Broadcasting + Information + Communications + Education + Publishing + Systems and then add more and more and even more
Visit EPCOT. Become Walt Disney for a day
Reflections on the evolution of Walt Disney
by Bruce Camber, executive producer
Orlando, Florida: Hattie Bryant, the producer and host of the show celebrates her 60th birthday this year. Way back in 1957 her father, a struggling Baptist minister in San Diego, read about the opening of Disneyland in Anaheim. He took his family; he wanted to understand his competition. Yet, his children really loved it so much that he bought founder's stock. Though that was donated to his alma mater, the power of Disney's vision took root; one of our many events this year to celebrate Hattie's birthday was a visit to Disney World in Orlando.
I think every business owner should visit Disney World. If you only have time for one park, visit EPCOT, and role play a bit... become Walt Disney for the day. Do business research. Ask yourself key questions about Walt's and your business:
Walt dreamed of EPCOT, bought the land in 1965; but he died in 1966, long before it opened in 1982. The Experimental Prototype Community (or City) of Tomorrow. In 1996, it became known simply as Epcot. Three things hit me immediately when we arrived at our villa in the Old Key West Resort: (1) No WiFi. (2) No real interest in who we are and why we are here. (3) The employee at the guard gate followed the ritual and said, "Welcome Home" once we were validated, but it lacked any real conviction. He knew we would be coming and going for five days, but so would 100,000 other people.
I just can't help myself. A flurry of ideas constantly washed over my mind. So much of what we have learned over the years on Small Business School, jumped off the page. So, let me summarize those perceptions, concepts and ideas so you might more selectively engage this experience:
1. Give everybody as much technology as you can. As of May 2010, there is no open WiFi for clients and customers at Disney World.
2. Nobody asked us a question. Nobody asked permission to email us. Oops. Do they really care? Yet, how about you? ...how about us?
3. Constantly ask, "How can I be more productive? How can my people be more productive? How can they stretch beyond themselves and continue to learn?" Where is Cathay? Nobody knew.
4. Details, details, details. It is always in the details and the weakest link is where it all breaks down. In these pages there is even a small statement about the signage within Walt Disney World.
Education Re-defined: Space and time are constantly being disintermediated. It began with the telephone in 1876 and was propelled by radio (1895), then television (1928), then regular broadcasts (1941). Electronic computing machines emerged throughout the 1930s. Then personal computing opened it up to everyone throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The web and her browsers such as Mosaic (1993) made radio, television and computing totally interactive and user driven, and now with the advancement and maturing of collaboration technologies, the sparks for personal creativity are being ignited globally.
Collaboration technology is a final link. Education is fundamentally redefined.
Today's collaborations can literally involve millions of people meeting at the same time from anywhere on earth. We all know that the web has made information about anything and everything ubiquitous and readily accessible. Now, the best minds that process that information can be available to everyone, anywhere, at the same time.
Look out lazy teachers. Uncommitted? Uncaring? You're out.
Education becomes more personal and intimate at the same time it involves more and more people. It is a new discipline, possibly even a new muscle group, that involves Broadcasting, Information, Communications, Education, Publishing, and Systems. As an acronym, we began calling it, the new BICEPS.
More and more people are developing their personal narratives online, in real time, in front of everyone. As we all stretch to discover and nurture our uniqueness, our special gifts, and our personal genius, the people whom we have for teachers, counselors, and producers becomes ever so much more important.
Why? Add Entertainment -- the mystery, drama, suspense, unknown-unknowns, charm, and energy of life -- and roll it all into one and these BICEPS become e-BICEPS.
It is a revolution in each of these industries that unto itself, revolutionizes the world. And the man who did it first and pointed the way is Walt Disney.
If measured by attendance alone, Walt Disney World is the world's largest theme-park operator. Yet, Disney's genius was more than a theme park. Besides Entertainment, he engaged all the other tools: Broadcasting, Information, Communications, Education, Publishing and Systems.
It worked. Today, they own and operate nine of the ten, most-visited theme parks in the world:
The World Tourism Organization. We learn about foreign tourists per year within a country from statistics from 2005:
Increasingly parks of every kind are becoming more interactive, both more educational and more entertaining. Although theme parks are leading the way to refine the discipline, many national parks are catching on and already have substantial visitors:
1. Blue Ridge Parkway 19m
Note: These facts and figures come from Themed Entertainment Association, Steve Thorburn, President and International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industry, Tracy Sarris, President.