Rodrigo Franco Lepera
Euro Disney had a very hard initial experience in France. Due its lack on accurate information about the French and European preference and culture, further on their inability on forecasting external problems and inability on controlling both controllable and uncontrollable forces, Disney acquired a huge debt. Instead of analyzing and learning from its potential customers Disney chose to make assumptions, turned out that most of those assumptions were wrong. Disney made wrong assumptions in many areas as well. In the cultural area for example it assumed that customers would be ok not having wine to drink, turned out customers were astonished but that decision, breakfast was another cultural mistake, but in the opposite way, Disney fought that French customers would want to eat French breakfast while they wanted American one. Operational errors were also committed for Disney, for example Disney assumed that Monday would be a light day and Friday a heavy day, so they arrange the staff accordingly, turned out to be the opposite and Disney had a big problem with that. Another assumption such as optimistic assumption about attendance was also made. If Disney had conducted a primary research and learned from their potential customers, French and Europeans, they would have forecasted those mistakes and prevented them from happening. Also if Disney had controlled better the controllable forces, price and promotion for example, they would have a better initial experience. Disney could have followed some simple steps that would gave them a better chance to succeed initially and/or recovering faster. Disney could had done market analysis and market research, develop alternative plans, chose one plan, and created an effective operational plan.
France was the best choice for Euro Disney, because it presented the best geographic location and also had many incentives from the French Government, cheap land, easy bank...