June 17, 2024

Star Wars Land with Mandalorian Roller Coaster Rumored for Disneyland Paris

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New rumors point to a Star Wars miniland featuring a Mandalorian and Baby Yoda roller coaster behind Discoveryland as well as Fantasyland expansion in Disneyland Paris. This post breaks down the rumor, whether it makes

New rumors point to a Star Wars miniland featuring a Mandalorian and Baby Yoda roller coaster behind Discoveryland as well as Fantasyland expansion in Disneyland Paris. This post breaks down the rumor, whether it makes any sense, and offers our commentary about whether this would be a good or bad addition for DLP.

Let’s start with a general programming note, which is that the rumor mill will likely be working overtime between now and the 2024 D23 Expo. Disney just filed a new 60-page document that reiterates its $60 billion investment plan for the next 10 years, which includes capital to expand capacity at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line and the international parks.

Not only that, but Iger is clearly back in ‘Bob the Builder’ mode as he looks to turn things around as quickly as possible and grow the company–with an emphasis on Parks & Resorts–before his tenure as CEO comes to an end. With the Disney’s cash flow and financial position improving as streaming inches towards profitability, there’s a perfect storm (in a good way!) of conditions giving rise to rumors. So just brace yourself for that over the next ~6 months. Not all of these things will end up being announced at the 2024 D23 Expo, and some (probably a majority!) will never come to fruition at all.

This rumor comes from Passport Wonderland on Twitter, and indicates that Disneyland Paris is planning to build a Mandalorian roller coaster in their Star Wars land. This expansion is slated for space built behind Space Mountain in Discoveryland (Tomorrowland). It’s unknown what else this Star Wars land would contain, but it’s not expected to be Galaxy’s Edge. (Obviously, since there’s a Mandalorian roller coaster.)

Also part of this plan would be Fantasyland expansion between Discoveryland and the current Fantasyland. This would replace trees and backstage buildings, and not much else. The project would also entail a new backstage parade route, rebuilt backstage buildings (relocated behind the Fantasyland expansion and Star Wars land), and multi-story car park.

Following the popularity of the Disney+ series, the Mandalorian and friends/frenemies are already becoming a major part of the Disney Parks. Mando, Grogu, Ahsoka, Fennec Shand, and Boba Fett have all made appearances in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in the Disneyland or Walt Disney World. Additionally, Disney recently announced that stories and characters from the Mandalorian, Ahsoka, and Andor are coming to Star Tours: The Adventures Continue starting April 5 at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Paris.

Accordingly, this Star Wars land expansion would be a way to add even more Mando while weaving together the existing Star Wars attractions in Discoveryland and disregarding the timeline (and presumably the planet of Batuu) of Galaxy’s Edge. It’s a major pivot, but a sensible one given how much Star Wars (and what’s popular/isn’t) has changed since the development of Galaxy’s Edge began.

It also makes sense to double-down on the dynamic duo in the parks given that’s precisely what the studio side of the company is doing. Earlier this year, CEO Bob Iger announced that The Mandalorian & Grogu will go into production later this year. The movie is directed by Jon Favreau, and produced by Favreau, Kathleen Kennedy and Dave Filoni.

The Mandalorian & Grogu will lead Lucasfilm’s ongoing feature-development slate, including films helmed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, James Mangold, and Dave Filoni, who is also currently developing Ahsoka Season 2 for the Disney+ streaming service.

Although it’s subject to change, an untitled Star Wars movie is currently scheduled for May 22, 2026. Another movie set in a galaxy far, far away is set for for December 18, 2026, while a third “Star Wars” adventure is opening on December 17, 2027. Disney hasn’t clarified the specifics of any of those movies, but they did say The Mandalorian & Grogu would lead the slate–suggesting it’s a 2026 release at this point.

Regardless, it makes sense for Disney to feature the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda, both in feature films and the theme parks. They are inarguably the two most popular and widely-beloved characters of the Disney era. A well-received movie in addition to the hit show would cement their popularity and also help ensure that it’s enduring.

Disney previously announced that a version of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge would be built at Walt Disney Studios Park (WDSP), the second gate at Disneyland Paris. That was announced back in February 2018 and was part of a massive transformation of WDSP that was slated to be completed by the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics and bring Marvel, Frozen, and Star Wars to the park. Instead, it’ll be done next year (hopefully!) and only feature Frozen and Marvel.

There’s still an empty expansion pad in the ongoing Walt Disney Studios Park expansion, and there have been rumors swirling for a while about what will fill that void. The one that keeps coming up is Lion King, but it’s far from the only concept being considered. Star Wars also seems to keep coming up for Disneyland Paris, more generally–but that could be a holdover from when Galaxy’s Edge actually was planned.

To be transparent, I’ve heard absolutely nothing…but that doesn’t really mean anything. I don’t have any good sources when it comes to Disneyland Paris, specifically, so whatever I hear is simply what’s being discussed in the open. I’m sharing this Star Wars land and Mandalorian roller coaster rumor mostly for the sake of discussion and, admittedly, because I think it’s an intriguing and compelling idea.

That’s not how this started, though. My initial knee-jerk reaction upon hearing this rumor was no way–why would they build a second roller coaster right behind Space Mountain?! And then I had immediate deja vu to the time I first heard rumors of TRON Lightcycle Run coming to Magic Kingdom. My knee-jerk reaction to that rumor was, no way–why would they build a second roller coaster right behind Space Mountain?!

Once I opened up to that possibility given the precedent in Florida, the rumor actually made complete sense. My understanding is that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at the Walt Disney Studios Park was not a victim of the pandemic, but rather, was on thin ice even in 2019. That the land wasn’t the immediate success out of the gate at Walt Disney World or Disneyland, and there were trepidations about cloning such a big-budget expansion given that.

That was pre-Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. The opening of that mega E-Ticket attraction did change the fortunes of the land, and it has become more popular since that debuted and normalcy has returned to both domestic parks. However, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance was also insanely expensive and has been plagued by reliability and maintenance woes ever since. Not only that, but it seemed like a condensed version of Galaxy’s Edge was always planned for WDSP, and it probably wouldn’t have had Rise of the Resistance, regardless.

It’s thus unsurprising that Disneyland Paris decided to pump the brakes on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. It also hasn’t helped that, in the years since, Star Wars hasn’t exactly been the powerhouse brand that it once was. Don’t get me wrong–there have been some excellent and popular shows, but it seems like a stretch to expect Disney to spend a billion dollars on a land that didn’t fully connect and has had problems, and when Star Wars itself is likely in a time of transition.

One thing that does make sense is expanding Discoveryland and creating a Star Wars miniland within that with the current attractions: Hyperspace Mountain and Star Tours, plus a brand-new ride. What makes even more sense is having that ride be a roller coaster–which could be relatively inexpensive as compared to Rise of the Resistance or even Smugglers Run–and theme it to the two characters–Mando and Baby Yoda–who are smash hits with fans and have permeated pop culture like no others from the Disney-Star Wars era.

With a new roller coaster, other additions–perhaps their version of Oga’s Cantina, Savi’s Workshop, and an outpost–Disneyland Paris would have a marketable new addition that is a logical extension of its Discoveryland, coalescing around Star Wars Stuff.

I love the idea. Not only do I really hope this happens, but I’m honestly kind of jealous Disneyland didn’t get something like this. Granted, the style of Discoveryland is very different from the mid-century space age style of Tomorrowland at Disneyland, but still. If this happens at Disneyland Paris, it makes Discoveryland make more sense, and would be a mostly-organic addition.

Like what Fantasyland Forest is to the main area. A bit incongruous with the style of the lands in the castle park, but lightyears better than the tacked-on Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland. And, again, it makes sense given the existing Star Wars presence in Discoveryland. I’m already picturing the views of that iconic Space Mountain with rock spires rising behind it in the background. There are some really cool possibilities.

Even as a fan of Galaxy’s Edge, I think it makes sense to go in a different direction, at this point. It also makes sense to invest in Star Wars, even if not Galaxy’s Edge. Beyond the roller coaster, concepts like Savi’s Workshop and Oga’s Cantina are basically a license to print money, and could do well even with the more conservative-spending Disneyland Paris guests.

As for the Fantasyland expansion, I don’t really know what to make of that. Without knowing absolutely anything about the rumor, my guess is that this probably means Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Again, I hear very little when it comes to DLP, but one of the things I did hear (pretty credibly) at one point was that Disney was very pleased with Runaway Railway and wanted to clone it wherever possible. That sentiment is now a couple years old, but I’m guessing it holds up.

Nevertheless, I’m skeptical about anything else beyond Star Wars coming to Disneyland Paris for the simple reason that the Walt Disney Studios Park will still (still!!!) need more help even after the overhaul is over. Whatever could be slated for a Fantasyland expansion makes just as much sense in the studios park as it does the castle park, too.

Whether that means Runaway Railway or a new area based on an animated classic, that sentiment holds true. It’s been decades since Disneyland Paris has had meaningful expansion or new rides, but they’re better off focusing on the subpar second gate. World of Frozen and the stuff around the lake will make it better, but still the world’s last-place Disney park.

Ultimately, I think there’s a pretty good chance that Disneyland Paris emerges as one of the (proportionately) biggest winners from the $60 billion spending spree. The Paris parks really seem to have turned a corner with the 30th Anniversary, and are continuing to outperform relative to the domestic parks. Maybe that’ll slow down this year and they’ll start seeing their own exhaustion of pent-up demand, but with the Olympics right around the corner, that doesn’t seem like a safe bet.

Between the Summer Games and the opening of World of Frozen (etc.) in the Walt Disney Studios Park in 2025, it sure seems to me like the fortunes of Disneyland Paris will only continue to improve. Even if there aren’t a ton of blockbuster announcements for DLP at the 2024 D23 Expo, I’d expect them in due time. Not every announcement for the next decade or every dollar of the $60 billion is coming at D23. That would be a massive mistake, with a sizable portion of projects inevitably being cancelled as plans change and new IPs are prioritized.

No matter how the spending shakes out in the end, it’s fairly safe to expect Disneyland Paris to be a winner. Whether that means this Star Wars or Fantasyland expansion will come to fruition, who knows. But after ~5 years of stellar performance, it seems like the company will finally be ready to bet bigger in Disneyland Paris, viewing it as a resort destination with even more untapped potential than Disneyland in California. It should be an interesting saga to watch.

For the basics of planning a visit to Disneyland Paris, check out our Disneyland Paris Trip Planning Guide. Find the best place to stay in Disneyland Paris Hotel Reviews. Check out 101 Disneyland Paris Tips for some (101, to be exact) of our best random tips for doing DLP like a pro. See Disney Park Tickets Tips & Tricks for ways to save on tickets. For where to eat, check out our Disneyland Restaurant Reviews. For unique ideas of things that’ll improve your trip, check out What to Pack for Disney. Finally, for advice beyond Disney, check out our Ultimate Travel Guide to Paris, France.

YOUR THOUGHTS

What are your thoughts on this rumor of a Mandalorian roller coaster and Star Wars land being added behind Discoveryland at Disneyland Paris? Thoughts on the possibility of a Fantasyland expansion at DLP, too? Would you like to see these additions or prefer more money be spent fixing WDSP? Optimistic that Disneyland Paris will get a sizable chunk of the $60 billion in the next decade? Anything with which you disagree in this post? Any questions? Hearing your feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts or questions below in the comments!

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