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Is Formula 1 going to Disneyland (Paris)?

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Published: May 17, 2008 at 11:28 AM

Please indulge one of my other interests for a moment, as I ask the following question:

Could Formula 1 be coming to Disneyland Paris?

Published reports in France have the Formula 1 wanting to move the French Grand Prix from Magny Cours to Paris. And Disneyland Paris appears to be the preferred site. The French prime minister is on board. Disney appears to be on board. F1 likes the site.

So what's the hold-up? Hey, it's Formula 1! As always, the hold-up is money. Disney doesn't want to pay the estimated $31 million in expenses to run the race, and is waiting for the French government to step up instead. And heaven forbid that F1 pays to run its own races.

Hey, if this happens, I might actually have to fly across the Atlantic for this one. Since the U.S. Grand Prix went belly up (again, over money), Canada's been the closest F1 race. I've long wanted to see the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, but the combination of an F1 race and Disneyland Paris might be too much for me to resist. (Even if it'll likely be run on some lame parking-lot course.)

Readers' Opinions

From Marty Po on May 18, 2008 at 8:30 AM
I been an avid F1 fan for a long time. Last year when they were talking about Magny Cours losing its F1 race and going to Paris I was so excited. But for some reason it was put back on the calender. I have discoverd that F1 says alot of stuff but never really follows thru.
I am all for Disney F1 and I think it would bring alot more people to Disney and F1. It would be a very wise move for both parties to make it happen. Also there is so much land to build a great track out their.
From Anthony Murphy on May 18, 2008 at 7:15 PM
I think Disney should invest! Having gone there last summer, they really need to build up that area. Disney can do a Richard Petty type of thing, but I think its an offer Disney shouldn't refuse. I also think it will give them some needed Euro Cred!
From rick stevens on May 18, 2008 at 11:59 PM
I agree with the comment of "lame parking lot track". If Disney really wanted to use this a promotion, it would be great to see a themed track. Full sized autopia, maybe creating a track that would wind through a conceptualized Disneyland. Think of what they could do with a Michael Schmacher land tying the race with Cars. The possibilities are endless.
From Domenik Jost on May 19, 2008 at 3:14 PM
I know they have been talking about moving it for a few years now. I'm all for the move. It's time for something new. I think Disney could make more profits off that Formula 1 race weekend even with the expenses than they normally would. It would be a great promotion for Disney as well as the sport. I'm sure Disney wouldn't mind the promotional aspect, they just don't want to pay for it.

If they do go to Disney Paris and do the race there, they might as well bring the U.S. back into play and put a race to WDW in Florida. Florida already has its fair share of races like Daytona 500 and Sebrings 12 hour race. How great would it be if F1 came there too. The airport could handle the extra guests and Disney and the Orlando area Attractions would become a popular destination during that week before and after the race. I think it would make a prefect family vacation deal with and F1 race tagged on.

From Robert Niles on May 19, 2008 at 4:12 PM
Well, Disney World's Indy Car race died because Disney wouldn't clear a prime date for the event -- only a January date, because that was when the parking lots wouldn't be full of theme park guests.

So parking, and working within the exiting crowd flow, is a problem with putting massive event like this within a theme park resort.

Granted, there's still a fair amount of space at WDW (have no clue about DLP), but Disney's decision to build the oval at the end of the MK parking lot doomed that race. An F1 track, if purpose built, would need to be located a fair distance from the parks (at either WDW or DLP) in order to ensure maximum flexibility on scheduling.

From Domenik Jost on May 19, 2008 at 5:52 PM
well the oval that the built at MK would be too small for a F1 race anyhow. They would have to invest into a new track and attract other races other than just F1. Even though I wouldn't mind, it would be a loss of profits if a separately built track was only used for one race and utilized for any other event or attraction. I hear rumors going around a lot now a days about WDW planing a fifth park with more roller coasters and competing with other parks such as Busch Gardens and Universal. If they do one of those parks it would be great to tag on a speed event to the building of that new park, just design the park to have more than one entrance and more than one parking lot. What I was thinking is like a north side and south side entrance and parking lot deal. How cool would it be to have a hyper coaster or some sort of edgy coaster right next to the track racing by not just a prop but an actual speedway deal. They could also use the track for a show or something if it right on the edge of the park on one side. Those are just some thoughts and ideas though that are not likely going to happen.

In Disneyland though, as far as my knowledge of the resort grounds goes, they have enough room to build a couple of more parks, so they do have enough to build a track for an F1 race and other races what it most likely then would be used for. Just what their traffic is like....no idea

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