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Euro Disney’s

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1. What factors contributed to Euro Disney’s poor performance during its first year of operation? What factors contributed to Hong Kong Disney’s poor performance during its first year? 2. To what degree do you consider that these factors were (a) foreseeable and (b) controllable by Euro Disney, Hong Kong Disney, or the parent company, Disney? 3. What role does ethnocentrism play in the story of Euro Disney’s launch? 4. How do you assess the cross-cultural marketing skills of Disney? 5. Why did success in Tokyo predispose Disney management to be too optimistic in their expectations of success in France? In China? Discuss. 6. Why do you think the experience in France didn’t help Disney avoid some of the problems in Hong Kong? 7. Now that Hong Kong Disney is up and running, will the Shanghai development benefit from the Hong Kong experience? 8. Now that Disney has opened Hong Kong Disney and begun work on the Shanghai location, where and when should it go next? Assume you are a consultant hired to give Disney advice on the issue of where and when to go next. Pick three locations and select the one you think will be the best new location for “Disneyland X.” Discuss. 9. Given your choice of locale X for the newest Disneyland, what are the operational implications of the history of Euro Disney and Disney Hong Kong for the new park? Answers

1- The major factors that contributed to Euro Disney’s poor performance: a. Lack of cultural awareness, American characters were used, instead of French cartoon characters. Disney banned alcohol while French are the world’s biggest consumers of wine. Disney executives had been erroneously informed that Europeans don’t eat breakfast. Restaurant breakfast service was downsized accordingly, but everybody showed up for breakfast. b. Pricing strategy was not accomplished correctly. Many Europeans would not pay the prices that Euro Disney was charging. In addition, Europeans do not vacation as long as Americans do. c. In addition, Euro Disney opened during the Olympics in Barcelona, and the World’s Fair in Seville. Hong Kong Disney had the exact opposite problems. Disney did its research and tried to make the park fit in with its surroundings, and guests were disappointed. The park was very small, and visitors thought it was just like all the other parks in China. The park was undifferentiated. People did not know the traditional Disney characters, and did not appeal to them.

2- Those factors were foreseeable and controllable by using a deep marketing research at the Europeans culture. This research would have discovered the relations between the Europeans and their famous cartoon characters, and how long the Europeans usually tend to vacation. The research would have shown that wine and breakfast are important to the Europeans. In addition it may enforce Euro Disney to delay its opening because of the World Fair and The Olympic Games going on at the same time. The only unforeseeable event would have been the Airfare war, which could not have been controlled at the time.

3- Ethnocentrism has a role in the story of Euro Disney’s launch The Americans introduced Euro Disney with an American theme to an extreme extent, which wasn’t expected in Europe. Many European’s believed their culture and cartoon characters, such as Asterix and the Gallic Warrior, were better than Americas’ characters, so this had a very negative effect on Euro Disney. Euro Disney opened in hopes that the Europeans would react to the park in the same way that the people in Tokyo did, but that was not the case at all. In addition, Europeans believed in taking shorter vacations and did not need to spend more than two days at the park, which was not anticipated. The culture of Europeans is much different from that of Americans and Japan’s culture.

4- Disney marketers didn’t understand the lifestyle and culture of Europeans at the time they introduced Euro Disney, they had a gap in the cross-cultural marketing skills. They did not take into consideration the little and big cultural differences and were not sensitive to what the park would need to succeed. When Euro Disney opened, it was advertised as being big and glamorous, but that isn’t what the Europeans necessarily cared about; they care about quality over quantity. Executives were informed that Europeans generally don’t eat breakfast, so the parks dining areas were built with that in mind. It turns out they over compensated when downsizing the restaurant areas because “everyone” showed up for breakfast and the lines were disastrous, trying to feed breakfast to thousands of people when the restaurants only can held 350 people.

5- The success in Tokyo predisposed Disney management to be too optimistic in their expectations of success in France and In China because they took the US theme park and put it in Tokyo and it was a huge success. The Japanese loved having a piece of America brought to their country. However, this huge success led to a downfall when Euro Disney was built. They tried the same concept and it fail. The lack of marketing research, led to a disaster in Europe, but with lessons learned, not quite as bad in Hong Kong.

6- The experience in France didn’t help Disney avoid some of the problems in Hong Kong because Disney marketers didn’t understand the lifestyle and culture of the chines; the marketers still have a gap in the cross-cultural marketing skills. the visitors wanted to feel like they were in a fairytale and instead, Hong Kong Disney was too similar to other parks. Hong Kong Disney wasn’t as much of a failure as Euro Disney when starting out, but it also didn’t meet the projected number of visitors for the first few years it was open and lost money. Unlike Euro Disney, Hong Kong Disney visitors didn’t necessarily think their cultures famous TV characters were better; they were simply just very unfamiliar with American Disney characters like Mickey Mouse. While Disney tried to avoid the same problems they encountered when opening Euro Disney, they were misled and found a completely new culture and a different set of problems they faced in the opening of Hong Kong Disney.

7- Shanghai development will benefit from the Hong Kong experience and will consider the Chinese culture by conducting a marketing research and find out what the target segment expectations.

8- By 2020 Disney should start building “Disneyland Istanbul” in Turkey, “Disneyland Bangkok” in Thailand, or “Disneyland Mumbai” in India. All locations have a large population and a respectable economy in present day. Arab people will prefer Istanbul in addition most of the new married is spending their honey moon in Turkey which also has a very large population and has a decent economy.

9- The operational implications of the history of Euro Disney and Disney Hong Kong for the new park that Disney learned the importunacy of culture research. Their lessons learned and bad experiences from the past can benefit them when opening new locations. Disney will do extensive research for any new location culture and its history before building and marketing their theme parks.

For example, when advertising Euro Disney when it opened, they stressed the size and glamour of the park but that is not what Europeans cared about. Also in the early advertisement of Hong Kong Disney; they created an image of two parents and two children enjoying the park, but it quickly brought to their attention that most couples that visited the theme park had one child by the China government. These mistakes will be avoided by learning more about the history and culture of that location and its surrounding area.

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