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Walt Disney Company gifts €150m to Disneyland Paris for multi-year Studios Park expansion

Tuesday, 10th January 2012 at 11:00

The Walt Disney Company has begun 2012 with a €150 million boost for Disneyland Paris’ investment funds. Providing the loan agreement as an “additional standby revolving credit facility” to Euro Disney S.C.A., the operator of the resort which is 39.8% owned by Disney, it comes on top of an existing credit facility worth €100 million, giving a neat €250 million for future investments.

Just right for a modest expansion of Walt Disney Studios Park, you’re thinking? Right! The press release published this morning specifically states:

“These investments correspond to the annual recurring investment budget for fiscal year 2012 and a multi-year expansion of the Walt Disney Studios Park, which includes a new attraction.”

That “new attraction” would almost certainly be the Ratatouille dark ride for which we eventually saw concept art and detailed plans last year. With its rumoured trackless ride system, 3D projection effects and adjoining restaurant, this grand-scale E-Ticket would certainly eat a large chunk out of 250 million Euros. However, the precise wording of a “multi-year expansion” suggests that the park could see expansion or improvements beyond this single corner of Toon Studio. In recent “round table” discussions with shareholders, Philippe Gas, CEO has placed the expansion of Walt Disney Studios Park into a “complete destination for a whole days’ visit” as a top priority. With this very happy New Year investment from the Mouse, that long-held priority takes a big step closer to reality.

While the existing credit facility is available until 30th September 2014, this additional facility is available until 2018. With construction taking around two years, the opening of a major new attraction at the Studios from 2014 onwards would be a good promotion tool after the end of the 20th Anniversary. The previous multi-year expansion from 2006 to 2008 overlapped with the 15th Anniversary, leaving a gap in investments from 2009 onwards which the resort has been forced to fill with entertainment “theme years”. Since an anniversary will always attract visits, it should work in the resort’s favour to hold off more permanent investments for the years in-between.

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  • Wow! That really came out of nowhere! I don’t know what to say other than YEEEEEESSSSSSS!!!! Thank you, TWDC! :D

  • If only they had not wasted their time, money and space on Toy Story Playland. I hope the money is used more wisely this time.

  • Aaaah! The TSPL bashers are back…

    I like it and many many others too. Just go there and check-it-out!

  • I agree DisneyTom, can’t please everybody I spose. Highlight of our trip for my daughter everytime we go is Slinky Dog! Glad to see it’s ever expanding! Not many places you can go these days to escape the drudge of drama in life!!

  • THAT sounds gooood :-)) Finally good news about the future and upcoming attractions. Thanx!!

  • The most neglected resort gets some attention by TWDC. It was about time.

    I’m with davewasbaloo and hope that WDI comes up with something better than three carnival rides. Yes, DisneyTom, there’s another TSPL basher. I have been to DLRP and I have seen it by myself and yes I think it is cheap.

    I have lost my faith in WDI, you just have to look at Universal Creative, but I like the concept art of Ratatouille and hope that it turns out to be a wonderful new attraction.

    Is the restaurant still on the table, because the food options at WDSP are bad and a high quality table service restaurant is needed.

  • Studios really needs the money and effort put into it to make it any good. So this is very welcome news (though this should of really come years ago)

    It’s all well and good having some nice theming and original shows but it’s only worth a few hours visit (technically only the whole day if you wish to brave Crush’s queue!)

    TSPL was a nice additional themed “area” but the rides are not much to sniff at. It might be a worthy addition IF the park had more than one E-Ticket. But as it stands about 70% of the park’s attractions are carnival rides.

  • Thanks for the summary.

    @ Relax: Totally agree with you that a table service restaurant is needed at WDSP. We hardly ever ate inside WDSP and so a new restaurant is very welcome.

    @DWB: I hope so too, but according to the concept art, I would say the money is used better.although it’s again based on a character, it brings at least some atmosphere to the park.

  • Hooray! Finally some investment and attention from TWDC. Hopefully DLP will get some more public attention from now on, like at D23 and maybe Bob Iger will pay a visit for the 20th!

  • Great news! Good to hear that paris gets some attention by the WDC. I wonder what they will be doing with the money besides ratatouille? Hopefully they will create this theater district and finally expand behind the tram tour, to have a bigger park. Right now you would be able to cross the entire park within less than ten minutes.
    Most important is to give the park a warmer andere more studiolike atmosphere.

  • This is fantastic news. Now the Resort can start to move forward. But I do have to say about TSPL. We went when it opened in August 2010. We loved it! Granted it is WDI best ever creations but they weren’t meant to be. Never ever where these said to be E-ticket rides. But they are fun, well themed and very much liked by the public.

    Hopefully now this funding can help continue the investment for many years at WDS with after Ratatouille we might see new attractions like the Soarin’ and Theatre District.

  • I love that picture of the studios. Beautiful, you can see my favourite hotel in the world.

  • Yes in the short term this is very good news but the crunch comes when we have to repay this funding.

  • To be profitable DLRP must become a 3 days destination. Nowadays you can easily “do” the 2 parks in 2 days. If you arrive early and spend one night in the complex, you could leave by late afternoon of the second day after seeing all the attractions you want.
    To force the third day DLRP must add more attractions, which will only be paid if visitors stay one more day at the park and one or two more nights at the hotels.
    So they will need at least 2 new e-tickets rides + 2 standard rides in Disney Studios and 1 e-ticket and one standard ride in Disneyland.

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