The next French phrase you’ll likely need to know is: ‘Pardon, ou est la reine des neiges?’ Or ‘Where’s Olaf?’
At an Elysees Palace meeting this week with French President Emmanuel Macron, Disney’s CEO Robert Iger confirmed a $2.5 billion expansion of its Disneyland Paris Resort. Three new lands, devoted to Frozen, Star Wars and the Marvel Universe, will group around a new lake area and effectively double the size of Walt Disney Studios, the resort’s second theme park in Marne-la-Vallee.
Following the meeting with Iger, the French president tweeted a photo of the pair, thanking Disney for its investment and its recognition that ‘France is back.’
The French park expansion was hinted at during last month’s D23 Expo Tokyo event. There, it was announced that the Disney Studios park’s present Aerosmith Rock ‘n Roller coaster would be ‘re-Imagineered’ as an Iron Man/Avengers attraction. At the same time, it was revealed the resort’s existing New York Hotel would undergo renovation, being remade into NY-themed lodgings suitable for Tony Stark and Spiderman. The remodeled hotel is expected to begin welcoming guests by 2020.
Artwork (seen in the video above) accompanying Iger’s announcement in Paris suggests the Star Wars area will be a similar size and have some of the same attractions as those being developed for other parks. Disney opened a Frozen attraction at Epcot’s Norway pavilion in Orlando in June 2016. The Paris site, which will reportedly include a mountain ride, appears to be a much grander Kingdom of Arrendale.
The three new areas containing multiple attractions, shops, restaurants and live shows are planned to roll out over several years starting in 2021.
Disney opened its first Paris park in 1992 under the name of ‘Eurodisney’ (the first rebranding occured in 1994) adding its Studios park in 2002. The twin-parks have hosted over 320 million visitors and regularly compete with the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, for the title of France’s top tourist destination.