Mar 27-Apr 12, 2017: Disneyland Paris looking for sparkle from 25th Anniversary celebration
FRANCE - Disneyland Paris’ 25th birthday party begins ahead of the Apr 12 anniversary with attractions designed to dazzle and to reverse the flagging fortunes of the park, a premier tourist attraction in normal times.
“A brilliant anniversary celebration beyond your imagination awaits you,” according to the news release for the anniversary. It includes “new Guest experiences to include sensational new attractions, a grand celebration with the beloved Disney Characters, a brand new Parade and a breathtaking new night time spectacular.” The attractions include an “action-packed intergalactic voyage, all in 3D” that sends guests to multiple Star Wars destinations where they will interact with characters from throughout the franchise.
The park can’t expect much sparkle from the visitor numbers for the celebration. Tourists are shunning all of France following a recent spate of deadly jihadist attacks, and the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda have identified Disneyland Paris as a prime target. Britain’s Telegraph newspaper reported in Aug 2016 that hotel occupancy rates in the capital had halved, compared to 2015.
The park’s financial troubles arrived soon after its opening on Apr 12, 1992, when visitors arrived in great numbers from all over Europe but didn’t spend on the money-making extras, such as Disney merchandise and meals. Reuters reported in Feb 2015 that the Paris-listed firm had recorded losses in 16 of its then-23 years, despite owning Europe's top tourist destination with about 14 million visitors per year. In 2014 the parent company in the United States was forced to bail out its Paris offspring.