Thursday, 19th November 2015

Disneyland Paris fully re-opens to visitors – including CEOs Tom Wolber and Bob Iger

Disneyland Paris has fully re-opened to visitors - including CEOs Tom Wolber and Bob Iger (@RadioDisneyClu)

Disneyland Paris has now fully re-opened to visitors, with both Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park opening their gates to guests as normal from 10am yesterday, Wednesday 18th November 2015.

As the unprecedented four-day closure to respect the full national period of mourning in France came to an end, visitors returned to the parks — including several members of senior Disney management showing their support. Read More…

Wednesday, 8th October 2014

Sonia Demay and Romina Grochow are the next Disneyland Paris Ambassadors

Sonia Demay and Romina Grochow are the next Disneyland Paris Ambassadors

Sonia Demay and Romina Grochow will be the Disneyland Paris Ambassadors for 2015 and 2016, as announced during a special public ceremony at Videopolis Theatre on Friday. Chosen from ten semi-finalists by means of a democratic vote, they saw off competition from fellow finalists Anthony Houdinet and Rut Sospedra, in the programme which awards Ambassador roles to high-achieving Cast Members from across the resort. Read More…

Tuesday, 7th October 2014

Press review: Euro Disney’s €1bn recapitalisation in news articles and quotes

Press review: Euro Disney's €1bn recapitalisation in news articles and quotes

Yesterday’s big news day for Disneyland Paris and its operating company Euro Disney S.C.A. saw the Parisian Disney resort make financial headlines again, as news organisations around the world seized the chance to see “Mickey Mouse in trouble” and struggled, like us, to get their heads around the finer financial details of the deal. Read More…

Monday, 6th October 2014

Euro Disney announces €1bn recapitalisation proposal to clear debt and invest

Euro Disney announces proposal for €1bn recapitalisation

Euro Disney S.C.A. has today announced a proposal to improve the financial situation of the operating group behind Disneyland Paris, backed by The Walt Disney Company, to “enable it to continue investing in the quality of the guest experience”. It feels like we’re been here before (several times), so what’s new this time? Read More…

Tuesday, 16th September 2014

Tom Wolber takes the helm at Disneyland Paris as Philippe Gas heads for Shanghai

Tom Wolber takes the helm at Disneyland Paris as Philippe Gas heads for Shanghai

CEO, president, head honcho — however you say it, Disneyland Paris has a new guy in charge as of yesterday, 15th September 2014. Tom Wolber has begun his role as Président of Euro Disney S.A.S., with outgoing chief Philippe Gas heading for Shanghai Disney Resort as its first General Manager, a sure sign of Disney’s satisfaction with his tenure here.

Tom is in fact making a return to Paris, having been a part of the Grand Opening team in 1992. Since then, he has held leadership positions at Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, most recently overseeing Orlando’s 28 resort hotels and transportation network. Tom is German and speaks 4 languages: French, Dutch, English and German.

It may be notable that Euro Disney badges Wolber as having overseen a number of expansion projections including the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy cruise ships and the masterplan for Disney Springs, the revitalisation of Florida’s Downtown Disney. He arrives in Paris at a time of fevered rumour for expansion and revitalisation of our own resort, including attractions such as Star Tours 2, expansion of Walt Disney Studios Park and continued growth of Disney Village.

Departing president Philippe Gas will without doubt be remembered as one of the resort’s most successful and charismatic CEOs. Arriving in September 2008 just as the global economic downturn bit and 15th Anniversary expansions such as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror dried up, he took on a resort that was still all too often unreliable and erratic in the level of “Disney quality” it provided.

Ratatouille: The Adventure Grand Opening Dedication Ceremony at Disneyland Paris

Six years later, the list of good decisions is so long as to be impossible to collate and attribute, but it certainly began in April 2009 with the renaming of Disneyland Resort Paris back to a strong and simple Disneyland Paris. The opening of the three lower-spec Toy Story Playland attractions in 2010 may have divided opinion, and gone almost unnoticed to the public, but this summer’s grand Ratatouille: The Adventure unveiling proved a pivotal point for the resort and its second gate, expertly led from planning to construction to opening. Meanwhile, the 20th Anniversary of 2012 provided a landmark with Disney Dreams! — both its stunning quality and the adjoining extension of Disneyland Park operating hours continuing to equalise Paris with its international cousins.

Two new websites, new apps, new technology such as PhotoPass+ and the rollout of free wi-fi leaves plenty left to achieve, but huge ground gained. Better understanding of and communication with the fan community has been an icing on the cake, including better merchandise such as The Art of Disney on Demand and more one-off events like the 50th Anniversary of “it’s a small world”.

An enormous campaign of “cleaning the decks” with endless and huge refurbishment in almost every corner of the resort has coincided with a quiet plotting of future courses — the Villages Nature, Disney’s own hotel expansion, Disney Village improvements and plenty rumoured for the parks. The horizon feels ever bigger, if not any closer.

What’s needed now from a new president is to actually, at last, see those plans through. Countless times, grand visions have been drawn up for Disneyland Paris and its parks only to fall by the wayside. If Philippe Gas’ reign was about steadying the waters and getting the ship up to standard, let’s hope Tom Wolber can finally let this resort set sail.

Bring us that horizon, Tom.

• Press release 15/09/2014: Tom Wolber to assume leadership at Euro Disney (PDF)
• Press release 1/08/2014: Philippe Gas named General Manager of Shanghai Disney Resort, Tom Wolber, from Walt Disney World Resort, replacing him at Euro Disney (PDF)

Below: Official corporate video introducing Tom Wolber Read More…

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