Ratatouille Attraction Coming to Epcot’s France Pavilion

A new attraction inspired by Disney•Pixar’s “Ratatouille” attraction is coming to the France Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase.

The new attraction will expand the France pavilion and will be similar to the 4Ratatouille: The Adventure which opened at the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris in 2014.

Guests will be to shrink to Remy’s size and scurry to safety in a dazzling chase across a kitchen with the sights, sounds and smells of Gusteau’s legendary Parisian restaurant.

According to Disney leaders, both attractions will open in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort in 2021.

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Disney Increases Stake in Disneyland Paris, Offers to Buy Rest

Walt Disney Co. plans to take full ownership of its ailing theme park in Paris to get the resort under control after 25 years of ups and downs at its first and only outlet in Europe.

Disney is acquiring a 9 percent stake in Euro Disney SCA from Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Co. for 2 euros ($2.13) a share, payable in Disney stock. That will give it an 85.7 percent holding, and it’s offering the same price in cash for the rest, according to a statement Friday. The offer is 67 percent higher than Euro Disney’s closing price Thursday.

Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger is doubling down on the troubled resort, which has already been bailed out by Disney more than once. Hurt by sputtering European economies in recent years, the park’s finances were further hit by the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks and challenging business conditions that continued through 2016.

Disney said it will support Euro Disney’s recapitalization of as much as 1.5 billion euros. That follows a 2014 rescue package, when the resort was pledged at least 1 billion euros over 10 years to add attractions and spruce up grounds.

The new plan “affords maximum flexibility to shareholders, addresses the group’s financial needs and reflects its ongoing support for the long-term success of Disneyland Paris,” Disney said.

Shares of Euro Disney jumped 66 percent to 1.99 euros at 3:37 p.m. in Paris, giving the company a market value of 1.56 billion euros. Disney added 0.2 percent to $109.66 in New York Friday for a market value of $173 billion.

The investment marks a deeper commitment by Disney to its global theme-parks business. The entertainment giant opened a $5.5 billion resort in Shanghai last June that drew 4 million guests in its first four months, and is creating new attractions based on hit films. Disney is building “Star Wars”-themed lands at its parks in Orlando and Anaheim, California, and is also on schedule to open an “Avatar” attraction at its Animal Kingdom park in Florida in May.

This week, Disney reported a 13 percent gain in theme-park profit to $1.11 billion, buoyed by higher spending at the domestic and international parks, including a Shanghai resort, which opened in June. Profit at the theme-park division topped earnings from businesses including the cable-TV unit, home to ESPN and the Disney Channel, and its film arm.

The Paris resort’s history includes several financing maneuvers as it has struggled to match the popularity of Disney’s U.S. theme parks. In 2012, Euro Disney consolidated debt from a number of banks into a loan from the Disney company. Prince Alwaleed bought a 10 percent stake in Euro Disney in a refinancing in 1994, two years after its opening.

Euro Disney’s board has expressed its support for Disney’s plan. The board’s audit committee, comprised of independent members, is recommending an expert to deliver a fairness opinion about the offer.

From Bloomberg

Disneyland Paris to Remain Closed Through Tuesday

Disneyland-Paris

Disneyland Paris is closed to the public in a highly unusual move because of a string of attacks targeting a stadium, concert hall and cafes in Paris.

Today Disneyland Paris said that its two theme parks near the French capital will remain closed through and including Tuesday after the  attacks on Friday night that killed 129 people based on latest estimates.

On Saturday, the company had said it wouldn’t open for the day. On Sunday, its web site featured a quote from Euro Disney president Tom Wolber, saying: “We mourn those lost to the horrific attacks in Paris. We pray for the injured and we hold them all in our hearts. As part of France’s three-day national mourning period, Disneyland Paris will remain closed through Tuesday 17 November 2015.”

Some 14 million people visited Disneyland Paris last year.

France has deployed 1,500 extra troops around Paris and is tightening its borders because of Friday’s attacks.

Many of Paris’s top tourist attractions closed Saturday, including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and the Disneyland theme park east of the capital. Some 3,000 troops were deployed to help restore order and reassure a frightened populace.

 

New DCL Ports in Scotland, England, Ireland and France Join Other Popular Destinations for the 2016 Summer Season

DCL - Scotland

In 2016, Disney Cruise Line is sailing its first British Isles itinerary, visiting Scotland, England, Ireland and France. Throughout the summer of 2016, Disney Cruise Line also will return to Norway, Iceland and ports of call in more than 15 European countries.

In addition to the tour of Europe with limited engagements in the Baltic, Norwegian Fjords, Iceland, British Isles, Greek Isles and the Mediterranean, Disney Cruise Line will revisit favorite destinations elsewhere around the globe including Alaska, the Caribbean and the Bahamas.

Bookings for the new itineraries open to the public on March 26, 2015. More details can be found on the Itineraries and Ports for 2016 page of disneycruise.com.

New British Isles

On June 5, 2016, Disney Cruise Line will sail from Dover, England on its very first British Isles itinerary. The 12-night cruise on the Disney Magic will sail to Invergordon, Kirkwall and Greenock (Glasgow), Scotland; Newcastle and Liverpool, England; Dublin, Ireland; Le Havre (Paris), France; and Guernsey; one of the Channel Islands. All of these, except Kirkwall, are first-time ports of call for Disney Cruise Line.

On this itinerary, guests can explore the majestic beauty of Scotland, experience Highland culture, sample traditional cuisine and spirits, and discover the country’s iconic castles. Elsewhere on the itinerary, guests will experience the merry, cosmopolitan city of Dublin, the culturally rich and romantic Paris, the birthplace of the Beatles and the British Invasion in Liverpool, and the charming countryside of Guernsey.

New Iceland and Norway

Disney Cruise Line guests can explore the natural wonders of Iceland with two new 12-night Disney Magic sailings. Each itinerary includes two days in Reykjavik and a stop in Akureyri, Iceland; Bergen, Norway; and Kirkwall, Scotland. Departing from Dover, England and concluding in Copenhagen, Denmark, the June 17 cruise also visits Stavanger, Norway and Newcastle, England. The July 13 cruise departing from Copenhagen, Denmark and concluding in Dover, England also visits Oslo and Kristiansand, Norway and Invergordon, Scotland.

On this itinerary, three days in Iceland provides time to explore the country’s rich natural wonders such as volcanoes, lava fields, glaciers and thermal springs. In Norway, guests are immersed in the splendor and charm of the country with exciting ports steeped in Viking history.

New Norwegian Fjords from Dover

For the first time, Disney Cruise Line will sail from Dover, England on a seven-night cruise to the majestic Norwegian fjords. Departing on May 29, the Disney Magic will visit Stavanger, Alesund, Geiranger and Bergen, Norway.

In Norway, Disney Cruise Line guests will discover breathtaking natural wonders such as magnificent mountain ranges, massive glaciers and majestic fjords. The enchanting Scandinavian culture of the region comes to life through local attractions, stunning architecture, storybook villages and historic city centers.

More Summer 2016 Itineraries

During the summer of 2016, the Disney Magic will return to favorite destinations in northern Europe, the Greek Isles and the Mediterranean with a variety of seven-night and longer sailings.

From May through August 2016, the Disney Wonder will return to Alaska, sailing from Vancouver, Canada to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan.

In 2016, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy will sail from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas and Caribbean on a variety of itineraries. All of these cruises include a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact a travel agent.

Walt Disney Company Bails Out Euro Disney as Visitor Numbers Fall

Mickey - DLP

Walt Disney Co. has come to the rescue of its loss-making subsidiary Euro Disney with a 1 billion-euro ($1.3 billion) funding deal that could give the U.S. group total control over Europe’s biggest tourist attraction.

The deal announced Monday includes a rights issue and debt restructuring that will inject 420 million euros in cash into the Euro Disney group and eliminate 600 million euros of its debt owed to Walt Disney via an equity swap.

Euro Disney is currently 40 percent owned by Walt Disney Co. and 10 percent by Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

Twenty miles east of Paris, the resort has struggled amid the economic downturn in Europe, with attendances down by 700,000 to 800,000 visitors at just over 14 million visitors in the last year. At the same time its total debt of 1.75 billion euros, which is owed to Walt Disney, has hampered its ability to invest in upgrades to the park.

The company said it estimates that revenue for the year just ended on Sept. 30 fell by up to 3 percent to 1.27 billion euros, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization dipped to 110-120 million euros from 144 million and net losses rose to between 110-120 million euros from 78 million.

“This proposal to recapitalise the Euro Disney Group is essential to improve our financial health and enable us to continue making investments in the resort that enhance the guest experience,” company president Tom Wolber said in a statement.

Under the plan, shareholders are to be offered nine new shares for every one held for 1 euro a share, raising 351 million euros. The company said the rights offer price represented a 20 percent discount to Friday’s closing price, adjusted for the issuance of the new shares.

In addition, shareholders will have the option to buy some of the shares issued in the debt conversion at 1.25 euros a share to avoid diluting their stakes. The company’s debt will fall to 998 million euros, taking the company’s balance sheet from a negative equity position of around 200 million euros at the end of September to positive equity of 800 million.

Depending on shareholder uptake of the rights issue and debt swap, the company said there was a small chance that the listed entity could be removed from the stock market.

Shares in Euro Disney were down more than 11 percent as investors digested the changes.

“The objective of this operation is to strengthen Euro Disney, not to de-list it from the stock market,” Finance Director Mark Stead told Reuters.

“Everything has been done to help convince shareholders to support the operation and subscribe to the capital increase so as to accompany Walt Disney in developing the company.”

Stead said that the level of Walt Disney’s holding in Euro Disney after the capital increase and debt restructuring will be determined by how many other shareholders take up the share offers.

Alwaleed bin Talal has not yet decided whether to subscribe to the share capital increase.

“I spoke to the Prince this morning, he welcomed the transaction but he hasn’t yet taken a stand on which way he wants to go. He’ll be coming back to us in about a week’s time,” Stead said.

Euro Disney had a market capitalization of 137 million euros at Friday’s close. After the share sale and debt restructuring, the market capitalization of Euro Disney will be roughly 980 million euros, said a company spokesman.

Euro Disney expects to complete the share sale and debt restructuring in the first half of next year.

Disney Cruise Line Charts a New Course for Norway in 2015

DCL - Norway 2015

In summer 2015, Disney Cruise Line is charting a magical new course for northern Europe – exploring for the first time the Norwegian fjords, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Plus, Disney Cruise Line is returning to the Baltic for all-new itineraries, including sailings from Copenhagen, Denmark to St. Petersburg, Russia. Cruises to the Mediterranean, Alaska, Caribbean and Bahamas also are included in the summer lineup.

Bookings open to the public on March 27, 2014. More details on 2015 itineraries can be found on the Itineraries and Ports for 2015 section of disneycruise.com.

Norwegian Fjords

On seven and nine-night sailings departing from Copenhagen, Disney Cruise Line guests are immersed in the splendor and charm of Norway with exciting new ports, steeped in Viking history. An 11-night sailing on the Disney Magic takes guests to Iceland and the Faroe Islands for the very first time.

The Norwegian fjords served as the inspiration and backdrop for Disney’s blockbuster animated film, “Frozen.” Here, guests will discover breathtaking natural wonders such as magnificent mountain ranges, massive glaciers, steaming geysers and majestic fjords. The enchanting Scandinavian culture of the region comes to life through local attractions, stunning architecture, storybook villages and historic city centers.

NEW Seven-night Norwegian Fjords

Ports: Copenhagen, Denmark; Stavanger, Alesund, Geiranger and Bergen, Norway

Departure date: June 6

NEW Nine-night Norwegian Fjords

Ports: Copenhagen, Denmark; Stavanger, Alesund, Geiranger, Molde, Olden and Bergen, Norway

Departure date: June 20

NEW 11-night Norwegian Fjords and Iceland

Ports: Copenhagen, Denmark; Oslo, Kristiansand and Stavanger Norway; Akureyri and Reykjavik (overnight), Iceland; Torshavn, Faroe Islands; Dover, England

Departure date: June 29

Rates start at $1,561 per person for seven-night cruises, $2,133 per person for nine-night cruises and $2,453 per person for 11-night Norwegian fjords cruises for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Northern Europe

On northern European cruises, the Disney Magic will sail the Baltic waters where guests will explore richly diverse cultures and national capitals including Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark and St. Petersburg – Russia’s second largest city known as the country’s cultural capital. These itineraries depart from Copenhagen, Denmark and Dover, England – just a quick jaunt from London.

NEW Seven-night Northern European

Ports: Copenhagen, Denmark; Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden

Departure dates: May 30, June 13

12-night Northern European

Ports: Dover, England; Copenhagen, Denmark; Warnemunde, Germany (July 10 cruise only); Stockholm, Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Tallinn, Estonia

Departure dates: July 10 and 22

Rates start at $1,463 per person for seven-night cruises and $2,844 per person for 12-night Northern European cruises for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Mediterranean

The Disney Magic returns to the Mediterranean, treating guests to popular European destinations. Departing from Barcelona, Spain, these sailings take guests on an exciting journey of cultures and locales, with romantic boulevards, iconic locations, mild climates and the brilliant blue Mediterranean Sea.

Five-night Mediterranean

Ports: Barcelona, Spain; Nice (Villefranche), France; Florence (La Spezia) and Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy

Departure date: Aug. 10

Seven-night Mediterranean

Ports: Barcelona, Spain; Naples, Rome (Civitavecchia) and Florence (La Spezia), Italy; Nice (Villefranche), France

Departure dates: Aug. 15, 22 and 29

Rates start at $1,255 per person for five-night cruises and $1,302 per person for seven-night Mediterranean cruises for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Alaska

In 2015, the Disney Wonder will sail seven-night cruises from Vancouver to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska.

These cruises combine the grandeur, natural wonder and adventurous spirit of Alaska with the unparalleled, family-friendly experience found on a Disney ship. Disney Cruise Line works closely with Alaskan tour operators to create exclusive-to-Disney family-friendly Port Adventures that allow guests to experience Alaska’s natural beauty and rich history.

Seven-night Alaska:

Ports: Vancouver, Tracy Arm (scenic cruising through fjord), Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan

Departure dates: June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; July 6, 13, 20, 27; Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

Rates start at $1,155 per person for seven-night Alaska cruises for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Caribbean and Bahamas

In 2015, Disney Cruise Line will sail from Port Canaveral and Miami to the Caribbean and Bahamas on a variety of itineraries. These cruises include a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

From Port Canaveral, rates start at $495 per person for three-night cruises, $662 per person for four-night cruises, $1,465 per person for five-night cruises and $1,145 per person for seven-night cruises for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

From Miami, rates start at $400 per person for four-night cruises and $500 per person for five-night cruises for a standard inside stateroom, based on double occupancy.

All pricing reflects a category 11C standard inside stateroom. Government taxes and fees, gratuities and Port Adventures are not included.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit http://www.disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact their travel agent.