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Mickey Mouse gets a bailout in Europe

Euro Disney on the outskirts of Paris has seen a steady decline in visitor numbers since its peak years following the opening in 1992. The news is that it is having to get a lifeline hand out from owner Walt Disney Company so that it can service its rising debts and decline in visitor numbers.

Much of this has to be put down to the economic uncertainty that is being experienced in Europe, many are of the opinion that it is simply in the wrong place, when taking weather into consideration. The lifeline that has been thrown out to Euro Disney amounts to €1bn which has to be said is a tidy sum of money.

The handing out of this amount of money has to reflect on a poor performance by the company, but with the problems being experienced in Europe, many families are cutting down on spending. This particularly applies to the French who make up half the visitor numbers to the Disney theme park. The British along with the Spanish, Dutch and Belgians make up just about one third of visitors, which in 2013 totalled 14.9 million, this year the company is forecasting a drop down to 14.1 million.

It is true to say that the venture into Europe has never lived up to the expectations of the founders’ hopes for attendance. In the period of operation, it has only just managed to grow by 28% and the best it ever attained was in 2004 when it welcomed 16 million people through the year.

So was Paris the right place to put a venture such as this, London was in the bidding, but it is unlikely that it would have fared as well as Paris and the place that many think it should have been built was Spain, with its settled warm climate and vast visitor numbers. All of which is hindsight of course.

Picture: Ismail Mia

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