Disneyland Paris given €1 billion bailout

Euro Disney blamed for failure to stay up-to-date

Disneyland Paris has been given a €1 billion bailout in the run up to its 25th anniversary, TTG Digital reports. The money was given by Walt Disney to the Paris theme park’s parent company Euro Disney, which has a debt burden of €1.75 billion and has been blamed on the failure to keep the park looking up-to-date and ready to invest in new rides.

The park has also seen a loss of popularity, with its first-half report for 2014 revealing revenues fell 6% to €533.3 million. The lower revenues led to an increase in net loss of €18 million.

The fall in revenues comes as visitor numbers fall – a total of 14.1 million visited in the last 12 months, a drop of 800,000 on the previous year.

“This recapitalization plan would improve Euro Disney Group’s financial position and enable it to continue investing in the guest experience,” Disney, which owns 40% of Euro Disney, said in a statement. “With this effort, we are demonstrating Walt Disney Co.’s continued confidence in Disneyland Paris, which remains the number-one tourist destination in Europe.”

Euro Disney finance director Mark Stead said: “We need to get away from tired-looking assets and make them look new. We need to be ready for the 25th anniversary in 2017. We will be revamping attractions, bringing in new ride technology [and] new ride experiences. The look and feel will completely change. We hope to take technology from US parks and bring it here. We wanted to [do that in the past] and we needed to do that, but we haven’t had the financial flexibility to do so.”

TTG Digital

[pictured: Disneyland Paris parade]

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