Thursday, December 6, 2012

What Makes a Disney Culture? - Part 1

I’ve been referring to Disney Culture since the beginnings of this little blog, and I’d like to take a little time to explain the ins and outs of Disney Culture.  Commonly identified criteria in the definition of a culture include shared subjective, material, behavioral, and symbolic characteristics.  The Disney community meets these criteria, and this post will focus on the “subjective” characteristic, which includes our beliefs, values, and attitudes.

We, members of the Disney Culture, share the belief that Walter Elias Disney created works that have not, and will not be matched and can’t be surpassed in terms of creativity and forward-thinking.  Between his animation feats and his theme park innovations, his creativity has inspired us all.  We also have emotional attachments to Disney and certain things can inspire that emotion in us.  Because of this we believe anything with his name attached to it, even today, must be of the highest quality and must reflect his ideals.

Now within this group of people who share this belief are undeniably two separate parties.  There are those who believe everything the Walt Disney Company puts out maintains the aforementioned qualities, and these people are generally very optimistic about the directions of the parks, products, and films.   The slang term for these people is “Pixie Dusters,” suggesting they are so absorbed by Disney Magic that they cannot see any faults Disney may actually make.  The other group is extremely particular about the current state of the Walt Disney Company.  Very rarely do they believe anything current measures up to the things Walt himself put into action and are extremely skeptical.  The slang term for this party is “Foamers,” suggesting they are, on the other hand, absorbed in nostalgia and cannot see the good in new ideas because they are not like the “old days.”  

Now just like any community culture, these two parties are the two extremes.  Most people fall somewhere in between, leaning to one side or the other, rather than completely taking on one of these identities.  But inevitably this distinction leads to frequent debates and disagreements in the Disney community.  It's important to also look at what we share with our fellow Disney fans, however, when we come across dissonance in our opinions.  We are all one Culture, differences and all.

"There's so much that we share that it's time we're aware it's a small world after all"

I’m excited to address the other criterion on future blog posts, but the subjective traits of Disney Culture are what I find most interesting and so I shared them first!  Keep an eye out for what brings us together in this community as well as what makes us different in our tastes.  Stay tuned for parts 2-4 and feel free to share some examples of today’s topic in the comments!  With today's grand opening of New Fantasyland and Test Track in WDW I know I've seen plenty :)


  1. Sometimes I find myself apathetic about the Disney company and what they are doing with the parks; a classic ride or feature is being torn out for a meet and greet? I shrug and say, "What can you do?". Other times I really do get upset about certain things (like the recent announcement that the Peoplemover will never come back). Which means I am schizo or something.

    1. Yeah I know what you mean. For me it depends on what I get emotionally attached to and the quality of what will replace it. But I tend to be on the nostalgic side as well as you know, so I think knowing the rich history of the parks definitely skews one's opinion as opposed to someone who has no knowledge of it.

  2. Great post!! Like you I'm on the nostalgia side of things, but I suppose they have to updates to maintain new generations of Disneylovers xx