Disneyland Paris 2018: The year that changed everything

Walt Disney Studios Park - Redevelopment concept art

2018

The year everything changed

2018 has been a mammoth year for Disneyland Paris. We’ve had a €2 billion expansion of the Walt Disney Studios Park announced, the inaugural Marvel Summer of Super Heroes season and the unexpected success of the Festival of Pirates and Princesses. Let’s take a look back at the year in the 2018 DLP Town Square year in review. 

January 2018

The Force returned in the second edition of Star Wars: Season of the Force. This year saw the addition of new characters including Rey, it also saw the addition of an all-new celebration of the vehicles of Star Wars in a large exhibition that took place throughout the Walt Disney Studios Park. 

February 2018

Snow filled the resort for much of February 2018, but as the resort transformed into a Winter Wonderland, a bigger transformation was being announced. The €2 billion Walt Disney Studios expansion project was announced by Bob Iger and, French President, Emmanuel Macron at the Elysée Palace. The expansion will see Paris’ second gate double in size with attractions based on Star Wars, Frozen and Marvel. 

March 2018

The first ever Annual Pass party took place in the Walt Disney Studios Park; the event, exclusive to the Infinity Annual Pass, was entered around the 10th anniversary of The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror. 

Disneyland Paris also celebrated International Women’s Day with special events scattered throughout the park. 

Festival of Pirates and Princesses
The Festival of Pirates and Princesses exploded with colour during the Spring of 2018. With its iconic dance routines, the festival very quickly became a fan favourite - so much so that guests are once again invited to choose their sides from January to March 2019.

April 2018

The Festival of Pirates and Princesses was taking the Disneyland Paris world by storm. But also enjoyed during this month was an all-new pre-show to Disney Illuminations inspired by the Disney Nature film: Blue, this pre-show was performed before Illuminations each night throughout the month. 

May 2018

The new InsidEars platform was launched to Disneyland Paris influencers during a special event entitled ‘InsidEars Ready! 2018’. Throughout the night a number of announcements were made including the arrival of Mickey’s Philharmagic and the vital refurbishment of Ratatouille: l’aventure totalement toquée de Rémy (later cancelled). 

Disney FanDaze
The party of the year was the Disney FanDaze Inaugural Party. Everything was curated especially for the fans including Imagineering panels, shows with long-lost friends, and exclusive meet and greet with extremely rare characters.

June 2018

June was perhaps the most exciting month of 2018 for in-park events. Disneyland Paris launched the Marvel Summer of Super Heroes to the press, and to guests. 

The Disney FanDaze inaugural party also took place in June and was live-streamed across the world. 

Marvel Summer of Super Heroes
Swinging into Disneyland Paris in the Summer of 2018 was the Marvel Summer of Super Heroes. This 3 month event allowed guests to salute Captain America, dance with Star Lord and eat some extra special snacks.

July 2018

Another busy summer month for Disneyland Paris as the resort hosts Electroland, the Ant-Man and the Wasp premiere, the second Annual Pass party entered around the Marvel Universe (or, that was the intention…). 

The ever-popular food festival, the Rendez-Vous Gourmand made its return to the resort in a new expanded form with foods and drinks from across Europe. 

August 2018

The long Summer season continued, August saw for the second annual Disney PhotoPass day. PhotoPass Day is a day that now features more PhotoPass photographers across the park, many of whom are accompanied by special rare characters. 

September 2018

The 25th anniversary came to an end with a spectacular Annual Pass party held in the Walt Disney Studios Park. The resort also hosted special guided tours that highlighted the resort’s heritage in the Journées de Patrimoine. 

Later in the month the Disneyland Paris Magic Run Weekend returned with 3 special races themed around the Disney Villains. To round out the month, the very first Disney Loves Jazz party took place in the Walt Disney Studios Park, the night featured a spectacular concert with big name Jazz stars. 

Halloween
Halloween 2018 took things up a notch with it's Country-Rock anthem 'Great Big Year'. The focus on the season was a super-sized stage show that celebrated Mickey's 90th birthday, the season and Phantom Manor.

October 2018

October 1st 2018 was a big day in Disneyland Paris: Halloween started, but so did the Mickey 90 festivities and Mickey’s Philharmagic. 

Philharmagic replaced the former Star Wars: Path of the Jedi (and previously, Captain EO) in the Discoveryland Theatre and has been a moderate hit with guests. 

The giant cupcakes came to life with the Cupcake Sisters, one for each land for Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday.

The World's Biggest Mouse Party
Mickey and Minnie turned 90 during November 2018, and that needs a party! Disneyland Paris's Mouse Party did misfire in a few places, but the 'Surprise Mickey' stage show was one of the most delightful pieces of entertainment we've seen in years.

November 2018

The Mickey 90 festivities ramped up in November with exclusive merchandise making an appearance. The day itself (November 18th) was marked by a number of special items on the shelves, but no festivities in the park (or button badge). 

Christmas 2018 was launched to much fanfare, this year the season is boosted with more magic in shows like Mickey’s Christmas Big Band and Goofy’s Incredible Christmas. 

Christmas
Christmas is always a special time of year in the resort - no other park manages to do it quite as well as Disneyland Paris - and this year was no exception! With special touches for Mickey's 90th all around, this was the biggest, and merriest, Christmas celebration ever!

December 2018

The new Disneyland Paris TV spot was launched on Christmas Day on TV sets across Europe – and the world’s hearts melted as we fell in love with a duckling meeting his hero in Disneyland Paris. 

The Mickey 90 Annual Pass event also took place with special shows and character meet and greet opportunities. 

2018 was a for Disneyland Paris

2018 was the year of the hard ticket event at Disneyland Paris. But that’s not to say that those who didn’t book tickets to these festivities were not entertained, there was a boosted entertainment presence across the resort – something we’ve been needing for years. The 25th Anniversary has now been and gone, in its place are new original shows and experiences and the park is very much all the better for them. 

For attraction fans, our prayers have indeed been answered with a large investment which will fix the Walt Disney Studios Park, whilst we may need to have a lot of patience yet, it is coming and it is promising to be spectacular!

Ready for

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Don’t give up on Disney FanDaze just yet… it does sound good

Like many fans, I was awaiting the price of the Disney FanDaze inaugural party tickets and packages. I knew it was not going to be cheap, that much was clear as far as the outset. But the lineup of events seemed excellent and perfectly tailored to a Disney fan such as myself (and undoubtedly you, reading this).

Then came the prices, and the prices were high, and maybe higher than I expected. I was disappointed. I still am, the packages are full of things I would absolutely love to do, a guided tour with an Imagineer, a special brunch, a special farewell parade. How amazing does it sound? But these do come at a cost and obviously that is regrettable. It started to look like FanDaze would not be an event for me. In fact, and to be honest with you, I still don’t know if I will be able to go.

Let’s take stock at where we are at on FanDaze, how we can all still enjoy the party and why you are no less of a fan if you opt to miss it.

But the Disney FanDaze inaugural party does sound good

The Disney FanDaze inaugural party will take place on Saturday 2nd June 2018, and will feature over 50 characters, new shows and parades and some rather intriguing conferences. It’s lining up to be a Disney fan”s dream evening. And we do already know that there will be an allocation of tickets to the party-only. These will be much more to the satisfaction to Disneyland Paris fans who largely expressed outrage at the lack of annual pass friendly packages.

The Disney FanDaze Characters

For those attending the party, it is likely to be one of those special evenings that will live in the memory for a very long time, anyone attending is likely to have a fantastic time. Ticket prices are not yet known, but we do know that they shall be on sale at some point in the spring.

Packages are not perhaps designed for annual pass holders and regular Paris visitors

Once I took a step back things began to become clearer. This is not so much ‘Disneyland Paris FanDaze’ but ‘Disney FanDaze’, the target for this event is Disney fans in general. These packages were designed to attract fans from across the globe (many of whom may never have even visited Disneyland Paris).

That’s not to say that they don’t attract Paris fans attention, there are some very attractive packages on offer to us as well. And then we return to the ‘value for money’ question that I am wanting to avoid here.

There is still six months to go

As we are always told, anything can happen, we still have six months to go until the Disney FanDaze inaugural party and who knows if there will be some form of package available without the hotel, or whether some of the extras (such as brunch) would be available as a add-on to a ticket-only offer. For the moment we are simply guessing that all these are the final set of packages.

Disney FanDaze Welcome

Let’s try to sit on the side of optimism here, there can always be additions as we move towards the event.

Don’t feel like you have to go

As Disney fans, we can have the feeling that we have to go to these types of event. Obviously we do not. We all have our own budgets, we perhaps go to Disneyland Paris either once or month or once a decade, it doesn’t matter. The passion you should for Disney and Disneyland Paris has brought you to these words right here, and there are going to be millions of fans who just cannot go. You are no less of a fan if this event is not for you, or you can not afford the ‘ultimate FANtasia’ package.

Keep doing Disney in your way, keep the passion alive!

Despite ticketing prices, the event will be enjoyable for those who go

By writing this I can’t deny that I have problems with pricing, I think there are elements that make no sense and seem like they are extortion. On a personal level, I’d love to be there and have one of these amazing packages, however it’s looking extremely unlikely but I also will never say never.

One thing that is certain is that for those who do go, you are going to have the most amazing time. The event itself and the packages offer some opportunities that were previously seen as ‘money can’t buy experiences’, what FanDaze has done is to provide a way to access these experiences. It may not be accessible to all, but it is something that we can all work towards.


Disney FanDaze Inaugural Party packages go on sale both online and by phone on January 15th. For full details visit the official FanDaze website.

Party only tickets for the Inaugural Party are due to be released later in the Spring.

Is 2018 the most exciting Disneyland Paris year yet?

Happy New Year! And with each New Year period, it’s time to both reflect on the year that has passed but perhaps more fun is to be excited for what lies ahead. For Disneyland Paris, 2018 is set to be perhaps one of the most exciting yet with seasons based on our favourite heroes; galactic warriors and wonderful princesses and dazzling pirates, and that’s not forgetting that it will still be time to sparkle! 2018 is set to be the most exciting year yet for Disneyland Paris!

Saving the galaxy – Season of the Force 2018!

Season of the Force is back on January 13th 2018 for another year of intergalactic fun! Last year’s season was a pleasant surprise and the success of last year will be built upon for 2018. The highlights are back including Star Wars: A Galactic Celebration, the charming and thrilling night time spectacular in the Walt Disney Studios park. This show will be updated to include scenes from the new edition of the Star Wars saga and builds on the huge success of last year. Additionally, there will be a celebration of famous vehicles from the saga with an exhibition from the 501st legion.

Star Wars: A Galactic Celebration
The 2017 edition of Season of the Force made a usually quiet period more active and desirable to visit. Whilst the criticisms of 2017 included that the celebration was small, this year sees some growth and the addition of Star Wars themed attractions in Disneyland Park (which were closed for the duration of the season last year). This truly is becoming one not to miss.

Swashbuckle and Sparkle Princesses – Festival of Pirates and Princesses

The new addition to the 2018 roster at Disneyland Paris involves the Festival of Pirates and Princesses; whilst we still don’t have a lot of information on the season, we do know that there will be a big show on Central Plaza that will involve both Pirates and Princesses. There will also be some themed meet and greets for the season.

Pirates and Princesses logo

This season will take place from late March until May 2018 and will provide a nice filler between Season of the Force and the Superhero spectacular of the summer.

Be dazzled by Disney FanDaze

The item on some Disney fan’s agenda will be Disney FanDaze, we’re still finding out more information about this exciting evening of entertainment but it is already shaping up to be one of the most memorable in the history of Disneyland Paris. This is an evening that is all about fan service of the highest degree, be it classic Disney characters or an evening of attractions and imagineering presentations, this evening will be one to satisfy all Disneyland Paris fans.

The Disney FanDaze Characters

This special evening will take place during the first weekend of June 2018 in the Walt Disney Studios park.

Save the world! – Marvel Summer of Superheroes

Perhaps the most exciting new event of 2018 will be the Marvel Summer of Superheroes, this special summer of unique entertainment will take place in the Walt Disney Studios park and will see a unique show take centre stage in the Studio Theatre (formerly home to Cinémagique), a dance party and much more.

Marvel Summer of Heroes at Disneyland Paris poster

Marvel fans will want to keep an eye on all Disneyland Paris news in 2018 as the Disney’s Hotel New York closes to begin making way to the new Marvel-themed hotel. This special summer will take place from June until September 2018.

Fan favourites return – Halloween and Christmas

One of the stapes of the Disneyland Paris year are the Halloween and Christmas celebrations. In 2017 we saw changes in both celebrations, and it remains to be seen how this will develop in 2018. Halloween should grow back onto Main Street USA once again as this year it was moved entirely into Frontierland (in order for Main Street to celebrate the 25th anniversary). Christmas 2017 saw a large scale growth, 2018 should see some changes to the offering and hopefully further growth into the Walt Disney Studios Park.

Christmas Main Street USA at Disneyland Paris

A sparkling finale – 25th anniversary

The 25th anniversary has enchanted guests since March 2017, however on September 9th 2018 it must end. Until then we can still enjoy all the special entertainment that has been created for this unique celebration from Disney Illuminations, to Disney Stars on Parade via the two new castle stage shows.

It has been an amazing celebration, and one we can only hope that will be matched by whatever comes next following its conclusion.

A key refurbishment – Phantom Manor

Perhaps the most intriguing thing to come from Disneyland Paris this year will not be the seasonal celebrations (as enjoyable as they are), it will be this key refurbishment. Phantom Manor is a staple of Disneyland Paris, that attraction that you can’t miss on any visit (although, there are quite a few of those), and in January 2018 it will close for a period of time for a complete refurbishment. We have no precise re-opening time frame as of yet, all we do know is that the similar refurbishments recently have been of an exceptional quality.

Time will tell what is being reimagined at this highlight attraction, but it’ll be intriguing to know more.

2018 will be unmissable – will you be there?

2018 is going to be another stellar year for Disneyland Paris in which there will truly be something for every type of guest. What are you most looking forward to? Do drop a comment and let me know.

Otherwise, may I take a moment to wish you a very happy new year and all the best for 2018. I hope you have the best year yet!