1. The following factors contributed to the poor performance of EuroDisney in its first year of operation (in no particular order): Europe was entering into a recession. Many European currencies were devaluated against the French Franc. High interest rates prevailed.
The effects of the Gulf War and the fall of Communism could still be felt across the world and in Europe.
Important international events took place in Spain (Olympic Games, World Fair) drawing away potential customers.
Inadequate pricing. Not enough attractions.
False and offensive cultural assumptions (faux-pas).
Ironically, during the first year of operation, it was cheaper to fly to a US Disney park than to stay in EuroDisney.
Last but not least, the weather in the Paris region is not clement all-year-long.
2. Most of the factors that contributed to the poor performance during the first year were actually foreseeable (with some uncontrollable): Management could not control the value of foreign currencies, the recession, or international political events.
The climate could not be controlled (but they had to know Paris is famous for its cold winters) EuroDisney made many marketing and operational errors.
With enough research they could have avoided hurting the sensibilities of French and European patrons.
Also, they knew at least 4 years in advance that Spain would host major international events.
Price, promotion, and the product itself all are controlled by Disney, but it appears that the efforts in regards to the marketing mix were inadequate.
3. Ethnocentrism played a huge role in the initial failure of EuroDisney.
US marketing strategies were used in France. Only later were the ads changed to feature European themes.
The ads focused on the size of the park, instead of emphasizing the entertainment value. This shows that Disney execs wrongfully assumed that American values...