Welcome to a new weekly report! The news of the week is of course the reopening of the Disneyland Hotel and we will cover this in depth, but we also look at the latest in the parks and around the Resort!
After almost four years of closure the Disneyland Hotel had finally reopened! Official channels have been very clever at billing this as the “grand opening of the first 5 stars hotel of the Resort”.. while that’s not technically false we’re really talking about the refurbishment and theming tweaks of the existing hotel. The debate has been ongoing for a while now – Victorian style vs. Royal / Disney Princesses, we know the winners here: Disney Princesses and the marketing / sales / consumer insight teams who are here to make sure this place sells – and sell it will! So, fair move. Let’s take a look!
Right away we’re welcomed by Mickey and his new Royal Outfit.
It’s hard to really quantify how much has truly be “rethemed” here and how much is part of the overall much needed refurbishment and update to standards of a 5 star hotel. Color schemes are more gold and brown with grey accents, the furniture is more streamlined and modern, and sure the royal touches are here, obvious or hidden, but it’s not overwhelming. Once again Disney is trying to Switzerland its way between Guests who are looking for full on “I wanna live in a castle” and ones who are more fans of discreet luxury. The level of achievement depends on the area.
Above the lobby, the multi level library features these cosy nooks with 15 dioramas that pay tribute to the multipane camera. Possibly one of the most successful redesigned areas of the hotel.
The upstairs rotunda is now blue – it’s actually pretty nice, while the lovely sofa has been replaced by a giant LED Christmas ornament. Choices were made. Oh and hello Disneyland Paris Ambassadors!
Some elements have remained the same like the fireplace and Natacha who is still, for now, the Resort’s President.
As you enter the hallways you’ll find floral carpets reminiscent of the old theme, awkwardly paired with gold wallpaper. The grey furniture, while very different from the old theme, does seem work with the wallpaper however.
At the Disneyland Hotel you’ll also casually run into Disney Princesses everywhere. The under capacity status of the hotel (only about 70% of rooms were ready) plus the strict “you shall not pass” policy for non residents meant that these interactions were all lovely and not crowded. Let’s see how this evolves in the months and years to come.
Even the elevators for a makeover.
Overall the refurbishment aspect of the project has been very well done. The hotel does live up to his 5 star status. Sure there are a few paint and wallpaper mishaps but for a hotel that opened unfinished and ahead of most estimates, that’ll do for an opening day.
Dine under the mirrors ceiling or in the tiara sofa at the Royal Banquet!
Disney has previously shown a lot of the art in the restaurant but here are some less publicized pieces. The Royal Horses pieces do it for me, what a fun idea!
The food is a slightly elevated Plaza Gardens. There is nothing really exceptional here, despite the addition of seafood and some cute touches like Tiana’s beignets, nothing is really “wow”. In pure Disneyland Paris food tradition, it’s okay but it’s forgettable. The €100 you’re paying for here are the location and the characters.
And talking about – Mickey, Minnie and Friends visit the restaurant on a rolling basis. They’re all fantastic. So – Royal Banquer it’s a Royal Brunch (remember brunches?) but everyday for lunch and diner.
Across the hall at La Table de Lumière, you enter the Beauty and the Beast gold music box. The space is lovely and it all really works. This is where the royal theme possibly shines the most – it’s over the top and will delight Guests who are all in on being part of the Royal storyline. Food wise, beware that it’s an upscale “Restaurant Gastronomique” concept: if next door at Banquet you’ll likely need to lay down after all the food, here at Lumière you may need a snack after.
Fleur de Lys Bar
If Lumière has gone all in, then Fleur de Lys has gone all out. The space replacing the lovely and iconic Cafe Fantasia is .. a grey box. It all makes sense now why we didn’t see any concept art of the space – fear of backlash. The bar is still very classy and upscale but it doesn’t fit in, it’s a clash with the other venues just across the floor. Team “I wanna stay in a castle” lost that one battle.
Side note – seems the same design team was in charge of the bland restrooms.
The Royal Collection is the new concept for the Disneyland Hotel shop and it’s gorgeous.
It features an entire line of exclusive merchandise themed to the new concept, all of which is really lovely. There are also several collabs. Note that previous scent is no longer available, it’s been replaced by two new scent, a day and a night one.
The shop also sells fantastic collectibles like a replica of the in-room Rapunzel mirror and a Disneyland Hotel clock tower clock! (Coming soon)
The hotel now features a reshuffled array of room categories. In the Deluxe and Castle Club room a “Magic Moment” brings artwork and lighting fixtures to life.
You just gotta press the button!
And here’s a tour of the Superior Room and bathroom. Everything has been brought up to modern standard with plugs, charging, TV’s hidden in mirrors and more. Of course overall the design is a lot more modern but it was a necessary upgrade to compete in that market, and keep charging those prices.
Guests staying at the Disneyland Hotel can book a Royal Encounter with a Disney Princess. For the occasion, the Princesses have received new more streamlined dresses which allow for easier interactions.
Younger Guests can also spend some time at the interactive kids experience.
My Royal Dream
At “My Royal Dream”, kids and adults alike get a chance to transform into a Prince or Princess. Sure the packages aren’t cheap but the experience is extensive and the setting beautiful.
Newly crowned royalty can then pose in this large photo location, staffed with a photographer. Our thanks again to Sam for kindly sharing photos of her opening day experience
Pool, Fitness and Spa
The pool also got a makeover and while it hasn’t changed in size and features it’s been completely refreshed.
The hotel has seriously upgraded the gym with the latest Technogym equipment. While this is not a full gym, most Guests will probably manage to have a decent workout here. There is also a new wellness room with on demand yoga classes.
The spa, ran by Clarins, is not big but is very plush.
And that’s the new “Royal” Disneyland Hotel! Congratulations to the Cast on the largely smooth opening day and all teams involved in the project !
Construction and Refurbishments
Our latest update on the Walt Disney Studios Park expansion project:
- Good progress at the lakeside restaurant with the first window frames
- Arendelle facades, clock tower and rockwork ticking along
- Rapunzel attraction taking shape
- Lake in final stages before filling up soon
Staying at Walt Disney Studios Park, the character statues have been removed in Toon Studio. They’ll reappear post remodel around a planter.
And work has started in Flying Carpets Above Agrabah. The Attraction is being completely taken apart for maintenance and rebuilt, as is – sorry.
At Disneyland Park, some of the refurbished Castle Courtyard roofs and facades have been unveiled. Looks great!
The “Garden of Wonder” statues have started to be removed on Central Plaza. A new decor for “Symphony of Colours” will arrive by Feb 10.
Some works are ongoing to fix the Main Street grates in order to reduce puddles.
This photo op chairs are back in Fantasyland.
At Pirates of the Caribbean, roof tiles have been added to the new Disney Premier Access entrance.
In Frontierland, progress is finally being made on the new donut shop. Well it MIGHT be donuts, this has become a running joke so don’t @ me.
Under the Disneyland Hotel, the Disneyland Pass Guests have been moved to the ticketing windows. They’re open 8am to 5pm. The Walt Disney Studios Park windows are now closed.
Talking about Disneyland Pass, the “deduct your admission ticket from a Disneyland Pass” offer is officially available and advertised.
And at Disney Village, Cool Stop is .. completely gone. This is likely to allow the remodel of the entire entrance or exit on this side.