Euro Disneyland

By: Pastor Jarren Rogers

“I would a thousand times rather that God’s will should be done than my own.”

– D.L. Moody

Disney World is one of the most famous places on earth. Millions of people have entered its gates to ride the nostalgic rides, see the iconic characters, and live in the magic.

After Disney realized the success of their North American parks they decided that the next step was to take their brand worldwide.

In their first step towards this goal, Disney opened a park in Tokyo and experienced great success. People were flooding in, fun was being had, and money was being made.

After this, the question was posed: Where to next?

It wasn’t until 1985 that Disney concluded that Paris would be the next location for their acclaimed theme park. They began building what they named Euro Disneyland and expected it to open in the early 1990s. There was only one problem. No one had stopped to ask the residents of Paris.

Much of the public was not on board. Many French commentators expressed distaste for what they saw as a capitalistic invasion into their beautiful countryside. Others said that Disney should be burned down and labeled Euro Disneyland a cultural Chernobyl.

Disney experienced more criticism along their way, suffering severe lash back after demanding English-only meetings, having offensive employee guidelines, experiencing waning confidence from the French government, and seeing increased protests.

Even the name, Euro Disneyland, spoke to the cultural unintelligence the Disney executives brought into the project. To an American, the word “Euro” spoke of adventure, travel, and glamor. But to a European, the word Euro is associated with their currency. Therefore, the name Euro Disneyland didn’t help Disney’s reputation in France of being a capitalistic giant.

After experiencing countless numbers of financial and logistical issues in it’s first few years, Disney considered closing the park. But after a lot of changes and years of attempting to address the public’s issues with the park, Disney was able to keep Euro Disney above water, eventually renaming it Disneyland Paris, and it’s still around today.

The problems that Disney had with Euro Disneyland spawned from their failure to simply ask the French public for their input on the park. Receiving feedback before setting off on the project would have saved Disney a lot of heartache farther down the road.

I think that many times, we do much of the same. We barrel down our own path, make our own way, organize our own plans, and we fail to ever ask God for His input.

As a result of leaving God out of the planning process, we experience a whole lot of unnecessary grief and heartache.

We should be going to God first and asking Him to reveal His plan to us. And He may not reveal the entire roadmap, but He may give you the next step.

Whatever the case, putting our plans in God’s hands first is always best.

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