Mickey Mouse Plays Tennis With Gael Monfils and Stansilas

Visitors to Disneyland Paris today had a big surprise when they saw Mickey Mouse playing a game of doubles with invited children against professional tennis players Gael Monfils and Stansilas Wawrinka.
The court itself was a little short and had quasi-official dimensions, but that didn’t matter when the children had such a great event.
Disneyland Paris invited 200 children from the French “Fête le Mur” association, founded by Yannick Noah, to participate in this more than unusual exchange.
The Fête le Mur association is set up in the heart of 25 under-privileged Urban Zones, allows the children of those neighborhoods to practice tennis, to train and perfect themselves, and some of them to later find a professional opening.

Source:  The Tennis Times

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Euro Disney S.C.A. publishes first half results for 2009

The first half results for 2009 have been published and here are the high lights.

EURO DISNEY S.C.A.
Fiscal Year 2009
Reports First Half Results
Six Months Ended March 31, 2009

• Record attendance at 7.1 million and strong occupancy at 86%, despite a shift in the Easter vacation period

• Resort revenues down 4% to € 554 million, due to lower guest spending and a 3 percentage point decrease in occupancy

• Real Estate revenues down € 20 million to € 5 million, driven by one significant sale in the prior year

• Net loss increased by € 42 million to € 85 million due to lower revenues, as costs and expenses remained stable.

Commenting on the results, Philippe Gas, Chief Executive Officer of Euro Disney S.A.S, said:

“We achieved record attendance for the first semester and strong occupancy levels in our hotels. Our sales initiatives are delivering results in an increasingly difficult economic environment.

Our revenues decreased this semester which negatively impacted our results. This decrease was mainly due to a decline in real estate activities as well as a shift of the Easter vacation period into the second semester. Our Spanish and English markets declined significantly during the first semester, partially offset by a strong performance from our French market. We reacted to these changes by increasing our sales initiatives, while at the same time continuing to pursue disciplined cost management.

We continue to improve the appeal of Disneyland Resort Paris. We recently launched Mickey’s Magical Party across both parks, with four new interactive shows and a new attraction. We remain committed to continuing this development of new content and attractions inspired by Disney characters and stories.”

Resort operating segment revenues decreased by 4% to € 553.9 million from € 577.6 million in the prior-year period. The Group’s Resort business is subject to the effects of seasonality with the first half of a fiscal year typically generating less revenue than the second half. Results in the First Half have also been unfavorably impacted by the shift of the Easter holiday in some of our key markets from March in the prior-year period to April in the current fiscal year.

Theme parks revenues declined by 2% to € 309.6 million from € 316.4 million in the prior-year period, primarily resulting from a € 1.66 reduction in average spending per guest to € 43.01. This decline was partially offset by an increase of 111,000 in attendance to 7.1 million. The reduction in average spending per guest reflects lower spending on admissions and merchandise. The increase in theme parks attendance was driven by higher guest visitation from France, partially offset by Spain and the United Kingdom.

Hotels and Disney Village revenues decreased by 7% to € 219.6 million from € 235.9 million in the prior-year period, due to a 5% decline in average spending per room to € 187.16 and a 2.7 percentage point decrease in hotel occupancy from 88.5% to 85.8%. The decline in average spending per room principally reflects incremental promotional offers.

The reduction in hotel occupancy resulted from 34,000 fewer room nights compared to the prior-year period primarily driven by fewer guests visiting from Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany partially offset by more French guests.

Other revenues, which include participant sponsorships, transportation and other travel services sold to guests, decreased € 0.6 million to € 24.7 million.

Disneyland Paris the 4th most visited theme park in the world.

The TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) has released their rankings and attendance figures for 2008. The report covers all theme parks world wide.

Disneyland Paris came 4th world wide and topped the list of European theme parks showing a nearly 6% increase in attendance at 12.7 million visitors – three times the attendance of it’s closest competitor, Europa Park in Germany. Walt Disney Studios came in at 9th place in Europe with 2,612,000 visitors.

Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom tops the list this year as the most visited theme park in the world – drawing in just over 17 million visitors in 2008. As impressive as that number is though, it’s pretty much even with 2007. As for the rest of the North American theme parks – Disneyland Park in California was second with 14.7 million visitors – a 1% drop, followed by Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom to round out the top 5.

Typhoon Lagoon at Walt Disney World topped the list of US water parks (as well as all international water parks) with 2,059,000 visitors in 2008 – a 1% drop. Blizzard Beach also saw a 1% drop in attendance with 1,891,000 visitors.

Here is the top 10 list for theme parks world wide:

1) Magic Kingdom (Florida) – 17,063,000
2) Disneyland Park (California) – 14,721,000
3) Tokyo Disneyland (Tokyo) – 14,293,000
4) Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris (Paris) – 12,688,000
5) Tokyo Disney Sea (Tokyo) – 12,498,000
6) Epcot (Florida) – 10,935,000
7) Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Florida) – 9,608,000
8) Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Florida) – 9,540,000
9) Universal Studios Japan (Osaka) – 8,300,000
10) Everland (Gyeonggi-Do, South Korea) – 6,600,000

Here is the top 20 theme parks in Europe

1) Disneyland Park Paris (France) 12,688,000
2) Europa Park (Germany) 4,000,000
3) Tivoli Gardens (Denmark) 3,972,000
4) Port Aventura (Spain) 3,300,000
5) De Efteling (Netherlands) 3,200,000
6) Gardaland (Italy) 3,100,000
7) Liseberg (Sweeden) 3,050,000
8) Bakken (Denmark) 2,700,000
9) Walt Disney Studios (France) 2,612,000
10) Alton Towers (England) 2,520,000
11) Phantasialand (Germany) 1,900,000
12) Legoland Windsor (England) 1,815,000
13) Parc Asterix (France) 1,800,000
14) Thorpe Park (England) 1,7000,000
15) Legoland Billund (Denmark) 1,650,000
16) Mirabilandia (Italy) 1,600,000
17) Futuroscope (France) 1,600,000
18) Parque De Atracciones (Spain)
19) Duinrella Attraktie Park (Holland) 1,356,000
20) Heide Park (Germany) 1,330,000

To see the complete report visit http://www.themeit.com

Mickey’s Magical Party

From 4 April 2009 until March 2010 Disneyland Resort Paris will celebrate “Mickey’s Magical Party”. For this new year Mickey Mouse invite the guests to live magical moments with a new season full of new parades, shows and attraction.

A new show “Place à la fête avec Mickey et ses Amis” – “On with the show with Mickey and his friends” located on Central Plaza’s new stage with the Lion King, Jungle Book and Aladdin characters”Place à la Danse à Discoveryland” – “Let’s Danc at Discoveryland” with Stitch as the DJ. His mission to warm up the heat of Disneyland with an intergalactic dance stage. Minnie will become the charming hostess of a small train going up Main Street, U.S.A.

At the Walt Disney Studios there is a new parade. The Disney’s Stars ‘n’ Cars, a Hollywood extravaganza with the characters of Toy Story, Snow White, Monsters Inc, Mulan, Little Mermaid and the Disney Villains, with themed cars from the previous cars parade at the Disney-MGM Studios park in Florida.

Playhouse Disney – Live! is a new attraction at Walt Disney Studios, where younger children will prepare for Minnie, along with other Disney Channel heroes, for the best birthday party ever organised.

A press event at the park on the 28th March will be held to help launch Mickey’s Magical Party!

From 4 April 2009, new dreams become reality at Disneyland Resort Paris with Mickey’s Magical Party!!

English translation of DLRP Press Release by Alain Littaye.

Review: The Magical Music of Walt Disney

I went to The Magical Music of Walt Disney concert at The Cambridge Corn Exchange this afternoon and had a wonderful time.

The Cambridge Philharmonic Society played a lovely selection of music from many of Disney’s films. The musical journey was narrated by actor David Timson and each peace of music as accompanied with images from the films and Disney animation archives projected on a big screen behind the orchestra.

Here is the play list.

Disney Classics Overture
Tarzan Suite
The Little Mermaid Orchestral Suite
Hercules Suite
Mary Poppins Fantasy
Beauty and the Beast

Rescuers Down Under
Disney’s Aladdin Orchestral Suite
Mulan Suite
Hunchback of Norte Dame Suite
The Lion King Suite

Finally there was an encore of a sing along to “It’s a Small World” with images from the ride and the words projected on the big screen.