Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris First Disney resort in Europe, opening, with the original name of Euro Disney (the park itself was known as Euro Disneyland), on April 12, 1992. (The Disneyland Paris name became official on October 1, 1994.) Disney park planners had begun searching for a suitable European site for a park in the early 1980s. Eventually, two sites were selected as being ideal—one near Barcelona, Spain, and one near Paris, France. After years of studies and negotiations, the decision was made by Michael Eisner and Frank Wells to locate the park in France, at Marne-la-Vallée. After several years of construction, the park, a Festival Disney (later Disney Village) area for nighttime entertainment, and a group of themed hotels, opened in 1992. The park has a basic layout similar to Disneyland, with the major change being a substitution of Discoveryland for Tomorrowland. The park was said by many to be the most beautiful of all the Disney parks, and it certainly had the latest technology in the attractions and the latest ideas in planning and architecture. Disneyland Paris proceeded to attract almost 11 million visitors during its first year, making it the most popular tourist attraction in Europe. But because of unsatisfactory economic conditions and because of the need to pay huge interest payments on the debt needed for construction, Disneyland Paris lost money in its first years. With a financial reorganization in 1994, the park’s management hoped for an eventual turnaround and they were confident that the park would eventually be a financial as well as a critical success. Profits were reported in 1995.  A decade later, even though very popular with guests, the park still was having financial problems, necessitating concessions from banks holding its debt. The 100 millionth visitor (Stefan Seyffardt and family) was welcomed on January 10, 2001. Gérald Yernaux, with his family, became the 200,000,000th visitor on August 12, 2008. With the addition of Walt Disney Studios park in 2002, the resort name changed to Disneyland Resort Paris. The name was changed back from Disneyland Resort Paris to Disneyland Paris on May 2, 2009. In 2017 Disney bought out other investors to become the sole owner of Disneyland Paris.