Happy Birthday to Walt Disney Studios Park

March 16, 2023, 1:06 PM · Happy 21st birthday today to Walt Disney Studios Park at the Disneyland Paris Resort.

Walt Disney Studios opened March 16, 2002, as Disneyland Paris expanded to add a second gate. It long has been Disney's least-attended theme park worldwide, but that's still enough to make the park the fourth most popular in Europe (Disneyland Paris is number one) and rank it among the top 25 theme parks for attendance worldwide.

And Disney's hard at work trying to increase the park's appeal. Avengers Campus opened at Walt Disney Studios last year, and a new World of Frozen land is under construction. Disney CEO Bob Iger visited the park today to see the construction progress in person.

Bob Iger at Walt Disney Studios Paris
Photo via Disneyland Paris President Natacha Rafalski

Find out more about the park on our Walt Disney Studios Park listing page.

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Replies (11)

March 16, 2023 at 4:34 PM

The third expansion land was supposed to be Galaxy's Edge. But this has disappeared from the plans and so far no news on a replacement.
The second new land, Frozen is going to be a downsized version of the one being build in Hong Kong with only ONE ride.

I don't get the feeling "Disney's hard at work trying to increase the park's appeal." They're overpromising and underdelivering over and over again with this park.

March 16, 2023 at 4:32 PM

No matter what they add, this will always be the worst Disney Park. Heck, the novel version of the Imagineering Story even states that to this day WDSP is the lowest priority of all Disney parks.

March 16, 2023 at 4:42 PM

It will become even less of a priority once parks 3 and 4 are built... As required by the contract with the French gov (or so I was told).

March 16, 2023 at 5:08 PM

@Matt R: that is incorrect. Disney and the French government agreed upon expanding the second gate (Walt Disney Studios) so Disney doesn't have to build the third park now but has time till 2032!

March 16, 2023 at 5:26 PM

And on a side note: the Castle Park next door hasn't received a new attraction since 2006 (Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast which didn't really add a new attraction but was a replacement for the unique Time Keeper attraction Le Visionarium.)!

That's SEVENTEEN years.

Given the time between first announcements by Disney and actual opening of new rides, we can not expect anything substantial to be opened in Disneyland Paris' Castle Park in the next 5 to 7 years.

I find this so sad.

March 16, 2023 at 9:25 PM

Disneyland Paris was doomed to be the worst Disney resort ever since the Euro Disney fiasco. As bad as Hong Kong Disneyland started, they were able to bounced back in quality offerings within a decade. Disneyland Paris on the other hand has struggled with this to the point the castle park got worse over time.

March 17, 2023 at 2:35 AM

@AgustinMacias: maybe in fairy tales something is doomed ;-) With DLP Resort it's just bad management decisions.

The castle park is gorgeous and the hotels are fine by Disney standards.

The main problem is more than 15 years of financial neglect. And above that, like I mentioned above, overpromising and underdelivering.

I don't understand, why the US headquarters still don't realize flying has become far more cheaper than it was in the 1980ies when the park was planned.

Otherwise they would have stayed with the idea of building Eurodisneyland in the way better climate of the Barcelona area in Spain. Back then there were no cheap carriers. Now one can fly there for under 100€ per ticket.

Same goes for flying to Florida or even California. The Disney experience in the US we can have as Europeans is worth the extra cost of air fare since our castle park is still stuck in the late 1990ies. And I won't try and define in what time frame the Studio's Park is stuck.

March 17, 2023 at 4:13 AM

Every time I just feel the slightest urge to return to DLP after 14 years, I realize:

1. The weather: Paris weather sucks 3/4 of the year which leave the overcrowded summer months for nice weather.

2. Scale: Florida offers four Disney themeparks and two water parks AND like California has several other major parks such as Universal around the corner.

3. Attractions: newer attractions with newer technology are not to be found in Paris. No new and unique to Paris attractions either.

4. Shows, parades and fireworks are all better, bigger, more lavish and more diverse in the States.

5. Castmembers and language: in multilingual Europe it's sometimes annoying to hear everything in French.

Even Disney's promo videos are often not even subtitled. I was blown away by the friendliness of the castmembers in California. Incomparable to Paris and in a lesser extent to WDW.

6. Long time effects. Due to the ongoing feeling of neglect of Disney management towards the DLP Resort I think a lot of fans are so disappointed that we have become very cynical towards any new announcement for the resort. And so far rightly so.

I know the parks are still attracting major crowds here so I don't understand why Disney isn't going all out to increase capacity and finally make a commitment to making this resort the absolute crown juwel like it was intended to be.

March 17, 2023 at 3:30 AM

I've been once in DLP and still regret it as I could have an extra day in Paris instead.

March 17, 2023 at 10:44 AM

The Imagineering Story (both book and show) openly call this the weakest Disney park so when even Imagineers say that on official stuff, that says it all.

March 17, 2023 at 1:57 PM

@Dutchduck Your comment proves my point - Disney has to meet multiple expansion deadlines for DLPR as a whole - which means that, eventually, resources that should continue to go to shoring up DLP and WDS will go to designing and building these parks (and possibly water parks). Doesn't matter when that happens. just that it will happen eventually, and before it really should.

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