Disneyland

Purpose of Disneyland

The purpose story of Disneyland goes like this. In 1955 Van Arsdale France founded the University of Disneyland with the job of developing a training program.

Van believed that his goal was, in his own words, “to get everyone [they] hired to share in an intangible dream, and not just working for a paycheck.” He pitched what would become the purpose of Walt and Roy Disney. He recounted the experience:

And here were top executives, all of them right there, and I had to get up and say “And now our theme: the purpose of Disneyland is to create happiness for others.” And you see, the beautiful thing about saying, “We’re going to create happiness” was then I could say, “Look, you may park cars, clean up the place, sweep the place, work graveyard and everything else, but whatever you do is contributing to creating happiness for others.”

This story is from a blog post over at the Disney Institute Blog and it’s an insightful read about the difference between mission and purpose.

How Disneyland came about

Yes. Disneyland was once just an idea. In this post from Disney Institute’s blog, here’s how Walt Disney came up with the idea:

When Walt’s daughters were young he would take them out on Saturday afternoons to do fun things together – to visit merry-go-rounds and amusement parks. Walt would sit on a bench nearby while he watched his daughters ride the attractions. As he sat there, he noticed that the other parents had nothing to do either and were anxious to get home. This sparked an idea – what if he created an amusement park where the entire family could have fun together?

And a witty quote from Walt himself on how he wanted to change the game:

When I started on Disneyland, my wife used to say, ‘But why do you want to build an amusement park? They’re so dirty.’ I told her that was just the point — mine wouldn’t be.

Pitch-documents to raise money for Disneyland

The original Disneyland pitch-documents are available over at Boing Boing. Lots of interesting, fun, and inspiring stuff in there. I especially love how it introduces the Disneyland story:

The idea of Disneyland is a simple one. It will be a place for people to find happiness and knowledge.

Walt Disney’s vision of Disneyland

Finally, let’s end our discussion of Disneyland with one of my favorite quotes about Walt Disney’s vision:

Disneyland will never be completed, as long as there is imagination left in the world.