Disneyland Resort Paris

Tyumen state university

Faculty of ecological and geography

The department of foreign languages

Project:

«Disneyland Resort Paris»

Tyumen

2008


Presentation Disneyland Resort Paris

 

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. My name is Tatiana. I’m a third year student. Today I’d like to say a few words to you about Disneyland Resort in Paris.

Disneyland Resort Paris is a holiday and recreation resort in Marne-la-Valle a new town in the eastern suburbs of Paris France. The complex is located 32 km from the centre of Paris and lies for the most part on the territory of the commune of Cheesy.

Disneyland Resort Paris features two theme parks an entertainment district and seven Disney-owned hotels.

Hotels recreation and restaurants

In order to control a maximum of the hotel business it was decided that 5 000 Disney-owned hotel rooms would be built within the complex. In March 1988 Disney and a council of architects  decided on an exclusively American theme in which each hotel would depict a region of the United States.

29 restaurants were built inside the park. Menus and prices were varied with an American flavour predominant and Disney's precedent of not serving alcoholic beverages was continued in the park.

 

Recruitment

Unlike Disney's United States theme parks Euro Disney aimed for permanent employees as opposed to seasonal and temporary part-time employees.

 

The complex

Disneyland Resort Paris encompasses 19 km2 including resort hotels nightclubs a golf course a railway station and theme parks there are: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park.

Also it includes an entertainment district which calls The Disney Village and it contains a variety of restaurants bars shops and other venues and stays open after the parks close.

Hotels

The complex features seven Disneyland Resort Paris hotels. The Disneyland Hotel is located over the entrance of the Disneyland Park and is marketed as the most prestigious hotel on property. A body of water known as Lake Disney is surrounded by Disney's Hotel New York Disney's Newport Bay Club and Disney's Sequoia Lodge. Disney's Hotel Cheyenne and Disney's Hotel Santa Fe are located near Lake Disney Disney's Davy Crockett Ranch is located in a woodland area outside the resort perimeter.

 

As to Transport

A railway station Marne-la-Vallйe - Chessy with connection to the suburban RER network and the TGV high-speed rail network is located between the theme parks and Disney Village. Free shuttle buses provide transport to all Disney hotels and Associated Hotels.

Disneyland Resort Paris is an embodiment Walt Disney’s imagination and a subject of dreams of all children in the world. The Disneyland is the best place for rest with children in France.

 

That’s all I wish to say thank for your listening and I’d be happy to answer any questions.


Disneyland Resort Paris

 

Disneyland Resort Paris is a holiday and recreation resort in Marne-la-Valle a new town in the eastern suburbs of Paris France. The complex is located 32 km (20 miles) from the centre of Paris and lies for the most part on the territory of the commune of Cheesy.

Disneyland Resort Paris features two theme parks an entertainment district and seven Disney-owned hotels. Operating since April 12 1992 it was the second Disney resort to open outside the United States (following Tokyo Disney Resort) and the first to be owned and operated by Disney. With 14.5 million visitors in the fiscal year of 2007 it is one of Europe's leading tourist destinations.

Disneyland Resort Paris is owned and operated by French company Euro Disney S.C.A. a public company of which 39.78% of its stock is held by The Walt Disney Company 10% by the Saudi Prince Awaked and 50.22% by other shareholders. The park is run by chairman and CEO Karl Holz.

The complex was a subject of controversy during the periods of negotiation and construction when a number of prominent French figures voiced their opposition and protests were held by French labors unions and others. A further setback followed the opening of the resort as park attendance hotel occupancy and revenues fell below projections. Partly as a result of this the complex was renamed from Euro Disney Resort to Disneyland Paris in 1995. In July of that year the company saw its first quarterly profit.

A second theme park Walt Disney Studios Park was opened to the public on March 16 2002.

 

Background & development

Following the success of Disneyland in Anaheim California and Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista Florida plans to build a similar theme park in Europe emerged in 1972. Upon the leadership of E. Cardon Walker Tokyo Disneyland opened in 1983 in Japan with instant success forming a catalyst for international expansion. In late 1984 the heads of Disney's theme park division Dick Nunis and Jim Cora presented a list of approximately 1 200 possible European locations for the park.[1]

By March of 1985 the number of possible locations for the park had been reduced to four; two in France and two in Spain.[2] Both of these nations saw the potential economic advantages of a Disney theme park and competed by offering financing deals to Disney.[3]

Both Spanish sites were located near the Mediterranean Sea and offered a subtropical climate similar to Disney's parks in California and Florida. Disney had also shown interest in a site near Toulon in southern France not far from Marseille. The pleasing landscape of that region as well as its climate made the location a top competitor for what would be called Euro Disneyland. However thick layers of bedrock were discovered beneath the site which would render construction too difficult. Finally a site in the rural town of Marne-la-Valle was chosen because of its proximity to Paris and its central location in Western Europe. This location was estimated to be no more than a four-hour drive for 68 million people and no more than a two-hour flight for a further 300 million.

Michael Eisner Disney's CEO at the time signed the first letter of agreement with the French government for the 20 square-kilometers site in December of 1985 and the first financial contracts were drawn up during the following spring. Construction began in August of 1988 and in December of 1990 an information centre named "Espace Euro Disney" was opened to show the public what was being constructed. Plans for a theme park next to Euro Disneyland based on the entertainment industry Disney-MGM Studios Europe quickly went into development scheduled to open in 1996 with a construction budget of USD $2.3 billion.[4]

 


Hotels recreation and restaurants

In order to control a maximum of the hotel business it was decided that 5 000 Disney-owned hotel rooms would be built within the complex. In March 1988 Disney and a council of architects (Frank Gerry Michael Graves Robert A.M. Stern Stanley Tigerman and Robert Ventura) decided on an exclusively American theme in which each hotel would depict a region of the United States. At the time of the opening in April of 1992 seven hotels collectively housing 5 200 rooms had been built. By the year 2017 Euro Disney under the terms specified in its contract with the French government will be required to finish constructing a total of 18 200 hotel rooms at varying distances from the resort.[5]

An entertainment shopping and dining complex based on Walt Disney World's Downtown Disney was designed by Frank Gerry. With its towers of oxidized silver and bronze-colored stainless steel under a canopy of lights it opened as Festival Disney.[6]

For a projected daily attendance of 55 000 Euro Disney planned to serve an estimated 14 000 people per hour inside the Euro Disneyland Park. In order to accomplish this 29 restaurants were built inside the park (with a further 11 restaurants built at the Euro Disney resort hotels and 5 at Festival Disney). Menus and prices were varied with an American flavors predominant and Disney's precedent of not serving alcoholic beverages was continued in the park. 2 100 patio seats (30% of park seating) were installed to satisfy Europeans’ expected preference of eating outdoors in good weather. In test kitchens at Walt Disney World recipes were adapted for European tastes. Walter Meyer executive chef for menu development at Euro Disney and executive chef of food projects development at Walt Disney World noted “A few things we did need to change but most of the time people kept telling us ‘Do your own thing. Do what’s American’.”[7]


Recruitment

Unlike Disney's United States theme parks Euro Disney aimed for permanent employees (an estimated requirement of 12 000 for the theme park itself) as opposed to seasonal and temporary part-time employees. Casting centers were set up in Paris London Amsterdam and Frankfurt in an effort to reflect the multinational aspect of Euro Disney’s visitors. However it was understood by the French government and Disney that “a concentrated effort would be made to tap into the local French labors market” [1]. Disney sought workers with sufficient communication skills spoke two European languages (French and one other) and were socially outgoing. Following precedent Euro Disney set up its own Disney University to train workers. 24 000 people had applied by November of 1991.[1]

 

Controversies

The prospect of a Disney park in France was a subject of debate and controversy. Critics who included prominent French intellectuals denounced what they considered to be the cultural imperialism or ‘neoprovincialism’ of Euro Disney and felt it would encourage in France an unhealthy American type of consumerism. For others Euro Disney became a symbol of America within France. On June 28 1992 a group of French farmers blockaded Euro Disney in protest of farm policies the United States supported at the time. A journalist in the French newspaper Le Figaro wrote “I wish with all my heart that the rebels would set fire to [Euro] Disneyland."[9] Ariane Mnouchkine a Parisian stage director named the concept a “cultural Chernobyl”; [10] a phrase which would be echoed in the media and grow synonymous with Euro Disney's initial years.

In response French philosopher Michel Serres noted “It is not America that is invading us. It is we who adore it who adopt its fashions and above all its words.” Euro Disney S.C.A.'s then-chairman Robert Fitzpatrick responded "We didn’t come in and say O.K. we’re going to put a beret and a baguette on Mickey Mouse. We are who we are."[1]

Topics of controversy further included Disney's American managers requiring English to be spoken at all meetings and Disney's appearance code for members of staff which listed regulations and limitations for the use of make up facial hair tattoos jewelers and more. French labors unions mounted protests against the appearance code which they saw as “an attack on individual liberty.” Others criticized Disney as being insensitive to French culture individualism and privacy because restrictions on individual or collective liberties were illegal under French law unless it could be demonstrated that the restrictions are requisite to the job and do not exceed what is necessary. Disney countered by saying that a ruling that barred them from imposing such an employment standard could threaten the image and long-term success of the park. “For us the appearance code has a great effect from a product identification standpoint ” said Thor Degelmann Euro Disney’s personnel director and a native Californian. “Without it we couldn’t be presenting the Disney product that people would be expecting.”[11]

 

Opening day

On April 12 1992 Euro Disney Resort and its theme park Euro Disneyland officially opened. Visitors were warned of chaos on the roads and a government survey indicated that half a million people carried by 90 000 cars might attempt to enter the complex. French radio warned traffic to avoid the area. By midday the parking lot was approximately half full suggesting an attendance level below 25 000. Speculative explanations ranged from people heeding the advice to stay away to the one-day strike that cut the direct RER railway connection to Euro Disney from the centre of Paris.[9]

 


Financial attendance and employment problems

In May of 1992 entertainment magazine The Hollywood Reporter reported that about 25% of Euro Disney's workforce — approximately 3 000 men and women — had resigned their jobs because of unacceptable working conditions. It also reported that the park's attendance was far behind expectations. Euro Disney S.C.A. responded in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in which Robert Fitzpatrick claimed only 1 000 people had left their jobs.

In response to the financial situation Fitzpatrick ordered that the Disney-MGM Studios project would be put on hiatus until a further decision could be made. Prices at the hotels were reduced.

Despite these efforts in May 1992 daily park attendance was around 25 000 (some reports give a figure of 30 000) instead of the predicted 60 000. The Euro Disney Company stock price spiraled downwards and on July 23 1992 Euro Disney announced an expected net loss in its first year of operation of approximately 300 million French francs. During Euro Disney's first winter hotel occupancy was such that it was decided to close the Newport Bay Club hotel during the season. Initial hopes were that each visitor would spend around USD $33 per day but near the end of 1992 analysts reckoned spending to be around 12% lower.[12]

Efforts to improve attendance included serving alcoholic beverages with meals inside the Euro Disneyland park in response to a presumed European demand which began June 12 1993.[13]

In January 1994 Sanford Litvack an attorney from New York City and former Assistant Attorney General during the Jimmy Carter presidency was assigned to be Disney's lead negotiator regarding Euro Disney's future. On 28 February Litvack made an offer (without the consent of Eisner or Frank Wells) to split the debts between Euro Disney's creditors and Disney. After the banks showed interest Litvack informed Eisner and Wells. On March 14 the day before the annual shareholders meeting the banks capitulated to Disney's demands. The creditor banks bought USD $500 million worth of Euro Disney shares forgave 18 months of interest and deferred interest payments for three years. Disney invested USD $750 million into Euro Disney and granted a five-year suspension of royalty payments.

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