A lot is happening at Disneyland Paris. If you’re planning a trip to Disney’s two theme parks in France, this update covers what’s new, coming soon, and next for late 2019, 2020, and 2021 in terms of new rides, shows, special events, and even hotels!
Of course, the next big thing is the multi-year $2.5 Billion Disneyland Paris Expansion: Adding Star Wars, Frozen & Marvel Lands (a couple of updates on that are below, but you’ll mostly want to consult that post to see everything slated to happen). That expansion will mostly take place in Walt Disney Studios Park, reimagining that park and debuting in phases between 2020 and 2024, just in time for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France.
Before we get started, it’s worth noting that this post only covers new and changing things at Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Park. If you want something comprehensive, consult our 2019-2020 Disneyland Paris Vacation Planning Guide. That’s over 6,000 words offering a crash course in the basics of trip prep, including everything from getting around Paris to food to touring strategy and so much more!
The point of this post isn’t really to answer the question of whether you should visit Disneyland Paris now or wait. Many of you reading this are Europeans who view DLP as your “home” resort or are already planning a trip to France and are debating whether to include Disneyland Paris. In all of those cases, go now.
If you’re a long-time Disney fan based outside of Europe who has Disneyland Paris on your bucket list and a very flexible timeframe for visiting, we’d recommend waiting if this will be a once in a lifetime trip. Walt Disney Studios Park will be lightyears better in 2023-2024 than it is today. Even then, that advice is questionable, as a lot of what’s featured in the Walt Disney Studios Park overhaul will be clones of what exists (or will exist) at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
Either way, here’s what’s new, next in 2020-2021, and on the more distant horizon at Disneyland Paris…
The 25th Anniversary of Disneyland Paris has ended, but its legacy lives on. The big thing underlying this celebration was Project Sparkle, which was a resort-wide enhancement project meant to bring the parks back to Disney standards.
Also occurring during the special event (albeit unrelated to it), was the Walt Disney Company’s purchase of all outstanding shares in Disneyland Paris, making the company full owners and operators. The latter is one of the big impetuses behind the aforementioned $2.5 billion investment.
Project Sparkle brought about extended refurbishments and enhancements to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Star Tours, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, ‘it’s a small world’, and more. We’ve experienced all of these, and they all look fantastic and fresh.
In terms of specifics, the 25th Anniversary brought new entertainment that continues at Disneyland Paris. The two most notable additions were Disney Stars on Parade and the Disney Illuminations nighttime spectacular. Both still run daily, and are big hits with guests.
Most recently, Phantom Manor reopened from a multi-year overhaul earlier this year. We have not yet experienced this, and are avoiding spoilers. However, judging by the fan rumblings we’ve (unintentionally) “absorbed” via social media, it sounds as if the reaction to the reimagined Phantom Manor has been mixed. We’re nonetheless excited to experience it in person.
Other new-ish developments include the reimagined Newport Bay Club Hotel, which we recently stayed at and reviewed. New and expanded seasonal events have also been big (and will be covered below), as these have acted as a stop-gap between the 25th Anniversary and opening of the new expansions.
Upcoming Seasonal Events
Frozen Celebration – Jan. 11 through May 3, 2020 – In early 2020, Disneyland Paris will introduce an enchanting new family journey with a brand-new event: Frozen Celebration. Debuting shortly after the new Frozen: A Musical Invitation (more below on that), this will be a flurry of Frozen fun!
The festivities will include a dazzling new show four times a day on the parade route starring Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven with incredible dancers and acrobats plus a new float. Characters from Arendelle will also take part in the Disney Stars on Parade with a Frozen-inspired float. During the evenings, the magical adventures of Anna and Elsa will come to life during Disney Illuminations.
Marvel Super Heroes Season – March 24 through June 7, 2020 – Following the success of the first two events, Marvel Super Heroes will return to Walt Disney Studios Park next spring. The Marvel Cinematic Universe will come to life with epic shows and experiences featuring Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Captain Marvel, and other Avengers.
In the coming year, the following special events will also return to Walt Disney Studios Park and Disneyland Paris:
- Disney’s Halloween Festival – September 28 to November 3, 2019
- Disney’s Enchanted Christmas – November 9, 2019 to January 6, 2020
- Legends of the Force: A Celebration of Star Wars – January 11 to March 15, 2020
- Disneyland Paris Leaders Cup LNB – February 15-17, 2020
- Disneyland Paris Princess Run – May 8-10, 2020
- The Lion King Jungle Festival – Summer 2020
- Pride – June 6, 2020
- Electroland – July 4, 2020
Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel will open in Summer 2020, with the reimagined hotel opening for guest bookings beginning on November 5, 2019 (so we should know an exact opening date then). Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel celebrates 80 years of Marvel storytelling in a typical New York setting, with a contemporary Art Deco style.
The hotel is inspired by a New York art gallery, paying tribute to the city that is home to many iconic Marvel characters and the artists who created them. When Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel reopens next summer, it will be the first hotel dedicated entirely to the celebration of Marvel art, with one of the largest publicly viewable collections of Marvel artwork in the world.
Disneyland Paris is collaborating with over 50 artists from Marvel Comics and Studios to create 300+ pieces of artwork, including comic book covers, posters, illustrations from films, storyboards, original sketches and more for Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel.
As you might know, Hotel New York has been completely closed during this reimagining, which will introduced entirely redesigned guest rooms with a contemporary vibe, featuring Marvel artwork in each room and a subtle nod to the legendary Iron Man in all Empire State Club rooms. Suites will be themed to specific characters, like Avengers and Spider-Man.
Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel will also be the first hotel where guests can have heroic encounters with iconic Marvel super heroes in a special location called Super Hero Station. In addition to morning meet & greets, guests can there will be unique Marvel photo locations such as the Collector’s Collection from the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor’s hammer, and more.
While this isn’t our preferred route for the resort’s reimagining, the underlying Art Deco style looks nice, and the artwork appears tastefully integrated into the design. Plus, the previous “Big Apple” incarnation of Hotel New York was woefully dated and tired, and it desperately needed something.
Although not yet confirmed by Disneyland Paris, it’s expected that Disneyland Hotel will begin a multi-year reimagining once Hotel New York is completed. However, the flagship hotel is not expected to completely close during its overhaul.
New Attractions & Lands at Walt Disney Studios Park
Frozen: A Musical Invitation – Debuting November 17, 2019, this brand-new interactive adventure will open its doors at the Animation Celebration in Walt Disney Studios Park called Frozen: A Musical Invitation. This new show will transport guests to the Kingdom of Arendelle.
Here, guests will interact with their favorite characters over multiple stages. In the first room, guests will sing and learn to dance with Anna, Kristoff, and Sven. In the second room, guests will step into the ice palace and will sing in unison the key song Let It Go with Elsa.
Studio D – Coming in Spring 2020 to Walt Disney Studios Park is Studio D. Here, children and their families will be welcomed at a brand-new interactive show in the company of Mickey, Minnie and their friends from Disney Junior.
Studio D is a small-scale production–like a dance party for small children, who will have the chance to sing and dance alongside their favorite Disney characters.
Frozen Land – The Frozen fun continues in the coming years with a new themed area dedicated to this beloved story, which is part of the multi-year expansion of the Walt Disney Studios Park. An opening date has not yet been announced for this Frozen Land, but we’re expecting it to debut in 2022 or 2023.
As part of the fully immersive land and seen in the new concept art above, guests will see the snow-capped mountain of Arendelle in the distance opposite a large lake, with a boat ride that will transport them to Arendelle. The area will also include character encounters, a new restaurant, and a shop.
Avengers Campus – As recently announced at the D23 Expo, Walt Disney Studios Park will be home to a new Marvel-themed area called Avengers Campus, which will differ slightly from the versions also being built in Hong Kong and California. Avengers Campus will debut at Walt Disney Studios Park in phases beginning in 2021.
During the first phase, it’s anticipated that the reimagined Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, featuring Iron Man and Avengers will debut. It’s also expected that the Worldwide Engineering Brigade or WEB interactive Spider-Man attraction will debut around then. Avengers Campus promises to immerse guests in action-packed adventures via attractions, heroic encounters, and new restaurants.
Overall, there’s a lot on the horizon for Walt Disney Studios Park and Disneyland Paris. In the near future, there’s a slew of seasonal events intended to tide guests over until the big things start debuting between 2021 and 2024. As noted above, (parts of) Avengers Campus will be first to debut, and that’s expected to be followed by the Frozen Land, and finally, a version of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. It’ll be interesting to watch Disney’s resort complex in France continue to grow and evolve, and we’re excited about its future!
For the basics of planning a visit to Disneyland Paris, check out our Disneyland Paris Trip Planning Guide. Want to see more photos or read about Disneyland Paris in agonizing detail? Check out our Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary Trip Report or our Disneyland Paris 25th Anniversary Trip Recap!
Excited for the upcoming additions and seasonal events at Disneyland Paris in 2020? What are your thoughts on this huge Disneyland Paris expansion? Are you looking forward to visiting Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Park once this is finished, or would you rather stick to other Disney Parks? Anything with which you disagree in this post? Any questions? Hearing your feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts or questions below in the comments!