Disney Amusement Theme Park is one of the world’s most famous parks. The Disney Park in Paris is considered to be “a little America” in the heart of France. These days, it is one of the most favorite amusement parks in the country, however, the history of its development in Paris faced considerable difficulties and oppositions from the French people that led to the lack of success.
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The French considered the park to be an invasion of American culture into their national culture. It was due to the misinformation and assumptions, as well as the no compromise attitude the owner adopted for the foreign resorts.
The misconceptions were related to the wrong communication and the way the park was portrayed by the French. The stakeholders did not consider the particularities of the French culture and customs. There were considerable operational misshapes as to the French and American food culture, management and attitude to employees who were forced to speak English only. Thus, Disney did not consider the cultural differenced and was bad prepared for establishing resort in Paris.
The report provides several recommendations that might help Disney Park attract more visitors and improve its management operation. First of all, there should not be any assumptions made, assumptions lead to misconceptions of the culture; a better research of the country and its customs should be done to ensure that integration will be smooth and will not impact traditions of the country; finally, there should be compromise between cast members and stakeholders.
Thus, better internal business communication? As well as communication between the guests they serve, should be a core “tool” to serve the Disney’s success and future development.
Introduction: Disneyland World Resorts
Walter Elias Disney, founder of the Walt Disney Company, was an ambitious man. His (love of amused parks,) love for amusement parks (lead) led him to (create) creating a place where both children (and) , adults and teens could enjoy themselves. The planning process for the first Disneyland theme park went underway, lasting several years before finally (opening) being opened in Anaheim, California on July 17th, 1955.
The park (emphasized on the experience. Of walking) emphasized the experience of walking into one of (Walt’s Disney) Walt Disney’s classics. It laid the groundwork for many of the theme parks built later on and attracted hundreds of millions of visitors each year (The Walt Disney Company).
Following the opening of Disneyland, Walt purchased land in Florida (in hoping (of recreating) hoping to recreate the masterpiece of a theme park in California … in Florida as well. It was after his (dirth) birth that the theme park was built, much larger than its predecessor in California.
It has an area of over 30, 000 acres with numerous hotels and entertainment options. With the success of (it’s) its second and then third resort located in Tokyo, Japan, Disney decided to venture into Europe. Paris was chosen as its location to build the next resort, but much opposition came their way.
Under the assumption of how well its prior resorts had done, Disney assumed this venture would (also) be a success as well. The opposition (Disny) Disney faced was that many of the French feared that the opening of the Disney theme park would be an intrusion of the American culture.
Invasions of American (Cauture) Culture
Many view Americans as trying to reach as many foreign countries (as impossible) as possible, spreading their views and culture. Many other countries have let American culture (steeped) step into their own.
The French pride themselves (on) for their culture and customs. Thus, when the very American company Disney proposed establishing a new resort in Paris, the city best known in France, many people felt this was an invasion of sorts. Parisians were threatened by the idea that something so American could be placed right in the middle of (a) the city that was so rich and full of culture.
American and French (culture is) cultures are quite different from (the other) each other. Establishing relationships in business is the French way, but being direct is the American route. The French government thought willing to have the Walt Disney Company introduce their fifth world resort within France, would have (quite an impacture) an impact on what happens (in) to the economy, and as such, would have taken their time on finalizing agreements.
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Joe Shapiro, head of the Disney team, did not show appropriate business manner when he became impatient and had an angry outburst in front of the Chef French Negotiator, Jean-Rene Bernard. “Get me something to break”, was his response to the process, which was a shock to the French negotiator (Hill and McKaig).
Capitalism plays (a large) an important role in American popular culture. There is a large emphasis on getting the consumer’s attention (. And) , and marketing products and services toward them. It is a very materialistic way of living and thinking. Since the population (is) has been bombarded by advertisements about things, they “should want” and treated as segments with one state of mind. The people of Paris, France are very connected to their culture.
They do not accept being treated as part of a group, but instead (recognition) recognized as individuals. So when Disney decided to build their next world resort in Paris, many took (defence) defense that (They) they did not want to welcome a symbol of “American clichés and costumer society” (Hill and McKaig).
Food is another important aspect (to) of French culture. What is on the menu is extremely (important. To) important to the French. When Disneyland Paris first set up their restaurant, they were under the assumption that Europeans did not eat breakfast. This (however) , however, was not the case.
This (lesion) lesson was learned the hard way when they only had a 350 seat capacity in their restaurant and had to scramble to serve the 2500 people who had come for breakfast. Another issue with breakfast was that their guests did not want the dish being served, which was croissants and coffee. These were common in French cuisine. Instead, the guests wanted bacon and eggs.
Lunch was another computing time for Disneyland Paris. The major issue with the lunch serving was the (no alcohol) “no alcohol” rule. Disney did not find it appropriate to serve alcohol to children (within) at a children’s theme park. It did not hold well with their image.
However, it is (Frnch) a French custom for everyone to be served a glass of wine with lunch, despite one’s age (Food and Culture Resources). In addition, (to not serving) not serving alcohol, Disneyland cast members had some (difficulty) difficulty explaining to their guests that lunch could not be served between 11 am (to) and 2 pm. This concept was not fully understood as there was a large crowd deriding their lunch at 12:30 pm (Hill and McKaig).
Disneyland theme parks are one of the largest attractions (to) in North (Americans) America each year. Millions visit the theme park to see their (favourite) favorite characters come to life and (experienced) experience the magic that (is Disney) Disney is. Many people also look forward to baking the (week long) a weeklong vacation package to get the most out of (the) a large (pork) park.
However, in Europe, people do not see theme parks as enjoyable vacation sports. These parks are seen as daytime excursions. When Disneyland Paris first opened its doors to the public, they were surprised to see that their luxurious hotels were mostly empty. The idea that the theme park could be a family vacation spot did not take off with their European visitors (Hill and McKaig).
In addition to their traditions and food, the French take pride in their language. Disneyland Paris imposed a rule where the employees could only speak English in their meetings. This only added to the opposition of Disneyland being in Paris. It presented another way the American company was trying to impose its culture into the French one.
As mentioned, the French take their individualism very seriously. Individual liberty and (dgnity) dignity (is) are enforced by the law (Asselin). Disneyland Paris took away from this right when they made it mandatory that everyone follow a strict (drss code) dress code (and wok a) and worked in a certain way.
Disney did not have problems with getting their employees at Tokyo Disneyland to conform (omit word “to”) these rules because they were more than willing to uphold the image of Disney and embrace that side of American culture (Tuleja and O’Rourke).
Many of the cast members employed at Disneyland Paris were disappointed (in) with the way they were treated. 1000 employees quit their jobs since the park has been opened 9 weeks earlier. Some employees called it a form of “brainwashing” because of the amount of training involved in being a member of the Disney team (Hill and McKaig).
There (are) were numerous steps in the training process, which (includes) included an orientation catered to all employees and a divisional orientation specific to the different areas of work (Martinez). Because of the constant reinforcement and orientations geared to making (the) employees more effective (many) * were appalled. It was an insult to their intelligence (Asselin).
Do Not Make (Assumptives) Assumptions
Assumptions were made during the establishment of Disneyland Paris. Assumptions should never be made, especially when it comes to other people and cultures. For example( ) , there was a misconception that Europeans did not (eat for) have breakfast. Therefore( ) , the restaurants were downsized.
However, this information was false and this lead to the park builders using this assumption to make plan changes, which in turn did not serve them well (in the end) at the end. In the future, Disney should take care in finding the right information and avoid making assumptions because in the end it will only cost them more.
When doing business in any country, it is important that a business take the necessary steps to ensure that integration into that region is smooth. Disney did not completely took those measures, which included doing the research and finding out what the market really wanted. Because of this mistake (. It cost) , it cost them $ 2 billion dollars cumulatively (Hill and McKaig).
Had done the required research to learn about (the) customers and preferences of the market they were trying to serve, there would not have been confusion about breakfast or how lunch was served. There was a lack of communication present between the customers and the cast members during this period, which could have been resolved. In the future, Disney should do a thorough research on the region that they consider for their resort.
Because of the large amount of opposition and employees rebuttal, Disney should have considered making an exception to how they operate their resorts in foreign countries. By trying to impose their rules and regulations on the cast members, the cast members took this as an insult.
Instead, Disney should have recognized the high value that is placed on individualism in France and that workers did not need constant reminders on how they (preformed) perform their duties. It is important that Disney uphold its image, but there is nothing wrong with showing that they can adapt to diversity. If all the resorts represented the region in more ways, aside from the food and names, more people would be attracted to the park to experience the culture of the region and share it with their childhood love of Disney.
Disney could have been better prepared for entering Paris(,) in France, and establishing its resort there. The opposition it faced, the misinformation and assumptions, as well as the no compromise attitude it adopted for its foreign resorts( ), contributed to its lack of success.
It did (however) , however, try to make improvements through changing the name to Disneyland Paris from its original name, Euro Disney Resort. This gave it more French identity. In terms of attracting more visitors the pricing for packages were lowered to accommodate for their guests. Also( ) , new concepts have been added to the resort, such as the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, which has become a major crowd pleaser (Hill and McKaig).
There were many thinks that Disney did not consider, thus causing them to have (pore) poor results. A lot of these issues dealt with miscommunication and the way they were portrayed by the French. (Had each party token) If each party took the time to come to an agreement, instead of Disney (calling) pulling (all) the strings, there would have been a better reception for the resort.
Disney still (need) needs to uphold its image when it comes to the Disney name and its creator, however when entering new markets there needs to be a compromise and adopting. If they had shown interest in listening to their employees and catering to their need a little more, the backlash would not have been so great.
Disneyland resorts continue to be the most attractive them parks in the world. Many people enjoy the meaning and experiences it creates for them. The communication between the guests they serve and the employees that work for them is essential to Disney’s success. With this focus, Disney can ensure future endeavors are success.
Asselin, Gilles. Intercultural Systems. 2010. Web.
Food and Culture Resources. French Meal and Customs. 2010. Web.
Hill, Charles W. and Thomas McKaig. “Disney in France.” Business Today, Second Canadian Edition. Ed. Charles W Hill and Thomas McKaig, Global Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 2009. 120-121.
Martinez, Michelle Neely. Disney Training Works Magic. 1992. Web.
The Walt Disney Company. Corporate History. 2010. Web.
Tuleja, Elizabeth and James O’Rourke. “Walt Disney Company: Launch of a Hong Kong Theme Park.” Intercultural Communication for Buisness. Ed. Elizabeth Tuleja and James O’Rourke. Mason: Cengage Learning, 2005. 142-143.