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"What's in a Theme Park? Exploring the frontiers of Euro Disney"

Spinelli, Maria-Lydia. (1995) "What's in a Theme Park? Exploring the frontiers of Euro Disney". In: UNSPECIFIED, Charleston, South Carolina. (Unpublished)

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    1992 was the year of the European Community integration, sealing the completion of the Internal Market, the culmination of a project begun in 1985. Coincidentally, 1992 also marked the opening of Euro Disneyland, a replica of the Magic Kingdom, the well-known theme park in the U.S.A. This was the culmination of a joint venture between the French government and the Disney corporation, the negotiations over which had roughly taken the same time to achieve as the consolidation of the European internal market. The initial agreement provides for continuous development of some 4801 acres of agricultural land in Marne-la-Valle -- an area roughly 1/5th the size of Paris -- into a luxury resort compound to be completed in the year 2017.1 The name, "Euro Disney," proclaimed it a supra-national entity suggesting a dedication not just to business but to the galvanization and consolidation of the European Union. Since its inception, however, the park has met with continuous resistance from various European constituencies and is yet to yield a profit. While the struggles have been cast as a case of "cultural imperialism," a review of the history of the Disney parks and an exploration of the lines of resistance to Euro Disney the paper argues that what is being resisted in France is not a cultural imperialism but the establishment of an autonomous complex within French boundaries. Instances of conflict over Euro Disney address issues of personal autonomy, public jurisdiction, the privatization of the public realm and the hardening of boundaries of exclusion and inclusion. These are tensions already present in Europe as a result of the globalization of the economy and internationalization. The battle over Euro Disney can be used as a microcosm of struggles yet to come.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Businesses; firms.
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > economic and financial affairs > business/private economic activity
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 1995 (4th), May 11-14, 1995
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2007
    Page Range: p. 16
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:45

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