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Oh là là! First Ratatouille ride concept art, detailed new layout plans revealed!

Monday, 16th May 2011 at 11:40

Ratatouille dark ride

What do you do when you’re desperately waiting for details of a greatly-anticipated dark ride that Disneyland Paris are unwilling to divulge yet? Pay a visit to the local town planning office in Chessy! That’s exactly what our friends at Disney Central Plaza forum did, returning with a fantastic reward: The very first concept art for the mythical Ratatouille dark ride of Walt Disney Studios Park. Mythical no more. And the word “art” for this concept couldn’t be more apt. It’s a real artwork — colourful, stylised, evocative and very, very classy. Perhaps the first “art” we’ve seen of this quality for Disneyland Paris in almost a decade. It depicts three main Parisian façades in slightly different styles grouped around a traditional cobblestone courtyard. A huge fountain splashes to one side, the signage of Gusteau’s restaurant is high up on the rooftops, the streetlamps glow yellow, the leaves on the trees are a beautiful autumnal ochre. After almost three years of anticipation for this attraction, here it is.

But even better, this is backed up by some cold, harsh technical drawings. Because you know that old adage — “It’ll never look as good as the concept art…” — well, this might.

Ratatouille dark ride

The first plan above shows the layout of the new attraction building, which is rather different to what we saw back in 2009 (and have been poring over ever since). Now, the new building is not joined directly onto the existing costuming building (officially known as the Imaginations building, and marked as “Batiment Imaginations” on the plan), but sited right next door with a few metres gap between the two. The new building will host the dark ride, obviously, but also a new restaurant connected to the attraction. Will the grey Imaginations building still be sitting there with only a “Studio 4” placard for theming, then? Certainly not — this corner at least will be dressed up in matching Parisian facades to create a complete courtyard around the centrepiece fountain. Real façades, too — the same quality as the buildings of Hollywood Boulevard, not flat backdrops. The existing costuming workshop here, which we used to get a view of from Studio Tram Tour, will relocate and the space will be used for the ride’s all-important shop and something even more pressing for this area of the park: toilets.

Put into three dimensions, the layout of the new building becomes even clearer.

Ratatouille dark ride

We’ll be entering the ride on the right, under the large archway of the third main façade, where a Ratatouille logo can be seen in the artwork. An extended (fully covered!) outdoor queue stretches along the side of the building before heading inside. The centre section seems to be the restaurant, with a covered terrace projecting into the courtyard, whilst the façade on the far left appears to be Gusteau’s restaurant, which may or may not be the entrance to the real restaurant located here. Because here’s one final morsel: we won’t necessarily be dining at Gusteau’s as humans!

Planning permission for the above plans was granted by Chessy town hall on 20th April, although the project still crucially requires the agreement of lending banks to finance construction. In their financial position, Disneyland Paris require these “cash injections” for all major expansion projects, such as the €240 million investment programme from 2005 to 2008 (for Buzz, Crush, Cars, Tower). The cost of this single dark ride, with all its flashy technology? Somewhere around a cool €150 million. If the lenders agree that this would significantly improve the offering of Walt Disney Studios Park, pulling in more guests and money (it would), then we could still be looking at an opening sometime in 2013.

New to this project? Read back all our past news stories about this dark ride which — according to rumour — promises to mix the “trackless” technology of Tokyo Disneyland’s Pooh’s Hunny Hunt with the 3D projections of Universal’s The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man!

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  • Well, finally this is what I call GOOD NEWS :D
    Everybody’s been waiting for this, I’m so glad !!!
    I just hope it’ll be ready for at least the second year of the 20th anniversary… (by the way, won’t this second year be the 10th anniversary of the Studios ?)
    Thanks again for the news, you made my day ! ;)

  • This is more proof that DLP is starting to recover, this is grest news, look forward to it, well done!

  • It is great news and I hope it opens in time for the 20th Anniversary.
    SP – no, the studio’s is 10 when the main park is 20. 2012 is the big year! Second year of the anniversary will effectively be the 21st and 11th.

  • The park desperately needs a family dark ride and Ratatouille will be perfect for that. The concept art looks great. That’s what WDS needs and not a bunch of carnival rides.

  • Very good News I hope this is a indication of the quality we will see in new infrastructure in the Parks over the next 10 years.

  • It’s going to be as big as the whole TSP area?
    Wow, i’m looking forward to this! :D

  • This will actually be the first dark-ridee DLP built since its opening (if you don’t count Buzz as one). It has everything the park needs, hope that they have taken its capacity into account as well, as this ride really needs to end those horrible waiting times TSPL and Crush currently have. Hope they will start soon enough to be part of the 20th anniversary. Will it be published by a bank as soon as they permitted the money?

  • Oh my gosh. I say it again, why Ratatouille?! To me, it was one of the worst Disney Pixar films to date. What about The Little Mermaid dark ride? I think that that would be alot more of a better idea…

  • WOW! What fabulous news! Thanks for reporting it, and to Disney Central Plaza people for getting the information. This is going to be Mega.
    I also hope that queue times will be considered, and hope it can have Fastpass, unlike Crush.
    Something to look forward to for sure.
    Nor sure why some people want Little Mermaid though – my boys were never interested in this – more for girls maybe.
    Any idea what the age or height requirement for Ratatouille ride might be?

  • Figgygirl let them build it first before you worry about height requirements.

  • For me Ratatouille is a very good choice. In my opinion it was one of the best Pixar movies, because I like the message behind it.

    The movie was very popular in Europe, especially in France, and so I think the French, who are the majority in the parks, will like it.

    Since it’s considered a family dark ride, I don’t think there will be height requirements like at SM, RNRC ot TOT.

  • I like the film. Great story! The ride is a good addition but I also agree about Little Mermaid. I believe I said previously (on another story) that the main park should also feature a new attraction as the 20th is mainly focused on the Disneyland Park – WDS will only be 10

  • Studio 1 – I’m not worried about minimum height or age for myself or my family, as we are now all adult, but we do need another new ride that most of the family can go on and enjoy together.
    TS Parachute Drop is too scary for some young kids, even if they are above the 81cm requirement, and it also closes in bad or windy weather.
    Many are too small for RC Racer,but find Slinky Dog rather slow and boring, and these rides also have problems in wet weather as outdoor.
    I just hope that Ratatouille is indeed a family ride, as I think it is needed in the Studios, even though personally I would like another thrill ride!

  • Cannot wait for this!!! :D

  • I’m really looking forward to it… Although, I really wanted the Little Mermaid ride to appear too really soon! If you ask me it’s been a very long time that there has opened a new attraction in the Disneyland Park? Though Buzz Lightyear was the last one… It’s a good promotion of the Studios Park and I really want to visit it, but I hope the creators don’t forget about the Disneyland Park!

  • Adrienne  7 days ago

    HOORAY!! This calls for a trip to Paris! And, Ratatouille was actually ranked #3 as one of Pixar’s best and underrated movies. Love that little rat!! He’s finally getting some attention!

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