How Disney’s Nostalgia Impacts Park Visitors

How do Disney theme parks shape and influence the cultural, economic, psychological, and social experiences of visitors?

Hey welcome back to my blog! In today’s post, I will be sharing with you about our recent project “Power of Imagination”. The project was based around Disney and the Disney parks, specifically our visit to Disneyworld, which marked our first out of the province learning field study from February 28th to March 9th. The main focus of the project was to explore how Disney theme parks shape and influence visitors’ cultural, economic, psychological, and social experiences through immersive storytelling and visual elements that transport them into a different world with “Disney Magic”. As a final product, we created a video that addressed the project’s driving question using interviews, examples, and historical references.

To start this project I researched and learnt about the past of Walt Disney, The Disney Parks and Disney as a company in general. We learnt a new way to capture our information in craft with something called a PKM (Personal Knowledge Manger). Our introduction into this new found strategy was to analyze information about aTED talk called “The Happiness Advantage”. I must admit that I didn’t particularly enjoy this talk and my opinion of it diminished with each viewing. Nonetheless, we ended up watching it four or five times so I kept remaking and reanalyzing to make my notes deeper and and to understand how helpful PKMs can be. To continue building knowledge that would lead into our final project we were placed into groups and we were tasked with creating 5 more PKMs with articles and videos we found about our groups question “How does visiting Disney World enhance well-being, reduce stress, and provide a sense of escape and enjoyment for some visitors?.“

5 PKM click to open

This was a great start to the project because I really broke through the barrier of my views on Disney and was able to approach this project from a different perspective with my new found learning. After all of this we answered the driving question as a group we created a pitch board to represent and brainstorm all of our ideas

Our primary focus of discussion was the nostalgia experienced by various generations and the impact that Disney has had on them. We had devised a plan to conduct interviews with individuals belonging to different age groups, seeking their perspectives on the influence of Disney on their lives. Now we had to plan out our documentary so it was all ready for the trip, we had to create a Storyboard, Screenplay and Call sheet. As went through the preparation phase we went through major revisions and had to change our entire story multiple times with feedback from the teachers, we shows we over came challenges as a group and had to communicate and work together to turn our whole story around. I focused on the Call Sheet but I also contributed with the story building and the idea generation for many original ideas and new revised ideas.

February 26th: False Start

After everyone being prepared and very excited to go on our first out of country field study we were notified at 11:06 pm only 6 hours before we would have to be at the airport that our flight was cancelled. The teacher spent the next day trying to figure out a solution as we couldn’t just abandon this entire project. Luckily the teachers found a new flight and we would leaving on the morning of the 28th. We got to the Orlando International Airport Tuesday night and we took a bus straight to our hotel where we would go to sleep right away as we had packed days ahead of us.

One of the thing I had to do was to conduct some interviews and ask some questions about Nostalgia to various generations. Max and I during one of our free time periods set out to go find a filming location and people to interview, we settled on filming in the Walt Disney museum as we felt that if people were looking around in here they were bound to know a bit about old Disney and modern Disney. I interviewed 2 people one elderly man who’s first film was Snow White  (1938) and a younger woman who grew up on Disney Princess movies.

Upon returning from Disney, the task of compiling everything started. With our footage and interviews captured, the arduous task of editing had begun. During the editing process, we came across some missing elements that required fixing. Specifically, we discovered that the audio in our interviews was relatively low and we had to incorporate subtitles to compensate for it.

In conclusion, our project “Power of Imagination” allowed us to delve into the world of Disney and understand its impact on visitors experiences. Through our research, interviews, and visual elements, we discovered that Disney theme parks hold a special place in the hearts of many, creating a sense of nostalgia and escape from reality. The immersive storytelling and attention to detail in the parks are a testament to the power of imagination and creativity. Our trip to Disneyworld allowed us to experience this firsthand and capture it through our documentaries. I am so thankful for the teachers and how they were able to replan entire thing on such a quick notice. This was an experience of s lifetime.



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