Exploration Series: Disney Heritage


The Disney Exploration Series: Disney Heritage takes students back in time to discover the roots of the Walt Disney Company.  Through a series of conversations and presentations facilitated by Disney leaders across the resort, students learn in this highly interactive course, using the entire Walt Disney World Resort as a learning laboratory.

The course teaches that creativity and the cost of doing business is a difficult balancing act, but one that is critical to the Walt Disney Company’s success in the past, present, and future.  To explore this lesson, students in the course use toy monorail sets to learn about strategy, creativity, teamwork, and time management.

The students are divided into teams, and within those teams, they’re split into two groups – the creative visionaries, like Walt Disney, and the financial-minded business side, like Roy Disney.  Together they must construct their monorail set, complete with bridges and gateways, to maximize efficiency and Guest satisfaction. Participants said:

  • It was fun!
  • I liked working in a team with people I didn’t know already.
  • In real life you work with people who may not think like you – it’s not always easy!
  • I learned how to approach things differently and learn how to solve problems together, as a group.

Guest speaker, Sara Spike, shared, “The strength of our company comes from the diverse talents, perspectives and personalities of our Cast Members, Crew Members & Imagineers. Taking the time this week to learn about the unique dynamics and contributions from Walt and Roy exemplify how our “Cast” is truly made up of different personalities – some who love being the storytellers, and others who prefer to support the operation from behind the scenes. Both styles are equally important and equally needed.” Students commented that for each story, they learned about both Walt and Roy’s points of view and how they approached things differently, both personally and professionally.