shelf tea cups styled attraction.
Understandably, Non-European fans liked the idea and didn’t quite understand the issue, but here’s why DLP fans are complaining about it:
- Cars Quatre Roues Rallye
- Flying Carpets Over Agrabah
- RC Racer
- Slinky Dog ZigZag Spin
- Toy Soldier Parachute Drop
and with Tangled, that makes six off-the-shelf Disney-themed “carnival” rides, all pretty much side-by-side, and that’s not counting the four in the park next door.
The lack of announcements led to so much backlash that after the D23 panel ended, Disneyland Paris started trending on Twitter and remained so (in the UK at least) until late the next day.
For a long time, it was cheaper for British visitors to travel to Florida than it was to visit Disneyland Paris, which is only a two-hour train ride from London. The incredibly expensive theme park has been so void of love and attention that it feels like nothing much is going to change even after Frozen, the land Disney seems to be placing all of their chips on, opens. But we will have to wait and see.