« La vie n'est pas un conte de fée » or is it?: Disney Values in America and France

Edwards, Alexandra
I am a child of Disney. Like many of my American peers, I grew up singing, "A dream is a wish your heart makes." However, from studying abroad in France, I realized that translating "The Disney Magic," wasn't hard because of the words, but because I couldn't translate the idea. The inability to explain Disneyfication within a French cultural context persuaded me to research the ability of Disney values to cross cultures. This paper will address why Disney values are inherently American, the influence of the Princess Phenomenon, cultural differences seen through service attitudes, and the unsuccessful franchise of Disney values into the European, specifically French culture. My methodology comes from field research within Disneyland California and Disneyland France. I also consulted journal articles from various disciplines, including women's studies, management, geography and history, with supplementary material from the original European fairy tales and the Disney fairy tales. In conclusion, the creation of Disneyland France can be seen as American imperialism and an imposition of not only Disney values but American values. Due to cultural differences, the pixie dust does not successfully cross the Atlantic Ocean; instead, Disneyland France is seen simply as another amusement park instead of a rabbit hole leading to a land full of wonder and magic.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Wyoming Libraries