Disney adds Gaul park

Walt Disney Studios to open Saturday

PARIS — Euro Disney will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Disneyland Resort Paris by opening a second theme park, Walt Disney Studios, on Saturday.

Michael Eisner, CEO of the Walt Disney Co., which owns 39.1% of both parks, has winged into Marne-la-Vallee, east of Paris, to join “Meeky” for the event.

Walt Disney Studios replicates a traditional Hollywood studio on land next to the original Disneyland Park, complete with a palm-lined gated entry, a soundstage, a backlot and nine attractions dedicated to the movies, television and animation.

Euro Disney execs predict the new 610 million euro ($537 million) park will increase revenues 15%-20% as up to 5 million extra Mouse lovers hit the resort each year.

While annual visits to the resort have plateaued since 1997, hovering slightly above 12 million, Euro Disney has reported continually mounting revenues. The resort welcomed its 110 millionth visitor in 2001, as Euro Disney reported a yearly revenue of more than $880 million.

The rise in revs stems from the extra cash visitors shell out in the resort’s restaurants, shops and hotels. Company estimates the new park will increase the average stay from 2.5 to 3.5 days. Three new hotels will open by spring 2003 to accommodate the new visitors, boosting the 5,800 hotel- room capacity by 20%.

Euro Disney plans to build three more theme parks, a water park and an additional 18,000 hotel rooms near the resort.

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