Case 2-1: The Not-So-Wonderful World of EuroDisney – Things Are Better Now at Paris Disneyland
1. What factors contributed to EuroDisney’s poor performance during its first year of operations? What factors contributed to Hong Kong Disney’s poor performance during its first year?
Europeans failed to “go goofy” over Mickey in part because of the high prices of the theme park and nearby hotels. Families were reluctant to spend the $280 a day needed to enjoy the attractions of the park, including the food. Staying overnight was out of the question for many because prices ranged from $110 to $380 a night, and $340 to $380 a night at better hotels. Other factors that ...view middle of the document...
The alienation of visitors, European government, ad agencies, banks, and other organizations was foreseeable and controllable. Due to their philosophy that they knew what was best, Disney executives were viewed as arrogant.
3. What role does ethnocentrism play in the story of EuroDisney’s launch?
Due to the arrogance, inconsideration, and lack of research on the part of Disney, ethnocentrism had a lot to do with the failure of EuroDisney’s first year of operations. American fairy-tale characters, a ban on alcohol in the park, no pets allowed, strict grooming rules, and mistaken assumptions of Europeans not eating breakfast, were just some of the factors that contributed to the alienation of Europeans from EuroDisney. One former Disney executive voiced the opinion, “We were arrogant – it was like ‘We’re building the Taj Mahal and people will come – on our terms.’”
4. How do you assess the cross-cultural marketing skills of Disney?
As in the case of launching EuroDisney, Disney’s cross-cultural marketing skills were atrocious. This is evidenced by the following passage, “Early advertising by EuroDisney seemed to aggravate local French sentiment by emphasizing glitz and size rather than the variety of rides and attractions. Committed to maintaining Disney’s reputation for quality in everything, more detail was built into EuroDisney. For example, the centerpiece castle in the Magic Kingdom had to be bigger and fancier than in the other parks. Expensive trams were built along a lake to take guests from the hotels to the park, but visitors preferred walking.” With the total costs of park construction and hotel construction, the cost per day to enjoy the attractions of EuroDisney was sure to prove expensive. Clearly, when marketing the new theme park to visitors Disney did not stress the entertainment value of a visit to the new theme park; the emphasis was placed on the size of the park, which was off putting for many people. Disney did not consider their audience when marketing EuroDisney, that European culture is different from American culture.
5. Why did success in Tokyo predispose Disney management to be too optimistic in their expectations of success in France? In China? Discuss.
Disney management probably figured since Tokyo Disney was so successful, that EuroDisney and Hong Kong Disneyland would be just as successful. However, the reason Tokyo Disney was such a success was because of the Japanese attachment to the Disney characters. Schools in Japan took field trips so much just to meet Mickey Mouse and his friends that the Disney experience had become a way of life for the Japanese. With the success of Tokyo Disney, it was not a far reach to assume that success in France and China would be any different. Japanese culture is different from American culture, yet business is still booming for Tokyo Disney to this day.
6. Why do you think the experience in France didn’t help...