In April 1992, Disney opened the door of EuroDisney at 30 kilometers east of Paris. During that time, it was designed to be the biggest and most impressive theme park that Disney has ever built in the world. Before the EuroDisney, Disney has built up theme park in California, Florida and Japan. When Disney saw the success of Tokyo Disneyland, they wanted to build other theme parks outside America and after choosing from over 200 potential sites included Spain, Italy and Greece; Paris was the chosen one.
The management of Disney has expected to receive the same behaviour in EuroDisney as their Japanese counterparts in Tokyo Disneyland but they actually experienced the exact opposite of what ...view middle of the document...
There were also external factors which did affect the EuroDisney. Disney management failed to predict external threats such as a coming European recession, the effect of Gulf War in 1991 on vacation behaviour, high interest rates and devaluation of several currencies against the franc. Other difficulties were that in 1992 there were Olympics in Barcelona and World’s fair in Seville which attracted a huge number of European tourists.
Disney management also failed to study the European culture and behaviours. At the very beginning, they started with a wrong entry; firstly they banned alcohol in the park as they did not know that the French always have wine with their meals. Then, they were grooming the employees as they wanted to make them be more on American style and normally the French have freedom to wear their own style. They also did not know that the French usually bring their pets along when they are on vacation and hence needed to provide kennels for the pets of the visitors. Another issue is that they did not consider that the French have their own cartoon characters and they are not much attracted to Disney characters which did affect them also. The analysis made by the management was also wrongly done as they were informed that Europeans do not eat breakfast whereas it was totally wrong.
After 1992, EuroDisney had plans for further development such as to make 5200 hotel rooms, shopping malls, apartments, golf courses and vacation homes. At various projects, Disney could have partners so as to share risk but they did not want to as they believe that they could do everything perfectly due to their incredible growth they made in seven years in the parent company.
Comparing to Disney’s American park which is a three day visit, EuroDisney was at its most a two day visit and for energetic visitors, it could even take less time.
Vacation customs of European were also not well analysed. Disney managers have positively think that the set up of new theme park would make French parent to bring their children in mid-session of their school for a short break which did not happen. The French remained on the planned that they go on long vacation on August.
In late 1993, due to falling in share prices, Disney had no choice than to come to rescue EuroDisney but they made it clear that they were not giving blank cheque. In June 1994, a prince from the Saudi royal family came to rescue the theme park by investing US$500 million for 24 percent stake of the park.
In 1993, the Frenchman Philippe Bourguignon took over EuroDisney as CEO and has brought the park back to profitability. He made changes mostly in the marketing. The new marketing plan took into consideration different tourists’ habits around the continent. Separate marketing were done in each country around Europe and each one of them were tailored for the specific market. Prices were cut by 20 percent for park admission and 30 percent for hotel room rates. Special promotions were also run...