Welcome to my take on the psychology and sociology of the Disney culture. This is my own outlet and expression of my views on Disney everything! I love great discussion too so please feel free to comment. I mostly follow the current state of Disney but I have a social-science-colored lens through which to view it and occasionally compare it to the past. I'm a bit of a biased nostalgic too so please enjoy a little thoughtful commentary mixed in with educated exploration.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
What Makes A Disney Culture? Part 2
I apologize for my absence over the past month. Between finishing my grad school application
and the holidays I had to put my little blog on hold. But I’m back now, and I should be posting
Moving on through my fun little analysis of how our Disney
community is in fact a culture, let’s take a look at a few of the other
characteristics we share.
We absolutely share physical/material traits. This is seen in our Disney collections,
whatever they may be - Pins, movies, clothing, figurines, even Disney antiques
or tickets. Often our Park visits
consist of souvenir shopping or even consuming Park-specific food, such as
Dole-whips, or Mickey pretzels, furthering our way of physically connecting
ourselves to Disney.
Mouse Ears, a classic material shared trait!
Fitting hand in hand with material practices is behavioral
rituals or norms. Again, visiting the
Parks in and of itself is a behavioral trait.
You may have an attraction you always ride first, or a spot you always
sit in for a show. You may split off and
meet back at the hub for ice cream. Or if it involves the films you may watch your favorite Disney movie whenever you are home sick. Each
norm or custom you develop is familiar to the rest of the Disney community
because even if we do things differently, we know the magical (excuse the
cliché) feeling we get when we fall into that normativity and familiar routine.
The last shared characteristic of the Disney culture is that
of symbolism. In other words, the
language we share and the institutions we have formed over certain aspects in
Disney culture. For example, when
communicating in social media we often adapt acronyms of abbreviations for
things that occur often. During the New
Fantasyland construction and previews the term FLE sufficed as Fantasyland
Expansion. The Parks have become DLR for
Disneyland Resort, or DCA for Disney’s California Adventure, and MK, DAK, DHS,
WDW, etc. We do love our acronyms,
especially on Twitter where characters are limited. We also share affinities for certain other
symbols, such as the iconic castle image for Walt Disney Pictures before each Disney film, the famous Disneyland Opening Day speech by
Walt, or the theme song from any certain fireworks show we have come to know and
You have to love this one.
All of these things work together in the definition of our
culture. If it feels like we are one big
family, it’s because we kind of are! Of
course we all see certain things in different lights, as I noted in Part 1, but
that’s just another part of belonging to this complex and beautiful culture of