For the first time since being reinstated late last year, Disney CEO Bob Iger has gone global.
Disneyland Paris is one of the most controversial projects in Disney history. Located in Chessey, France, the Park was initially dubbed EuroDisney in its early stages by then-CEO Michael Eisner. The project was intended to establish the first Disney Park on the continent of Europe and open the doors for many parks to come, but the people of France were very much against the idea, which they considered to be American cultural imperialism.
The Park opened in 1992 (having recently celebrated its 30th Anniversary) and was immediately hit with severe financial troubles, including a European recession, not enough to do at the Park, and an overabundance of hotels. In fact, the Park lost so much money that it led to the cancellation of several other Disney projects, including WestCOT, Disney’s America, Tomorrowland 2055 at Disneyland, and Beastly Kingdom at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
The Park was even in danger of closing until it reported its first quarterly profit in 1995. After continuing profits and climbing attendance thanks to succesful marketing campaigns, Disney opened Walt Disney Studios Park as part of the Resort on March 16, 2002, making today the Park’s 21st anniversary.
Walt Disney Studios Park was poorly recieved upon opening and continues to be considered one of the worst Disney Parks, due to its lackluster theming of mostly grey warehouses (intended to look like a movie studio), small area, and lack of attractions. Because of this, Disney CEO Bob Iger (during his original tenure) announced a €2 billion transformation of the Park in 2018, opening in phases from 2021 to 2025. This would include new areas based on Marvel, Frozen, and Star Wars.
Today, Bob Iger and Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products Chariman Josh D’Amaro were spotted visiting Walt Disney Studios Park in Disneyland Paris. It’s the first time he’s visited the Park since returning to the company and replacing former CEO Bob Chapek. As part of his visit, Iger checked on the progress of the expansion, specifically the new Frozen-themed land.