Walt Disney Company completes take-over of Disneyland Paris Resort

June 13, 2017, 10:56 AM · The Walt Disney Company today announced that it has purchased more than 97 percent of the shares of Euro Disney SCA, the holding company that officially owns the Disneyland Paris Resort. Earlier this year, Disney made a €2 a share offer to buy outstanding shares in the company, after buying out its largest remaining individual outside investor.

Disney needed to get to 95 percent ownership in order to remove the stock from trading and to implement a mandatory buy-out of the remaining shares in the company. Disney exceeded that target and today announced that it will complete that mandatory buy-out — at the same €2 a share price — by June 19.

This completes the process of Disney assuming full ownership of what has become its most disappointing multi-gate theme park resort. Hobbled by decreasing tourism in Paris, due to to fears of terrorism coupled with sluggish economic performance in much of Europe, Disneyland Paris has not helped its cause in recent years with any major new attractions that have wowed fans.

With outside investors no longer in the picture to muddle financial planning, Disney is now free to spend whatever management feels it can justify to boost the park, however it wishes to spend it. Disneyland Paris recently refreshed several areas of the park in preparation for the recently-launched 25th anniversary celebration. With clear rights to use Marvel characters, as well as Star Wars, in Paris, Disney has the ability to expand the presence of its most popular franchises at the resort.

The Disneyland Paris Resort will be the first of Disney's theme park resorts outside the United States to be wholly owned by the company. Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland are jointly owned with local governments, and the Tokyo Disney Resort is wholly owned by Oriental Land Co. and operated under license from Disney.

Rival Universal in 2015 paid US1.5 billion to buy a controlling stake in USJ Co., which owns Universal Studios Japan, and in 2011 bought out former partner Blackstone Group to take full ownership of Universal Orlando. That leaves Universal Studios Singapore as the only Universal park not majority-owned by Universal parent Comcast.

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Replies (26)

June 13, 2017 at 11:37 AM · I hope they start with changing the cast members.
My friend went, together with her son to DLP just after the "Paris attack". She was forced to hand over her injections (she had official doctor notices) also food she needs to eat little bit off (again for medical reasons). She got sick and no one wanted to help her.
The pool at the hotel was closed every day because a kid "pooped" in there. The list goes on and on. When back she wrote a letter and Disney offered another stay for free but her son now rather goes to the Efteling then to set another foot in DLP.
June 13, 2017 at 11:44 AM · A brave decision! I cannot see Paris ever coming close to rivalling Orlando, California or Tokyo. The weather, the French, the much reduced European fanaticism for Disney, Star Wars and Marvel and the pricing. They need to reduce the pricing by half. I hope that Disney know what they are doing and it is not a strong case of hubris. From a commercial perspective I would have closed it years ago. From a cultural perspective, it has minimal significance. As I say, a brave decision. A very brave decision!
June 13, 2017 at 12:03 PM · Profplum DLP prices are HALF of the gate costs to enter WDW or DLP and it isn't in competition with ANY of the other Disney parks. Have you actually visited? I very much doubt it and you clearly do not understand the European market if you feel the 'reduced European fanaticism' is a factor. This is one of the reasons TWDC are taking over as the financial aspect of the resort will NO LONGER be reported on as this business model will now come under Disney Parks as do the others except Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo
June 13, 2017 at 1:19 PM · Excellent news! Disneyland Paris has so much potential, with Disney themselves under control (and able to do whatever they want with Marvel!), Disneyland Paris could be fantastic.

The Walt Disney Studios park is full of bizarre dated (and pointlessly large) attractions. Disney has lots of room to play and expand, so could be a fantastic space to experiment and innovate in the near future.

June 13, 2017 at 1:52 PM · Wonderful news! DlP is amazing, just think how fantastic it will be now Disney are fully in control!
June 13, 2017 at 1:59 PM · I hated this park one Christmas - haunted mansion, big thunder, even space mountain were always said to be so awesome. They weren't. I wanted to love this park. While Ratatouille was fun, the castle superb, the dragon underneath sublime, I would head to Europ Park again, try any and all parks elsewhere in europe before going back to DLP. As a US citizen, I hated being in a rip off version of a Chicago steakhouse - with prices higher than Paris and cuisine the likes of Sizzler. Perhaps now my "never again" will give way to reasons for returning. I want to love this Park...
June 13, 2017 at 2:01 PM · From a themeing point of view DLP is fantastic, second only to Hong Kong out of those I've visited. Some of the rides are imo the best version and there are some great unique experiences. If you book one of the regular deals at Davy Crocker you can have a very reasonably priced holiday.

As mentioned by others, the quality of the staff is at best mixed and in many cases dreadful, foot is generally expensive and average at best. Disney studios is at best a few hours of your time

It's a mixed bag but has lots of potential as long as Disney are willing to invest in it.

June 13, 2017 at 2:05 PM · Disneyland Paris is the most visited theme park in Europe by a large margin so it never would have closed. The majority of the financial problems stem from the initial costs to build the resort and the subsequent payments.
June 13, 2017 at 2:09 PM · Disney Paris is the most visited theme park in all of Europe. That's a heck of a base to build off of. I have nothing but faith that the magical imagineers of Disney Co. (who's best trick is getting money to disappear from wallets, and know how to make it happen) will take the necessary steps to improve, market, and profit from their new control.
June 13, 2017 at 2:17 PM · Good! I was just there and being a regular at the Anaheim park was disappointed by the understaffed, unkempt, and subpar park that is Disneyland/ studios Paris. Even for the super cheap prices, it wasn't worth the money to spend the day there. People in my party said "someone call Disney and have them shut this place down!" Which is embarrassing considering the high caliber of attractions Disney strives to create.
June 13, 2017 at 6:00 PM · They need to get rid of the 'backlot tour' asap - it's an embarrassment to Disney. But if they want to make back their investment they could always consider the radical idea of opening the restaurants for longer, and selling stuff to folks waiting for the shows and fireworks. Seems strange to moan about a Disney park not being commercial enough, but that's been the problem all over. Like many times in life, I blame the French... ;)
June 13, 2017 at 6:21 PM · Just a little update on your last note about Universal, Robert. Per your post 2/28/17 Comcast now owns 100% of the Japanese park. Which leaves Universal Studios Singapore as the only Universal park not wholly-owned by Universal parent Comcast.
June 13, 2017 at 7:46 PM · Let's just say it now...#ThanksParis lol
June 13, 2017 at 10:59 PM · Terrible investment. This park has lost money from day one. Nothing they do has ever turned that around. So now they think that will change, because they own 100% of this cash bleeder? Good luck.
June 13, 2017 at 11:50 PM · Whether or not this will change the future of Disneyland Paris has yet to be seen, but I think this is the only way there is any chance of significant improvement. Without outside investors, Disney will have a lot more freedom in terms of where and when to invest money, and with the right cast infusions and management changes I think they can make the park a success. It won't happen overnight, but I expect within 3-4 years there will be notable improvement at the resort and solid plans for future expansion.
June 14, 2017 at 4:04 AM · I have visited Disneyland Paris many many times and every time I come away with happy children and a very nice sense of magical wonderment. I love the place, lol. I do however think that major ride investment is needed. Not just a lick of paint and general maintenance but things like splash mountain, star wars land, toy story land and the new Tron rollercoaster from the China parks would be amazing. I have heard that there is a new park opening soon but this is just a timeshare thing and not really something that would get me to visit again. They need to get the excitement building again... get people talking about the resort and all the good things that go on. As soon as you build the excitement then people will return.
June 14, 2017 at 4:17 AM · Should have chosen Spain for the park as all the Imagineers recommended to Eisner when (he) Disney was looking for a Europe location out of ego after the Tokyo fiasco. It's a beautifully designed Magic Kingdom in the wrong spot.
June 14, 2017 at 10:55 AM · Rip off Autopia and build a Star wars land in that space plus the space behind Hyperspace mountain, linked it with Star tours.

Then build a copy of Indiana Jones Forbidden mountain besides Indy`s rollercoaster, and at the other side build a copy o Disney Sea`s Voyage to the center of the Earth. Copycats, with low development costs.

In the Studios, instead of an expensive redesign, just add copycats of Toy Story mania and Soarin over the World. That will do. Leave Marvel for latter.

June 14, 2017 at 11:34 AM ·
June 14, 2017 at 11:55 AM · 87-102-89-57 - For the record I am from England, have visited DLP only once compared to Orlando's 14 times. Thought it was a rip-off. Half the main attractions were not open. DLP is NOT value for money!! It is not the gate price it is the whole package where 4 nights/5 days in a moderate Disney hotel costs more than 2 weeks in Orlando in a 5 star off-site apartment. This is why I choose Orlando. As do millions of others! My Paris experience was 2 star, at best. I have only ever experienced 5 star in Orlando. This is a huge factor. As you are obviously a fan-boy of all things Disney we are not going to agree. We will let time be the decider. I hope I am wrong but DLP has so many factors against it regardless of who has ownership.
June 14, 2017 at 2:24 PM · http://corporate.disneylandparis.com/CORP/EN/Neutral/Images/uk-consolidated-statements-of-cash-flows%20for%20the%20past%203%20years%202016.pdf

Probably better that way. The revenue based license fee and the advertising effect for other Disney products always are a natural cause of conflict with outside shareholders as long as the park is doing so bad. It hastn been bad enough to make closing down a better option anytime in recent years however, since the park is still able to gerate some miniscule positive ebitda.

Its sort of weird to expect a 2 week stay at a high end hotel in Paris to be cheaper than one in Orlando by the way.

June 14, 2017 at 9:10 PM · I haven't been, and don't plan to go. At least until after I've read more positive reviews, and perhaps an expansion or redevelopment. As it stands, I'd drop by if I was in the area, but I wouldn't actually take a trip to France for the purpose of seeing DLPR in the foreseeable future.
June 15, 2017 at 6:06 AM · ProfPlum, I'd agree that DLP hotels are hugely overpriced. But comparing an on-site package to an off-site package elsewhere isn't a helpful comparison. You'd find a similar dissonance in quality between a WDW hotel and similarly priced Orlando-area hotel.

If you ever visit again, I'd recommend skipping the DLP on-site options and taking a look at the Serris and Val d'Europe areas. There are some great hotels and apartments there at low prices. Most are close to the RER stations and offer free shuttle buses. And, if the weather is decent, are even within walking distance - which isn't something you can say for WDW options.

As for the "Disney should have built in Spain" argument... Central/Northern Europe has a consistently strong theme park market, year-round, as it did prior to DLP's arrival. That's simply never been the case for the Mediterranean. Every one of Spain's three major parks - each of which was backed or managed by a major industry player - has suffered intense financial pressure since opening.

Suggesting Disney should have built such a huge enterprise in an area that is almost entirely devoid of tourists outside of peak season makes zero sense. There's a long list of things they could have done better when developing EuroDisney, but building in such a temperamental and seasonal market would only have compounded the problems.

Gabriel - I'd say that's the right approach. There's plenty of beauty in the place, but it's not yet worth of a dedicated trip. The city of Paris itself however is totally worth it! A true one-of-a-kind.

June 15, 2017 at 8:37 AM · I recently visited DLP, and was nervous going because I read so many poor reviews. Their Studios Park really might be one of the worst parks I've ever been to. It makes the construction zone of Hollywood Studios look amazing. But Disneyland Park was maybe the best Disney parks I've been to in the world. I simply do not get the negative reviews of it. Their version of Haunted Mansion is unbelievably good, and the park itself is huge and gorgeous. It felt to me like what Magic Kingdom would be like if it was built with the detail of Disney SEA.
June 16, 2017 at 3:30 PM · Great news. Now 100 percent of the losses will belong to Disney. #ThanksIgerandChapek!
June 17, 2017 at 4:01 PM · I last visited DLP around 5 years ago and that was only because I'd got 3 free tickets(Ferry and Sky TV giveaways). The main park arguably rivals Magic Kingdom in it's scope and scale. The studios is an unfortunate and poor copy that comes nowhere near DHS.
Paris was chosen in part because of the good transport links to large parts of Europe and France. If you look at a railway map of Spain you can see gaping great holes.

Personally I think DLP is worth a visit if you're in the area or based in Europe and can't afford the time or money required to visit 'the real thing.'
There are some great theme parks in Europe, for some reason DLP is the most visited and I can't fathom it. It's numbers have been dropping for the past 5 years but other parks numbers have remained fairly constant, I presume the same people visit those parks again and again but DLP is a 'one and done' deal.

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