Essay Preview: Euro Disney
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Euro Disney is currently a quite unhoopy place to go for hitchhikers: life there is awfully expensive, the food is processed, the girls are scarce above thirteen, and it rains most of the time. However, it is expected to become a much more pleasant place in the near future when its closed down, so hang on.
Euro Disney was planned to be the first Disney leisure park of the European continent. The whole concept of such resorts is typical of the United States of America, the wonderful huge country where you can buy everything from health or freedom to culture.
Here I will expose with complete unbiased objectivity the motivations to building Euro Disney in Marne-le-Vallee, France.
From the point of view of the Disney Company, it was just time to bring the enlightenment of the Disney civilization in the very centre of the Old Continent, and to give its children the chance to experience such a wonderful entertainment without having to travel to Florida (USA). (In the course of this philanthropic achievement, there were unavoidable possibilities of unwanted profits, which the company would keep as low as possible.)
A careful market study showed that the best would-be guests to Euro Disney would be the Englishmen, the Germans and the Italians. Unfortunately, when you try to build something as close as possible to England, Germany, and Italy, it usually falls in France. The Frenchmen themselves did not seem to have enough cultural maturity to fully understand the educational benefits of a Disney entertainment centre to send their children to, but from the point of view of the French government, Euro Disney was an unexpected chance to spectacularly create hundreds of jobs in a go, which could not be neglected in a period of economic recession and unemployment, and most of all, of approaching elections.
There were long talks between the Disney Company and the countries in which Euro Disney could be implanted, represented by lobbies of investment companies. In the end, the conditions offered by the French government made the choice obvious: they offered financial support, a good part of the infrastructure, a new motorway, and a new railway between the chosen place and Paris (capital of the country), and even a new high-speed train link to the rest of Europe, all of which would be paid by the french taxpayers. It made it easy to find people willing to invest into this adventure: the idea was to buy hundreds of hectares of agricultural land (cheap) and to let the Government turn it into expensive, ideally placed office earthground.
It was even suggested in some quacky papers that the investors hoped the leisure park to be a failure, so that they could grab the land again and build offices on it. Anyway, it was a hoopy move: if I had had a few millions to save then, I would have given them for Euro Disney, too. Unfortunately, I only had half a dozen ecus and a towel by the time
Then the Euro Disney resort was built, and it was a time of great achievements, great sacrifices, and great advertising.
And Euro Disney created jobs, and it was also a time of great advertising and satisfaction for the government. Sadly, it was too late: on the following year, their electoral disaster was so terrible that nobody today even remembers their names, and the victory of the opposite party was so total that democracy itself disappeared from France for a few years. Besides, a few leftist primarily anti-American newspapers complained that the jobs created didnt follow the french work legislation, but who cared: by the time, a job was a job, even if you didnt have the right to wear a beard or too brown a skin.
Then Euro Disney opened its magical doors in April 1992, and it was a time of even greater advertising.
Then Euro Disney did not make money.
There were several explanations, none of them fully satisfactory. Some of the guests (never call them customers) complained about the weather, saying that such enterprises work better in sunny countries like, say, Florida (USA). Some other complained about the incredibly high price of the attractions and neighbouring facilities (hotels or restaurants). People at Euro Disney first complained that no French people visited them: Germans, and Englishmen would come from their remote countries, but even the Parisians were reluctant to move that far to have fun, preferring just get downstairs to the pub, to the library, to the restaurant, or to the new brunette next door, depending on the mood.
Then the management complained that the few people visiting Euro Disney didnt buy all the useless Mickey-goodies, as did the Americans. Maybe the advertising campaign was too shy?
Anyway, after one year, it was obvious that Disney Resort was forgetting to make any profit. The Disney Company was unwilling to invest more and began suppressing jobs while threatening the new French Government to close for good if they did not help them more. But the new French