After remaining quiet for half a decade or so, construction vehicles on Disney parks are really revving up again. We have the major Fantasyland expansion currently underway in Disney World, a new Disney park planned for Shanghai, and now, a potential new theme park for Disneyland Paris.
The U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper reports that Euro Disney – the European corporate branch of the conglomerate – has reached a deal with the French government allowing it another 20 years during which to build on the lands surrounding the park.
The government owns all of the land around Disneyland Paris and previously only inked a deal with Euro Disney to allow it construction rights until 2017. Now they’ve signed a new pact extending the building deadline until 2030. They’ve also raised the amount of land on which Euro Disney may develop.
Disney has to keep making deals with the French government because the original agreement for the construction of Disneyland Paris stated that Disney could only create the park if it first developed the plots it owned, and only then bought up additional land. This is likely the French government’s way of preventing Disney from buying up massive amounts of land surrounding its park to do with whatever it wills in the future, like the situation in Florida with Disney World.
Extending their allotted construction time is the first step Disneyland Paris execs need in order to build a new theme park. That doesn’t mean there is going to be a whole new Disneyland in France, as I first thought. Because Disney parks grow so large they are divided into sections, like the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom. The new park would just be an expansion of the existing Disneyland Paris.
The story isn’t as big as I originally guessed; when I first read the headline I thought we’d be seeing the construction of yet another entirely new Disney park. It’s still an exciting story; if I’m going to travel all the way to Paris to go to Disneyland, I want to experience just as much as I could at a domestic park. Though I have to say, if I’m traveling all the way to France, stopping at Disneyland is rather low on my list because I can do that at home.
What I really like about this story are the details on the deal the French government has with Euro Disney. I’m all about conservation and the careful use of land, so even though I’m excited about a Disneyland Paris expansion (even though I’ll likely not visit it), I think it’s good that the French government is looking after its land. I like the idea that Euro Disney can keep making deals and expanding its rights to construct, but that it wasn’t just given free construction reins from the beginning.
We might not know for a while whether or not the expansion project will actually take place. Euro Disney wanted to have started already, but the economic downturn prevented it from doing so, hence the need for additional time. Hopefully they will get to start construction soon.