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Disneyland Paris fireworks

The parent company of Disneyland Paris will today sign a new deal with the French government, removing from it the obligation to build a third theme park at the resort by 2017.

Euro Disney SCA's original partnership contract with the government was due to expire in seven years time, and required the company to build three theme parks in exchange for permanent rights to the property on which the resort stands. However, the deal will now be extended until 2030, and the company will only add a third gate if "market conditions" are favourable during that period.

As part of the deal, the amount of land allocated to Disneyland Paris will be enlarged from 1,194 hectares to 2,230 hectares. This will enable the construction of a new resort complex, dubbed ”Les Village Nature de Val d’Europe”, featuring a lake, a forest, hotels, restaurants and outdoor recreation facilities. The new development would be built via a joint venture with travel group Pierre & Vacances, and Euro Disney SCA claims it could generate up to 70,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Although the agreement does reference a third theme park, it would be built in stages over the next 20 years only if the economy recovers sufficiently. In the meantime, Disneyland Paris is focusing on enhancing the resort's second theme park, Walt Disney Studios, through the opening of Toy Story Playland in 2010 and the planned addition of a new headline attraction based on Pixar's Ratatouille movie in 2012.

Disneyland Paris has struggled with weak revenue figures and a huge debt burden over the last few years, but remains Europe's most popular tourist attaction. In 2009, some 15.4 million people visited the resort, although hotel occupancy and revenue numbers plunged compared to the previous year.

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