Is EU to blame for claims that Disneyland Paris charges Brits more?

Do the French really pay less than Brits?

Updated: 
France Euro Disney

Twitter has been taken over with the news that Disneyland Paris has allegedly been charging British visitors up to 15% more than French nationals.

The claim, made by the European Commission, follows a number of tourist complaints and the attraction park will be investigated. A spokesman for Disneyland Paris denied the accusation but said that the company offers "market-specific promotions" to EU citizens throughout the year.

But, rather than attacking Disney, much of the reaction to the news challenges the EU itself and its lenient policy on ticket pricing for tourists. Some claim that it is "unfair" and that the rules have allowed this sort of discrimination for years.

EU rules do allow for price differences between member countries but state that all citizens, regardless of nationality, should have the opportunity to purchase cheaper tickets when available. Its policy published in 2012 states: "EU tourists must be treated like locals – price-wise."

Christophe Murphy, vice president of Disneyland Paris, said offers should be able to be purchased from a different country through the reservations office, as it has been protocol for "many years".

The Disneyland spokesman explained that these offers, or "market-specific promotions", take into account local holiday calendars and booking patterns. He said: "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.

On the 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.

Explaining the reason for taking up the investigation, a spokeswoman for the EC agreed that consumers were "often prevented from getting the best price" by the company and confirmed the Commission was "scrutinising a number of complaints, including several against Disneyland Paris".

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