Lessons from Walt Disney

My family and I went on a five day vacation to Disney World last week. We had a blast on a truly magical trip! We went to every park and rode every single ride that the boys were old enough to ride, and we were thoroughly exhausted when we got back. My favorite attraction of the trip is called Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream. This multimedia gallery exhibit showcases artifacts from Walt Disney’s life like his 2nd grade desk, various cartoon sketches, and early Disney toys and memorabilia. The attraction ends with a 15-minute video of Walt Disney recounting his lifelong story. Today, the Walt Disney Company is a fascinating company, and I (along with others in my family) am truly inspired by the movies they produce and the experiences they provide within their theme parks.

While walking through the attraction, I learned several lessons from Walt Disney’s life:
1. Disney combined curiosity and courage to fuel his career. I especially love this quote: “When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do. And one thing it takes to accomplish something is courage.”
2. Disney aimed to accomplish one goal – “entertain people, in bringing pleasure, particularly through laughter.” When people truly enjoy the experience you offer, they will become fans, become customers for life, and bring their friends.
3. Disney viewed his full-length animated movies as nothing really unique, even though Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first movie of its kind. He viewed them as a unique business opportunity to combine movies and cartoons to entertain people. Other people made movies. Other people made cartoons. But, no one had ever put the two together. And, he applied the same thought process to his attractions. After visiting a carnival with his daughter, he saw the opportuntiy to launch an amusement park like none other – one that adults enjoyed visiting with their children.

I am grateful for the opportunity to spend 5 magical days with my family. I am also grateful for Walt Disney’s influence on our culture and my life. His curiosity, attention to detail, sense of humor, and ability to combine profitable business opportunities offer many lessons. Maybe these 3 lessons will inspire you keep moving forward (which is a line from my favorite Disney movie, Meet the Robinsons)!

Question: What is your favorite Disney movie? Leave a comment below.

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