In the last few weeks or so, there have been some interesting and exciting Disneyland Paris announcements. Most of these are focusing on updates and the addition of a couple of attractions like Philharmagic. However, one of the big updates that has me worrying a lot, is the proposed changes to the Disneyland Hotel for 2020.
Now, I’ve heard from a lot of people in the Disneyland Paris community that it is in need of updating and renovation, which is perfectly fine and acceptable because this happens when decor gets a bit dated and every hotel needs this once in a while, but as of late, a lot of the hotels at DLP are getting complete makeovers to showcase very big Disney properties. Truth be told, I’m not a fan of this when it becomes front and centre of the hotel. For me, Disney character and story theming has to be subtle. It has to complement the initial design and concept so that shines through.
This is what I like at the moment when it comes to the Disneyland Hotel. It has the Victorian facade, it has a Victorian interior, it is in keeping with the story of Main Street USA, yet it has this Fantasia theme alongside a few other characters weaving throughout. It fits and it works because you’ve got the Fantasia Gardens directly in front of the hotel and music was such an important aspect of Victorian/Turn of the Century life and leisure.
What will worry and annoy me now is if the powers that be at Disneyland Paris go with a theme that is detrimental to this concept and storytelling. Imagineers spent years, painstakingly building a park that honoured specific times, concepts and ideas and none of that unfortunately seems to matter much anymore, especially if you take into account Discoveryland and Walt Disney Studios. Age and originality isn’t bad and out of date just because it is not what the majority of people seem to like anymore, and completely gutting the initial theme into something new isn’t always better.
So, with this re-theming in mind, what could work? And bear in mind, this will all be fairly subtle so it doesn’t take over what is a gorgeous and idyllic hotel.
1# Mary Poppins – Mary Poppins is a classy nanny, the hotel has a classy and European atmosphere which is evident in Mary Poppins, so this could work rather well. I can also imagine hearing songs like Jolly Holiday and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious playing softly in the background.
2# Princesses – This jumps into my head because on the Eurostar heading to Disneyland Paris, I once heard a young girl saying that she was staying in the princess hotel. I think palace theming would work, I can already imagine myself sitting in the lobby and hearing the the princess ballads and soundtracks, and it would make a nice mirror image with the Sleeping Beauty Castle at the other end of Main Street USA.
3# Tinkerbell and her fairy friends – All I know is that I can see little fairy silhouettes scattered everywhere, along with trails of pixie dust! Also, the London in Peter Pan is very much early 1900s, the same with Mary Poppins so that would stay in keeping with a turn of the century atmosphere and aesthetic. Besides, Disneyland Paris has never really done anything with the fairies and although it is not a big franchise anymore, it would still be nice to honour them in some way.
4# The Aristocats – It’s set in France, in the late Victorian era, and the Jazz music would be in keeping with the music loops of Main Street USA. Disneyland Paris needs to include some more Frenchness into its theming and I think it would work rather well if it took inspiration from Madame’s Victorian, Paris manor. It’s classy, the hotel itself is classy and it would simply enhance what is already there. The Aristocats is also an underrated and underused Disney property outside of the general meet and greets during special occasions.
Those four are the only ideas I can think of for now, but it does make me question what exactly Disneyland Paris will do with the hotel. Personally I’d be happy enough if they did some simple refurbishments and left its current theming well alone!!! I love it as it is and it makes it my favourite place in the entire park to relax and wind down.
On a positive note regarding this re-theming, if the current CEO Catherine Powell is excited by the new concept, I can be a little hopeful because she has truly brought Disneyland Paris to life over the last couple of years.
What are your opinions regarding this re-theme?’
What themes do you think would work well?
Thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!