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Going Global Case Study

Case Title:

Euro Disney: Failed Americanism?

Publication Year : 2004

Authors: D Gayatri, T. Phani Madhav

Industry: Leisure and Tourism


Case Code: GGL0015

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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Euro Disney SCA, the subsidiary of Walt Disney Co., the No. 2 media conglomerate in the world, opened its first theme park under the name Euro Disney in 1992 in France. Assuming that the success of its universal appeal in Florida, California and Japan would work again, Disney replicated the same formula of fantasy and magic kingdoms in Europe. However, in France it faced huge resistance with the French likening it to an imperialism of American multinationals on the country. Considering it a threat to their culture, the French press and intellectuals strongly opposed its entry and called it a 'cultural Chernobyl'. As Euro Disney tried to recover from the troubles by reworking on the details inside the park, revamping food, rides and the price structure for the international market, many observers still believed that the cultural inadvertence still remained a threat for the company's long-term survival in the country.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To discuss how the overlooking of cultural differences and language barriers while pursuing internationalisation, hampers business
  • To discuss the importance of customisation in internationalisation of business, especially in the entertainment business because of the strong link between culture of the country and entertainment.


  • Introduction
  • Walt Disney co. In France
  • Suffering from its American stereotype?
  • 'Walt Disney's sleeping beauty in France' waking up!

Keywords : Cultural differences; Globalisation; Euro Disney SCA; Walt Disney in France; American stereotype; Managing in Troubled Times Case Study; McDonalisation in France; Cultural Chernobyl; Euro Disney parks; Disneyland Paris; Language barriers

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