The clickable images and pictures within this page show material related to Disneyland Paris. Disneyland Paris, originally Euro Disney Resort, is an entertainment resort in Marne-la-Vallée, a new town located east of the center of Paris and is the most visited attraction in all of France and Europe. It is owned and operated by Euro Disney S.C.A., a publicly traded company in which The Walt Disney Company owns a minority stake. The resort covers and encompasses two theme parks, several resort hotels, a shopping, dining, and entertainment complex, and a golf course, in addition to several additional recreational and entertainment venues. Disneyland Park is the original theme park of the complex, opening with the resort on April 12, 1992. A second theme park, Walt Disney Studios Park opened in 2002.
The resort is the second Disney park to open outside the United States, following Tokyo Disney Resort, and the first to be owned and operated by Disney (through Euro Disney S.C.A.). The resort was designed specifically to follow the model established by Walt Disney World in Florida. Park attendance, hotel occupancy and revenues initially fell below projections, but in July 1995 the company saw its first quarterly profit. However, the resort still struggles to be profitable even to this day because of its large debt.
Following the success of Walt Disney World in Florida, plans to build a similar theme park in Europe emerged in 1972. Upon the leadership of E. Cardon Walker, Tokyo Disneyland opened in 1983 in Japan with instant success, forming a catalyst for international expansion. In late 1984 the heads of Disney's theme park division, Dick Nunis and Jim Cora, presented a list of approximately 1,200 possible European locations for the park. By March 1985, the number of possible locations for the park had been reduced to four; two in France and two in Spain. Both nations saw the potential economic advantages of a Disney theme park and offered competing financing deals to Disney.
Both Spanish sites were located near the Mediterranean Sea and offered a subtropical climate similar to Disney's parks in California and Florida. Disney had also shown interest in a site near Toulon in southern France, not far from Marseille. The pleasing landscape of that region, as well as its climate, made the location a top competitor for what would be called Euro Disneyland. However, shallow bedrock was encountered beneath the site, which would render construction too difficult. Finally, a site in the rural town of Marne-la-Vallée was chosen because of its proximity to Paris and its central location in Western Europe. This location was estimated to be no more than a four-hour drive for 68 million people and no more than a two-hour flight for a further 300 million.