Disneyland Paris Facing Nonstop Issues, Park May Shut the Gates for Good

in Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris fireworks

Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney Company is probably the most recognizable brand and entertainment company in the world. With theme parks around the world, including Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, and Shanghai Disney Resort, it’s also the number one vacation destination for families and fans of the Disney Company.

For decades, Disney was held in the highest regard, with some of the highest standards for employees, regulations, upkeep, and overall image. In recent years, much of that has changed, with complaints shared across social media about how the theme parks are lacking their “magic,” cleanliness, and friendly hospitality. Prices of everything from park tickets to food to accommodations have continued to increase as the parks seem to offer less and less to guests in order to set themselves apart.

Related: Disney Pushes Ahead With New Project, Shifts Focus to International Parks

While both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort have dealt with their own fair share of criticism, there’s another Disney park that has struggled nonstop all year, drawing ire from cast members and guests alike, leaving many to ask the question: is it time for Disneyland Paris to shut its gates for good?

Disneyland Paris crowds
Credit: Almay

Brief History of Disneyland Paris

The fourth Disney park to open was the Euro Disney Resort in 1992. Coming a decade after the Tokyo Disney Resort, it’s the only international park to be fully owned and operated by the Walt Disney Company and would eventually consist of two parks, Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park, as well as seven on-property hotels and a Downtown Disney shopping, dining, and entertainment area. The park would change its name from Euro Disney to Disneyland Resort Paris (more commonly referred to as Disneyland Paris) in 1994.

The parks feature a variety of popular attractions, including “it’s a small world,” Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Hyperspace Mountain, Phantom Manor (their version of the Haunted Mansion), and Pirates of the Caribbean. Disneyland Park boasts similar areas to Disneyland and Walt Disney World, with Frontierland, Adventureland, Fantasyland, Main Street U.S.A., and Discoveryland, which is their version of Tomorrowland. Walt Disney Studios Park is similar to Disney California Adventure/Hollywood Studios, featuring the Production Courtyard, Toon Studio, Worlds of Pixar, and the recently opened Avengers Campus.

Disneyland Paris announces all new show coming in 2024
Credit: Disneyland Paris

Recent Issues Plaguing Disneyland Paris

While offering European visitors a Disney destination, the park has faced a variety of issues almost since its inception, and has been in debt for over a decade even as it remains the largest single-site employer in France. Within the last year or so, it seems as though the resort has been dealing with more issues than usual as it celebrated its 30th anniversary celebrations.

As the cast member unions at Walt Disney World finally managed to reach an agreement with the company after negotiations spanned almost six months, cast members at Disneyland Paris were hard pressed to reach a similar deal. When negotiations didn’t work, thousands of employees went on strike in May to protest poor wages, working conditions, and other issues, an effort which lasted for two months.

Related: Disney Park Battered by Storm, Dramatic Damage Unveiled Across Resort

Unfortunately, the 30th anniversary celebrations were overshadowed by a multitude of complaints. Several entertainment offerings were also canceled in the midst of this, with the daytime parade, “Dream… and Shine Brighter,” and it’s nightly fireworks and drone show, “Disney D-Light,” would be coming to an end on September 30. This was followed by an implication that the castle show, “Disney Dreams,” may be coming to an end soon as well, which would be an unprecedented move.

Fireworks over Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris.
Credit: Disneyland Paris

The parade has suffered a multitude of concerning experiences over the summer, including guests trying to jump onto one of the floats, a child running between the floats, and even some of the cast members themselves causing a bit of chaos. While the announcements of the various entertainment being cancelled was met with disappointment, the resort did follow up with the reveal that three all-new shows would be making their way to the park starting early next year.

Related: Disney Makes Major Changes To Nighttime Spectacular

In addition to these changes, Disneyland Paris rolled out the new version of its Annual Passes this summer, leaving many fans to wonder if there was even a reason to get one. Now called the Disneyland Pass, the new ticket removed several benefits previously offered to passholders, including:

  • No more free stroller, wheelchair, or locker rentals
  • No more discounts on hotels or daytime tickets
  • No dedicated Annual Passholder entry
  • No reserved parking
The Avengers drone show lights up above and on the Tower of Terror at Walt Disney Studios Park
Credit: Disney

This stripped down pass came as rumors started to spread that the resort could be facing financial troubles this year, which could explain the park’s refusal to provide higher wages to its cast members. Strangely enough though, the resort seemingly recently dealt with a “crowding issue,” posting signs urging guests to visit Walt Disney Studios Park only between the hours of 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. in order to avoid crowds. With the cost of a single day ticket averaging around $120, asking guests to condense their day into a seven-hour window caused some backlash.

Entrance to Disneyland Park at Disneyland Resort Paris
Credit: William Warby via Flickr

It is Time for the Park To Shut the Gates?

For years now, Disneyland Paris has been considered a “rocky” Disney park, with little cohesive theming connecting the separate areas of the park and a heavy American influence that most guests don’t care for. The resort has faced financial and attendance issues for decades, always struggling to keep itself afloat. After the 2020 pandemic forced the resort to close, it struggled desperately to recover in the following years.

Related: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Permanently Removed From Avengers Campus

Fans have been calling for a major overhaul of the park for a while, including everything from completely rebuilding the park “up to Disney standards” to continuing to expand with new areas like the upcoming Frozen-themed area, even going so far as to say it just needs to close completely. While its initial disappointing performance is blamed on controversial former CEO Michael Eisner, its current issues could be blamed on The Walt Disney Company as a whole, as the three Asian Disney Parks (only partially owned by Disney) continue to thrive while the U.S. parks face similar struggles to Disneyland Paris.

Walt Disney Studios Park in Disneyland Paris, closed down
Credit: Loren Javier / Flickr

It could take years and billions of dollars that the company doesn’t have in order to try and fix the park, especially with cast members calling out the unfortunate working conditions for employees and the resort continuously stripping benefits away from guests. Unfortunately, it seems as though it may just be a matter of time before Disneyland Paris just shuts the gates for good.

What do you think of the struggles Disneyland Paris has faced recently? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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