With less than a year left until opening day — April 12, 1992 — we decided it was time to take a look at the whole Euro Disney Resort picture — where it’s been, where it is now, and where it’s going. So, here we go...
The Walt Disney Company began to seriously contemplate the possibility of a Disney Resort in Europe in 1983, just after the successful opening of Tokyo Disneyland. Following the goahead to proceed by Michael Eisner and Frank Wells in 1984, the project team began scouring Europe for a suitable site, ultimately settling on nearly 5,000 acres of farmland in Marne-la-Vallee, 20 miles east of Paris, France. On December 18, 1986, a letter of understanding was signed between The Walt Disney Company and the government of France, and the project was formally announced. In the ensuing four-and-one-half years, the Euro Disney site has become a beehive of activity.
Here are a few of its major milestones:
- March 24, 1987: Signature of the Master Agreement.
- June 1987: First European Cast Members are hired.
- August 1988: Earthwork begins on the Euro Disneyland Theme Park site.
- March 1989: 52,000 trees and shrubs are planted on the Theme Park berms.
- May 1989: 200 Cast Members are employed, of whom 186 are European.
- July 1989: First expressway interchange opens; east entrance highway grading begins.
- October 1989: Public offering for sale of 86 million shares in the European countries.
- November 1989: Company's shares listed on Stock Exchange in Brussels, London and Paris.
- March 1990: 120,000 trees and shrubs are planted at the campground.
- April 1990: First facades of the Euro Disneyland Hotel are put up; 770 Cast Members employed, of whom 610 are European.
- July 1990: 1,000th Cast Member welcomed.
- August 1990: Fourth floor of Euro Disneyland Hotel completed; installation of Videopolis, Pirates ofthe Caribbean, and Big Thunder Mountain is initiated.
- October 1990: Topping of Euro Disneyland Hotel.
- December 1990: Opening of information center on site — Espace Euro Disney.