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Disneyland Paris looks for money for improvements

While it is frequently mentioned as the most beautiful of the Disney theme parks, Disneyland Paris is also a financial mess. Overbuilt hotels at its launch and some poor planning over the years saddled it with a debt load it has never quite been able to shed. A few years ago, the resort was able to finance some much needed improvements to its second gate and that seemed to help. But the years since 2008, not coincidentally the start of the world recession, have not been as kind with guest numbers off and the park reportedly falling into disrepair.

So, Euro Disney SCA, the company that manages the resort is looking for another financial package that would allow it to make the sort of ‘on-stage’ improvements that would fix up the park and make it all bright and shiny for its next major anniversary. In theory they would also build another major attraction. The last one to open was Tower of Terror in 2008.

As it turns out the resort is also at the point in its history where it needs to make a decision on adding a third gate or not. The original deal with France allows Euro Disney to build a third park by 2017. The theory with adding a third gate is the same as when Walt Disney World added MGM-Studios. It turns a 2-3 day weekend visit into a 3-5 day visit. That spreads out attendance across the week maximizing the hotel occupancy efficiency.

Given a 3-4 year lead time for planning and construction of a new park, Euro Disney (and the Walt Disney Company, who still owns 39% of the Disneyland Resort Paris) will need to round up some additional investors in the next year or two. Those investors will want to see that they first two parks are being well-maintained and attended, so fixing the current investment problem is a must for the future of DLRP.

More on the financial issues over at the Guardian.

If you were running Disneyland Paris Resort, what would you want for the third gate? An EPCOT Center clone, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Clone, A Villain’s thrill park, or something else? Share in the comments.

Find Disneyland Paris Items on Ebay.

5 thoughts on “Disneyland Paris looks for money for improvements”

  1. I just paid my first visit to DLP last Friday. Although there were some things you would never see at WDW (huge cracks in the sidewalks and potholes being the most noticeable things) I wouldn’t exactly say the park was in disrepair. The Disneyland Park is absolutely beautiful. The Studios park struck me as very small. So small, it made Hollywood Studios feel big. So I can’t imagine them adding a third gate until they make Studios bigger.

    I wonder if maybe they would do something completely different–maybe a Wild West Park? The Wild West Stuff seemed VERY big in France (not just in Disneyland).

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  3. I’d love to see something totally unique that would draw in crowds from Europe and the world – much like Tokyo DisneySea – there’s no other park like it in the world! I think a villains themed thrill park would hit the mark!

    I’ve been to Disney World 5 times, Disneyland 20 times, and Disneyland Paris twice, so I think I have a pretty decent understanding about how the parks can work to compliment each other at a given resort. The Disney Studios park in Paris is a tiny, insufficient clone of Hollywood Studios in Florida (and even that park is barely a full-day park in my opinion!). Epcot would be ridiculous in Paris (even with different countries than in Florida) – it’s in the middle of Europe and you could be in a dozen different countries within an hour or two on a plane! Animal Kingdom could be interesting, but I don’t think the French winters would make for a pleasant park year round.

    Disneyland Paris Resort is one of the less successful locations and I don’t think it’s ever going to draw a bigger crown than it already is without something unique! A lot of Europeans and Brits head to Florida for holidays so if they’ve done WDW you need to convince them there’s a good enough reason to head to Paris, especially if they’ve already been and know that it’s a sub-par resort (my husband and I call it “Disney-light”). Even the Magic Kingdom in Paris leaves something to be desired. Tokyo had the right idea – build something TOTALLY unique and out of this world – and look, now DisneySea is the second most loved Disney park in the world! Disney California adventure tried to do this as well, but failed (even though I LOVE the original park, before they started all these crazy renovations). If Paris can produce something unique like DisneySea and learn from their shortcomings at DCA, it would be a draw not only for Europeans and Brits, but for Disney enthusiasts the world over.

    I for one, have planned a Disney World trip this summer, Tokyo Disneyland in 2013, and am planning to do China’s Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland 2015 or so once the expansion in HK and the opening in Shanhai have occurred. Paris is my all time favourite city in the world, and as much of a Disney-lover as I am, I would be hard-pressed to return to Disneyland Paris without some MAJOR improvements – to parks AND resort hotels, and hopefully the addition of a third gate!

  4. Actually, there is a major expansion project going on that is completely different to any Disney Resort: The Villages Nature project. Though, being a joint-venture between Euro Disney and Pierre et Vacances, it will have some Disney-Elements in it, and – long before a third gate opens – will attract guests also towards the 2 existing parks. And yes, the saying goes, that the Studios are going to be enlarged. After Toy Story Playland last summer, we hopefully soon see the construction of the long awaited Ratatouille-Ride. And CEO Philippe Gas also once said, that the final decision over the 3rd gate will be made when the expansion of the Studio-Park is completed (however, he did not mention what that exactly means ;-)

  5. We are thinking of a Europe trip next year. Our son is autistic and we go to WDW twice a year. We thought Disneyland Paris would be a good stop to give him something familiar to do for a portion of the trip. For those who have been there, do you think it is a waste of time to go there? Some of the comments above are not encouraging.

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