In the latest of a series of articles in which we'll ask readers to share their opinions on current theme park topics, this week we're asking for your views on what theme Disney should select for the planned third theme park at the Disneyland Paris Resort.
A recent deal with the French government extended the deadline by which parent company Euro Disney SCA is required to a build a new park at the resort, pushing it back from 2017 to 2030. However, with chief executive Philippe Gas claiming that a decision could be made prior to 2020 if other planned construction goes well, we thought it was time to test the water with Disney fans on what they'd most like to see at Disneyland Paris' third gate.
To help trigger the debate, we've outlined a few ideas below. Have a read through them - then let us know your ideas through the comments section.
Distant dreams - concepts for a third Disneyland Paris park
With its extensive back-catalogue of characters and stories, a hugely talented team at Walt Disney Imagineering, and diverse parks already operating worldwide, Disney shouldn't be short on concepts for any new park. Here are a few possibilities for a new addition at Disneyland Paris:
- Marvel Superhero Park - Euro Disney's chief executive, Philippe Gas, has already thrown this one out there. He says one of the options under consideration for the resort's third gate is to exploit Disney's $4 billion acquisition of comic powerhouse Marvel, bringing iconic characters such as the Incredible Hulk and Spiderman to Europe's most popular tourist attraction. It's a tantalising prospect - how would Disney's Imagineers top the incredible Amazing Adventures of Spiderman attraction at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure? We don't know but we'd love to see them try.
- EuroCOT - just as Disneyland's second gate was once set to be "WestCOT", a west coast version of Walt Disney World's Epcot, a similar concept could make it over to Europe. With Epcot's World Showcase featuring pavilions from nations all over the world, maybe the European version could focus on a "Europe in minature" theme? France and Germany's auto manufacturers might also be willing to sponsor a variation on Test Track, to outdo American rival GM's Epcot version.
- Animal Kingdom - it received a muted reception when it first opened, but we are huge fans of Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom (particularly since the addition of the mighty Expedition Everest). The combined zoo-theme park is genuinely unique when compared with other Disney parks (even if it does owe something to Busch Gardens Tampa), and we'd love to see some of its best attractions transfered across the Atlantic. Given Paris' harsh winter climate, though, this may be wishful thinking.
- Disney's Paris Adventure - although Disney's California Adventure, Disneyland's neighbour, is currently undergoing a $1 billion upgrade project to help boost its attendance, maybe basing a park on the local area has more mileage in it at Paris. There are thousands of years of rich history and mythology to explore - and the concept might help to overcome accusations that Disney hasn't embraced French culture at its European resort.
- Lava Lagoon - an indoor water park with a Polynesian theme was originally planned to open at Disneyland Paris back in 2005, but was ultimately shelved. Although we'd love to see a third theme park, an exotic indoor water park under a glass dome within the reach of the chilly UK sounds like an intriguing option. You can see concept art for Lava Lagoon over at Photo Magiques.
With Disneyland Paris currently featuring two parks - Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios - that are closely based on existing Disney Parks (Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios respectively), we'd love to see an all-new concept adopted for the next addition. The perfect fit would seem to be a park based on Marvel's huge catalogue of big-hitters - and we're convinced Disney's Imagineers would produce something spectacular given the funds.
The number one priority for Disneyland Paris, though, should be to bring Walt Disney Studios up to the same level as its sister park. The planned addition of a $150 million dark ride based on Pixar's Ratatouille would be a good start - but at least two more E-ticket attractions are needed to bring the park up to Disney's high standards.
What do you think?
What you would most like to see as the third theme park at the Disneyland Paris Resort, if it's ever built? Share your ideas through the comments section below!