It owns and operates Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Vallee, France. 37.98% of shares held by The Walt Disney Company, 10% by Saudi Prince Alwaleed and 50.22% by other shareholders. Stock is traded on the Euronext Paris exchange.
Disneyland Paris comprises Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Studios Park, Disney Village and seven on-site Disney hotels. Since its opening on 12th April 1992, the resort has created more than 30,000 jobs in the region to the East of Paris.
Today, it is the number one tourist destination in Europe with 14.5 million visits recorded for financial year 2007. The resort is the second Disney Park to open up outside the U.S. following Tokyo Disney Resort. It was designed specifically to follow the model established by Walt Disney World in Florida.
The proposed location in France put the park within 4 hours drive for around 68 million people and 2 hours flight for a further 300 million or thereabout.
Figures however have not always been good. In August 1992, estimates of annual attendance figures were being drastically cut from 11 million to 9 million. Misfortunes progressed in late ’92 when European recession caused property prices to drop drastically.
Interest payments on startup loans taken out by EuroDisney forced the company into serious financial difficulties. The situation was worsened by the fact that the cheap dollar was persuading more people to forego Europe in favor of holidays in Florida at Walt Disney World.
In the summer of 1993, the New Indiana Jones roller-coaster ride opened, but disaster struck just a few weeks when the emergency brakes locked on during a ride, causing some great guest injuries. The ride was temporarily shut down for investigations.
By august 1994, the park was starting to find its feet at last, and all hotels were fully booked.