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France

Disneyland Paris is Europe's top tourist destination

media Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland Paris Anthony Terrade

With a total of 250 million visitors since it opened in 1992, Disneyland Paris is the most popular tourist destination in Europe.

Last year alone the theme park, which is currently celebrating its twentieth anniversary, welcomed a record 15.5 million visitors compared to 8.4 million for Paris’ Louvre museum and 6.6 million for the Eiffel Tower.

The first park, which is some 20 kilometres east of the capital, opened its doors on 12 April, 1992 with attractions based on classic Disney characters - Snow White, Cinderella, Peter Pan, etc.

Facts and figures Disneyland Paris.

  • 57 rides
  • 62 shops
  • 58 restaurants
  • 5,800 hotel rooms.
  • 55,643 employees
  • Most popular ride: Pirates of the Caribbean (6.5 million visitors a year)

But it is the newer attractions which have proved the most popular. The Pirates of the Caribbean ride, which was later used as the basis for the hugely successful film of the same name starring Johnny Depp, last year attracted 6.5 million people. It is followed by It’s a Small, Small World aimed at younger children with 6.3 million visitors a year and the Buzz Lightyear attraction with 5.6 million.

In 2002, the US Walt Disney Company opened a second park, Walt Disney Studios, which concentrated on cinema-themed rides and the company has plans to open a third park in 2030.

Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, Federico Gonzalez, attributes the success of Disneyland Paris to its appeal to all European nations. “When families come to Disneyland, they remember it for the rest of their lives,” he says.

Since its opening Disneyland Paris has contributed 50 billion euros to the French economy.  But despite its huge success, the company last year posted a 55,643 million euro loss.

 

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