Monday, February 2, 2009

Walt Disney's Imagineering Legends - John Hench

I did purchase one book while at WDW in Florida - Walt Disney's Imagineering Legends and the Genesis of the Disney Theme Park - and I hoped it would provide some inspiration for both me and for my blog here.

A paragraph on John Hench resonated with me, considering the many discussions and articles I read online.

"But the resemblance to Walt didn't end just there," Sheila Hagen wrote. "He also had the same philosophy as Walt on how to operate Disneyland - not everything had to make money. He would point out that a popcorn wagon by itself would not make money, but in the long run, it would all even out. It was all about 'show,' about creating an environment that when the sum of its parts was totaled up, would create a richer and more satisfying experience."

It's a particularly relevant quote, considering how so many things at the Disney theme parks seem to be judged on how much revenue they produce and not on how much they support the overall 'show' at the park. I'm not privy to internal decision making, obviously, and I don't have specific examples, but I've read in many other blogs and in articles (by Kevin Yee, for example, on MiceAge), that things go away for no other reason than it isn't considered 'cost effective' to maintain them, apparently by some in management with a beancounter mentality.

John Hench wasn't one of those types, and neither was Walt Disney.

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