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Disney Princesses

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Euro Disney

When the average person thinks of Paris, France, many things come to mind. On the top of the list would be the Eiffel Tower or the Musee du Louvre, or spending countless hours in exquisite boutiques and coffee shops. Many flock to Paris for these spectacular luxuries that are often found in movies or mindless imaginations. This far-fetched dream became a reality for the Disney Corporation when they decided to expand their boundaries to other countries. Unfortunately, Since Disney did not research as much as they should of when deciding to open Euro Disney, this lead to one of the biggest failures for the Disney Company and is today used as an example of international marketing failures.

The Disney Corporation first introduced its fantasy island to Tokyo, Japan in 1983 and was a huge success. This successful idea transformed its reaches to Paris, France. This location was selected because it was considered "the crossroads to Europe. It is only a few miles from London and other European countries" (**). Transportation changed greatly to benefit all surrounding countries to accommodate Disney's plan. France was happy to extend it subways to reach the theme park from as far is Brussels and London. Additionally, Disney's decision was made with ease because the French government wanted and hoped that Disney would relieve the country's high unemployment rate because of the park, which would employ over 12,000 people.

At the time of Euro Disney's launch in 1992, Europe was undergoing a major recession and the French were very weak. Disney used France's vulnerable situation to their advantage and greatly influence France's decision toward an American theme park however, it was unsuccessful during its first years open. There were many factors that contributed to EuroDisney's poor performance during this time. EuroDisney's advertising had emphasized Disney's image as an alluring bit of Americana rather than an explaining what the theme park was or what attractions it had to offer the European consumer. The cultural adaptation that was necessary to make the park a success didn't cross the mind of the Disney team. The reason behind this could be the success of the Japanese park, which "succeeded without any changes to the local culture, or just the American bravery of Disney and it's management team" (**). The management that directed the EuroDisney park was the same team that took Disney from an one billion to an eight and a half billion company, so the feeling that "they knew best" can be described as one of the main factors why EuroDisney failed. Advertising was also so focused on the size of the park and the glamour behind it, that this poor marketing strategy hurt overall business. No one in France cared that EuroDisney had costs over "$4 billion and that its 4,800 acres include five separate recreation areas, six hotels with room for 5,200 people in all, an entertainment center, a 27 hole golf course and a wooded campground" (Gumbel, A12). Therefore, French visitors stayed away from the park.

Operational errors that easily could have been avoided accounted for more troubles than were expected at EuroDisney in regards to employees, alcohol, admission, hotels, and restaurants. The employee dress code prohibited facial hair and limited the use of makeup and jewelry. Since this caused much discontent, Disney has relaxed on rules regarding personal grooming. They thought that they can just built the park as they did it in the U.S.A. and that it can be operated in the same way, but this was not the case. The French have a different culture and different morals then Americans do, and EuroDisney does not consider this, and does not anticipate to this. Also they didn't realize that there could be culture clashes between employees from different countries, because they might have different working methods. Managers and lower employees from different countries might not understand each other fully, and they didn't. The ban on alcohol caused astonishment in a country because a glass of wine with lunch was as French as a cheeseburger was American. Prices revolving around EuroDisney were also the cause of it not making a profit. Its high admission price, which were 30% more than at Disney World in Orlando, made visitors keen



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