Disneyland Paris

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Master's August 2001

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1992 was supposed to the reigning year in the Walt Disney Empire. This was the year that the revolutionary EuroDisney was launched just outside Paris, France. This offshoot was proclaimed as "It's [Disney's] most important commitment to a single new venture outside the United States for the remainder of the century." Expectations were high for the resort, as Disney had already successfully supplanted their idea of an entertainment park into Japan, with much prosperity.

Unfortunately Euro Disney was opened amid European recession. This economic slump, as well as the devaluation of Spain's, Italy's and the U.K's currencies hit the park where it hurt most - financially. With Europeans having little spending power at the time, attendance to the park was low, much lower than the company had projected. Another drawback for would-be visitors was the prices; the high entrance fees and hotel rates did their bit to deter potential customers.

With these losses affecting them from day one, Euro Disney also had to pay management fees to its parent company Walt Disney. These charges were a severe handicap for Euro Disney, as even when they were running on losses they still had to pay out nearly 57% of their operating profit.

In 1993, the Chairman of Euro Disney, Phillippe Bourguignon, let it be known that 950 employees (nearly 10% of his whole workforce) would be sacked. This left the remaining staff unsettled and unsure of their futures. In 1994 it was announced that the ambitious resort's losses to date were over 1.5 Billion French Francs.

Probably the second most important factor in the park's speedy demise was culture. The Americans didn't anticipate the huge differences between themselves as consumers and the Europeans - especially the French. The resort was designed along the same guidelines as the original Disneyland, with...