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An Alen Land

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It begun in 1992, when the Walt Disney company has first established the theme park business in California, it gained a huge success from theme park business. According to (Jon 2012) the reason behind the successful is because of they are idealized vision of America spiced that can make people feel like they are as a family and become closer to each other. Moreover, Disneyland character is Mickey Mouse where always appear in cartoons and comic book, and till now it is well known all over the world and gain a massive success. In 1970s, the triumph again comes to Disney in Florida, specially, in 1983, they establish a Disneyland in Tokyo and they have proved that Japanese have a connection with Mickey mouse. After wooing the Japanese, they moved their target to France, due to the large amount of population of Europeans, demographics, subsidies and a big incentive for Disney with expectation that they will created 30,000 French jobs.

 The obstacles now begun, by 1986 due to the cultural gaffes Disney has had to negotiate with France government. Moreover, there were some Parisian intellectuals acknowledged that the transplantation of Disney is an assault on the France culture. Besides, the minister of culture boycotted the opening of Disney by unwelcoming the symbol of American clichés and customer society. After all, Disney decided to open Disney land in 1992 in Paris. After opening the Disney land, the France farmers had come with their tractors and blocked the entrance, this events has globalized televised act of protest target to US government and demand for the subsidies must be cut, the event has gained attention of world.

There were some errors on the operation of Disney, such as no serving wine for lunch, while wine is indispensable in every lunch of people in France, besides, staffs were unequally distributed due to thinking that Monday is a light day for travelers and Friday is a heavy one, unfortunately, it is reverse. Moreover, hotel breakfast also was an issued, Disney said that Europeans do not take breakfast, so they reduce the number of restaurants, unluckily, a lot of France people showed up for breakfast. Also, the breakfast the France people want is bacon and eggs, while Disney provided croissants and coffee.

The huge problems that the Disney has to face was staffing problem. Disney used exact the same model that they have applied in America and Japan. In the first nine months, 10% of total 1000 employees had left. A local employee has blamed that Disney does not know what Europeans really need. A former employee said that he has quit the jobs after two days of working, because he has dispute with his supervisor over the lunch time.

The biggest problem of Disney is that they think people will stay at Disney land as long as possible so they had invest a huge amount of money to build luxury hotels but most of travelers just stay from one to two day at the theme park, most of them were day-tripper so they do not need the luxury hotels, Europeans regard theme park as a place for a day excursion not for an extended vacations, so it was a big surprise for Disney. By the end of 1994 Euro-Disneyland had made losses of $2billion

After making those errors, Disney come up with new strategy, firstly, they changed their name in order to strengthen the park’s identity. Second food and fashion were changed, and opened more restaurants provide French-style food service. Moreover, they also reduce the price of product in boutique, day tickets and hotel rooms for French market. The result was 11,7 million people in 1996 higher than the previous years.


Many mistakes have been made in the realization of the Euro Disney entertainment park in France. They literally transplanted US culture in France without taking into consideration the cultural clash that this might have caused. US imposed their culture over the French one, and this was seen as an attack to French traditions and customs, resulting in protests from local residence and farmers.

First of all, there was a general misunderstanding of the French culture both under the lifestyle and legal aspects. The top management made wrong assumptions, which led them to take wrong management decisions. In fact, French habits and traditions were not taken in to account. For example, breakfast at the park was not served; instead in the French culture breakfast is one of the most important “moments” of the day. Moreover, alcoholic drinks were not allowed in the park: contrary French always have a glass of wine during their main meals. In addition, also the dress code requirements did not meet the French standards in work environments. And the fact that they were supposed to be always smiling and kind did not reflect the French attitude and the staff was not comfortable with these policies. Furthermore, the top management positions were al given to American, which made the situation even worse because they were incapable to fix the mistakes made from the very start. Instead, if they had hired French people to manage the park, they would have been able to assess these cultural differences in a more efficient way, avoiding such a cultural clash.

Second, it was given for granted that French entertainment culture was as the US one. Thus, staff and resources were allocated in the wrong way, because the peek days were not the same as the US Disney Land. This led to a lack of staff in crowded days and a surplus of staff in empty days affecting efficiency and profitability of the park negatively. Moreover, they assumes French would have gone to the park with their private transportation, thus they built many car parks which were most of the time empty, instead the parking were not big enough for buses, which was the more used transport used to get to the park.

Third, recession signs were not taken into consideration and too high expectations were placed in the profitability of this new Euro Disney. Thus, too high revenue expectations were set and the park did not even manage to sell the tickets available also due to the quite high price imposed. Moreover, the wrong allocation of staff and resources made the situation even worse and the park’s expenses almost were more than its revenues.

From this case study, many lessons can be learned. First of all, never give for granted that if one project is successful according to the parameters of one society and culture, this does not mean that if we export it else where this success will remain unchanged. Cultural factors are crucial for the success of any business and to disregard and to “attack” others traditions and customs can be destructive. Before opening a business already well established in another country, the company has to do a very deep and targeted market research in order to better understand both the culture and how that same business can adapt to the different kind of need clients in the country might have. Moreover, the success of an organization depends on how united the organization is especially the executive, and it is essential to resolve workplace issues, make employees happy with policies and have excellent communication tools. In conclusion, a company should make use of cultural differences to have a competitive advantage over other entertainment parks and make it unique, not only a copy of the already existing ones.



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