Last Updated 15 May 2021

Case 2.1: EuroDisney

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There are many factors that contributed to EuroDisney's failure in its first year. One of the main issues was the hotel rooms surrounding the new park were outrageously expensive. Staying overnight was out of the question for most visitors. What really shocked the Disney Company was that the French stayed away. They were put off by 'American imperialism' and the fact that this new park would be alcohol free. This proved detrimental because the French are the world's biggest comsumers of wine. To them, a meal without wine was unthinkable. EuroDisney managers accidently pushed away important members of French society, including members of the government, the banks, and the ad agencies. The Disney Company also failed to foresee the looming European recession. The Gulf War in 1991 also played a factor in the failure of EuroDisney.

A few things that made Hong Kong Disneyland unsuccessful was the fact that it was too small. There were only sixteen attractions. Most people said it wasn’t much different from the amusement parks China already had. Another issue was that the park didn’t offer anything to those who were unfamiliar with the Disney characters. Most people in China didn’t know Mickey and Donald Duck even existed.  I believe most of these factors were foreseeable for EuroDisney. The fact that they tried to impose the American culture on the Europeans, assuming that was what they wanted, was unnecessary. Knowing that the French are the world’s biggest wine consumers, EuroDisney should never have been a dry establishment. As for Hong Kong Disneyland, Disney characters were banned for 40 years in China. Opening a Disney Park, they should have known there might be people that aren’t familiar with the Disney culture and characters and had more attractions for them.

However, they did correct themselves and came up with ways to educate people.  There were many factors in the demise of the EuroDisney that were uncontrollable. For example, the Gulf War in 1991. The same does not go for Hong Kong. Disney assumed the Europeans wanted to experience the American culture. They basically picked California Disney up and placed it in the middle of France. This proved to be detrimental. Disney did this without realizing that is not what the Europeans wanted. The French scorn for American fairytale characters was completely unexpected. Early advertising also proved disadvantageous. The ads focused more on the size and glamour of the park rather than the variety of ride and attractions.

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