Disney steps in with another cash bailout for Euro Disney
The Walt Disney Company today poured more than a billion dollars
into the company that owns the Disneyland Paris Resort, in the latest bailout for a theme park development that's been a hit with fans but a financial drain for most of its 20+ years of existence.
The deal wipes out 600 million Euros in debt that the Euro Disney company (which is 40 percent owned by Disney) owes to Disney. It also provides about 420 million Euros in extra cash to Euro Disney.
Disney said in a statement: "This recapitalization plan would improve Euro Disney Group's financial position and enable it to continue investing in the guest experience. With this effort, we are demonstrating The Walt Disney Company's continued confidence in Disneyland Paris, which remains the number one tourist destination in Europe."
Disney's management has thought about just taking complete control of the Euro Disney company before. This latest bailout perhaps brings that one step closer to happening. Disneyland Paris' attendance this year is down several hundred thousand from last year's reported 14 million total attendance, despite the opening of a widely-praised new Ratatouille attraction in Walt Disney Studios Paris. The resort has announced a significant refurbishment program, but the Studios park needs the multi-billion-dollar makeover that Disney and its partners have put into the other two undercapitalized parks it built in the early 2000s: Disney California Adventure and Hong Kong Disneyland.
(Beating the dead horse, again, let's remind everyone about the other Disney park opened in the early 2000s: Tokyo DisneySea. Built with the Oriental Land Company's lavish budget, DisneySea remains an attendance hit, a cash cow, and the world's best theme park.)
Disneyland Paris has been in financial trouble since its birth, due to an over-reliance on real estate investment income from non-theme park development that never happened. Like anyone who's ever been in debt knows, once you get into debt, paying the interest payments on that debt can make it next to impossible to get out, even if you start making more money. And without extra money to invest in the new and refurbished attractions that the entire Disneyland Paris Resort needs, the parks will find it difficult to attract more visitors in a continually-recessed European economy. Welcome to Mickey's Vicious Cycle. But will today's deal help Disneyland Paris find its way out?
Disneyland Paris really is the weakest park. Was there 4 years ago and saw most things in BOTH parks in under a day.
I have been to DLP twice, both before the addition of the Disney Studios Park. It was wonderful both times. I understand it has gone far downhill since then. I hope they will be able to refurbish it with this new money. While they are at it bring back the Jules Verne Space Mountain. Steampunk is huge now.
I like DLP, and had a great time there on my last visit two years ago. But the simple fact is they should never have built "EuroDisney" in France. It was all downhill from there...
Time for Disney to take full control. They know how to turn parks around.
It's such a beautiful park. It just needs bit of TLC. The Studios Park does need a re design to give it an identity/theme the will demand more than a 3 hour visit.
They should have built the Disney park in the UK, nicer people, Prob cheaper, better transport links, a better disney fan base, need I go on :)
How many more bailouts? Too much to count and billions of dollars. The french are hard to please. They are worse in dealing with the customers with their surly service. I guess that's a feature. Perhaps they need to vent their hate Mickey side. Give them their favorite past-times. Bonfires and strikes, while enjoying a coffee and the sipping of wine.
There is so much wrong with DLP.
DLP isn't all bad - the potential's there, but it's a bit like the park time forgot compared to places like Florida. Its in a bad state of repair and, if I'm honest, when I've been there's a lot of English speaking visitors who find it strange that a lot of attractions are 50% run in the French language.
I think you're being a little too generous to WDC. Based on the articles I've read, WDC is giving them 420 million euros, but the 600 million euro debt reduction is being paid by flooding the market with more Euro Disney shares. This mean the current stock holders are really paying for the debt reduction by reducing their current ownership percentages.
The best thing for all DLRP stakeholders is TWDC taking more direct control and finally giving the resort the attention they've been promising was coming once Hong Kong and DCA were dealt with. This is them finally beginning to do that. An outright takeover is still the best way to proceed, but there are a number of hurdles to that so in the meantime this is the next best thing. They need to spend some money restoring Parc Disneyland to its former glory by improving show standards. This should let them do that. Fixing Studios will cost a lot but it's just going to have to be done. They could save some money by increasing its ride numbers with relatively modest themed versions of spinning, pendulum and vertical drop thrill rides which are very popular in Europe. That would make it a more significant park and make the whole resort more appealing to the thrill-seeking European audience.
I can't believe what I read about French people and french language which is the fifth spoken language in the world (about 300 millions people). Have you ever been to France once in a lifetime ? Have you ever talk with french people, visited paris, museums, countryside... You are too much into cliché (I can do the same with american but that will deserve my speech). And remelber that France is, since many many years, the most visited country all over the world... And fyi, more than 60% of the Disneyland Paris guests speak french. According to a french law, all the rides must at least be in french.
Complaining about French shows at Eurodisney, that must be the sadest thing ive ever read here. Pretty sure one of the biggest problems at Eurodisney still is too much US management that is incapable of the slightest cultural adaption. The least two things they need to learn if they ever want to make any money is how to deal with French staff and German customers.
The biggest problem was created by Michael Eisner who decided to build 6 hotels at the opening of the resort.. Not even Disney World started out with that many hotels. Other then that , the park is visited nowadays by 15 million people, I'm one of them, and I'm ready to spend some money but find there is very little interesting merchandise, everything looks alike, only since this month they officially rolled out the Photopass system, the dinner show they run is old and tired (Buffalo Bill's Wild west show) and already running since the opening.. there is little choice of entertainment in Disney Village, the cinema is only in French, dining out is at some moments quite hard since many restaurants close up early.
It has not been called Euro disney for nearly 20 years. Disneyland Paris is amazing, I have been to all the US based ones and can call that a fact. Calling it Euro shows ignorance and a lack of knowledge by commenters and bloggers alike! Do your homework.
EuroDisney had two big mistakes from its conception. First one, location, it should have been built in Spain, they could have a more Florida-like weather and the Spaniards staff are used to deal with customers from every single European country (they have 60 million tourist a year). Europeans visit Spain for sun, beaches and fun, I have always though that Disney would have had an incredible success there (And probably an Euro DisneySea park) Paris is an incredible city but, unfortunately, it has such an horrible weather that, somehow, it could ruin your visit.
Uh, Mr. Anonymous 188.8.131.52: The company that owns and oversees the Disneyland Paris Resort is still called Euro Disney.
To be honest, i just like the name Eurodisney. I would keep using it if the company would also be renamed Disneyland Paris. Theres a fun story somewhere in that about intercultural managment. But its probably not the one Anglo consultants like to tell. Their story is that changing the name to Disneyland Paris from Eurodisney made the park more sucesfull by distancing oneself from a term that could be asociated with the EU which is at times unpopular in France and pretty much always unpopular in the UK. But then, look at what happend to German visits. Also, i seriously doubt the "europe" brand is as bad as alleged in the other source markets. So the appropiate offense i should be accused of if any at all is not lack of knowledge about the subject but trolling anti EU trolls :-).
I had been to Disney World 3 times prior to my visit to DLP in 2012, and did not enjoy it. It's like the poor Disney cousin.
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