We have known for a while that Moana is coming to Disneyland Paris as that news was broken officially back in June – the extra details that have been circulating the internet are that she will debut on November 20th in Walt Disney Studios and will be meeting guests. This means that she’ll be in Disneyland Paris a full 10 fays before the film is released in the cinemas in France, which is 2 days before it is released in the UK. So we have now gone from not getting new characters at all, like with Zootopia/Zootropolis, to getting them before the films are even released, a precedent that was set with Frozen 2 years ago but never continued thereafter.
I had specualted back in June that she would appear in Walt Disney Studios, but the question is will she be meeting people in what @DisneylandBerry is reporting to be a new photo location spot at the exit of Art of Disney Animation? It would make sense, a building that celebrates Disney animation housing characters from Disney’s animated films is the perfect solution. I know a few people will miss that area and the interactive things on offer, but really, did you ever see it even remotely busy? No, because as much as the props and displays were a nice look back at the history of Disney animation, it unfortunately was something ignored by most guests.
With this room as a permanent photo location for characters, would one assume and hope that it could be re-themed accordingly when new characters from the latest releases come to Disneyland Paris, and more specifically Walt Disney Studios. Anything that adds a bit of life and atmosphere to what many see as the vastly inferior second park of the resort should be welcomed with open arms, and I for one hope this is just the start of some big plans Disneyland Paris have for the Studios.
Moana in November, Star Wars Season of the Force coming in January – what next? We have Cars 3 coming next Summer and Coco later after that. Depending on what the area looks like the Cars characters may not fit, though they should make every effort as having those as a photo opportunity characters is long overdue given their huge popularity, and Coco – who knows, we’ll have to wait and see.
While some may turn their noses up at a new character location, in the absence of money to give us new attractions or a complete Studios overhaul, this is a quick modestly priced fix that will create some excitement amongst today’s Disneyland Paris guests. You only have to see the buzz created by the Cheshire Cat Halloween meet and greet appearance to see how important characters are these days, so this is very much a step in the right direction for Disneyland Paris, and for once, a very timely one too.