DLRP’s Third Gate?

3 08 2009

There’s been a lot of speculation over a potential third theme park at Disneyland Resort Paris but nothing has yet to be set in stone. In this blog I’ll have a look into some potential ideas for a park to accompany Disneyland Parc and Walt Disney Studios in Marne-le-Vallee.

The first concept I want to look at is one that’s been thrown around a lot with members of the Disney fan community, the idea of an EPCOT-style park in Disneyland Resort Paris.

For the sake of ease I’ll call the idea EUROCOT. For me this type of park would be great in Paris. Firstly, EPCOT over at Walt Disney World is a big park, with lots of attractions to keep all ages entertained. It also has an education slant which helps bring on-side some people who are critical of theme parks as a whole. A EUROCOT park would also allow the Imagineer’s to come up with some new countries that weren’t featured in the original World Showcase at EPCOT. Taking this idea a little further a EUROCOT park could also make the World Showcase a little more attractions-orientated instead of just a number of exhibits and some a small number of attractions as you see over at EPCOT.

There are of course two major problems with a EUROCOT park. First of all the capital investment into a park a similar size to EPCOT would be huge and with the state of the economy at the moment I would be surprised if Euro Disney S.C.A would really be willing to splash that much cash on one park, especially when there’s improvements still to be made over at Walt Disney Studios Park. Second of all is the great problem over at WDW Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom and Future World are very similar and the same thing could well happen with Discoveryland over at Disneyland Parc. The two solutions? One, change the name of the area at EUROCOT, maybe to something along the lines of ‘The world of innovation’ or ‘Knowledge Central’ after all most of the attractions in Future World aren’t based around the future, so the names not really worth keeping anyway. The second option would be to scrap Future World at EUROCOT and focus on a World Showcase based park. This would allow imagineer’s to develop new lands that weren’t at WDW and make some top quality attractions for an area lacking them over in Florida.

Overall I rate the EUROCOT idea 7/10.

My second idea is also influenced by a park over in Florida, this time it’s Animal Kingdom. During his eventful life Walt Disney spent a lot of time in Europe, in fact he loved it. That was one of the main reasons a resort was opened up in Paris. Walt was a lover of Europe’s nature and wildlife so why not celebrate this with a European version of Animal Kingdom, themed exclusively to Europe?

Firstly, this kind of theme is proven to work. Busch Gardens Williamsburg is themed around the animals of Europe and it’s become one of the best-loved theme parks in the United States, picking up various awards including Theme Park Insider’s ‘Best Park in America’ award. Imagine, a park with a similar theme but with a Disney budget. The possibilities are endless. This also gives Disney the chance to experiment with more thrilling attractions, as can be seen over in Busch Gardens. Disney has long been known for only offering wild but mild thrills, especially when it comes to roller coasters. If Euro Disney S.C.A were willing to put a decent budget into a park like this I believe the imagineer’s could come up with something truly thrilling and brilliantly themed.

The downside? Whilst I’m more than happy to compare a potential animal themed park to Busch Gardens I’ve failed to mention Disney’s own verson- Animal Kingdom. The park over at Walt Disney World just simply isn’t up to scratch. It only offers a small number of E-Tickets set amoung a large amount of slightly themed carnival rides. Animal Kingdom, in my opinion, only has one true Disney classic attraction and that’s Expedition Everest. Simply put, I’m not sure if Disney ‘do’ animal themed parks well and it’s a big gamble for DLRP’s holding company if the imagineer’s can’t come up with the goods.

Overall I rate the Animal Kingdom idea 5/10

My final idea is one which hasn’t really been mentioned and one I think would fit into Disneyland Resort Paris perfectly. A version of DisneySea from Tokyo Disneyland Resort. DisneySea, by far and away, is the best looking Disney parks. Some of the area’s are simply beautiful to look at, it’s a real look into what the imagineer’s can do with a big budget at their disposal.

The one thing that makes me think a DisneySea park would fit into Disneyland Resort Paris is in the name itself. Sea. DisneySea has lots of water and a number of water-based attractions. Disneyland Resort Paris has no major water-based attractions and Splash Mountain looks a long way off for Disneyland Parc. Another great feature is the park doesn’t have to be exactly the same as in Tokyo, themed lands could change as long as you stick to the main theme. it offers so many opportunities for so many different attractions and if done right could be a showcase for what Disney can do. as the original DisneySea was when it opened in Tokyo.

The main downside to this is of course the cost. DisneySea is the most expensive Disney Park ever made, coming in at a total cost of around $4 billion. Euro Disney S.C.A simply don’t have that kind of money to throw around and with the expansion of Disney’s California Adventure going on neither do the Walt Disney Company either. Simply put the idea has so many possibilities yet it’s crucial flaw is that it’s impossiblele.

I rate the DisneySea idea 7/10

Overall I’d say don’t hold your breath for a new park over in Paris just yet. Walt Disney Studios Park still needs a lot of work and with plans for the 20th anniversary already in place it’s not likely we’ll even see concepts until after then. Hopefully if we do see a third gate at Paris it will be well planned and will have a good budget to ensure the park opens with Disney quality features, rather than them needing to be added later on as we’ve seen at DCA, Animal Kingdom and WDSP.

If you have any idea’s of your own feel free to get in-touch.

M. Owen




2 responses

4 08 2009

Nice ideas…

As an EPCOT fan, I’m partial to that concept, but I think you’d be best served at looking to the old plans for WESTCOT in Anaheim. Not only does it have a smaller footprint than Orlando’s EPCOT, but its more self-contained design lends itself better than the Parisian climate.

4 08 2009
Michael Owen

I’d certainly agree with you on that. WESTCOT would certainly fit a Paris better than something similar to EPCOT.

Putting financial constraints aside and looking at it from a fan point of view it does seem like the one of the better idea’s. However back in the real world the budget would be way too big, but then it needs to be for any Disney park to meet standards and I think that’s why Euro Disney S.C.A are holding back on a potential third gate despite an original contractual agreement with The Walt Disney Company.

Thank’s for commenting and don’t forget to keep checking back.

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