It's not necessarily a bad idea to have a land set in Paris, there could be more to it than just that though.
WDS is a film park, so why not add more homages to films set in Paris? France has a rich movie history, with films set in Paris, like the first French sound film " Sous les Toits de Paris", "Le Ballon Rouge", or even the more modern ones like " Amelie". All sources they could have taken inspiration from. Not to mention, there are more Disney films than just Ratatouille set in Paris. Why not build an early 20th century styled Parisian boutique based on the Aristocats?
Or for example, why not set the entire land in the 1950/60's, when everything French was popular all across Europe. Films, fashion, cars, music. When everyone had French film idols, Brigite Bardot, Catherine Deneuve, Maurice Chevalier, Louis de Funès. Recreate that era, add classic chansons to the music loop, "La mer" is even a Pixar song, add a few 1960's cars from the era when French cars were popular, they already have a few rotting away at the Tram tour.
In other words, play into the nostalgia of visitors, confront people, both French and from across Europe, with an idealized version of their childhood. This is what Disney often does, create a place set in a time that never was, to evoke that emotion. That's what works! Poorly recreating buildings from a few kilometers down the road doesn't work.
I think this is a great idea! Ties the park into classic movies, European cinema and the worlds nostalgia of 50/60s France. You could even expand it out into other classic world cinema eras for a really different take on a studios park - 20s Germany (fritz lang sci fi), classic 30s Hollywood, Kurosawa samurai, modern Bollywood, modern blockbusters (Lucas, marvel etc), post war italian Roman epics etc the list goes on and on
Though at first glance it seems odd to say the least, it actually makes sense to recreate Ratatouille's Paris a few miles from the real deal. The Ratatouille property is extremely popular in France -and the whole of Europe for that matter- and the French are very chauvinistic. Thanks to the chauvinistic nature of the French even most Parisians who see the real thing daily can appreciate the hommage to their city. Besides, it is Remy's Paris, the cartoony/rat twist on the city of lights gives it some sort of a fresh feeling in the eyes of those who are used to see the original. In short, Ratatouille is a celebration of the French culture and cuisine...and the French love to celebrate their culture and cuisine.
Having a land dedicated to Paris also helps the resort capitalize on their relationship with the famous city and the positive associations people have with Paris. (and seeing the state of the resort, they unfortunately need all the positive associations they can get) Finally, I feel people here on Micechat underestimate the added benefit of having a Paris area in the resort. Most of the Micechatters would have to travel far were they to visit Disneyland Paris, so it comes natural to them that one should visit other landmarks in the area too. (Who'd want to miss out on Paris, right?) Well, though there are plenty of Europeans who feel the same way (or people just plan a one day visit to Disneyland during their trip to Paris), there are just as many people (mostly young families) who come to the Paris area just to visit Disneyland. For the latter group, to still be able to see a bit of Paris during their visit is a nice addition to the line-up of the resort.
Finally, it also makes sense from a purely pragmatic point of view. Before Ratatouille the WDS lacked a dark ride, table service restaurant, quality food, an E-ticket with high capacity to lure away some waiting time from Crush Coaster, area's with extensive theming, etc. Ratatouille adds all those things to the park using an extremely popular franchise and it hopefully marks the standard to which one day the whole park can live up to.
So... English isn't my native language. Cut me some slack if I make some mistakes ,would ya?
I live in California and have had a annual pass for 6 years. Yes, one of the main things that had us Californians confused was the fact that there was a theme park IN California. I mean, it made sense for tourists but locals? It threw us all off. Having said that, there have been MAJOR improvements in updating the park in the past few years and more and more, it is losing it's California touch, such as getting rid of some attractions and changing the overall aesthetics, such as retheming rides to be more Disney, adding new Disney touches, and adding Cars Land and Buena Vista street.
However, some elements have stuck on through, such as Soarin' Over California, Paradise Pier, and Hollywood Land. They have been there since the beginning and are popular areas. Though I haven't been to Disneyland Paris, I am insanely jealous you guys now have a Ratatouille ride! However, I think one attraction like that is definitely something that makes sense to be in your parks, at least to start off with
Need help planning your Disneyland Resort vacation? Follow this link and I'll give you all the help you need!