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Euro Disneyland (since renamed Disneyland Resort Paris) in Marne-la-Vallée, France was declared a success even before it was built, and yet it narrowly escaped a humiliating bankruptcy after opening. This article applies intercultural negotiation theory to examine how The Walt Disney Company proved fallible in its negotiations with the French government and citizens in the course of constructing and operating Euro Disneyland.

Through a case study of the negotiations, this article reveals why the reality proved so different from the expectations. It concludes with advice for how The Walt Disney Company — and, by implication, any multinational firm — should approach international deal-making in the future to avoid repeating past mistakes.