It Looks Like Disneyland Paris Is Going To See Major Improvements

Our family is a bit crazy about Disney.  We make at least a yearly pilgrimage to Disney World and we’ve also spent time at Disneyland in California and even trekked to Disneyland Paris.  That trip to Disneyland Paris was bittersweet for us.

We were really happy to visit a new Disney park.  There were a bunch of new rides and attractions to see.  Alice’s Curious Labyrinth comes to mind as something the kids absolutely loved.

Disneyland Paris

But, there was so much wrong.  Tons of rides out of order, bathrooms shut down, restaurants out of food.  It was so un-Disney.  We expected some of that, having done research before heading to the parks.  I hate to say it was worse than we thought.

Why?

A big part of it has to do with the ownership structure.  It’s the only Disney park I’m aware of that Disney doesn’t own 100% of. 

ETA: Thanks to Mark and Benjamin for supplying more detail on ownership structures of other parks in the comments below.

It was a public/private partnership of sorts.  The big problem is while Disney wanted to put money into the parks to fix them up, the other shareholders didn’t.  It’s hard to blame Disney for being reticent to put money into something without any additional return. They did put some cash in a few years ago, but there’s significant news on the “fix Disneyland Paris” front.  We have a small investment in Disney stock, mostly as a way to teach our kids about investing.  Because of that, I track their stock for news of changes.  It appears Disney is moving to acquire all the shares in Euro Disney.  Quoting from Rueters:

Disney said on Friday it was offering 2 euros a share for any remaining shares in Euro Disney after buying a 9 percent stake from Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holdings via a share swap, increasing its holding in the European company to 85.7 percent from 76.7 percent.

If it gets to at least 95 percent it will buy out and delist the shares from the Euronext Paris stock exchange, it added.

The offer represents a 67 percent premium to the closing price of Euro Disney shares on Thursday. Minority shareholders have long complained about the way the company was run and Disney could face resistance to the offer despite the premium.

Walt Disney reiterated it would support a recapitalization of up to 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion), which would help to cut Euro Disney’s debt and improve its financial position.

The Final Two Pennies

The biggest thing Euro Disney needs is cash.  The economy and Paris terrorist attacks created a serious drag on park attendance.  Combine that with years of under-investment and, voila, you have crappy Disney.

I’m betting that even if they don’t get to 95% of the shares, they’ll still plow money in.  They own enough of Euro Disney now that a large investment is mostly beneficial to them.  And, Disney trades on reputation.  Suffice it to say that Disneyland Paris isn’t helping much on that front right now.

The post It Looks Like Disneyland Paris Is Going To See Major Improvements was published first on Pizza in Motion

17 Comments

  1. We went a few years ago on a week long trip of Paris and stayed at the Disneyland Hotel for 1 night. We went on a Wednesday in April and we got early admission. We literally were the only two people to walk thru the turnstiles for probably 20 minutes. We grabbed a croissant and coffee and had mainstreet to ourselves for 20 minutes. we have some amazing pics with no other people.

    I thought some of the rides were really neat. Their version of Space Mountain and Big Thunder are much more adult. I think if I had it do do over I’d probably just take the train paris and do a day trip versus staying there as we did both parks rather quickly….of course there was only about 5% of the Disney crowds we are used to.

    1. Shaun, we contemplated staying at one of the Disney hotels. We ended up taking the train from downtown and doing a 1-day mad dash. Oddly, I’d do what you did and stay out there next time, just to try something different. 🙂
      We really wanted to like the park. But, the kids fighting in the water fountain and lack of working rides made it difficult. That being said, Ratatouille was awesome!

  2. As Mark just stated, Disney only owns Walt Disney World and Disneyland out right, the rest of the parks, Disneyland Tokyo, Disney by the Sea, Hong Kong Disney, and Disney Shanghai, are all government partnerships, Disneyland Paris is the worst example of all the parks outside of America

  3. We visited Disneyland Paris a couple years ago in the off season and it was fine. I’m not sure why anyone would experience big problems there. The biggest disappointment for typical Disney fans would be the fact that it’s small and not as big as some of the other parks. I would rate it about equal with Disney Hong Kong.

    Also, unless you’re just such a huge Disney fan that you have to stay at a Disney property I’d stay one train stop down the RER line at the Val D’Europe area. We had a really nice stay at the Relais Spa hotel there. There is a ton of shopping and restaurants in that area. The train ride is only like a two minutes to get to the front gate at Disney.

    Also if you’re going to CDG directly to or from this area you can take the high speed train that is only about 9 or 10 minutes from Terminal 2.

  4. We will be going to DLP for spring break this year. We are staying on site for 2 nights at one of the cheaper hotels. This will be our first park outside the US. I know they have been working on major refurbishments for the anniversary so I do look forward to seeing some of that.

  5. I think you are aware that I am a Disney nut. Been to the American parks many, many times. Love them. Thought going to the one in Paris would be a kick. It was not. It was 2012 We stayed in the park at the New York City hotel (or whatever the name was). Horribly disappointed. That property had well-worn furniture and carpeting that one would never see in a hotel that costs as much. The food was not that good and overpriced. The park is smaller. I guess we expected to see Mickey and Friends with a definite French accent. Wrong. This park wanted to emulate the United States. Souvenirs in English mainly. We spent three days there and probably will never return. My biggest laugh was the longest line in the park – for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream which was $5.50 per scoop. LOL. BUT, I will say that you are right about the Alice park. That I loved but I’m prejudiced and Alice is my favorite Disney film. I will save my money in the future and return to Disneyworld whenever I can.

      1. I think we’d rather stay in the States right now. Yes, we have the mileage but not the money needed for that kind of trip. Will you take me for my 70th birthday this year???? I’ll give you a dozen donuts.

  6. I was able to visit Paris Disney a few years ago when Timmy was two. It was OK, but there were definite things they could do to spruce it up to bring it more in line with the other parks. And with their purchase of Star Wars and Marvel, you know they’re itching to install those brands at the park to increase attendance.

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