Euro Disney: from Dream to Nightmare (1987-1994)

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For years, the Disney Theme Park Empire was built upon three crown jewels located in California, Florida, and Japan. Combining the familiar, family-friendly characters and images upon which the Disney reputation was built. With clean and well-operated theme parks helped Disney set new standards for efficient, friendly customer service in the theme park industry. Its parks became major international tourist attractions. However, when Euro Disney opened in Paris in 1992, the standard model of Disney theme parks ran into trouble. Tackling the many problems faced by Euro Disney operations has posed many new challenges to Disney, forcing them to reconsider their standard model for success. Disney must find ways to adapt their theme park model in a manner which preserves the best of Disney. 9.1 The challenges facing Euro Disney

Early hopes for a similar success soured soon after Euro Disney opened, and the experience of opening Euro Disney delivered unexpected surprises to Disney management. The park soon encountered several major problems: Attendance

Disney’s consulting firm has projected first year park attendance to range between 11.7 and 17.8 million attendees. To be cautious, Disney used the littlest figures and predicted eleven million attendees. While initial hotel bookings at the theme park during the summer looked promising, as the theme park entered its first winter, bookings dropped to twenty percent or less of monthly projects. Staffing

Staffing shortages created a negative cycle in which extra workloads on employees resulted in increased turnover, which in turn hurt Disney’s ability to retain and develop its employees. Poor union relations caused by reactions to Disney’s exacting requirements for dress and appearance, such as a ban on facial hair and colored stockings, as well as to Disney’s high standards of customer service, further hurt their ability to attract employees. Customer Service

Euro Disney was failing to deliver the high level...
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