Disneyland Paris ‘charges British tourists more than French’

Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris

British holidaymakers are being charged more to go to Disneyland Paris than their French counterparts, the European Commission has said.

EC sources say complaints against the theme park are just the tip of the iceberg, with claims of discrimination on the basis of nationality also being made against Spanish hotels, Austrian ski lift firms and the city of Venice.

Disneyland Paris is facing a pricing probe after it was found that Britons can be charged up to 15 per cent more than French nationals.

EU rules allow for price differences between member countries but state that all citizens, regardless of nationality, should have the opportunity to purchase the cheaper tickets.

A spokeswoman for the EC said consumers were “often prevented from getting the best price” and confirmed the commission were “scrutinising a number of complaints, including several against Disneyland Paris”.

She added: “Discrimination can take place in several ways. Sometimes service providers automatically redirect consumers to their country-specific website, often with less attractive prices and offers. Sometimes they simply refuse delivery to the consumer’s country of residence.”

According to the theme park’s UK website, disneylandParis.co.uk, a family of two adults and two children would pay £232 for a one-day park ticket whereas a family of the same size booking on the French version, disneylandparis.fr, are offered the same ticket for £199.

A spokesman for Disneyland Paris said the company offers EU citizens different deals throughout the year by offering “market-specific promotions” but denied that customers had the opportunity to take advantage of the prices from other countries.

He said: “Promotions take into consideration factors specific to people in the local market, such as their school holiday calendar and booking patterns. Anyone aware of a promotion running in a market not local to them, can contact the central reservations office and request to make that specific booking.”

However, the Press Association encountered difficulties when attempting to book the cheaper French tickets through the central reservations office, constantly being referred back to the British office.

French authorities now have the responsibility to ensure that Disneyland Paris is complying with the EU rules, said an EC source.