Would the Euro Disney Resort have been successful in its early years...

Elijah Abrams

Earning My Ears
Joined
Feb 6, 2020
...if it was built in the United Kingdom instead of France? (Euro Disney is the former name of Disneyland Paris, by the way.)
 

Karin1984

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
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.
 

Elijah Abrams

Earning My Ears
Joined
Feb 6, 2020
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.
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?
 

Karin1984

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Could be me, but it feels like you are looking for a reason to blame Disneyland Paris for not getting certain projects in the US.

However, in case you are being sincere, my answer would be: maybe.

More likely if EuroDisney wasn't build back then, Disney would have found another place to build a fourth resort. It was the 80s, Disney was doing very good business in Tokyo, Disney wanted to copy that success. 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. Disneyland Tokyo was a Japanese initiative, and I think that made a huge difference in how the park was received.

Maybe if it wasn't for EuroDisney or if it had been an instant success, yes, maybe some of the projects in the US would have gone through. But probably not the Muppet Studios, as Henson and Disney not getting to an agreement was more of an issue than lack of money. Beastly Kingdom... Maybe there wouldnt have been money for that either if WestCOT or Tomorrowland 2055 had failed. Or if it was a success, they wanted to expand more in that direction instead of Animal Kingdom. Maybe we never had Animal Kingdom.
 

cwis

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 3, 2016
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).
 

Douglas Dubh

True Fiscal Conservative
Joined
Nov 13, 1999
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.
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.
 
  • Karin1984

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2012
    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).
    I’m pretty sure they considered one in Spain.
    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.
     

    Woodview

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 29, 2013
    Some of the reasons that EuroDisney was a slow starter were

    The lack of understanding of the USA management of The European way of using leisure time

    Europeans go to theme parks ( and there were many out there ) to ride the rides

    Not look around and stroll and eat snacks at every turn.

    Europeans wished to being there own food & Drinks

    The Culture of " Have a nice Day " by cast members Gritted on the teeth of Europeans

    Yes I was there within the first few weeks of it opening And I was a small shareholder.

    Yes I staid with my own fold up tent at The Davy Crockett camp site
     


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