I guess a generation has now grown up with EuroDisney. Have the Euro-snobs finally accepted the theme park that started off in perilous waters?
Yeah, the US-idiots convinced us :rolleyes:
Euro-snobs? WTF? Lose the attitude and you may get a thread going.
Didn’t mean to be so blunt, but it is the only possible explanation for why EuroDisney was so poorly received. It was theorized that once a generation grew up “Disney”, it would begin to thrive. …Unless Europe still has a hardwired fear of being overrun by (talking) mice!
I think a lot of the talk about snobbery was exaggerated. Sure, a few French farmers (who else!) caused trouble at the start, but I think the real cause of the lack of visitor numbers is the park’s location. Queuing for two hours for a rollercoaster in the presence of anthropomorphic rodents might be fun in the sunshine of Florida or California, but quickly becomes wearing on a drizzly February day amid the cabbage fields of northern France.
Oh by the way, they dropped the “Euro Disney” name after the first couple of years. It’s been “Disneyland Paris” for a long while now.
It’s not only blunt but also fairly ignorant, I’d say. Generations of Europeans have grown up “Disney”, watching the movies and the cartoons, reading the comics and buying the merchandise. No resentment or snobbery there. I guess that what prevents EuroDisney from being a Europe-wide success is probably that Europe is not one country but a whole lot of them. It is probably not a very big deal for Americans to travel 500-1000 miles to get somewhere. Heck, they might not even have to leave the state to do so; they certainly won’t be forced to communicate in another language than theirs or be confronted with an entirely different culture. Not so in Europe; the barriers are greater; people don’t just pack their bags and travel such distances just to go to an amusement park, not even if its Disney.
It might help to consider that Disney may have made some errors in planning this resort, rather than assuming it’s all down to “Euro-snobs” :rolleyes:
As has been mentioned, the Paris weather makes it much more a seasonal destination than the California and Florida resorts are. In the summer, though, the Magic Kingdom park attracts plenty of visitors.
The second Walt Disney Studios park is at the moment widely considered to be underbuilt and isn’t pulling in the crowds Disney had hoped for. That may improve when it gets some more rides and other attractions, but right now it’s costing the resort money.
Many people are combining the resort with a trip to Paris - not surprisingly! - and therefore are staying in a hotel closer to the city and visiting as a day guest, meaning the hotels aren’t getting the bookings the planners had hoped for AND they’re not selling as many multi-day tickets as in Anaheim and Orlando.
Disneyland Paris is making adjustments to deal with these differences, and last I heard it was running a healthy profit. The resort has not become a license to print money, but it’s an investment that’s paying off, slowly but steadily.
(Incidentally, anyone making the trip to Disneyland Paris should consider also visiting nearby Parc Asterix - a little homegrown competition, and great fun!)
The Grand Palais did the big Il Etait une Fois exhibition back in the autumn of 2006, which traced the sources of Disney’s style and imagery in scholarly detail and made the argument that he was an artist working in the European academic tradition. Since this was equating Disney with the more traditional subjects of the big international art blockbusters that run in Paris at the Grand Palais (currently this major exhibition on Marie Antoinette as a patron and recently the big Courbet show), there was a certain amount of gloating comment in the British press that this was the symbolic surrender of the French art establishment a decade and a half after the Euro Disney uproar.
Whether that was quite true or not, I don’t know. Good, well-mounted exhibition though.
If I went that far, i.e. spend the amount of money it will cost in travel and hotel expenses, I’d want to get a bit more out of it, like visiting cities, seeing a museum or two, going for a hike - whatever I fancy…
And lets not forget I’m going to a different country with a different culture and history than my own. Only going for a theme park visit would be strange - I feel I would miss out on so many interesting things by only going for one thing.
There’s also the weather.
I dont know what the situation is nowadays but when it first opened it was incredibly expensive to go there.
It was thought generally in the U.K. that it was cheaper to go to DW Florida and as other posters have said there is sunshine there,everything is in English,the Yanks are very friendly and the culture is less alien to Brits.
Also rightly or wrongly the French have a reputation of not being terribly welcoming to foreign visitors,something which I might add that I’ve never come across myself on visits to their country.
So as far as we were concerned their was no snobbery issue but I could’nt say for other European nationals.
It still is - or at least it was last year. The way the situation is now, it’s probably cheaper to go to teh US and then you can be more certain of good weather.
An interesting article from this week’s Times about the place. Not very complimentary :- Times Online
When it opened as EuroDisney it was unbelievably arrogant, the “euro” was misleading to say the least … nothing but NOTHING was in French, or any other European language but English. It literally was like entering a foreign country … why go somewhere you’ll feel alienated when you have a perfectly good home grown alternative ?
The re-branding as Disneyland Paris has helped somewhat, it does what it says on the tin, as has the rise of low-cast flights from the British Isles - British and Irish parents quite happily fly over for long weekends or half-term breaks (heck one of my cousins even went there for the day instead of coming to my wedding !).
The last time I was there I’d say there was an even split between English and non-English speaking families - I’d hazard a guess that more of the English speakers were staying in the resort while the others had added it on to a trip to Paris but that’s just judging from the profile of those getting the train back into Paris at the end of the day.
When the plans for a Euro Disney were first mooted, the main players were France and Spain.
Most everyone seemed to think Spain would be the better location, its cheaper and the weather is better, plus they seem to be better at working in the tourism industry.
How France got it, I’ll never know, but there was always a sneaking suspicion that some deals were done in the background.
There was a certain amount of Schadnefrade when things didn’t go all that well for the French site, and personally, I still think it would have been much betterplaced in Spain.
Seems strange to me that France is so Anglophobe that it passes laws forbidding the use of non-approved, English words - inventing other French sounding clumsies to substitute, and yet it is keen to soak up the money from that most Anglo- Saxon of commercial capitalist enterprises.
With Spain there was no such culture class, they are well used to tourists, and theme parks, and they have plenty of culture and history to go by.
Yea, when I was 11 I (an American) went there and the main thing I remember being surprised by was how much it was an exact copy of the US version, down to (as you note) a lot of English. Even at eleven I got bored pretty fast and wanted to go do something I couldn’t do back home.
My experience in France last month was enlightening. Everyone spoke English. It was the lingua franca for all the English, Spanish, Dutch, Germans, Belgians, Americans, and everyone else. We spent time in Tours and Paris, and I’d been petrified for my lack of French. It turned out to be no problem in the slightest.
We passes the Disney Paris signs on the way back to Cologne, but had no desire to stop. But we’d also spent a week in Orlando with no desire to stop, either.
For foreign words, my friend in Tours insists that France isn’t all that adamant about preserving the language, at least compared to the Quebecois!
The only possible explanation?
How about ‘Europe has history and culture as alternatives’ e.g. Tower of London, Palace of Versailles, Sistine Chapel?
I remember when I first heard about the creation of EuroDisney, I thought how ironic (and a marketting nightmare) to be building an amusement park whose main mascot/icon will remind the european hosts of one the darkest episodes in their history: the plague !
Except the plague was spread by rats and not mice!
If I took my family to France, it’d never occur to me to go to an American theme park. That’d be like taking my wife to McDonald’s when we’re spending a weekend i Paris. Is that being a snob…?
That’s what a lot of Brits do when to go on holiday to Spain. They only eat in British owned cafés and restaurants that serve British food, drink in British owned bars that sell British beer and only watch Sky on TV. They may has well have stopped at home, except it’s warmer and sunnier.