Quora: “Does any one at Disney still think in terms of ‘What would Walt Disney do?'”

Walt Disney | DaveTavres.comThe “anyone” part of the question is a bit ambiguous, as there are those who actually work in the Parks, and those who ‘build’ the Parks. Also, the word “do” can mean something different depending on who you ask.

Having worked at Disneyland in Attractions (Autopia, and lots of guest control,) as well as in Guest Relations, and finally as a locomotive engineer, I had the opportunity to help and talk to guests face-to-face on a daily basis, in different capacities. I also learned a lot about other cast members, and what their motivations were when it came to guest service – and it wasn’t always to ‘create magic.’

I’ve often said that during my time at Disneyland, 50% of people who worked in the Parks truly wanted to be there – to make magic for guests, and to be part of something special. While the other 50% were just there because it was a paycheck. I knew a lot of people in that second group. Sure, we all have bad days, but there were too many who never cared about guests – but I think the rest of us who sincerely loved working there made up for their lack of passion (of course, the amazing surroundings helps us too!)

Now for the word “do”, as in “What would Walt do?” As a history Tour Guide in Disneyland, I OFTEN got asked what Walt would think about this or that – for example “What would Walt think about the California Adventure Park?” To questions like that, I always answer that NO ONE can know what Walt would think about those things, because times have changed a lot.

If on the other hand, the question was “Would Walt have built California Adventure” (i.e. “do”,) again, I think that’s impossible to know. Walt was a brilliant businessman (with the help of his brother Roy, and lots of other talented people,) but he was also the big dreamer. His plan for EPCOT was FAR bigger than what Walt Disney World eventually settled on, and I don’t think he wanted to build that to ‘make money’ as much as he wanted to prove that something (a city) could be done better.


Original Quora question – Does any one at Disney still think in terms of “What would Walt Disney do?”

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