Euro Disney has revealed that it is planning a major overhaul of its sprawling shopping and dining complex as part of a $2.4 billion investment by its owner, the media giant Walt Disney.
Last month, Disney’s chief executive Bob Iger announced a $2.4 billion (€2 billion) expansion of the movie-themed Studios park, which will see the addition of lands inspired by Star Wars, Marvel Comics and hit animated film Frozen. It is one of Euro Disney’s biggest-ever expansion projects and will be launched in phases from 2021.
It doesn’t stop there as Disney has now revealed that it is also giving a sprinkle of pixie dust to its 44,000-square-meter Disney Village, the largest entertainment center in greater Paris.
“We have renewed a number of attractions in the parks, so the next step will be to renew the Disney Village,” says Francis Borezée, Euro Disney’s vice president of resort and real estate development.
The huge complex next to the parks was designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry and has an industrial style, which was popular when it opened in the 1990s. It is packed with shops, restaurants and even a rodeo. It could get even bigger.
“We will start with the renovation, but then we have an opportunity to expand where today we have tents which are used for business events,” says Borezée. “If we do that we could develop a new convention center.”
Given that the rodeo has been there since Day 1, it is hard to imagine it staying in a renovation, so one suggestion would be to switch it for a show based on a renowned Disney brand.
Disney is still deciding on the style of the Disney Village renovation, according to Robert Earl, the owner of celebrity restaurant chain Planet Hollywood, which has an outlet there. “There is a plan to renovate the restaurant in Paris, but Disney are evaluating what they are doing first,” says Earl. “We are discussing with them about Planet Hollywood there, but corporate in California haven’t yet decided.”
In 2016, 13.4 million guests streamed through the turnstiles of Euro Disney’s two parks – the fairytale-themed flagship Disneyland Paris and the neighboring Walt Disney Studios. It makes the resort Europe’s most-visited tourist attraction.
In the run-up to Euro Disney’s 25th anniversary last year, this report revealed that its flagship Star Wars attraction would get a high-tech refurbishment and others got similar treatment for the landmark celebration. An explosive finale was added to the mine train roller coaster, and there is a new parade featuring a mechanical fire-breathing dragon. Since the start of the birthday celebrations, Disney has waved its magic wand to give the resort even more of a sparkle.
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