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Euro Disney: The First 100 Days Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
682 1503 Words (4 Pages) Gary W. Loveman, Leonard A. Schlesinger, Robert T. Anthony Harvard Business School : 693013
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

The case study revolves around the initial phase of Euro Disney. The company faced a number of problems in its initial phase, which needed to be addressed on an immediate basis. The report analyzes the decision of opening a theme park in the European region, and it was found that the decision was a wise one. Secondly, Euro Disney target market is discussed briefly; their demographics are also analyzed in an organizational context. The company targets a unique combination of customers which involves American nationals, French nationals, European nationals, and tourists visiting France. Thirdly, it was analyzed that which aspects of USA Disney and Japan Disney were transferrable to Euro Disney and if they were transferrable then would they have been successful or not. Lastly, the company’s service delivery system is analyzed briefly along with assessment of phase two that the company is planning to enter in the near future.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution:

  1. Assess Disney’s decision to build a theme park in Europe. How can such a decision be evaluated and was it a wise one?

  2. What is Euro Disney’s target market, and what are the implications for the development and organization of the park?

  3. What aspects of the traditional Disney theme park formula, in terms of park design and  service design, might prove to be transferrable to Euro Disney, and which might prove to  be specific to the US and/or Japan? In general, what issues should a company think through before extending a successful service concept across cultural boundaries?

  4. Should Euro Disney proceed with the next step of development?

Euro Disney The First 100 Days Case Analysis

1. Assess Disney’s decision to build a theme park in Europe. How can such a decision be evaluated and was it a wise one?

For any new project, financial projections is the first step towards evaluation and then other non-financial aspects, like SWOT and PESTLE analysis, are considered. In financial analysis, top line is as important as the bottom line and Disney projection 11 million visitors in the first seven weeks, whereas only 1.5 million visitors.  Even though Disney’s projections badly failed, it still insisted that it will meet its target in the fall. However, besides financial projections, there were other micro level problems like high employee turnovers and mixed customer reviews. When Euro Disney initiated its operations in France, there were a number of problems, commuter trains were on strike, low security level, and villagers kept complaining about the high noise level. This is a clear indication that Disney did not look into Euro Disney proposal thoroughly. Only if SWOT and PESTLE analysis had been done of the local area, in which it was about to operate, a more suitable location than the current one could have been used.

In order to tackle the cultural problem, Disney should have thoroughly researched the market before penetration. In this way, the company would have devised its strategy according to barriers posed by PESTLE factors. Disney’s decision to penetrate the European market was a wise one as geographical and global presence is mandatory for expanding a multi-billion dollar business. From a short-term perspective, it might not look like a wise decision as Disney is operating on the trial-and-error basis, which is a risky strategy. From a long term perspective, it was a wise decision as the company has now adopted a proactive position, rather than a reactive position.

2. What is Euro Disney’s target market, and what are the implications for the development and organization of the park?

The main target market of Disney was couples in their twenties, with kids. This target market was mainly composed of European people, who had already visited Disney land in the United States of America; and now Disney wanted to provide them with the same experience in their own homeland so that they could revitalize the experience they had in the USA. The other major portion of the target market consisted of the local French people and visitors from other countries. Preferences of these customers were derived from various sources. These sources ranged from French government to local culinary experts. The couples, who were targeted by Disney, had nostalgic attachment with Disney characters and they wanted their kids to experience the fantasy land created by the company. Despite the aforesaid profile of Disney customers, the official language of Euro Disney was kept French. However, sign boards installed within the park were kept bilingual so that foreign customers.

The development and organization of the park was done in a way that used “American Hardware”, combined with European taste. The key services and quality of the theme park is based on the service system, which is assisted by cast members. One of the key challenges that the company faced was regarding transfer of customer service quality to the Euro Disney. So, it was vital for the company to inculcate the mind-set of Disney Land in the cast people. In this way, same level of service could be provided. Unfortunately, the company was unable to do so, and it created a lot of the problems in phase one.

3. What aspects of the traditional Disney theme park formula, in terms of park design and  service design, might prove to be transferrable to Euro Disney, and which might prove to  be specific to the US and/or Japan? In general, what issues should a company think through before extending a successful service concept across cultural boundaries?

Service standard, design of the parts, operational technicalities, and human capital were the most important factors that helped the company in giving its customers the “experience”. Disney strives to provide one in a kind experience to its customers, not only in the United States, but also in Japan. Disney claimed that their success in Japan was because of complete obedience of employees to their bosses as a collectivistic culture is prevalent in that country. So, Euro Disney can hire employees from European region where collectivistic culture is relatively higher than others. Ultimately, features like obedience, efficiency, and smooth operations would be transferred to Euro Disney.

Interestingly, “American Consciousness” was the main reason that Japan Disney was successful. Disney transferred the same values in the Japan Disney as they were in American Disney. One of the key notable points here is that visitors of Euro Disney are mostly confused about whether they are in American Disney or Japan Disney, or in a simple French Park. Unfortunately, the company was not successful in creating a strong environment, which would not allow visitors to even doubt in which cultural panorama they are in.

Disney has three core values, imagination, guest service, and quality. All these aspects need to be added in Euro Disney. All three values seem to be missing in this case as customers keep complaining that they have to keep waiting in line (quality), they cannot figure out whether it’s a French park or American (imagination), and characters seem like “real” people (guest service).

Assess the implementation of Euro Disney’s service delivery system. What could the company have done differently?

Michael Eisner ensured that each employee should absorb Disney’s corporate culture, which mainly revolved around three core values. In order to make this strategy practical, Disney started its own university for its employees, where they could work on their personal development and career development.

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