Disneyland Resort Paris: Mickey Goes To Europe Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

IMD-4-0280 © 2006
Maznevski, Martha; Jonsen, Karsten

The case tracks the narrative of Disneyland Resort Paris from its opening in 1992 until the end of 2006; exemplifying how the resort’s managers learned from their first blunders how to take a strong ethnic product (the Disney experience) and implement it effectively in a multicultural environment. Nonetheless; by the end of 2006 the park was still not profitable and the supervisors were hoping for 2007; the Park’s 25th anniversary season; being a turnaround year. The case presents the dilemma of integration that is global vs local adaptation in a multicultural and culturally-sensitive environment. It draws upon exceptional insights from some of historical crucial players in addition to the present ones and sets up situations that can be interpreted from different parts in an organization (promotion; operations; senior management; etc.) and some of the issues they faced being the first multicultural Disney theme park in the world. By the year 2006 it was the the major visiting tourist site in the Europe with over 12 million annual guests. Despite the tough tourist industry in the early 2000s; Disneyland Resort Paris’s attendance stayed constant: 60% of its visitors were repeat visitors; and guest satisfaction was exceptionally high. 43,000 jobs; led to the development of a fresh area and invested more than €5 billion had been created by the operation. They speculated what values should guide them and the way to interpret Disney in multicultural Europe; as the leaders developed their execution plans.

Guests from distinct areas of Europe wanted different things from a holiday could they keep the classic Disney magic yet appeal to European consumers? Succeeding 15 years of transformation between American and French direction; the answers were not clear. The leaders agreed that the 2007 parties of its 15th anniversary should set the scene for Disney’s acknowledgement as a well recognized expertise in the centre of Europe; and a strategic financial accomplishment. However what will it look like and what route would take them there? Learning objectives: The case was written to support two teaching aims; the course can focus on one or both depending on educator and time aims. It raises problems that can be dealt with through perspectives of organizational behaviour; promotion and general management. 1. Identifying the complex role of ethnic or national cultures in multinational businesses. Disneyland Resorts were “selling” single culture (idealistic American culture) to visitors from the several cultures; and only commenced to turn into successful when they could pronounce cultural problems nicely. 2. Working with the standardization that is global vs local adaptation tension. Disneyland Resorts could be neither fully standardized nor accommodated. Finding an “intermediate” option is not apparent but is key to managing the Resort for high performance.

Subjects: International Culture; International Management; Values; Globalization; Global Standardization vs Local Adaptation
Settings: Paris; Europe; Entertainment and Tourism; World-wide 133;000; Disneyland Resort Paris 12;000; 1992-2006

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