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Good News From Paris – No, Really!

A rare ray of sunshine appeared this week for Disneyland Paris, which has spent most of the last twenty years unable to finance expansion because of a domino effect of economic badness. The resort’s second gate, the Walt Disney Studios park, bears the unhappy distinction of being officially The Worst Disney Park In The World, but its attempts to improve itself have been hindered by a lack of sufficient funds.

Happy news, then, that the resort has secured a revolving line of credit from the Walt Disney Company in the amount of €150 million. This is in addition to an existing and yet-untapped credit line of €100 million, making it no coincidence that Euro Disney S.C.A. simultaneously gained permission from its existing lenders to make new investments in the amount of €250 million (currently around $317 million).

This new cash infusion is allegedly earmarked for a new ride based on the film Ratatouille, which has been long planned and for which permits were approved last year. Whether or not Disney has more tricks up its sleeve for this non-insignificant amount is unknown; aside from the Studio park, it’s been a very long time since Disneyland Paris itself has received meaningful new investment. At the very least, the resort is getting something new, and that’s great news.

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6 comments to Good News From Paris – No, Really!

  • Here in Europe, all the fans are very excited about this news!!! Even when it’s considered the worst Disney park in the world, Walt Disney Studios is a great park. All attractions at Walt Disney Studios are based on cinema nostalgia and go straight to the heart. The problem here is the theming: it look too much like a real cinema studio, too industrial, it lacks the glamour of Disney’s Hollywood Studios at WDW. Besides that, it’s one of the best theme parks in Europe. There are only 10 rides and 6 shows, but all of them are not-to-miss-attractions. It was mostly aimed to an adult public, but now it has Toy Story Playland (yes, the same new land that’s been just opened in HKDL, with the same design and attractions), which is very good, for the whole family. The best rides at WDS are “The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror”, “Rock n’ Rollercoaster avec Aerosmith” and “Crush’s Coaster”. This last attraction is really amazing!!! it’s exactly the same ride you will find at Epcot’s The Seas Pavillion, but where the Epcot ride ends, the WDS ride continues to go into a Space Mountain style rollercoaster in which, instead of stars and planets, you find bubbles, fish and corals. But the best thing is that the car in which you’re sitting, spins all the time, in the style of the Primeval Whirl attraction at Animal Kingdom. If you ever have the chance to visit Disneyland Paris, you’ll find that most of the rides are highly improved and longer than at other parks. So what’s the problem of Disneyland Paris having so many financial problems if it’s so good and it’s the nº1 Destination in Europe? To be honest, I think there is someone at Euro Disney SCA (the company that administrates the resort) who’s grabbing a lot of money, puting it into his/her pockets, and “customizing” the accounts to make them look like this money never existed. Why do I think that? because it’s a very typical problem we’ve always had in Europe since the middle ages.

    • The reason for the $ problems is debt, and the interest they have to pay on the debt. It all goes back to bad decisions made in 1992 – they built way too many hotels, and all those empty rooms sat there not making money and soon the resort was in terrible debt.

      The park itself has ALWAYS been extremely popular, but guest spending there wasn’t enough to offset all the losses they took on the hotels. Just as things were turning around, they built the Studio park, which brought on a lot *more* debt, and which was not as well attended as Disneyland. So that hurt their recovery.

      The problem is, no matter how well Disneyland does now, they can’t finance major expansions or improvements because they still have this enormous load of debt.

  • Sean O

    Remember when Disney wouldn’t build attractions too similar to the prevailing culture of the locality? I.E. reticence to build PotC at Disney World because the real Caribbean was so close? What… happened to that?

    • I thought the same thing – weird to see a mini-Paris in the Parisian suburbs.

    • Adam, "MarkTwain"

      I was thinking about that too. The only thing I can come up with is that Ratatouille was such a hit in France/Europe that an attraction based off of it is justifiable. Sort of like how in the end, WDW built Pirates anyway.

      Probably just trying to justify things in my mind, but whatever works I guess…

  • RO93461

    It literally validates the old expression of “Throwing money down a Rat Hole”. DLRP needs all the help it can get, thank goodness they are investing in it. It could have been closed 10 times by now.

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