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  1. #1

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    Walt Disney talks about his Business Philosophy

    I saw this article at :http://imagineerebirth.blogspot.com/...-business.html . Enjoy.

    The following interview with Walt Disney was conducted by NBC in 1966. On the surface, in his highly informal, friendly way, Walt's business philosophy seems relatively simplistic. Translated, however, it provides an understanding as to why he was so highly rated by the business world.

    NBC: Walt, why did you pick Anaheim as the site for Disneyland?

    WALT: The Disneyland concept kept growing and growing and it finally ended up where I felt I needed two-three hundred acres. So, I wanted it in the Southern California area, there were certain things that I felt that I needed, such as flat land, because I wanted to make my own hills. I didn't want it near the ocean, I wanted it sort of inland, so I had a survey group go out and hunt for areas that might be useful. And they finally came back with several different areas and we settled on Anaheim because the price of the acreage was right. But there was more to it than that. And that is that Anaheim was sort of a growing area. The freeway projection was such that we could see that the freeway would set Anaheim as sort of a hub. Well, that's how we selected Anaheim.

    NBC: Do you feel Anaheim has lived up to expectations?

    WALT: In every way, the city fathers have been wonderful. They've given us wonderful cooperation right from the start and they are still cooperating.

    NBC: What has been your biggest problem?

    WALT: Well, I'd say it's been my biggest problem all my life - it's money. It takes a lot of money to make these dreams come true. From the very start it was a problem of getting the money to open Disneyland. About 17 million dollars it took. We had everything mortgaged, including my family. We were able to get it open and for ten or eleven years now we've been pouring more money back in. In other words, like the old farmer, you've got to pour it back into the ground if you want to get it out. That's been my brother's philosophy and mine too.

    NBC: What plans for the future do you have at Disneyland?

    WALT: There's a little plaque out there that says, "As long as there is imagination left in the world, Disneyland will never be complete." We have big plans. This year, we finished over $20 million in new things. Next June, I hope, we'll have a new Tomorrowland; and starting from the ground up, building a whole new Tomorrowland. And it's going to run about $20 million bucks.

    NBC: What steps have you taken to see that Disneyland will always be good, family entertainment?

    WALT: Well, by this time, my staff, my young group of executives are convinced that Walt is right, that quality will win out, and so I think they will stay with this policy because it's proven it's a good business policy. Give the public everything you can give them, keep the place as clean as you can keep it, keep it friendly - I think they're convinced and I think they'll hang on after - as you say, "after Disney."


    Thus, in the space of a brief, four-minute interview, Walt Disney covered no less than eight business considerations which went into the decision making process affecting Disneyland. Masterplanning... analyzing alternatives... evaluating costs... growth potential... working with government... taking risks... looking at investments and re-investment... up-grading, continually improving the product.

    There is an old adage in the film industry... "You're only as good as your last picture." Actually, in business anywhere today, the standard is even tougher: "you're only as good as next year's results." Success today is not a vaccine for future economic ills. Many great businesses at one time or another, practically institutions and permanent fixtures on the American scene, have fallen by the wayside. Ironically, among the publishing giants on hand in 1955 as Disneyland struggled through its "Black Sunday" press opening were Look magazine, Collier's, The Saturday Evening Post, and Life. And among the cars in the parking lot were new Hudsons, Studebakers, Packards, and DeSotos. In 1955, they all had a vital, thriving part in the American scene. By 1975 they were all gone... along with dozens of other companies with long histories and great traditions.

    Realistically speaking, what guarantee does the Disney organization have that some competition, perhaps not even in existence as we know it today, doesn't surpass us or worse yet... gain control of our organization? Walt Disney developed his own guarantee. He always said that we could never stand still. He had to explore, innovate and experiment and he was never satisfied with his work.

    "If any of you starts to rest on your laurels, forget it," he told his staff. That was his guarantee for the future.

    (The above was an archival article originally published in the mid-1970's).
    Growing older is manditory
    Growing up is however, optional

  2. #2

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    Angry Re: Walt Disney talks about his Business Philosophy

    ...what really hurts when I take my family to DL is that Walt's concept of a park for the family to go to and enjoy has been lost is the whole marketing push Disney management has wrapped itself into. I remember when you could go into a store in DL and find things only sold in that store. You could find food prices just about the same as those outside the park. What ever happened to that wool shop that sold real indian blankets or the perfume shop that made perfume formulated to each customer? I still remember eating tacos for $1.19 or a burger for $2.99, with fries! My last family dinner at DL, for four, cost me $60!! and that was just pizza and drinks at that tomorowland place. Lets be frank here....Most of us who go to DL in CA do so because we can't afford the trip to Florida. So from the get-go we are on a tight budget. So we leave the park to eat and we also leave the park to buy the disney stuff at the local WalMart or Target. This is why DCA is failing. DCA, all it is-is a big overpriced shopping mall that you have to pay to get into. Walt's focus was on family entertainment and things families could do together. Walt wanted his guests to stay in the park to have fun, eat, shop. But all in all people go to Disneyland...to go to Disneyland! They don't go to DL to go to DCA. It takes at least two to three days to "DO" DL afterwhich most of us parents with tweens in tow are pretty much exhausted. Disney management needs to look at this from our perspective much like Walt did. He valued family fun and didn't make us poor folk feel like we have been took. I think one way to fix DCA is to turn it into a year around water park. Thats all I hear from my kids about what DL is missing. What would Walt do??

  3. #3

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    Re: Walt Disney talks about his Business Philosophy

    Quote Originally Posted by ajbarny76
    ...what really hurts when I take my family to DL is that Walt's concept of a park for the family to go to and enjoy has been lost is the whole marketing push Disney management has wrapped itself into. I remember when you could go into a store in DL and find things only sold in that store. You could find food prices just about the same as those outside the park. What ever happened to that wool shop that sold real indian blankets or the perfume shop that made perfume formulated to each customer? I still remember eating tacos for $1.19 or a burger for $2.99, with fries! My last family dinner at DL, for four, cost me $60!! and that was just pizza and drinks at that tomorowland place. Lets be frank here....Most of us who go to DL in CA do so because we can't afford the trip to Florida. So from the get-go we are on a tight budget. So we leave the park to eat and we also leave the park to buy the disney stuff at the local WalMart or Target. This is why DCA is failing. DCA, all it is-is a big overpriced shopping mall that you have to pay to get into. Walt's focus was on family entertainment and things families could do together. Walt wanted his guests to stay in the park to have fun, eat, shop. But all in all people go to Disneyland...to go to Disneyland! They don't go to DL to go to DCA. It takes at least two to three days to "DO" DL afterwhich most of us parents with tweens in tow are pretty much exhausted. Disney management needs to look at this from our perspective much like Walt did. He valued family fun and didn't make us poor folk feel like we have been took. I think one way to fix DCA is to turn it into a year around water park. Thats all I hear from my kids about what DL is missing. What would Walt do??

    There is a great quote by Marty Sklar in the book "Remembering Walt"

    In the Late 1950's, it cost 24 cents to produce and merchandise the Disneyland souvenir guide, which sold for 25 cents. The company was only making a penny on it and the merchandising people wanted to raise the price. So they went to Walt and made their pitch and he said, no. They were in shock.

    "Look," he said. "You don't get it. I don't care about making money on this. What I want is as many of these souvenir guides as possible on people's coffee tables. I want other see what Disneyland is all about and come for a visit. We'll make out money when they actually come to Disneyland and buy tickets and souvenirs. I don't care about making money on every single item. I want people to visit Disneyland!" Walt was looking at the big picture all the time.
    It is funny how Marty Sklar still didnt listen to Walt had said, but then again on the other hand people are eating, buying and going to the park in record numbers. It would be nice if Marty did heed Walts buisness philosphies. It just looks like they can set any price and people will buy it. I know someone who works for Walt Disney Travel and they get to talk to people who save up a lifetime just to go to DisneyLand. Now they are almost spending their life savings just to get here and stay at a DLR resort. Even with how Gasoline prices are rising and people are just used to over paying for everything.

    There is one thing about Disneyland today that really bothers me and being a former CM myself. In the same book Dick Van Dyke was recalling a time when he was in Walt's apartment.

    Walt was looking out the window of his apartment, when he saw a CM from Adventureland cross Main Street in Tahitian costume; he got right on the phone! He didnt want the illusion of Main Street U.S.A. spoiled.
    Today CM's can cross the park in any costume, and this is something that Walt never wanted. Its seems to me that a lot of Walts business practices are not followed today, but then again it seems to work and people will never see what it was like when Walt ran the park.
    Jason

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    Re: Walt Disney talks about his Business Philosophy

    awesome!

  5. #5

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    Re: Walt Disney talks about his Business Philosophy

    No matter how it has fallen from Walts concept there is still no place on earth like it, where else can you embark upon a true multicultural awareness ride and come out smiling ? where can you ride an Elephant with a small child and feel like the feather has tickled your nose? moments on a Jugle Cruise see the backside of water? And Casey Jr's I think I can vibriate thur your soul as you conquer that lift?Where else can you be seranded by the flowers and the birdies but the Tiki room? The food well you cant get anything for under 5.00, but listening to the combo play in NOS or having a silhouette cut of your child , or watching a childs eyes light up when a character hugs then is still priceless. Thers always room for improvement which is what he ( Walt ) said . But there are times when you just have to sit back and smell the roses and appreciate what you have got before we run into the ground and it is gone. Hopefuly the new regime will not rest on its laurels and continue to forge ahead and improve the experience of magic. And as far as the competition goes... they have not even entered the race , Disneyland is still an original unique and stands alone.

  6. #6

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    Re: Walt Disney talks about his Business Philosophy

    Walt Disney invented "virtual reality."
    "Yesterday, a man walked up to me and said, 'Isn't it a shame that Walt Disney couldn't be here to see this?' and I said, "He did see this, that's why it's here."
    -Art Linkletter July 17, 2005-


    When you wish upon a star your dreams come true.


  7. #7

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    Re: Walt Disney talks about his Business Philosophy

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsix
    Today CM's can cross the park in any costume, and this is something that Walt never wanted.
    Yeah, but Walt's answer at the time was just to chew out the CM for it. Without sidetracking this entire thread into a discussion on "presenteeism," whether Walt would have preferred CMs show up late rather than run around in the wrong place onstage is nobody's guess, but DL lacks the utilidoor system of WDW's MK that allows employees in themed costumes to get from Here to There without having to run through three lands, which is an actual solution.

    Until there's an actual solution to CMs having to move about in costume at DL, it'll be a fact of life.

  8. #8

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    Re: Walt Disney talks about his Business Philosophy

    Quote Originally Posted by ajbarny76
    ... Lets be frank here....Most of us who go to DL in CA do so because we can't afford the trip to Florida.
    Wow, time out... That is extremely presumptive and somewhat incendiary... That's not why I go...
    Check out my other blog:

  9. #9

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    Re: Walt Disney talks about his Business Philosophy

    >>... Lets be frank here....Most of us who go to DL in CA do so because we can't afford the trip to Florida.<<

    Sorry, Frank, I don't even particularly care for Florida compared to Disneyland. Speak for yourself.

    Even in its diminished state, Disneyland is a far superior, more richly textured experience for me than WDW ever was or will be.

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