EuroDisney S.C.A. General Meeting trip report

2008annualreviewFinally, after way to long and having to miss out on a New Year’s trip I went to Disneyland Resort Paris. The main reason! EuroDisney S.C.A. annual general shareholders meeting (11 February 2009). Any reason is good enough for me, but going to the shareholders meeting brings me to the park one extra time a year. So after a 4 hour drive and a bad nigh sleep, I got up at 7:15am to get ready for the meeting. A quick drive over to the main parking lot (although it was more a “slide” over with all the ice that had formed that night) and I was ready to enjoy a Disney day.

The day started in the Disney village Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show building. There we had to get our Shareholder ticket, 2 tickets for the day, 2 more tickets valid up to August and a towel. It’s always fun to get presents, but the extra tickets that I can use up to August are always great. Having an annual pass (although mine had expired), those tickets make one of my friends always very happy.

shareholdersbadgeOnce I got my Shareholders meeting card and tickets, I made my way towards to Walt Disney Studios. In the past the meeting took place in Either the New York or the New Port Bay Club convention center. This time the shareholders where invited to the studios where the general meeting would take place inside the CineMagique building. The event was going to start at 9:30 and as I was early enough inside the Studios there was some extra time to kill.

First of all I could enjoy some of the park empty. A picture here and there for me to share on the blog and then it was up to the Backlot to enjoy a complimentary breakfast. Mickey and Pluto visited  the breakfast area to welcome all the shareholders (still a small number of them). I didn’t stay to long as I wanted to enjoy the Tower of Terror before the meeting. Yes, how much fun is that!? Some attractions where open early, especially for the shareholders. ToT was a lot of fun, as always, but this time it was even better. Why? I was all alone in the building… and alone in the elevator. The Cast Members did their spiel, just as they would during busy time. I got myself a private performance. I loved it. After the ride some extra time for more pictures and then up to the shareholders meeting.

earlymoringstudios-sStarting about 15 minutes late the shareholders got to listen to the panel in front. I could name everybody here, but lets keep it to the information shared on the meeting. Most of the time they talked about the 2008 figures. Everything went up a couple % and they where very happy. More visitors in the park, more hotel bookings and more money spend per visitor. Also 2009 first quarter had this positive trend. However the did address the bad economy and the impact even EuroDisney is and will feel. Even with more visitors (at the moment) in the park, there was a very visible shift in who comes to visit. The UK market and the Spanish market, two big markets for Disney, is generating a lot les tourists and money for the company. To make up on this loss they try to get more visitors from closer by to visit the park. France en Belgium guests being some of them.

mickeyplutobacklot-sWhile some numbers do look good, a future in this bad times is difficult to predict. The panel didn’t try to, but they also didn’t try to convine anybody EuroDisney will be save. There was even some warning in their speeches, not to expect the same result in the next year(s).

We could now fill many lines on the big debts and loans EuroDisney S.C.A. has, I wanted to go on and talk about some other things shared on the meeting. Let’s call them the more fun stuff. (let’s leave those boring numbers to the analysts) Well, beside some information on the new Mickey’s Magical Parade for the studios and  Playhouse Disney Live, we didn’t get to much more. Even the three new attraction planned for the Studios weren’t mentioned… Let’s by honest, as a Disney fans, those are the things I want to hear about during these meetings.

studiosempty1-sAlways a fun part about these meeting ares the Q&A moments. Most of the time people came to complain about something. In most case with valid reason, but sometimes just plane silly. I wont give any example, don’t want to anger anybody! But the most fun part is that some questions will give you a small glance of the future. The right questions ask and you can read some information between the lines on the given answers. With hotels pretty much filled up to capacity, 91%, one member of the public wondered about the new hotel rumours. More specifically an Asian Themed hotel. Well, to break that bubble straight away. No such thing is planned. However it does look like more hotels are wished for, also by the EuroDisney company, but they are looking at more partners to come in like the 4 partner hotels already found on property. Again, it’s not much of info, but I guess it’s all we are going to get for now…

Once the meeting was over it was time for the real fun part of the trip. A visit to the Disneyland Park. But that’s for part two of this trip report!…

Pictures copyright EuroDisney S.C.A.

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2 Responses to “EuroDisney S.C.A. General Meeting trip report”

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