The latest numbers for 2014 theme park attendance released by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) showed that both Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios both saw the only decline at any major European theme park, down 4.7% over last year’s attendance figures. 2013 was even worse with a drop of 6.9% for both parks according to the report.
Hoping to stop that downward spiral, Disney announced that they will be refreshing 10 attractions within the next two years. Some of the attraction work has already been underway for a while. According to the press release, Disneyland Paris had four main objectives:
- INNOVATE: Creativity and technological innovation are at the heart of the Disney difference. Attractions such as Big Mountain Railroad and Pirates of the Caribbean will be reimagined to ensure an innovative experience.
- REFINE: Attention to detail and quality are staples of Disney magic. With these same principles, iconic attractions such as “it’s a small world” and Peter Pan’s Flight will be reimagined with all new colour palettes and special effects.
- OPTIMISE: We remain committed to the Four keys including Cast Member and Guest safety throughout all theme parks and resorts. Space Mountain: Mission 2 will now feature renovated rail systems and new equipment, such as innovative ride vehicles, and a new Single Rider queue line.
- AMAZE: Putting a twinkle into the eyes of children and adults by always creating new surprises. Many of the attractions at Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park will be reimagined to create new magic.
Space Mountain: Mission 2 will reopen July 27, 2015 with new enhancements to the queue. All internal stairways have been revamped as well as internal lighting is now LED. The exterior of the building is getting a refresh. In addition, the water in front of the mountain (used for Les Mystères du Nautilus) will be drained and the “swirling water effect” is coming back. In 2017, new redesigned vehicles will be coming (rendering seen above).
Videopolis is also under renovation, reopening on July 11, 2015. The building has gotten a fresh coat of paint and will be home to the Jedi Training Academy, which has been extremely popular in the United States for years now.
it’s a small world will close July 27, 2015 and reopen in the middle of December 2015. When it reopens, guests will hear a re-mastered score as well as see a new color scheme for the facade of the building. Disneyland Paris promises all new dolls and costumes and “some surprises” which is speculated to be the Disney characters added to Hong Kong and Anaheim versions of the attraction. Time will well.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad will close in November 2015 and reopen in late 2016 and will feature a new “explosive ending.” No doubt, this will be the impressive new finale Disneyland in California just received.
The Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse is also getting some much needed TLC from January 2016 through the summer. They are sticking with the original movie (no Tarzan) and will include new paint, horticulture and the return of the waterfalls.
Peter Pan’s Flight will also close from January 2016 through July 2016. When it reopens it will receive a new color palate and revamped lighting. No mention of the new queue Walt Disney World just received, but it stands to reason that they will receive some of the new effects coming to Disneyland’s version.
Jack Sparrow and company will finally be joining the Pirates of the Caribbean when it closes for refurbishment in early 2017 along with a “few surprise characters.” Disneyland Paris also promises new lighting, re-mastered audio and new effects for the hurricane and treasure room scenes.
Over at Walt Disney Studios, Animagique will be completely re-imagined in early 2016. No other details were provided as of yet.
From Late August 2016 to Spring 2017, the Studio Tram Tour at the Walt Disney Studios Park will be closed to add three new scenes. It stands to reason that older scenes like Catastrophe Canyon will receive new theming. This would also be the perfect place to add Marvel or Star Wars scenes as well.
Once again, catching up to the United States counterparts, Star Tours will get a much needed upgrade from February 2016 until early 2017. Considering this will be after the new Star Wars movie is released, it could feature even more scenes. Time will tell.
In addition, they announced the geysers along the Rivers of America would be brought back to life (and repainted) as well as a complete refurbishment for the Hotel Cheyenne. While no new attractions have been announced as of yet, this is a major step forward for Disneyland Paris as their maintenance has fallen short for many years now (which could correlate to their drop in attendance).
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