Disneyland Paris: A History


Disneyland Paris: Disney Magic in Europe

In honor of my cousin visiting France for the first time this week, I will focus today's post on one of her true passions: Disneyland. And as it was something that I promised her that we would do, and it is something that I haven't done (in Europe) in at least a decade, I decided to learn about the history of this magical place.

Popular Theme Park

Disneyland Paris is the most visited theme park in all of Europe. Disneyland Paris is also the fourth highest ranked theme park out of all the Disney theme parks, trailing behind Tokyo Disneyland. Though Paris has other theme parks, modeled after favorite French comics and pastimes, it is Disney that comes out ahead because of the amount of international visitors that it attracts on a daily basis.

Modeled After Other Disney Parks

When the plan to build Disneyland Paris came up, known as Euro Disney at the time, was modeled after the success of both Disney World in Florida and Tokyo Disney in Japan. After the Japanese park opened in the 1980s, it was met with instant success, proving that Disney could work internationally and fueling to drive to build a Disney park in Europe.

Last time in Disneyland Paris
Can you tell it was cold?

Spain vs France

When deciding  on a location for this new Disney park, four cities were narrowed down, two in Spain, two in France. Spain was originally the favorite because of the warm climates to give it a tropical feel. Eventually Marne la Vallée won out because of its thirty minute accessibility from Paris and that Paris was a much more accessible city to bring in people from all over the world.

Controversial for the French

Many French people were opposed to building Disneyland Paris in fear that the American park would taint French culture. One reporter even called it a "cultural chernobyl" as the consumer culture would be catastrophic to Europe. But capitalism won and the park was built and its doors opened in 1992.

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