It seems that over the past few weeks plans for changes in Disneyland Paris, along with changes already made, are slowly but surely taking a lot of the charm and identity from the resort in favour of money making ideas seen on the average high street.
It all started when the the Buffalo Trading Co. closed down in Disney Village to be replaced by Starbucks. Yes, they closed down a western themed shop, which sat perfectly with Billy Bob’s Western Saloon and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, and replaced it withe a coffee shop that can be seen on any street in any town in the world, many times over.
The Buffalo Trading Co. was the only uniquely themed establishment in Disney Village and a great one at that – it even had it’s own distinctive smell. I realise that Starbucks will be a money making machine for them but at what expense?
The following two examples are at the rumour stage at the moment and are doing the rounds on the various Disneyland Paris websites and forums. Both will be additions to Disney Village.
Earl of Sawndwich
You can read more about the planned location at DLRP Today but needless to say it’s a sandwich shop, with an Olde English theme. But isn’t there a sandwich shop in Disney Village already I hear you cry? Of course there is, New York Style Sandwiches which serve up one of the greatest sandwiches I’ve ever had in the form of the Cheese and Avocado toasted sandwich – that’s been the basis of many a lunch in previous visits to Disneyland Paris for me. Why on earth do we need a second sandwich shop?
Jules Verne Pub
You can read more about what exactly one of these is over at DLRP Today, but like my previous point, with the Sports Bar already in situ at Disney Village, is it really big enough to justify another alcoholic drinking establishment? With Disneyland Paris being so family oriented, would it kill them to provide some children’s entertainment in the village, especially with so many of the months seeing the park closing at 7am.
With these changes to Disney Village it seems to be taking the shape of your average high street and less like the Disney Village you would expect from the name. I hate that McDonalds is part of Disney Village – it’s a gross reminder of everyday life back home and it’s a horrible faceless multi-national example low quality exploitation, but at least it’s hidden round the corner from the main strip. To see Starbucks in Disney Village will make the escapism of visiting Disneyland Paris that much harder to achieve, thrown in more generic pubs and restaurants and it it won’t be Disney, mores the pity.