The Disneyland Paris Works twitter page covering construction updates, refurbishments, permits, and photos at the French resort just released some new glimpses around the rear of Walt Disney Studios park, where the most dramatic transformations are taking place for its ongoing transformation.
Disneyland Paris Meets Arendelle
Behind RC Racer and Toy Story Playland, Arendelle — the kingdom Anna and Elsa call home in “Frozen” — is taking shape, along with an extended promenade intended to connect the original portions of the park with these new areas.
Construction cranes tower over the site with Val d’Europe and greater Marne-la-Vallée in the background. Work is accelerating on all facets of development, as progress on the park berm, lake, show buildings, and Elsa’s Ice Castle becomes more discernible.
A version of Frozen Ever After is taking shape here, with the beginnings of concrete structures observable. Unlike EPCOT, it will inhabit a more immersive and sprawling themed space. Shopping, dining, and character interactions will all occupy a Norse-inspired village, as Elsa’s snowy sanctuary rests atop a mountain range that is planned to rise 131 feet (40 m) from the ground. The protruding columns rising above the other structures will be the foundation for these mountains.
Drone footage from the Frozen site at Hong Kong Disneyland (set to open later this year) offers a more complete notion of the land’s design. While these twin projects will not be exactly the same (as Hong Kong will include more attractions), they will certainly share the same icons and prominent features.
Thousands of trees are being planted for this new area of the park. Dozers, excavators, and various items of landscaping equipment are shaping and sculpting the land in preparation for an anticipated 2025 opening of this second phase.
An art nouveau-inspired restaurant will also debut, offering panoramic views of the new lake and future attractions beyond the World of Frozen.
Aerial photography from February appears to indicate the placement of this restaurant, with a bare concrete plot wedged between Toy Story Playland and the construction site.
The Most Ambitious Paris Parks Project Since 1992
As part of a long-term plan to boost the resort’s revenue in 2018, Disney CEO Robert A. Iger and French President Emmanuel Macron met at the official Parisian Presidential residence — the Palais de’Élysée — where Iger announced a staggering multi-billion, multi-year expansion of the resort, almost entirely emphasizing the Studios park.
The plan tentatively teased three new areas based on “Frozen,” “Star Wars,” and “The Avengers,” to be opened in phases. While the Galaxy’s Edge land has likely been cancelled, speculation of a potential “Avatar” land now stands in its place.
In almost prophetic fashion, Iger, who initially retired in 2021 before a surprise return, expressed his excitement for this endeavor as added motivation in the twilight years of his leadership. At the time of the initial announcement, he was interviewed by French-language weekly news magazine Paris Match — and confronted about both his age and the fact that he was undertaking such a colossal blueprint whilst already postponing his retirement four times:
Je travaille pour l’entreprise depuis quarante-quatre ans, je suis PDG depuis treize ans. J’avais hâte d’arriver à ce moment de la vie où on peut explorer d’autres aventures, mais cette opportunité est survenue. Non seulement je pense que c’est une opportunité formidable pour l’entreprise, mais aussi que cela me donnera beaucoup d’énergie et d’enthousiasme.
I have worked for the company for forty-four years, I have been CEO for thirteen years. I was looking forward to getting to that time in life where you can explore other adventures, but this opportunity arose. Not only do I think this is a great opportunity for the company, but it will also give me a lot of energy and enthusiasm.
The official Disney Parks Blog shared a video update on progress from Walt Disney Imagineering, featuring the artisans tasked with this herculean effort:
As you can see, over at the “Frozen”-themed land, inspired by the hit Walt Disney Animation Studios films, the kingdom of Anna and Elsa is taking shape and reaching for the sky more and more every day. Nearby the Arendelle Castle, the teams have welcomed their very first trees, giving new life to the construction site. To recreate the atmosphere of a Norwegian Fjörd, the area development and construction teams chose to use majestic conifers such as sequoia trees, which reach more than 22 feet in height.
Have you visited Disneyland Paris before? Will you be returning to assess and enjoy these major projects? Let us know in the comments.