Government Serves Disney Parks With $1.4 Million Fine Over “Seriously Damaging” Behavior

in Disney Parks

A guest waves at Mickey Mouse on a parade float at Disneyland Paris

Credit: Michele Bergami, Unsplash

Two Disney theme parks were slapped with a massive $1.4 million fine this week.

Since opening Disneyland Park in 1955, Disney’s theme parks have remained a reliable source of income for The Walt Disney Company. Today, it operates five resorts worldwide (its sixth, Tokyo Disney Resort, is technically operated by The Oriental Land Company), with its cumulative parks revenue totaling $32.6 billion in 2023.

A bustling crowd walks down Main Street towards a castle at Magic Kingdom, the busiest of all Disney parks. The street is lined with shops and decorated with orange pumpkins and fall-themed decorations, while the sky overhead is overcast. The castle stands large and iconic in the background.
Credit: Nicholas Fuentes, Unsplash

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Earlier this month, Disney reported that its theme park revenue increased again to $8.39 billion in the second quarter — a 10% increase from the same period in 2023.

While Disneyland Resort experienced a dip, Disney’s international theme parks proved particularly profitable thanks to Hong Kong Disneyland, which just debuted its newest land (World of Frozen) in November 2023.

Disney CEO Bob Iger positively addressed the performance of Disney’s parks and experiences (which also includes the Disney Cruise Line), explaining that they “remained an impressive financial driver in the quarter” and adding that Disney is “focused on turbocharging growth with a number of long-term strategic investments.”

A monorail glides above a parking lot with a dramatic sunset in the background, highlighting a cathedral spire and lush trees in a serene urban landscape at the most popular of Disney's theme parks.
Credit: Christian Lambert, Unsplash

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Impressive though all these reports may be, however, it’s not all good news for Disney’s theme parks right now.

On May 17, Euro Disney S.A.S. – the subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company responsible for Disneyland Paris – was fined €1.3 million ($1.4 million USD) by France’s Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), which is a part of the French government’s Ministry of the Economy.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse wave from a colorful parade float adorned with various decorative art, while Timon smiles at the camera. In the background is a fairytale castle and bubbles floating in the air, creating a magical atmosphere.
Credit: Disney

According to BFM Business, the resort was fined due to “delays in paying invoices” to their suppliers in cases going back to 2020.

Disney wasn’t the only business fined by the Ministry of the Economy, with the French utility company Suez and the bank HSBC also facing penalties. However, Euro Disney S.A.S. did receive the highest fine of the bunch.

A vibrant amusement park on a sunny day featuring a futuristic, golden, planet-themed ride in the foreground. In the background, a large, conical space-themed building with colorful details stands, with several people walking around the area.
Credit: Disney

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By law, the time Disney takes to pay its invoices “must not exceed 60 days from the date of the invoice.” The two parties are also permitted to agree on a maximum contingency period of 45 days at the end of the month from the date of the invoice.

The official DGCCRF website notes in French that “payment delays remain numerous” and dubs them “seriously damaging to the profitability of creditor companies because they require them to obtain short-term financing from their bank. These delays have a negative impact on their cash flow, on their competitiveness, or even, for the most fragile among them, on their existence.”

A vibrant amusement ride featuring a Dumbo the Flying Elephant character is seen in motion. The elephant is gray with blue eyes, wearing a pink hat and collar. A whimsical castle is visible in the background, enhancing the magical atmosphere of the scene.
Credit: Disneyland Paris

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Disneyland Paris – which encompasses Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Studios Park, Disney Village, and six onsite hotels – generated a whopping $343.4 million in profit alone in 2023. Its revenue increased by 23.5% to reach an all-time high of $3.1 billion.

Flush with cash, the resort’s smallest park, Walt Disney Studios Park, is currently in the middle of a makeover.

Fresh off receiving Avengers Campus in 2022, Walt Disney Studios Park is set to change its name to Disney Adventure World (a name that hasn’t proven too popular with Disney fans) when it adds its own version of World of Frozen – plus a new Tangled (2010) attraction, restaurant, and lake area – in the near future.

Have you ever visited Disneyland Paris? Share your thoughts on the resort with Inside the Magic in the comments!

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