ANALYSIS OF DISNEYLAND PARIS PERFORMANCE

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Introduction

            Disneyland Paris (Euro Disney Resort) is an entertainment resort in Marne – la – Vallee, Paris. The Walt Disney Company owns a controlling stake on Euro Disney S.C. A – an organization which owns and operates Disneyland Paris. The resort encompasses two theme parks and several recreational facilities. These recreational facilities include hotels, entertainment complex, a golf course, shopping, and dining. The resort was established on April 12, 1992, and Disneyland theme park is the original park of the establishment (Matusitz 2010). This report critically analyses the performance of Disneyland Paris in comparison to other parks and resorts and provides conclusive recommendations based on the findings.

Causes of Disneyland Paris Underperformance

The establishment of Disneyland Paris came because of the initiative of the CEO Michel Eisner and the president Frank Wells. The period in which Disneyland Paris was established is referred to as the Disney Decade. The opening day of Euro Disney Resort was a disaster on April 12, 1992. The resort did not meet its target visitors because the French radio warned of the possibility of traffic leading to a one – day strike. The strike cut a railway connection from the center of Paris. Further, there were misconstrued notions by the pundits that Euro Disney Resort would purport American imperialism.

However, the greater issues were centered on employment practices. The French labor unions were against the establishment because according to them, the fact that the United States wanted to enforce an appearance code similar to the one in the United States was an attack on the rights and freedoms of the French workers. The practices and working conditions of Euro Disney Resort were unpopular to the employees. About 3000 employees had quit working for Euro Disney Resort by May 1992. Further fueling the misfortunes experienced by Euro Disney Resort was the untimely recession of the French property market. This resulted into the ruins of the financial plans of Euro Disney partner’s project and Disney.

The wake of Euro Disneyland disaster forced Disneyland and Walt Disney World to scrap and down – size parts of its plans. The plans for the establishment of the Euro Disney Resort during the Disney Decade were effective. However, the implementation of the actual project failed to consider factors which might emerge during the implementation phase of the project. There was no piloting conducted. The state of the financial crisis of Disneyland Paris has pushed the Walt Disney Corporation to step in aid of the project. The corporation is interested in purchasing all the shares owned by outside investors. Walt Disney Corporation is optimistic that it can turn Disneyland Paris into a successful business venture.

Comparison between Disneyland Paris and other theme Parks owned by Walt Disney Corporation

            The resorts belonging to Walt Disney Corporation include Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Shanghai Disney Resort. These parks and resorts are performing favorably especially those located in the United States. Disneyland Paris has historically struggled to meet its revenue and attendance projections. The reasons for the financial crisis in Disneyland Paris are related to politics, culture and economic factors. For example, the French did not appreciate the practices of the employees working at Disneyland Paris at onset. The establishment of Disneyland Paris was misconstrued as a move to encourage the American imperialism. The French government was not in support of the project at onset; therefore, the populace formed an opinion regarding the establishment.

The major economic factor, which led to the financial crisis at Disneyland Paris, was the recession of the French property market. The park failed to meet its target customers on April 12, 1992, because the French government was not in support of the project. The French government used propaganda as a scheme to reduce the attendance of customers to Disneyland Paris. The bad first impression created and the ill perception of the French regarding Disneyland Paris has not changed. This disbars the enterprise from achieving its attendance and revenue projections. Further, the French culture regarding employees and terms and conditions regarding their work were quite different from the ones used by the Americans. Therefore, treating the French employees in a similar manner to the American employees was a toll order.  About 3000 French employees had resigned from the Disneyland Paris Resort by May 1992.

The resorts and theme parks in other destinations like Tokyo (Japan) and the United States are very successful and boast of huge attendance and revenues. The Japanese culture of open trade facilitates the success of the establishment. Besides, the meticulous analysis of the business environment before the establishment of Disneyland Tokyo facilitated a good impression among the populace eradicating any form of cultural, social or political ill – will. The resorts established in the United States have the advantage of transacting business at home. There is cultural, economic and political congruence, which is dissimilar to the case in Disneyland Paris. Therefore, the ideas implemented in the United States cannot be effective to those applied in Paris because these same ideas are the same reason for failure in Disneyland Paris.

Strategic Recommendations

Purchasing the shares owned by private investors in Disneyland Paris is not an effective measure. Though it gives the Walt Disney Corporation full control of the organization, it does not solve the political, cultural and economic problems facing Disneyland Paris. The French people believe in the assimilation policy. The best way to eradicate the cultural and political misperceptions is to gain government support in regards to the project in Paris. The government will play a critical role in assuring the populace that the country is secure and the Disneyland Paris project is noble. However, Walt Disney Corporation would have to engage in community events as a way of proving good will and wooing visitors to attend the events Disneyland Paris.

The Walt Disney Corporation ought to focus on conducting feasibility and pre – feasibility studies of Paris to determine the desirability of the area in hosting booming business ventures. Working under the presumption that the French culture is similar to the American culture is ineffective. The company has to train the French people and understand their laws regarding employee policies and implementation. Finally, there ought to be piloting of the project to avoid surprises upon implementation. This can include SWOT analysis.

Conclusion

The $ 1.6 billion set aside by Walt Disney Corporation to make Disneyland Paris successful is a great milestone. However, the corporation should refrain from purchasing all the shares of private owners of Disneyland Paris. The best plan for implementation is including the French government in the venture. Purchasing all the shares of private owners of the enterprise at such a time when terrorism rock Paris is not a calculated move. Moreover, SWOT analysis ought to be conducted to determine the level of competition and ways of beating such competition. Finally, the Walt Disney Corporation ought to comply with the laws regarding the employee terms and conditions to employ and retain the French employees.

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