Friday, July 4, 2008

France F 1 Grand Prix coming to Disneyland Paris ? Say goodbye to the third theme park !

Today in the french newspaper "Le Parisien", Euro Disney admits they are officially favorable to the move of the french Formule 1 grand prix from Magny-Cours to the Disneyland Paris Resor . On the condition of limiting the noise pollution and the atmospheric pollution.

EuroDisney wishes that the project will be more a "technopole" with a F 1 grand prix only once a year. This "high-tech city" would be dedicated to the development of the renewable energies. In two words, it is about research on the "green" vehicles of the future: hydrogen, biofuels, etc...

"For us, it is unthinkable that visitors of the park hear the noise of the racing cars when they walk in Main Street" said Dominique Coquet.

In fact EuroDisney requires that " the activities of the circuit during the year bring no emergence of noise with regards to the current level, and no supplementary atmospheric pollution. "These drastic conditions ask the question of the profitability of the future installation, the cost of which is estimated at 60 million euros". " This business plan is not within our competence " said EuroDisney , adding that " the ball is in the camp of the government and the French Federation of car-racing ( FFSSA) ".

Then there is the question of the land to build it. The direction/management of Euro Disney has already chosen: they will use the 130 hectares initially devolved to the third theme park ( initially a kind of EPCOT). The site is include in the 1987 agreement between Disney and the french government who is the owner of the land. An agreement which has to be renegociated soon.

For Arnaud de Belenet, president of the public establishment of the Val-d'Europe town " to give temporarily this land for the F 1 Grand Prix would allow Disney " to spare time " to realize its project of the third theme park, today frozen for a lack of money.

My opinion on all this is that the park don't need this. The french F 1 Grand Prix happen once a year, and even if the land may look far from the Magic Kingdom, believe me, you WILL hear the roaring F 1 cars in Main Street! Also, if they built it, say goodbye to a third theme park, for a looooong time. Not to mention that i would not like to be a guest at the Newport Bay, Sequoia Lodge or Santa Fe hotels during the F 1 race as the hotels are located just in front of where the circuit is supposed to be build...

Frankly, the park has a lot to loose with this project, but if they keep saying they are interested it may be more for the "technopole" part of the project than the grand prix itself. As always, we must "look for the money" to understand a decision, and this "technopole" will certainly bring some ( money ) to EuroDisney SCA.... Yes, but if the cost is the loss of a future third theme park, then Disneyland Paris fans may enter in rebellion...

Photo from AP Photo by Christian Lutz


Anonymous said...

i never think at the point of view you have and now, i thinking more about that !
i think that a F1 Circuit will be a good idea for Disney but not next to the resort ! if i must to choose, i would like a third park instead of F1 circuit !
but... i think political people are for this circuit, so.... we'll see and cross fingers !


Michael said...

Very interesting... I know I am a little late in seeing this, but I did have a few questions.

First, how likely would you think it is that this will actually happen? It sounds like it's not a done deal so far.

Where is the plot of land for this? I don't know where the third theme park was set to be built.

Most importantly, would this preclude the future construction of the third park on that site? Or would it be built to be temporary? Obviously, the Studios needs a lot of plussing before they start on a third park, but I don't want them to forfeit the chance for future expansion - I know it's incredibly unlikely but I'd love to see that European EPCOT!