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Central Plaza swaps unpopular stage for temporary tents as remodel hits sub-zero weather

Thursday, 2nd February 2012 at 22:40

If you’re reading this in Europe, no doubt you’ve felt a very seasonal but very sharp chill in the air this past week as winter has belatedly made its mark. Disney Parks, magical as they are, aren’t exempt from wild fluctuations of temperature either, which can lead to such surprising measures as this: covering the whole of Central Plaza in a series of temporary tents to make sure its remodel meets the deadline. With the over-dominating stage now consigned to history, the plaza has been left open and levelled for the first time since 2006. Disneyland Paris now faces the daunting prospect of ensuring it is completely rebuilt ready for the premiere of Disney Dreams! in less than two months.

The encampment grew from a single, open-sided tent on Tuesday to three tents on Wednesday (below right) and eventually five, fully-enclosed tents today (bottom). Surprisingly, the whole area had been completely flattened, with all existing concrete dug up and railings taken down.

But is this a simple case of repaving? Conspiracy theories abound: forums and Twitter have been buzzing with the belief that Disney must be hiding something inside these structures. Rumours from last year of a new fountain on Central Plaza, that could function normally during the day but burst into multi-coloured life as part of the new nighttime show, were immediately resurrected. However, plans for the programming of the “fountain package” featured in the 20th Anniversary preview video didn’t appear to show any such addition; the middle of the plaza was left entirely empty.

Temperatures in Marne-la-Vallée for the next week are forecast for highs of 0°C and crippling lows of -8°C tonight, so the tents themselves are surely just sensible precautions to ensure the work is completed on time. As for the remodel itself, one thing we’d particularly like to see would be the lampposts around the middle of the plaza replaced with lower, shoulder-height lamps just like those in the specially-built World of Color viewing area in California, for example. For 20 years, guests have had their views of castle shows and fireworks impeded by those poorly-placed bulbs.

With the inner circle of lampposts — and much of the plaza — now hidden inside these mysterious tents, how will the heart of the park look when they come down…?

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  • I can’t wait to go in december all booked to go. The things Disney are doing to make sure the park is up to standard for its birthday is unbelievable and I bet it’s worth the wait. Maybe they are now taking on board what customers have been saying and reflecting it in their designs …… Roll on the reveal

  • We’re just going to have to wait and see. I have to voice a concern over something, the viewing area for the new nighttime show. If they want the best viewing, then that entire area is going to have to be pretty much open plan to allow for a higher number of people to view without restrictive views.

  • I agree with you Rae!
    The last time I went to DLP, at first before the fireworks started, some security guards were telling people not to jump onto grass where there are spaces for them to watch the fireworks. After a while, I saw them gave up and stand there, desperately doing nothing to the people because crowds and crowds have already “camp” on the grass. I hope they’ll make some improvements from this.

  • David Oppenheim  3rd February 2012, 19:20

    Luckely I go in march… to the studios :)

  • disneylover21  4th February 2012, 19:07

    i’m going in march 8th-10th, will this still be up and looking like this when i go?

  • Me too, im going 19th-22nd March, will this still be up? Hope not x

  • Adam O'Malley  6th February 2012, 19:53

    I am going this week on 9th Febuary! Guess that thing will still be there! Oh well

  • Any idea on expected dates for all this to finish? Visiting March the 6th and I’ll be furious if this is my view of the castle!

  • disneylover21  7th February 2012, 15:55

    i will also be furious!!

  • Does anybody know when this is scheduled to come down?

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