1987 to 2017 – that was the original period that the contractual partnership between the French state and EuroDisney S.C.A. was supposed to run. By the end of this period the resort should have featured three “parks” and in return EuroDisney S.C.A. would have received on a permanent basis all rights to the property. No longer… As was announced today EuroDisney S.C.A. has negotiated a prolongation of the contractual relationship with the French state until 2030 that is supposed to be signed today.
According to a report by AFP as published by YAHOO part of the new deal is not only the extension of the relationship and of the deadline for the opening of the third gate by 13 years … but also an expansion of the property assigned to the resort from 1,943 hectares to 2,230 hectares.
The big question however: is there any more detail regarding the third gate? Well, the press reports mention again the ”Les Village Nature de Val d’Europe” project. This project had been discussed earlier in the past decade. However, it is not a traditional theme park but would be more like a traditional vacation resort – featuring vacation villas, restaurants and outdoor recreation elements (like sport facilities) – to be developed jointly with Pierre & Vacances, best known for their European “Center Parc” vacation resorts, that would also function as a base model for the “Les Village Nature”. The revival of this project would also explain the expansion of the property covered by the resort, since the original concept called for Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch to become part of the “Village Nature” with the majority of the new expansion to be placed on adjoining property that was not yet part of the resort (and that would be contributed by Pierre & Vacances).
Les Echos claims that the project would eventually cover 7,000 units (i.e. beds in hotel rooms and apartements) on 520 hectares (500 according to EuroDisney S.C.A.) for a total investment of 1.8 billion Euro. According to the French site a first phase could be realized by 2015 consisting of 1,700 apartements on 130 hectares. However, that figure may include the current Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch if the original concepts are fully revived that had been put into the drawer for the last couple of years.
The way the various reports mention the “Village Nature” could be understood as indicating that it might be the third gate for the resort. However, this is at no point clearly stated, instead the “Village Nature” are mentioned as one of the resort’s projects that will be furthered (which also include amongst others additional residencies to expand Val d’Europe as town). The report at EarthTimes makes this most obvious clearly mentioning that “Village Nature” is “another tourist attraction“, i.e. in addition to a third park that might be constructed depending on the market conditions.
So to sum it up: the contract with the French state was extended from 2017 till 2030, the resort may build a third park (depending on market conditions), the property of the resort is expanding, the “Village Nature” project will be revived together with Pierre & Vacances and some additional development projects (including an expansion of the town of Val d’Europe) are also agreed upon. This is also quite well reflected in the official press release of EuroDisney S.C.A. in French and English that clearly separated the third park and the “Village Nature” and further add that the execution of the latter is also depending on market conditions and may be realized in phases during a twenty year period only.
Translation: there might be a third park one day till 2030 depending on market conditions - but nothing firm has been decided yet – and it’s not “Village Nature”, which will only be realized depending on market conditions in a 20 year time psan anyway.