Disney’s Dream Dead?

Walt Disney created Disneyland to provide an area where dreams came true. Born in rural Kansas, Disney used his imagination (or maybe his exposure to animals on the farm) to create caricatures that began to define him. Mickey Mouse first appeared in Steamboat Willie but not until Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs did Disney became synonymous with fantasy folklore. Walt was well into old age by the time he bought a plot of orange groves in present-day Anaheim and created Disneyland.

60 years and 400 million visitors later Disneyland needs an attitude adjustment. Walt, were he alive, would probably be disappointed to know that extra money can buy a family premium seats for the World of Color show. Nor would he be too thrilled about club 33, an ultra-exclusive group of Disney aficionados enjoyed only at a fee. There is a disconnect between the fantasy that families expect when they visit the park and the reality that it has become. In order to maintain its charm and appeal, Disneyland needs less capitalism and more imagineering.

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