The Long Lost Walt Disney Studios Park Concepts

By now everyone should be well aware that big changes are coming to the Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris and as of writing this major construction has already started over in the Backlot with the demolition of Armageddon where the Spider-Man attraction is coming along nicely Rock n Rollercoaster closed last year along with Restaurant Des Stars and Cafe Cafes and modifications to Motors Action Stunt Show facade with the entrance way being rerouted via the now closed Studio Tram Tour.

As a reminder a major investment is being made to Disneyland Paris with a massive overhaul of Walt Disney Studios Park including 3 new lands themed to Marvel, Star Wars, and Frozen as well as a huge lake and placemaking though out the park. This concept art by Disney shows the scale of the investment and gives an idea of what is being planned.

Find out more in this previous article 1 Year On from The Walt Disney Studios Expansion Announcement

So far there has been no reason to believe that the expansion will not be realised by Disney but that hasn’t always been the case and a lot of the time this ideas are never realised. Walt Disney Studios Park, that has only been open since 2002 seems to have had more ideas about expansion, new attractions and place making then any other Disney park. Let’s take a look at some of them and see what could off been for the Walt Disney Studios Park.

Disney-MGM Studios Europe

Long before The Walt Disney Studios Park the second gate for Disneyland Paris was going to be Disney-MGM Studios Europe, the concept was first shown in 1992 at the opening of Euro Disney, now Disneyland Paris and was fully fleshed out and ready to start breaking ground for a 1995 opening. The park would have shared many elements from the Disney MGM Studios at Walt Disney World including The Great Movie Ride and the Studio Backlot Tour including sets like catastrophe canyon and the walking tour of the real animation and film sets that would of made up part of Disney-MGM Europe. In addition to this an attraction based on called Dick Tracy’s Gangster Shoot out would have been the big E Ticket attraction on opening day which would be a cross between Indiana Jones Adventure and Buzz Lightyears Laser Blast. Several unique restaurants would also have been included and were planned to be an Indiana Jones restaurant, a Route 66 Cafe a long with familiar restaurant such as the brown derby and the Sci-Fi Dine in.

The whole park was designed and ready to go but when Euro Disney failed the park was put on hold and eventually shelved altogether some elements of the design were brought over to Walt Disney Studios Park such as the Studio 1 entrance building but most of the ideas were just scrapped.

Overall Disney-MGM Studios Europe was a product of its time in early to mid 90’s and if the park had gone ahead as planned many of the time same problems that Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando had such as lack of things for guest to do and massive sound stages and animation studios going completely unused would of happen here as well but at least there would of been a better layout to build on.

Production Courtyard

When Disneyland Park was built the imagineers cleverly added ‘expansion pads’ around the park, these were spaces that they could go back and add additional attractions in years to come. When Walt Disney Studios Park was constructed a few expansions pads were built to the park and probably the most obvious one was located in Production Courtyard between Cinemagique (Now Studio Theater and The Disney Channel Building (Now Disney Junior Live / Stitch Live)

Plans of Production Courtyard show that Soarin’ was envisioned to fill this space using the 2 theatre setup. Soarin’ is an attraction that really should be at Disneyland Paris as it’s a staple of the Disney Parks but the studios is probably not the best place for it to go. Better places for it to go could be Adventureland near Indiana Jones or the back of Discoveryland.

The expansion pad has since been used for a backstage building and to house the control booth and projectors for the shows in Production Courtyard.

In addition to Soarin’ being planned for this area as seen on the above concept map a Theatre that would house The Lion King stage show was planned for where the Tower of Terror and its surrounding structures now stand. Also notably a building simply called ‘Sony’ appears on the plans, not much is know about this but it seems that it would of been a something similar to Innoventions at Epcot with hands on experiences provided by Sony and would also house a Robot Arm attraction, think of Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey but without the moving track and set pieces.

Toon Studios

Toon studios opened with the park in 2002 but was called Animation Courtyard and was home to Flying Carpets, The Art of Disney Animation and the Animagique Theatre. In 2007 Animation Courtyard was transformed into Toon Studios with the addition of Crush’s Coaster and Cars Quatre Roues Rallye. However another idea to have a mini version of a Bugs Land instead of the Cars mini land was imagined for this area. From the looks of the concept art the only attraction that was planned was Tuck and Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies, a simple bumper car attraction with some theming for the area.

The Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris has always suffered from a lacklustre line up as a result of being built on the cheap in an era when The Walt Disney Company was afraid of spending big after the failure of Euro Disney. In an attempt to make the park seem bigger then it actually was the layout was crammed together and didn’t leave room for expansion at a later date. As a result imagineering has always struggled to plan out a large scale expansion that would fix the fundamental issues of the park and when they do have a plan and are moving forward the issue that has plagued DLP for all of its life crops up again, Money.

Finally the TWDC has committed to investing heavily in Disneyland Paris to expand the Studios Park over the next few years with the lands based on some of the most popular Disney franchises including Marvel, Frozen and Star Wars as well as the some much needed landscaping in the form of a large lake in the studios over the next few years.


Chilling Goings-on At The Hollywood Tower Hotel

A new dimension of chills have come to The Hollywood Tower Hotel as Disneyland Paris launch ‘The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – A New Dimension of Chills’.

Guests will be greeted with three brand new and unique storylines for each lift shaft with updated sound, lighting, visual effects and to top it off random drop sequences while riding the classic attraction.

Three new horrors to discover are:

The Malevolent Machine
A little ghost girl haunts this elevator. But she is the least of your worries. Because as soon as you take your seat, this malevolent machine only has one thing in mind – to trap you in its mechanical prison and clank and screech with glee as it catapults you up and plummets you down at its wicked will.
The only thing you can do is hold tight. And scream!

The Shaft Creatures
“They know you’re here. Whatever you do, don’t scream!” Some demonic creatures have control of the elevator and they’re preying on the cries of human souls – the louder your pleas for mercy, the more powerful they become. Can you stay silent while plummeting 13 unlucky floors at the speed of fright?

The 5th Dimension
Don’t get lost in this dimension! A sinister spectre has opened the 5th dimension and wants to take your soul with it. Prepare to question everything you think is real as you’re dropped into a terrifying psychedelic journey between worlds.

Disneyland Paris have released an extraordinary advert for the changes, see below. Filmed over 3 nights on location at The Walt Disney Studios Park, the advert totally sells the the attraction and the story, cinematography, sound design, editing, acting and music are all perfect.

The only question now to ask is ‘Are You Brave Enough?’


Additional Character Meets Announced for The Disney Loves Jazz Soiree

The Disney Loves Jazz Soiree is just over 4 weeks away and today some additional characters have been announced that will be meeting guests on the evening.

Returning from last year are:

  • Oswald & Ortensia
  • Tiana & Naveen
  • Louis & Dr Facilier
  • Marie, Berlioz & Toulouse

New additions to the line up this year:

  • Buzz Lightyear & Woody
  • King Louie & Baloo
  • Remy & Emile

No word yet if Mickey & Minnie, Roger Rabbit & Eddie Valiant or Edgar Balthazar will be joining the line up which would be a real shame if they didn’t as they were all stand out meets last year.

Update (17/05/19)
It has now been confirmed that Mickey & Minnie will be meeting in their formal dress and Edgar Balthazar will also be meeting guests on the evening.

As a reminded Disney Loves Jazz Soiree will take place on Saturday 15th June 2019 at The Walt Disney Studios Park from 8pm to 2am. Guests can enjoy live music at the Jazz Loves Disney in concert with internationally renowned artists including China Moses, Hugh Coltman, Thomas Dutronc, Ayo, Anne Sila & Camélia Jordana as well as several Fringe stages with live Jazz around the park throughout the night.

Several attractions will also be open for the night including:

  • Les Tapis Volants – Flying Carpets Over Agrabah,
  • Toy Soldiers Parachutes Drop
  • Ratatouille
  • Crush’s Coaster,
  • RC Racer
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

All of which enjoyed very low wait times last year.

Tickets are still available for Disney Loves Jazz Soiree from the Disneyland Paris Website or by calling 08448 008 898

If you’re an Annual Pass Holder you can enjoy 15% off for Infinity pass holders and 10% off for Magic+ holders and up to 5 tickets can be purchased with the AP discount which are available from the AP Concierge line or from in the parks by visiting City Hall or the Bureau Pass Annuel in Disneyland Park or Studios Services at The Walt Disney Studios Park.