“In a Magical Kingdom not so far away – somewhere between a place where you wish upon a star and dreams come true – Disney heroes and heroines live in fairytales that are, happily, never ending… ” (disneylandparis. co. uk 2011) Source: http://disneylandparisdeals. net/cheap-disneyland-paris-deals/ INTRODUCTION Walt Disney opened his first Disney Park in California in 1955 with a pride of the US President Ronald Reagan being one of his guests (disneydreamer. com 2011). The success was followed by opening Walt Disney World in Florida in 1971 and in Tokyo in 1983 (Owen 2011).
The performance and popularity of the Japanese subsidiary resulted in making the company’s CEOs search within the Old Continent- considering the UK, France, Spain, Italy and Germany (Capps 2011). Being sure about new capabilities and competences built in Japan together with strong sales of Disney films, 23 March 1987 by signing the contract with Jacque Chirac, the company decided to give up warm climate in Spanish Costa del Sol and start developing a new park in Marrnela- VallZe,20m km from Paris ( Burgoyne 1995).
WHY MARMELA VALLZE? Paris, is located in a country with well-developed infrastructure, famous for superior transport network in particular. The capital has been one of the most visited destinations in the world and can be easily reached by 17 million Europeans within 2h driving, 320 million can fly there in less than 3 hours( approximately the same market as in the U. S. ). However, some argue that the place was chosen mainly due to the generosity of French government, which expected new jobs and revenue to be generated.
In spite of sugar-beet farmers protesting, the 4, 400acres were sold at very low market value of $ 7, 500 per acre. Among others, it also guaranteed to extend rail network, to decrease VAT on tickets sales and to finance utility services( Burgoyne, 1995). ANY PROBLEMS? In spite of the initial wows and high future expectations , the first CEO of Disneyland Paris Robert Fitzpatrick- knowing the local people and culture as his wife is French; warning several times that the park should not be operated as in the U. S.
None paid attention( Burgoyne, 1995). However, the first obstacles had occurred already during the negotiations. Language barriers and different law systems caused misunderstandings about construction and risk management obligations (Burgoyne, 1995). In spite of these initial misinterpretations the theme park was finally opened on 12 April 1992, with Walt Disney Company being extremely optimistic (Recklies 2001). Although the park was visited by 11 million people as it was estimated, it did not generate the expected revenue, losing $1. 3 billion at the end of 1993. The total cost of development reached $5billion. However, it some argue the number was higher due to the so called budget breakers (NOTE), high interest rates(NOTE)and labour cost(NOTE) ( Burgoyne, 1995). Secondly, the Disneyland’s management and financial experts were unable to see upcoming European downturn which later resulted in property market to tumble and the household disposable income to drop significantly.
Thirdly, the park also experienced several operational problems such adjusting the capacity of workers in peak times. The Walt Disney Company did not clearly understand European eating norms and times, banning the alcohol in the park, serving traditional French breakfasts and lunches in non-seating restaurants which resulted in endless queues at 9. a. m. and 12. 30 p. m. for typical American fast food( Burgoyne, 1995). The most serious obstacles, however, occurred when searching, recruiting, training and housing 12,000 employees in less than a year.
The time pressure, high language requirements and 13 page manual called ‘’The Disney Look’’ clearly describing the ‘’American Disney Smile’’ by dictating the shape of the earrings, nails or haircut lead to the increased labour turnover and poor services for customers. The complaints about emphatic workers who deliberately seat a couple in different parts of the train were the mildest one( Burgoyne, 1995) The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and JAPAN VS EUROPE
The Tokyo Disney is owned by Mitsui and Oriental Land Corporation that bought the park as a package with for example so characters being American and the royalty fees is paid to the Walt Disney Company. Therefore, the company could adjust to little extend the tailoristic approach to suit Japanese employees and avoiding HR issues (Owen 2011). Secondly, the shops are twice as much crowded than in Europe as people tend to spend as much time on rides due to the high entrance fees. Moreover, the time spent in the Japanese and U. S. arks is likely to be enjoyed by visitors in every age for longer holiday compare with Europe where the theme park is primarily a target for short family trips with children who are also not willing to take their children from school outside the holiday(Euro Disney S. C. A 2004). ‘’MICKEY MOUSE EATS BIG MACS, DRINKS COKE AND DOES ITS COMPUTING WITH WINDOWS(Armstrong $ Kotler)’’ In Times Daily 7 April 1992 that Disneyland- according to several scholars and intellectuals- is ‘’Cultural Chernobyl’’, only assaulting French culture .
Max Gallo, a former spokesman of Socialist Government pointed out that Disney characters ‘’are to culture what fast food is to gastronomy’’. Marc Soriano, a specialist in fairy tales added that the characters: ‘’make better commerce than folklore or tales. ’’(Ganley 1992). On the other hand, Sorbona University students did not feel the French culture too strong be threatened by Disney or American values, attitudes or lifestyles. Moreover, there is nothing to be competed against as nothing Gallic can be found within the resort.
Some added, that the Walt Disney Company could acquire the land, develop standardized ‘’onstage’’ construction, labour conditions and manuscripts. However, the European culture and its subcultures would not be possible to change and should be clear that the main purpose of Disney parks is children having fun(Vaughan 1992). PEOPLE OR PLACE TO BE BLAMED? Seeing the opportunity offered by the European market which size was almost U. S. identical and the Japanese success, the Walt Disney Company underestimated the examination of company’s task environment and French macro environment (Armstrong et al 2002).
Most importantly, cultural values, attitudes and lifestyles within fifty European countries were taken as united, although European culture is referred as a chain overlapping cultures and subcultures. the certainty that French culture can be overlapped by company’s name and previous success (kotler, Armstrong) and the sum of the factors mentioned above together with problems mentioned in the first part lead to the conclusion that the primary failure goes beyond a place or a particular country.
In case of Disneyland Paris it is the human factor that failed in continuing the American success( Burgoyne, 1995). such as removing staircases for $300,000 on $2. 9 billion borrowed reaching up to 11% by 27% REFERENCES: DisneyDreamer 2011, “Disneyland History”, DisneyDreamer. com, viewed 1 November 2011 http://www. disneydreamer. com/history/disneyland. htm Disneylandpris. co. uk 2011, “Disneyland Park”, Disneyland Paris Homepage, viewed 1 November 2011, http://parks. disneylandparis. co. k/disneyland-park/index. xhtml Owen, R 2011, “ Japan’s Disneyland a little different”, Post-Gazette. com, 09 October2011, viewed 1 November 2011, http://www. post-gazette. com/pg/11282/1180329-37-0. stm Capps 2011, “Case Study of Euro Disney (Mgmt 322)”, Realhomepages. com- My Life My Website, viewed 1 November 2011 http://realhomepages. com/wecapps/disney. htm Burgoyne, L 1995, “Walt Disney Company’s Euro Disneyland Venture”, OITC Study in Corporate Foreign Expansion, viewed 1 November 2011, http://www. itc. com/Disney/Paris/English/LynEuroDisney. html Recklies, D 2001, “Euro Disney- Case Study 1” , Management Porta, 26 October 2006, viewed 1 November 2011, http://www. themanager. org/ME/Disney_1. htm Euro Disney S. C. A, 2004, “Euro Disney S. C. A. company history”, International Directory of Company Historie, Vol. 58, viewed 1 November 2011, http://www. fundinguniverse. com/company-histories/Euro-Disney-SCA-company-History. html
Ganley, E 1992, “Euro Disneyland opens amid cultural complaints”, Daily News, April 3 1992, viewed 1 November 2011, http://news. google. com/newspapers? nid=1696&dat=19920403&id=0r4cAAAAIBAJ&sjid=mUcEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3522,1608885 Vaughan, V 1992, “French Intellectuals Ponder Mickey’s Cultural Value”, Orlando Sentinel, 26 April 1992, viewed 1 November 2011, http://articles. orlandosentinel. com/1992-04-26/news/9204260209_1_french-culture-euro-french-intellectuals Armstron, G; Kotler, P 2008, “Principles of Marketing”,