Nightmare on French St: A Parisian man walks into Disneyland Anaheim and asks for wine with his lunch…. “Pas de vin?!?!?!?!” (No wine?!?!) the man exclaims, “PAS DE VIN?!?!?!?!!?” “NON, NON, NON!” (NO, NO, NO!).


Not a scenario I would want to be close to, however a very real situation, Disney’s Magical Kingdom theme parks in California, Hong Kong and Tokyo do not sell alcohol to attendees unless being cordially invited to the Club 33 by a member of Disneyland (Niles, 2012). There’s a city missing you say? Paris! Yes that’s right, Disneyland Paris holds the seemingly exclusive citizens who are eating drinking and being merry all day long at the Disney’s adventure park.


What……why can Paris get boozy?


The opening of Disneyland Paris is notably one of failure, where the economic losses were of the hundred millions on the first few years of the parks existence (Bondebjerg & Golding, 2004). The faux pas was inevitably due because of the misunderstanding of cultural differences examined furthermore in Hofstede’s five dimensions of national culture (Boga & Efeoğlu, 2016).


To understand hofstedes dimensions… watch this short explanation


Hofstede proposes variance within USA and France, for example, power distance in France, is scaled high, to suggest that there is a very strict hierarchial system and centralised power, whereas the US is low with a strong sense of equal rights for all (ITIM International, 2016). Taking us back to the alcoholism of the French Disneyland, hofstedes theorem (ITIM International, 2016) considers the inequality between adults and children, in which they are raised to be dependant from their parents, thus adult wanderers of the adventure land may want the power to be able to enjoy a glass of wine, or two, and let their kids do as they please


USA as masculine, competitive, successful and achievement goal-oriented, compared with France being a feminine culture, there is an indication that the quality of life within the nation is of high-importance (ITIM International, 2016). Here presents the ignorance of the obvious American brand where there was no consideration of French food culture (a distinctive factor). Disney emulated the US way of life onto the European version of the brand, where the disregarded food aspect of Disneyland Paris is highlighted (Adekola & Sergi, 2007) as the Parisian adventure park initially did not serve breakfast! But, like, breakfast is a French tradition…..


If Paris failed what about the rest of them?


Fortunately, Hong Kong and Tokyo Disneyland’s have had a fairly good run throughout their lifetime, some of the distinct factors seen in Tokyo Disneyland emanate the similarities and differences efficiently in their company strategies. Being that Japans power distance indicates the national ability to be placed in any social setting and act accordingly(ITIM International, 2016), Toyko Disneyland, created a hybrid of the two cultures in a manner that maintained their boundaries by substituting intense service rules for institutional rules and community structure (Karadjova-Stoeva & Mujtaba, 2009).

So to make like the french and say oui oui to a glass of red and a main meal at Disney parade o’clock, you won’t be hitting the Californian adventure parks anytime soon.



Reference List:


Adekola, A. & Sergi, B.S., 2007, Global business management: A cross-cultural perspective, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.



Boga, S. & Efeoğlu, I.E., 2016, A Case Study on Cross-Cultural Differences: A Failure Story, International Business: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools and Applications, Information Resources Management Association, USA, p. 1108.



Bondebjerg, I. & Golding, P., 2004, European culture and the media, Intellect Books, 1.



De Mooij, M. & Hofstede, G., 2011, Cross-cultural consumer behavior: A review of research findings, Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 23(3-4), pp.181-192.



ITIM International, 2016, The Hofstede Centre: Strategy, Culture, Change, Hofstede Centre, May 10 2016, < >.



Karadjova-Stoev, G. & Mujtaba, B.G., 2009, Strategic human resource management and global expansion lessons from the Euro Disney challenges in France, International Business & Economics Research Journal (IBER), 8(1).



Niles, R., 2012, Disney to add booze at the Magic Kingdom*(update with vote of the week), Theme Park Insider, May 10 2016, < >.





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