Last year, Disneyland Paris launched their new influencer community InsidEars for the die-hard fans. To celebrate the first anniversary, they gathered fans in the Dôme in Disney Village for a night of updates, announcements, and a few surprises. The evening started with Disneyland Paris Ambassadors Joana Afonso Santiago and Giona Prevete bringing Daniel Delcourt (Chief Operating Officer of Disneyland Paris) to the stage to discuss upcoming events and changes to the DLP resort overall.
Some of the highlights of this conversation were:
- Complete dismantling and rebuild of the Mark Twain for its return to the Rivers of the Far West in 2021.
- Emporium of Main Street USA closing for a full renovation, including new automated and digital pay points in 2020.
- Autopia being updated with new LED lighting package and landscaping for a September reopening.
- The Tram Tour of the Walt Disney Studios Park receiving a new entrance and adding something from Cars along the route for a 2020 opening.
- New guest experiences from automated parking booths, new security checkpoints, right up to new turnstiles.
- Updated Disneyland Paris App that will over the next 3 years provide everything from mobile check-in for your hotel to digital tickets and annual passes.
Of course, the biggest announcement was the reopening date of the classic Disneyland Paris attraction Phantom Manor on May 3rd. (But more on that in a bit)
Once Daniel had shared all his announcements, we saw a presentation about upcoming merchandise for the parks that lead into our dessert break, where we were able to get an up-close look at some of the new items coming for The Lion King and Jungle Festival starting June 30th.
Once we were back in, the focus was on upcoming projects such as the Marvel expansion (there was no new news) and, of course, The Lion King and Jungle Festival.
This festival will take over all parts of Disneyland Paris from June 30th through September 22nd. Starting in the newly rebuilt Chaparral Theater, The Lion King Rhythms of the Pride Lands will engulf guests in a spectacular new stage show that will have 30 performers on stage and in the air. The theater will have a new 360 sound system — one of only four in the world — that will give guests the feeling they truly have stepped into the Pride Lands with Simba.
The Jungle Book Jive street celebration will be the home of all of your favorite Disney Pals, Jungle Book, and The Lion King characters and some colorful new floats will bring Main Street USA into the fun each day. But no Disney festival would be complete without a dance party and for The Lion King and Jungle Festival, Timon’s “MataDance” Party will take over Adventureland with Timon, Pumbaa and some party performers. Of course one of the things to always look forward to in the unique food offerings and the best that I tasted was the chocolate and coconut paw cake pop.
For me, the highlight of the night was a virtual walkthrough of Phantom Manor presented by Tom Fitzgerald, Executive Vice President, Senior Creative Executive of the Walt Disney Imagineering, who has been on the project since before the attraction went down almost a year and a half ago.
Now, it wouldn’t be a Disney event without a surprise announcement, and for the 1st Anniversary of DLP InsidEars, it was announced the Art of Animation in Walt Disney Studios Park would now be transformed to the “Animation Celebration” which will be home of an interactive Frozen experience.
This interactive story will consist of two rooms with Anna leading you through the story of Frozen and will include, for the first time ever, Kristoff and Sven. It will conclude with a meet & greet with the hero of the film and everyone’s favorite talking snowman Olaf that is set to open by the end of the year.
Our main correspondent for Walt Disney World and the Orlando area and a heck of a paleontologist if he does say so himself.