The Not-so-Wonderful World of Eurodisney: a Cultural Lesson

2035 Words Mar 26th, 2012 9 Pages
The Not-So-Wonderful World of EuroDisney: a cultural lesson by Emilio González
Introduction
This paper introduces some thoughts about the Disney strategy choosing the place for its European park and about the beginnings of its operations; in some way related to cultural factors. It constitutes a personal answer to a case study placed in the book "International Marketing" 13/e by Philip C. Cateora and John Graham, McGraw-Hill 2007.
Factors that contributed to Euro Disney's poor performance during its first year of operation.
There are several different in nature factors that joined together and contributed to a disastrous beginning of operations. Most of them were management mistakes and others, although external factors, if
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Perhaps this could be more difficult to foresee for the parent company but without any doubt any local management team should realize of the key cultural issues.
About the timing, the other events (Expo and Olympics) were far away scheduled and it would be sensible had the plan to open EuroDisney in 1991 or 1993 avoiding the competition with these events.
On the other hand, as something new in Europe, issues like entrance ticket prices, hotel prices, initial hourly schedule of staff could be more difficult to guess at first sight but could be easily controllable and adjusted with the feedback of the first weeks/months experience.
On the same situation is the real projection of something that seemed an incipient recession, more having in consideration that the project started years before. The same happens with the currency devaluations. But in that cases the management could at least adapt themselves to the new situation fixing new prices, promotions, etc.
What role does ethnocentrism play in the story of EuroDisney's launch?
A key role. Without any doubt this was the perspective adopted by Disney in their operations with EuroDisney. Even if forewarned by some of the French attitudes against certain of the Disney characters or even with the issues of financing, the management did not pay any attention and followed an ethnocentric approach without nuances