London business leaders have written to the British government calling for financial support for struggling cross-Channel train operator Eurostar, the operator of the direct train service from London to Disneyland Paris.
Eurostar reported in November that passenger numbers had dropped 95% since March 2020.
A spokesman for Eurostar described the current situation as “very serious”. He said: “Without additional funding from government there is a real risk to the survival of Eurostar – the green gateway to Europe.”
The train company which formerly ran two trains an hour from London to Europe now operates just two services a day from London to Paris and Brussels.
Eurostar chief executive Jacques Damas wrote in November that there was a “risk that this iconic service will be left to fail, threatening jobs, connectivity and reversing the progress to reduce travel emissions.”
He said that €200 million had been already secured from its shareholders, but he called for more help from the British government.
Eurostar is 55% owned by French rail operator SNCF, and 40% by Patina Rail LLP, a consortium made up of Canadian-based Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec (CDPQ) owning 30% and the infrastructure investments fund Hermes Infrastructure owning 10% of the company and Belgian railway SNCB owning 5%.
Eurostar has transported more than 190 million passengers between Britain and mainland Europe since its launched in 1994 and currently employs 1,200 people in the United Kingdom.
The British government sold its stake in Eurostar for £757.1 milion in 2015.
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Following today’s announcement of the temporary closure of Disneyland Paris, Natacha Rafalski, Présidente of Euro Disney S.C.A released the following Cast Culture Communication to the resorts Cast Members.
I really would have liked to be able to address you this morning directly by video, but I wanted to share this information with you as soon as possible.
Yesterday evening, you surely watched the speech of President Emmanuel Macron who shared the government’s plan for a re-containment. These announcements will directly impact many businesses, including ours.
Following the latest measures taken by the French authorities, Disneyland Paris will be closed from the evening of October 29. In anticipation of the Christmas holidays, reservations remain open for stays from December 19, 2020 to January 3, 2021. We hope to be open during this period, if conditions are met and government decisions allow. Disneyland Paris will be closed from January 4 to February 12, 2021 inclusive.
I know how much this announcement affects each and every one of us. And I also know how much this will affect our visitors all the more when I think of the positive feedback they have given us during their recent visit to us. Since our reopening in July, we have been able to reinvent the experience of our visitors and bring the magic to life in our Parks, our Hotels and at Disney Village.
And our Disney Halloween Festival is a great illustration of all this creativity, with these selfie spots that our visitors loved. You have all worked so hard to provide an exceptional environment for our visitors, and I want to tell you how grateful the entire management team and I are for all that you have accomplished, namely providing an incredible visitor experience while enforcing the sanitary measures in place every day.
While our destination will once again close temporarily, I wanted to remind you that we have already committed to extending the use of short-time working until the end of December, and we will meet the members of the CSE and the social partners for the extend until early next year.
I imagine you have some questions. Be aware that your leader will contact you shortly to give you more details on the situation.
In the meantime, thank you for continuing to show up on your hire or telecommute as you have been doing until now. All Cast Members who experience a change of status will receive a communication on their electronic HR safe. Just be aware that these notifications may take several days and run until the end of next week as teams are currently working on managing our temporary shutdown and its implications.
Once again, we are focused on the future of our business and, working alongside social partners to define the best possible options for all of our Cast Members, our visitors and our destination. The exceptional resilience of our company is second to none and I have clear confidence in our future.
The last two weeks of the All Saints holidays have shown that our visitors want to visit us, even during such a complicated period. This confirms our reasons for being optimistic and positive about how we will bounce back from this crisis and I know that you all play a vital role in this dynamic.
We have been able to constantly adjust our way of working, to show an incredible agility and capacity to adapt to this situation … as never we could have done in the past.
You can sincerely be proud of what has been achieved so far. I promise once again to share any important information with you as soon as possible.
In the meantime, continue to take care of yourself and your loved ones and continue to support each other.
Disneyland Paris has launched a range of fabric face masks made in France, and will donate 100% of the profits to the Grand Hôpital de l’Est Francilien!
Made in France and sold at 6€ each, these masks meet the requirements of AFNOR and French government recommendations with guaranteed effectiveness up to 15 washes.
They will be available in two sizes – Small and Large – and four different designs (Mickey, Minnie, Stitch and Marvel), a fun way to encourage an essential barrier gesture.
The profits will be donated to the Grand Hôpital de l’Est Francilien, which includes the Marne-la-Vallée, Meaux, Coulommiers and Jouarre establishments.
This operation is a continuation of the initiatives launched during the exceptional closure of the parks, which include donations of food, protective equipment and other medical supplies to caregivers and people in need.
As Disneyland Paris prepares to reopen its gates to the public tomorrow (15 July 2020) Hong Kong Disneyland which reopened on 18 June has shut down again after Hong Kong tightened its social distancing measures following a rise of new coronavirus COVID-19 cases in the city.
“As required by the government and health authorities in line with prevention efforts taking place across Hong Kong, Hong Kong Disneyland park will temporarily close from July 15,” a Disney spokesperson said.
The hotels at the Hong Kong Disneyland resort will remain open with “adjusted levels of services,” according to the spokesperson.
“They have put in place enhanced health and safety measures that reflect the guidance of health and government authorities, such as social distancing measures and increased cleaning and sanitization,” the statement read.
The closure of Hong Kong Disneyland comes just days after the Walt Disney Company reopened the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida despite a surging number of COVID-19 cases in the state.
Josh D’Amaro the new chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products — says the Walt Disney World resort is safe for guests.
“We are in a new normal,” D’Amaro said in an interview last week CNN. “The world is a different place, but we feel really prepared to operate in this new environment.”
On Monday, Florida officials reported 12,624 new infections, one of the largest daily jumps in the state since the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic began.
Authorities in California have halted Disney’s plan to reopen their Disneyland Resort in Anaheim this Friday after an increase in coronavirus COVID-19 cases in the state.
Disney+ will become the exclusive home of Disney Channel content in the United Kingdom from 1 October 2020.
The Walt Disney Company today announced their decision to close down their entertainment channels at the end of September 2020 bringing to an end 25 years of broadcasting in the United Kingdom.
From 1 October 2020 the Disney+ online streaming service which launched in the UK on 24 March 2020 will become the exclusive home of all new and archived content from the Disney Channel, DisneyXD and Disney Junior.
“From 1 October, Disney+ will become the exclusive home for content from the Disney Channel, DisneyXD and Disney Junior in the UK.” The Company said in a statement.
“The direct-to-consumer service, which garnered more than 54.5 million subscribers worldwide in its first seven months, will now premiere all the latest films, series and specials from the three Disney Channels, along with offering a rich and expansive back catalogue of Disney Channel titles in the UK, including Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Descendants 3 and Phineas and Ferb.”
“The Walt Disney Company remains committed to our kids channels business and continues to execute distribution agreements for Disney channels in many markets where Disney+ is also available, with the goal of giving our fans multiple entry points to our storytelling,” the company added.
The Disney Channel launched in the United Kingdom on 1 October 1995 and was the first Disney Channel to broadcast outside the United States.
Natural history and wildlife channel National Geographic and entertainment channel Fox will continue to broadcast in the UK.
In a communication sent yesterday by Disneyland Paris to members of the resorts exclusive Euro Disney Club, the French theme park has announce a phased reopening of the resort starting with the Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Studios Park, Disney’s Newport Bay Club Hotel and the Disney Village as of Wednesday 15 July 2020.
The reopening of Disneyland Paris is in line with guidance from Frenchk government and health authorities and has been discussed with Union Representatives from the Comité Social et Economique (CSE).
In addition, and subject to the continued evolution of the situation, Disneyland Paris also announced the scheduled phased reopening of several other Disney hotels including Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne on 20 July, Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe on 3 August and the Disneyland Hotel on 7 September. Disney’s Sequoia Lodge Hotel and Disney’s Davy Crocket Ranch will remain closed during the summer with reopening dates announced at a later time.
“All of us at Disneyland Paris are excited to be on the path to reopening over the next few weeks,” said Natacha Rafalski, President of Disneyland Paris.
“Making magic means even more, as we reflect on the resilience of our cast members and community, the enthusiasm of our guests and fans, and the positive momentum of many reopenings in the tourism industry across Europe. We are looking forward to again enjoy.”
“We are thrilled to see one of the main tourism destinations in Europe and largest single site employer in France reopen to guests and its employees,” said Sophie Huberson, Executive Director of Le Syndicat National des Espaces de Loisirs, d’Attractions et Culturels (SNELAC). “This is an important milestone for the tourism and leisure industry in France and will be a critical step in our industry’s recovery.” SNELAC is the organization representing theme parks, leisure and cultural areas in France.
Safety Measures and Experience
The phased reopening will incorporate a deliberate approach, with enhanced health and safety measures implemented for both cast members and guests. This will include limits on attendance and require advanced ticketing reservations to accommodate controlled guest density that supports government guidance on physical distancing. As a result, some experiences, shows or events will not be available or may be modified upon reopening depending on the evolution of the safety and sanitary measures and recommendations from public authorities. This includes offerings such as Disney Stars on Parade and Disney Illuminations night time spectacular which will return at a later date.
The Lion King: Rhythms of the Pride Lands and Jungle Book Jive—two top-rated entertainment spectaculars—will return later in the summer. While character meet and greets will be temporarily unavailable, characters will be in the parks in new ways to entertain and delight guests. Other experiences such as playgrounds and makeover experiences will remain temporarily unavailable. Additionally, FastPass services will be suspended in order to allow for the necessary queue management on attractions.
Cast members and guests ages 11 and older will also be required to wear face coverings while at the resort. More information on specific measures are available on www.disneylandparis.com.
Ticketing and Reservation System
As Disneyland Paris welcomes guests back to the magic with a limited number of tickets available each day during the initial reopening, a new online reservation system will be available in early July. To ensure admission, guests in possession of or buying non-dated tickets, and Annual Pass holders, will need to register on this new online reservation system to obtain a reservation for park entry prior to their arrival. Guests who already have a dated ticket, do not need to register and reserve a date. Likewise, guests with packages that include park admittance will receive admission for the duration of their stay and do not need to use the new online reservation system.
Tickets and packages are now on sale on the resort’s website, Disneyland Paris call center and official travel partner channels, with a limited number of tickets available each day during the initial reopening phase. Ticket sales will not be available on site.
To provide guests with maximum flexibility, new booking conditions are now available to include cancellations and modifications without fees (excluding transport) on stays in the Disney Hotels anytime up to seven days before the arrival date. Specific details are available on www.disneylandparis.com.
As Disneyland Paris readies for reopening, guests are invited to check www.disneylandparis.com for the latest information. Fans and guests can continue to experience the magic of Disneyland Paris through athome.DisneylandParis.com, and use #DisneyMagicMoments on social media to share their stories.
Concerning the reopening of Salon Mickey lounge.
We will send you soon a new communication with some information concerning the date and the conditions of the reopening of Salon Mickey.
Disneyland Paris has announced that the 2020 Run Weekend has been cancelled.
The 5th Disneyland Paris Run Weekend that was scheduled to be held between 24-27 September 2020 will now be held in the autumn of 2021.
Guests can choose to either maintain their package reservation without the Disneyland Paris Run Weekend features, whereupon the price the of the Run Weekend will be refunded, or, cancel their package reservation, whereupon they will receive a full refund.
Guests must fill out a form on the Disneyland Paris website with their choice before 19 June 2020, otherwise both the package reservation and Run Weekend features will be cancelled and refunded automatically.
Disneyland Paris will publish the form and further information on their website later today.
Josh D’Amaro former Walt Disney World President has been named Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, succeeding Bob Chapek, who became CEO of The Walt Disney Company earlier this year in February 2020.
Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company announced that Josh D’Amaro has been named Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, and Rebecca Campbell has been named Chairman, Direct-to-Consumer and International. Mr. D’Amaro and Ms. Campbell will report to Mr. Chapek.
“I am certain he will take Disney’s Parks, Experiences and Products segment – home to some of our company’s most iconic and beloved businesses – to exciting new heights in the years to come.”
“Our company is very fortunate to have a deep bench of talent and we’re extremely pleased to welcome these two exceptionally qualified Disney veterans to our senior management team,” Mr. Chapek said.
“Both Josh and Rebecca have more than two decades of leadership experience with the Company, a keen understanding of our brands and businesses, and a shared passion and vision for delivering extraordinary entertainment and one-of-a-kind experiences.”