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

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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 considered, could have result in different management decisions leading to a better start. In my view these are the most important ones:
The timing. EuroDisney opened in 1992, just when two other international events had place: the Olympics games in Barcelona and the World's Fair in Seville; both in Europe and relatively close to Paris. It's obvious that been unrepeatable events, available only for a certain limited amount of time they were a strong competition. A huge amount of people choose attend to these events instead visiting EuroDisney. Suffice it to say that more than 40 million people visited the Seville Expo during the 6 months it was open (versus 9 million EuroDisney visitors accounted for 1992 all year around).
To add insult to injury, an economic recession was starting in Europe and Disney management failed to see the signs of it. Some people reduced expenses. In several countries due to airfares and currency valuations, a visit to the original Orlando Parks in the US was even more advisable just only considering price.
Lack of research to understand the local market and culture and Wrong Marketing Decisions
The…...

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