Well, then what would happen if EuroDisney wasn't built until, say, after the "Disney Decade" (1990-1999), as former Disney CEO Michael Eisner called it? Would that have allowed scrapped projects like WestCOT, Tomorrowland 2055, Muppet Studios Florida, and Beastly Kingdom to come true?One of the reasons it wasn't put in the UK was due to the lack of flat land. Which after last night's storm seems to be a good thing.
Back in the late eighties, early nineties, flying for a holiday was not a thing in Europe. Back then most people travelling for a holiday abroad took their car.
One of the reasons why Marne La Vallee was such a good location was it was within a four hour drive for 68 million people (and a 2 hour flight for 300 million people). London was not accessible by car from the mainland till 1994. My guess is, it would have done worse in the first years in visitor numbers, mainly relying on domestic tourism.
To give you a comparison, in 2019 3,5 million French people visited the UK, versus 13 million UK people visiting France. France in general is a more desirable vacation country than the UK, I think.
I am not sure how many Anti-Americanism feelings there would have been in the UK back then. For example, the French had a problem with the appearance code "an attack on individual liberty" (quite a funny thing to accuse the US from ;-) ), as children in the UK wear uniforms to school, this probably was less of a thing in the UK? The strict rules the TWDC had, made 10-25% of the staff resign in the first year. Would that have happened in the UK, maybe, maybe not. Yes, historically the ties between the UK and the US are stronger than between any other mainland European country. But those ties do not equal similar culture. I can imagine there would have been issues as well.
Not sure about 1985 when they were looking, but probably the term EURO-disney wouldn't have survived now ;-)
Being able to serve alcohol, mainly wine at dinner, was a thing for the French. Would it have been the same for the UK when it comes to beer? Sipping wine at dinner is different from downing a pint in a pub.
It is nice to speculate how the park would have been different.
We probably wouldn't have had Ratatouille, Hunchback of Notre Dame would not have been the theme of the 5th anniversary, There would probably be more Alice in Wonderland or Winnie the Pooh. More trains?
Most likely the park wouldn't have been bilingual.
I’ve read several places that one of the biggest problems was that they overbuilt the hotels. Another problem was that they expected to develop the surrounding land and that there was a slump in the mid 90’s that hurt that plan.I think the initial failure of Disneyland Paris has more to do with cultural differences the Walt Disney company overlooked and assumed too many things.
IIRC France was the only land where Disney was willing to build anyway. They never envision a park elsewhere. France was already the first destination from tourism in the 1980s (and still is).
According to wikipedia (and let's assume it's right) the four countries were UK, Italy, France and Spain. The first two got rejected due to not enough flat land. 2 sites in Spain didn't make it due to environmentalists. The other option in France was near Marseille, but the ground was not suitable.I’m pretty sure they considered one in Spain.