Detail History Of Disneyland Paris
Disney Leaves No Stone Unturned When Selecting A Park Location
A detail history of disneyland paris is very different from the previous experiences with Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort and Tokyo Disney Resort. Originally, several European sites were being considered by Disney including the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France and Greece. Neither the United Kingdom nor Italy had sufficient suitable land parcels for the large scale building project which would be needed.
The short list of sites included two in Spain and two in France. Spain’s climate was similar to that of Southern California, and had the advantage of being near the busy Mediterranean Sea resort areas but Disney officials determined that Spain did not have sufficient infrastructure to handle the economics of the theme parks. In addition, strong winds ripped through the area during several weeks each year, making any outdoor activities uncomfortable at best.
That eliminated all but the two French sites, one of which was found to have bedrock located too near the surface which would have rendered building prohibitively expensive The remaining site was at the village of Marne-la-Vallee where EuroDisney—later Disneyland Paris--was ultimately located.
A letter of agreement was signed with the French government in 1985, with construction proceeding through the years up until the planned opening in 1992. During this period, construction on the Disney-MGM Studios Europe was initiated with opening planned for 1995. Disney Company also contracted with Michael Graves who did the designs for the Swan and Dolphin Hotels at Orlando, to design hotel facilities for about 5,000 rooms on the Disney property.
In 1991, an information center was opened to let people know what was planned for the site and when. In 1992, the process of hiring employees was begun and the project began to deteriorate. Farmers in the area did a one-day protest, blocking the access roads, a disputed number of the employees (1000-3000) walked off the job in protest of what they considered to be violation of their personal liberties due to Disney dress and appearance code.
On opening day in 1992, Disney had projected approximately 90,000 visitors and only 25,000 showed up. Attendance records continued to be 50% or less of projected rates throughout the next two years, resulting in a rising tide of red ink.
In a last minute series of negotiations, attorney Sanford Litvak put together a financial deal with creditor banks, Disney and Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud which resulted in a restructuring of the ownership of EuroDisney shares. Al Saud ended up with a 17% ownership in the European holdings.
In 1995 with the opening of Space Mountain, the tide turned and Disneyland Paris reported operating profits for the first time. In 2002 Walt Disney Studios Park was officially opened which led to operating profit for the year, The following years have shown a loss each year at as of 2007 Disneyland Paris is approximately $2 billion in debt.
In 2004 Disneyland Paris reported 12.4 million visitors which makes it Europe’s largest theme park. It is located within 4 hours drive of 68 million people and 2 hours of air travel time for an additional 300 million.