November 28, 2008


The Disneyland I knew didn’t have a bronze monument to Walt in its Central Plaza.

It didn’t need such a thing. The Park itself was a monument.

It represented the ideals and the dreams of Walt Disney, ideals and dreams that turned out to be the same as those of millions of people.

A better tribute to Walk would have been an image of all of those people, not his own likeness. If you wanted to see Walt’s face in Disneyland, you needed only to look around at people like this. A parent and child having fun together.

Walt was never the king of his Magic Kingdom. Disneyland used to believe its most important partnership was the one it shared with its guests. That’s why as Cast Members when working at Disneyland was The Best Possible Job, “our reason for being was not . . . to park cars, sell tickets, serve food, sweep and clean, maintain facilities, count money . . . or do any of the over 400 important tasks required to produce the Disneyland Show.

We were there to create happiness. That’s why Disneyland was a true reason for being, not merely a job.

It first described that attitude in its 1955 orientation handbook, which I’ve quoted below. The next time you go, see if you think it’s still there:

The most important person in Disneyland is a guest. A guest is a person who enters Disneyland seeking entertainment.

A guest may be white, black, brown or yellow...

Christian, Jew, Buddhist or Hindu...

Republican or Democrat...

Showoff or wallflower, big shot or small...

Rich or poor, healthy or unhealthy...

But, from the moment his car turns into the Disneyland parking lot until he leaves, he is a guest of Disneyland.

How we greet him, how we look, the big and litle things, are all vitally important to the enjoyment of his day at Disneyland.

A Disneyland guest is to us, a King in our Magic Kingdom.


meteormike said...

Last summer when I visited Disneyland I was a little concerned that the level of cast member service might not be what I remembered from past visits. I think I’ve been reading too many blogs. The CMs were outstanding. All of them. What a nice surprise. As far as I’m concerned the magic is still there. I rode the carousel, something I haven’t done since I was a kid. I rode the Pooh ride and really enjoyed it. I watched the Peter Pan ride operator smile at everyone of the riders. I’m going back as soon as I can.

Yellows said...

Glad to hear it! Hope you’ll be back again soon.

Carson said...

That orientation handbook quote is very inspiring. I am about to start the Disney College Program in January, and I am getting all revved up.

I really enjoy reading your blog, but I have to say that the Disneyland of my day is different than the Disneyland of your day, but I assure you that the magic is still there. I cannot wait to be a part of that magic, to dedicate my life to the happiness of others.

I have started a blog dedicated to my College Program experience, and was wondering if you would like to post a link to it on your blog. I will definitely put a link one mine.

Thanks for this great blog.

Yellows said...

Carson, congratulations on your upcoming Disney College Program. It takes people to make the dream a reality, and you'll soon be one of them. Best of luck, and I hope you enjoy your Disneyland experience as much as I did mine.