Disneyland Resort Paris is a theme park in Marne-la-Vallée, near Paris. It is run by Euro Disney SCA, a corporation 39% owned by The Walt Disney Company. Construction began in 1988 and the theme park complex officially opened as "Euro Disney" on April 12, 1992, but attendances were disappointingly low. Furthermore, the theme park faced protests by those who thought a Disney park in France would harm French culture.
In October 1994, Euro Disney changed its name to "Disneyland Paris" (and later to "Disneyland Resort Paris"). As a result of the name change, a new park (Walt Disney Studios) and more attractions that were more in tune with continental European tastes, by 1995, Disneyland Paris started to attract more visitors and what began as a near failure for the Walt Disney Company became more successful.
Disneyland Resort Paris is about twice the size of the Disneyland Resort in California. Disneyland Paris has five major sections: its version of the Disneyland theme park (Magic Kingdom, essentially); the Walt Disney Studios Park, a theme park similar to Walt Disney World's Disney-MGM Studios; its version of the Disney Village; the Disney Hotels area; and Golf Disneyland.
The park is easily reached by car; near Paris, large billboards guide visitors. The park also has its own train station where the TGV (named Thalys when coming from Brussels) stops as well as its own RER (commuter train) station, so visitors to Paris can easily take the RER straight to the park. (However, the park lies outside of the central Paris metrozones. Therefore, a slightly more expensive ticket is needed to avoid a fine and to exit the station.)
In 2002, Euro Disney SCA and the Walt Disney Company announced their first annual profit for Disneyland Resort Paris. Plans for a World of Disney store at the Disney Village, a Tower of Terror ride at Walt Disney Studios Park and a new 'gate', or area added to the WDS aim to improve the number of guests.