Imagineering a Disneyland Park Expansion

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With the Walt Disney Company taking full control of Disneyland Paris it has allowed us all to dream about what could happen to our beloved park. Disney are not afraid to spend money to improve the experience for their guests. They have succeeded in turning a park which had been critised by fans, Disney’s California Adventure Park, into a park now celebrated by many. In particular, many people see the Cars Land in DCA as the best and most immersive land Disney has ever created.

It didn’t take long for Disney to release plans for an update to Walt Disney Studios. This park has long been hailed as the worst Disney park in the world.

I think part of the problem is that the parks older sibling, Disneyland Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the world. I think a strong argument could be made that it rivals, if not surpasses, the most popular park in the world, the Magic Kingdom.

So whilst the Studios park is earmarked for major expansion, does Disneyland Park run the danger of becoming forgotten. The park has not seen a major attraction added since 2006 when Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast opened in Discovery Land, just in time for the park’s 15th anniversary celebrations.

Hence with my Imagineering hat on, I consider additions that could be added to each land in the park.

The Main Street Theatre – Main Street USA

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No one does a broadway show like Disney and it would be wondeful to showcase this talent in a dedicated show building. I would suggest transforming the left hand side of the town square into a theatre. This would fit the theming and become a centrepiece of this area. Given the quality of the recent shows like Mickey and the Magician created by Disneyland Paris I am sure this new theatre would be a great success.

Google maps shows an area big enough to house this attraction but this would mean moving backstage operations. This is something Disney are willing to do but I fear disruption to the main emtrance may put Disney off ever redevloping this area. A similar project was proposed for Walt Disney World but rumour has it that this has now been cancelled. Instead of wasting those designs, maybe those plans could be given to Disneyland Paris?

Likelihood = 2 out of 5

Duck Tails Goldrush Mine Train – Frontierland

Given how successful Big Thunder Mountain has been at DLP, the idea of another family style coaster has to be high of the list for Disney. There is a potential site replacing the
Pocahontas Indian Village.

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I would imagine a coaster in the style of 7 Dwarfs Minetrain but to fit the theming given a Goldrush overlay. We would join Scrooge McDuck on his adventure to find the last big gold mine in the west. Huey, Dewey and Louie would join you on your journey and there would have to be room for the main duck himself Donald.

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This would be a kid friendly Disney ride which could replicate the popularity of the WDW attraction. However, the main downside here is that it breaks the theming of Thunder Mesa, where the town is human characters. This attraction would need to externally fit the surroundings but positioned by itself as not to destroy the atmosphere of the original land.
Likelihood = 3 out of 5

Wakanda – The World of Black Panther Adventureland

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Disney has already set the bar high with Pandora. I would love to see them bring that level of detail to the parks by bringing the world of Black Panther, Wakanda to life in the parks. This would be a blend between African culture and futuristic technology.

I would forsee 2 rides in this land. Adapting the technology from Flights of Passage to allow you to journey through a 3D adventure in the Marvel universe with Black Panther as your guide. Given the size needed to make this land, I would also suggest retheming the Indiana Jones rollercoaster to make it become part of this new land.

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Disney has been much more inclusive and to invest greatly in an African inspired land would be another positive step forward.

Likelihood = 3 out of 5

Be our Guest Restaurant – Fantasyland

I still can’t believe how underused the Beauty and the Beast Franchise is, after all ‘this is France’. A food revolution is needed in Paris and I feel bringing the iconic restaurant from WDW would be a game changer for Paris.

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People are willing to book 180 days in advance to dine in such wonderous surroundings in Florida. A permanent meet and greet with Gaston, Belle or the Beast would make this a winner.

Locaton wise, the only real space available would be the area behind the Fantasyland railway station with access via the same route as Casey Junior. Being out of the way would help them build up the illusion you are heading towards the Beasts Castle and also keep queuing guests out of the already overflowing Fantasyland.

Likelihood = 4 out of 5

Aquatopia – Discoveryland

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This land has some beautiful components but it has become increasingly diluted over time. The introduction of Mickey and his Philharmagic Orchestra is another sign that Disney are not thinking long term with this part of the park. Although I enjoy trying to hit a high score on Buzz, the attraction scores lowly when it comes to fitting in with the original theming of the land.

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The Jules Verne theming is what sets this area apart from other parks and I feel it is in desperate need of an attraction that embraces this theming.

Therefore I would turn to the wonderful water attraction known as Aquatopia from Tokyo DisneySea. Paris has been calling out for a water ride and this fits beautifully with the current theming. It is a fun and playful ride aimed at all the family. I believe this attraction would extremly popular with guests especially during the warm summer months.

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This is exactly what Discoveryland needs unlike a Tron Coaster which has conflicting theming to the oringinal Discoveryland concept. For me, a Tron Coaster would be better placed in the Studios park, as it brings the magic of the film to life.

As this is simply implementing a current ride in another park, it would be a much more affordable option and would be the perfect first step in the development of the Disneyland Park.

Likelihood = 3 out of 5

30th Anniversary

As the 25th anniversary draws to a close, Disney will now be looking at the 30th as a chance to further market the parks to a wider audience. The focus of the 25th was to restore the magic to original attractions, Project Sparkle. Now is the time for Disney to invest and to expand Disneyland Park. I am sure we would all love a sneak peek at their plans, so lets hope there will be an announcement at the next D23 event.

We would love to hear your ideas for expanding Disneyland Park. Feel free to comment below or tweet us @dlpgenie

Pictures copyright of Disneyland Paris and Marvel studios

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