Kris Van de Sande
What’s coming to Disneyland Paris in 2021?
A look at some upcoming projects.

After a turbulent year with the third and fourth ever closure of Disneyland Paris due to the COVID-19 pandemic it’s time to look at the future courtesy of a virtual event streaming from Disneyland Paris.

The fact that the park is closed is itself more than a newsworthy fact. In its twenty-eight years of operations, the parks only ever closed in 1999 due to a typhoon and the Paris Bataclan terrorist attack in 2015. Currently the park is scheduled to reopen Februari 13, but as of yet it’s unknown if this plan can continue. We can only wait and see what the French government will decide.

But, this is a plan to look forward to the positive things, so here’s what we can expect to happen in the coming time.

Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant 

The iconic castle will see a complete renovation on a previously unseen scale. For this they are hiring talented craftsmen, including those who worked on the Notre Dame restoration. The works start in januari 2021 and are scheduled to finish in time for the 30th anniversary in 2022.

When it’s finished, guests can expect to find this iconic symbol of Disneyland Paris more sparkling than ever! Walt Disney Imagineering and Construction teams have been preparing for two years now to ensure that the Castle is carefully refurbished to the exceptional standards of an icon that is so dear to Disneyland Paris.

To preserve the visual aspect of Sleeping Beauty Castle and the guest experience during the refurbishment, a themed canvas will be installed on which the Castle will be represented and fully covered while it is being refurbished. Guests will still be able to go through Sleeping Beauty Castle to access Fantasyland from Main Street U.S.A. or access the stores located in the Castle during the enhancement work period.  

Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast

For the 2006 attraction a complete overhaul is nearing completion. The attraction has been closed for about a year now. Apart from the switch to LED and a complete repaint, WDI also looked at all the animations and tweaked where needed. It is scheduled to reopen Februari 2021.

Cars Route 66 Road Trip

As announced earlier, the Studio Tram Tour is getting a complete Cars retheme. Based on the legendary Route 66, it takes the highlight of the Tram Tour, Catastrophe Canyon, and brings it into a Cars theme. The entrance also got moved in between Toy Story-land and Ratatouille.

Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art Of Marvel

Hotel New York, the four star hotel, and second in rank in the hotel line up, closed in 2018 for a complete overhaul. Some more behind-the-scenes video got released.

Notable addition is the Skyline bar with a photorealistic video skyline over Manhattan that changes during the day.

It’s still scheduled to open March 8, 2021.

The project required two years of feasibility studies, then two years of construction with the help of many teams at Disneyland Paris, each bringing their unique expertise and the best of their discipline to the hotel. The construction site represents a real challenge because the hotel has been completely redesigned in a more contemporary style, immersing our guests in the ambiance of a modern New York art gallery. From the moment you enter the hotel, the spirit of New York City is reflected in the vertical architectural lines, in reference to the emblematic skyscrapers. 

Marvel art is an integral part of the hotel’s transformation. With no less than 300 works on display, created by more than 95 artists, it testifies to the richness of the Marvel universe. About 50 were even specially created for the hotel! As soon as guests enter the lobby, they can discover a huge backlit comic strip, a preview of which has already been unveiled. But that’s not all: A huge showcase is ready to welcome three life-size armors of Iron Man, and the famous shield of Captain America. 

Disney Junior Dream Factory

The previous Disney Jr. show got a complete overhaul. A new decor and a new show.

After several years of working on the concept and staging, the Entertainment teams at Disneyland Paris are eager to introduce guests to this new 20-minute musical. In addition to Mickey and Minnie,  there will be other characters from the Disney Junior franchises : Timon, Vampirina and Fancy Nancy Clancy, making their appearances at Disneyland Paris for the first time! Accompanied by Disney Junior Dream Factory team members, they will invite guests of all ages to participate by learning and singing amusing, catchy songs, creating endless collective energy!

“The idea for this show came to me while listening to the music of the various Disney Junior franchises. There was a common thread: The importance of dreaming and believing in your dreams. That’s how Disney Junior Dream Factory came about,” said show director Paul Chychota. 

To accommodate this new show, the theatre that previously housed the Disney Junior Live on Stage! show has been transformed into Studio D. This completely redesigned  “flex-space” can now accommodate both shows and events with multiple configurations. Claire Salmon, executive producer of Disney Junior Dream Factory, has been working on the project for more than two years, collaborating with many teams along the way.

What’s left?

There’s just a (pink) elephant in the room: What’s still on the table of the big masterplan for the Walt Disney Studios Park?

With investments scrapped or on hold worldwide, the ambitious 2.5 billion dollar multi-year plan of the Studios still has to break ground on all but Marvel Land. Construction is continuing on the Iron Man coaster and the Spider-Man WEB shooter attraction. But no word on the Star Wars and Frozen expansions.

And what about Parc Disneyland? The majority of attractions in its main gate still features the same line-up as 1995. The only big changes, apart from refurbishments are Buzz Lightyear’s Laser Blast (2006), the reimagined Star Tours (2017) and the Hyperspace Mountain overlay.

Either way, it will please the fans to see the iconic castle shine again for its 30th April 12, 2022.

Kris Van de Sande
As an international commercial photographer with a passion for themed entertainment, Kris encounters and captures many sides of the entertainment industry. Passionated by Star Tours, he founded EndorExpress in 2002.