Thursday, October 13, 2011

Why the future Paramount Park in Murcia, Spain, is not good news for Disneyland Paris



Some days ago, Brady Mc Donald posted a real good article about the upcoming Paramount Park which will open in Murcia, Spain, in 2015. Works should begin next year and this new theme park will be build "on a 100-acre theme park set around a central lake that will combine the themed lands of Disneyland with the movie backlots of Universal Studios"? It will include exciting attractions based on Mission Impossible, Spielberg's War of the World, Titanic, Star Trek, Sleepy Hollow, Rango, etc... and even a kind of "wizarding world"! You can read Brady article HERE and see the park's entrance artwork above and excerpts of the PFD presentation file below. Click on each to see them in larger size.











I've also embedded below a presentation video where you will see many more artwork of the future park. With the Warner Studios park and Port Aventura this new one will bring a third major theme park to Spain and the question could be: what kind of attendance impact will it have on Disneyland Paris? The first reaction could be to say that "Murcia is so far from Paris that it shouldn't be a problem". Not wrong, but as we will see it's a bit more complicated than that. Why? simply because the Paramount park will be not so far from Madrid or Barcelona and that we can count on Paramount to do a huge marketing campaign in 2015 to let anyone living in Spain that a new theme park is about to open. And what will you do if you were living in Spain? Would you spend your money to come back again at DLP or would you be excited to discover a new theme park at two-three hours from your home, built by a major Hollywood studio? You will go see the new park, of course, and this means that starting 2015 DLP should have less spaniards visiting the resort.

But there is worse. Where the Paramount park will be build - near Murcia - is an area where literally hundred of thousands of people from all over europe, including germans, british, belgium, french, etc... are coming each summer as they're sure to find there a hot sun, plenty of fun, and more. Instead to do a stop at DLP on their way to Spain they might be tempted to save their money to visit the new Paramount park because you can also count on Paramount to let the rest of Europe know about their brand new park as soon as it will be open! Some might argue that this could make only 4 or 5 % less people for DLP but these 5% are vital for Disneyland Paris, and if things happen like i said it will be bad news for DLP.

However, in all this, DLP still have some luck. What i mean is that instead to build this new park in Spain Paramount could have made the choice to build it near Paris! I don't know why all these major Hollywood studios are choosing Spain - okay, the weather is sunny and much better than in Paris all year long, but in terms of attendance they will never make the same numbers that they will do if they were near Paris. I remember this Universal Studios project in the mid 90's supposed to be build near Meaux at 30km from DLP. Finally, due to DLP financial problems Universal execs changed their mind and instead did an investment in Port Aventura - only to resell their shares some years later.

So, the big luck of DLP is to don't have any major competitor at 20 miles from the resort, like Disney have in Florida. Can you imagine the hell it would be for DLP if at 20 miles from the WDS will exist a Universal Studios with a selection of Universal best rides and a Wizarding World of Harry Potter? But, at the same time, it's also a real bad luck for DLP that a Universal Studios don't exist near Paris. Why? Because if there was one it will boost DLP to develop new rides, enhance the parks, etc... A bit like what's happening at WDW right now. The Harry Potter land is such a success that DIsney had to counter attack with the upcoming Avatar land. I'm pretty sure that DLP execs are aware of this new Paramount Park and may be it will urge the WDC to give the money for a big placemaking at the WDS. Rumors, as i told you last tuesday, seems to indicate that this will be the case and we'll see what happen.

In the meantime, don't miss the Paramount Park presentation video below!




Picture and video: copyright Paramount

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow this is very interesting news! i can imagine some dlp execs being a little nervous about this to say the leaset-- but then again maybe a bit of competition is exactly what dlp needs to up their game so this might actually be very good news for dlp fans (if not shareholders)

Aladar said...

After watching the video, I agree that this could be a very hard competitor for DLP. It's been said many times that Disney should have chosen Spain rather than France. It's true that the Paris resort would've performed better if the number or the size of the hotels had been reduced, but Spain would have been a lot better, even with the 6 huge hotels. But Disney has something that no other park has, and that is "Disney". People go to Disneyland because it's Disneyland. They go to other parks because they're fun, they're near, and they're cheap, but whoever wants to go to Disneyland, will go because they want to go to that specific place, because it's mythical, because it's more than anyone expects, because it's what it is!! and they will go, even if the Paramount Park stands next door to them and even if they hold an annual pass. Another very important thing is that the Spanish don't go to themeparks very often, but we're really excited about Disneyland because it's kind of a mythical far away land for us. Another fact is than none of the 4 theme parks in Spain, including Warner Bros. Park, has performed well and reports of money loss fill the spanish newspapers every year, so don't expect Paramount to be much different.

Alain Littaye said...

I can agree with that, but if the theme parks in Spain are not doing that well, why is Paramount Parks ready to build a new one and spent millions of dollars there?

That said, i'm also surprised they build it in Spain, specially considering the economy crisis which probably - and unfortunately - will happen anytime soon there.

Anonymous said...

I remember my WDI Boss was very disappointed when he returned from an advance Team Disney trip to Spain to see if they would build their first European park there. Trips to England and Germany gave way to France winning the Host country honor.It will be interesting to see what Paramount does with it's vast file to draw from. In trying to create a Disneylike theme park, will they also draw on Disney's former misplaced skilled designers and artisans and possibly Michael Eisner, former Chief of Paramount?

Miquel said...

I'm Spanish and I didn't believe the news when i saw them last week.
Economic crisis is pretty hard here, with an unemployemtn rate of 20% (40% among the youth) and projections of recovery not being optimistic at all.

As it has been said, all major theme parks in Spain are having problems, I think the only one surviving is Port Aventura, with its stockholders willing to sell if a good offer is presented.

I see this park more for the European tourists that spend their holidays around the area but not for Spaniards.

And Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world. Who before this news had heard about Murcia? It only has around 440.000 people. It has no good airport (let's see how many companies will fly to the new airport opening next year). Port Aventura plays the Barcelona card and received 3 million visitors in 2010 compared to the 10,5 of DLP. It also has well known tourists spots like Costa Brava and Costa Daurada.

Another key point is how much the people will spend during their visit. It is commonly known by economic studies that the type of tourism on Spain is focused on low budget, so will they be willing to spend extra cash on food, beverages or souvenirs?

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

I think that the only park that can compete with Disney is Universal.

Parc-O-Rama said...

It's interesting.
I wonder if Spain will slowly become Europe's big theme park and roller coaster Mecca just like Florida is in the US. If this happen, it's a bad thing for Disney to not have a park there...

Of course it could take 4 or 5% much needed guests to Disney but in fact, DLP is not so strong in advertising in northen europe. I was really shocked when I read a german comment on dlrptoday.com saying that dheure is just no DLP advertising at all in Germany, a country that's IN LOVE with theme parks.

My point is, if Disney loses some spanish guests, they still have other key markets to target (northen and eastern Europe, or even Russia and middle east).

Anonymous said...

this park looks tiny.... do they have any hotels? i think nobody goes down to spain by car from germany. I think this park will fail like all those ambitious movie parks did...

Will said...

I read they they expect 3 million visitors annually... that's peanuts. their parking lot is very small, they don't seem to have hotels and an entertainment district, no train station and major airports are not nearby: this is not the orlando of europe... no competition for disney whatsoever, if you ask me.

here's what I say again and again: disney needs to get their things together in paris! JUST DO IT! get disney village back to its former coherence and maintenance, upgrade the studios (loved your article on the possible major placemaking project), maintain the Magic Kingdom and the resort area to American standards. Get a new corporate identity, a fresh logo and name and have a big marketing campaign...

foremost, they need american management, not french.

Disneyland Resort Paris is THE european holiday destination and disney should communicate this the way they boldly did in 1992, with the boldness of their former sussman/prejza corporate identity, which as just amazing.

Paramount is not a competition, they are not in the same league.

Jones said...

Nope, don´t think so. It either will be no real competition, then there´s no problem, or it will be, and that would be even better - competition is a good thing! When people demand more, that´s a good thing, too. Why did the Japanese get TDS? Because Disney was convinced they *demanded* that level of detail, Disney knew they would never get away with sth like DSP or DCA in Japan. Challenges lead to better parks, it´s as simple as that (hopefully...)

Will said...

I agree, Jones. May be DLP's problem is the lack of competition in the Paris area and on the European level. Maybe the park and hotels are in this rather miserable condition because nobody attempts to do it better. In Orlando, Disney is surrounded my small, but potent competitors that are setting standards themselves.

Owen said...

All I have to say is that the design is a blatant copy of ANY Magic Kingdom! Sorry but... Wild West, Adventure, Fantasy, Future - standard design in ALL and EVERY (barring the future Shanghai) Disney Park!

Cristian Guimerà said...

Yo vivo en Barcelona, y, si tengo dinero, iría a los dos parques, pero si solo puedo ir a uno, me decantaría, sin lugar a dudas, por Disneyland Paris! Of course!!!!

CG said...

Why do the foreigners get an awesome Star Trek ride? *cries*