BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  Entertainment: Film
Front Page 
UK Politics 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Friday, 15 March, 2002, 15:19 GMT
Disney opens new Paris park
Disneyland in Paris
Disney opens its new Paris site as the first celebrates its 10th year
Former James Bond star Roger Moore will be the guest of honour at a gala party on Friday night to mark the opening of a second Disney theme park in Paris.

The party will also celebrate the start of a year of 10th birthday celebrations for Walt Disney's first Paris resort, known as Disneyland Paris.

The new attraction, Walt Disney Studios, opens to the public on Saturday, next to its parent park in Marne-la-Vallee, east Paris.

Roger Moore
Roger Moore will be one of the new park's first visitors

And Friday night's guests will get a sneak preview of the new park's attractions, based on hit European and US cinema, television and animation productions.

The site expansion marks a new success for the resort which, after a rocky start, is now one of Europe's most popular attractions.

Jay Rasulo, the resort's chairman and chief executive, said he had high hopes for the effect of the new park.

"Ten years ago there was nothing here, and in January 2001 we welcomed our 100 millionth visitor, it means we really have become a tourist destination at the European level," Mr Rasulo added.


The pulling power of the Walt Disney Studios lies in the site's emphasis on visitor participation in the production process.

Four areas based on a real working studio allow members of the public to see the tricks of the film and TV trade in action.

Disneyland Paris
Visitors to the new park will be able to see behind the movie-making scenes

This includes an insight into the processes that go into making a Disney animation and the chance to appear in a TV show.

Another area is devoted to special effects while themed rides travel around the park, which also boasts Disney's fastest roller coaster ride.

Mr Rasulo said he expected the Walt Disney Studios to pull in between 16 and 17 million visitors a year.

Disneyland Paris now attracts an average of 12 million visitors a year.

Since it opened in 1992, it has seen more than 110 million pass through the gates.


But the attraction - formerly known as EuroDisney - has had its ups and downs.

In its early days, it was widely passed off as a poor relation to Disney's US theme parks in Florida and California.

It has also seen its staff go on strike twice over pay. And even in the midst of birthday preparations, unions last week were again threatening industrial action.

Disneyland Paris
Celebrations continued despite the strike threat

This time the row is over bonuses for employees in senior positions.

Still, the festivities got off to a smooth start after management agreed to open negotiations next week.

The stage was therefore left clear for a parade featuring a giant birthday cake on Thursday, and a weekend of anniversary fun.

See also:

08 Jun 01 | Business
Disney in global push
08 Jun 01 | Americas
Clean underwear for Disney workers
28 Mar 01 | Business
Disney to axe 4,000 jobs
19 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Disney settles Fantasia claim
05 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Disney and Sony lead worldwide takings
31 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Silent star heir sues Disney
01 Jul 98 | The Company File
Mickey Mouse goes on strike
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Film stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Film stories