Menu Close

What Would Walt Disney Want if Alive Today?

There are many kinds of Disney fans out there. From the casual fan that visits the parks once or twice in a lifetime, to those obsessed with knowing every single detail about the parks, the animation, the movies and most importantly Walt himself. With fandom comes a sense of ownership, the idea that you’ve invested time into this product, therefore you are an expert and maybe even are owed something in return. This is where the common expression “What Walt would want” creeps in.

This expression is a very popular term used by Disney fans when a new attraction is opened, or an old attracts is either changed or eliminated. It’s used a barometer to decide if an attraction is authentically Walt Disney. It’s often used in a negative way, as to say that the current choice by this billion-dollar company does not reflect the original intention of the company’s founder.

The expression has been used many times, by many writers and in many editorials. Some have a bit of argument, such as the construction of EPCOT. EPCOT was one of the projects that Walt himself was working on before he died. He had a vision of a city of the future where people would live and shop called the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (or EPCOT). His vision for EPCOT was not a theme park, but an actual place where people lived. Would Walt have wanted another theme park? It seems like that was not his original intention. I feel like if he lived long enough to see EPCOT’s construction, it might have turned out differently.

With projects that were being designed and even under construction while Walt was alive, it’s possible to guess what he had in mind. There were people who talked to him on the very subject and even video and interviews where he openly discussed his opinion on those projects.

The problem is that this expression is much harder to justify for newer projects. Would Walt want a haunted mansion bar on his luxury cruise ship? Would Walt want contemporary characters in his Star Wars land? How would Walt feel about bad wifi in the parks? These seem like silly questions to ask because our hypothetical Walt Disney of today couldn’t have imagined any of these. At this point, it’s impossible to say what Walt would think about anything going on with the Disney company, he’s too far removed.

The one part of his legacy that can be argued is change. When he built Disneyland, he built a park that would be constantly changing. He said many times that this park would evolve and grow. The current Disney company is changing and building in these parks all the time, and in the broad sense, it’s the one thing that we can all agree that it’s something Walt would want.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *