A new interview has revealed that the budget for Walt Disney Studios' Toy Story Playland expansion is €70 million.
The figure was revealed in a Times newspaper interview with Simon Opie, Vice-President of Product Integration at Disneyland Paris Resort. The hefty price tag for the new area has caused some surprise among fans of the resort, following criticism of Disney's decision to use off-the-shelf rides as the main elements of Toy Story Playland.
Toy Story Playland will feature three new attractions, each based on a character from the popular movie series (the third of which will be released later this year). All of the rides are variations on traditional attractions seen at other parks around the world, including a spinning flat ride (Slinky Dog's Zig Zag Spin), a halfpipe rollercoaster (RC Racer) and a parachute drop tower (Green Army Men). The area is set to open later in 2010, though no firm opening date has been announced.
Disney has faced criticism for not adding more ambitious attractions to Walt Disney Studios, including a version of the hugely popular Toy Story Mania (versions of which appear at Disney's California Adventure and Disney's Hollywood Studios, and will be added to Tokyo DisneySea from 2012). However, the park is strongly rumored to be adding a new $150 million dark ride based on Pixar's Ratatouille close to Toy Story Playland in 2012.
The parent company of the Disneyland Paris Resort, Euro Disney S.C.A., has revealed that it suffered an 11% revenue drop in its first financial quarter (which ended on December 31, 2009). This matched an 11% drop in attendance, which was primarily caused by a reduction in visitors from France and the United Kingdom - both countries which have been badly hit by the economic downturn.
To help turn its performance around, and to take advantage of any improvement in the world's economic situation, the resort is launch the Disney New Generation Festival. This will be a new annual event starting from April, which will celebrate recent Disney characters such as those featured in Pixar's computer-generated movies.
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