There has been much talk regarding the Walt Disney Company’s 5th key of Inclusion. Josh D’Amaro, Chairman Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, shares how this new key will affect the overall Disney Park experience.
Adapting with Change
Back in March 2020, Josh D’Amaro, who was at that time president of Walt Disney World, stood beside Mickey Mouse celebrating that “Nothing can stop us now” with the grand opening of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
What none of us could expect was that everything was about to change. Within a few days of this grand opening event, every Disney Park closed their magical gates due to COVID-19. During this time Josh D’Amaro was promoted to the new position of Chairman Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products.
He recently shared in an interview with the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions publication “Funworld”, that the grand opening night was “kind of that marker before everything changed for me, for us, for the company.“
Disney Company is now Stronger
The complete shutdown of all of the Disney Parks was quite a blow to the Walt Disney Company. D’Amaro shares, “The pain, the heartache, and the challenges that have come with this pandemic have been hard.”
“The’ve also opened doors for us to walk through in a different way, with a different confidence, with a different strength than we’ve ever had before. I know it’s hard in the context that even today we find ourselves, but it’s true: We’re going to come out stronger than we ever have before.”
During the pandemic the Asian Disney Parks were the leaders in creating a “reopening blueprint.” D’Amaro reflects, “Our Cast Members in Asia were reopening pioneers in this front. I would argue for the world, everyone was watching to see how we would do this.”
Key of Inclusion
D’Amaro shares that in his new role as Chairman Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, he dedicated himself to reimagining the Disney Park experience. He shares, “The world has changed and so have the expectations of our Guests. That’s why we’re fundamentally reimagining what a Disney experience could be, while keeping the unique magic our Guests expect”
“The world has changed and so have the expectation of our Guests. That’s why we’re fundamentally reimagining what a Disney experience could be, while keeping the unique magic our Guests expect”Josh D’Amaro
“We all think that one’s ability to bring the stories to life is strengthened- substantially strengthened-when you as a Cast Member…when you feel supported when you feel like you’ve been given the tools to excel at the role that you’re playing; and you feel you can actually show up as yourself.”
Evolving the Guest Experience
One of the key ways to evolve the Disney Guest experience towards inclusion is within the Disney attractions. D’Amaro shares, “We will continue to not only look at the experiences that we have today, update them, and make them relevant and appropriate.”
We have seen this new key of Inclusion in regards to the reimagining of current attractions such as Splash Mountain and the Jungle Cruise. Even recently we have seen the key of Inclusion reflected in the Happily Ever After pre-show announcement.
D’Amaro shared this thought as they look to the future, “As we build, we will also start to think about all the great stories that we have to tell around the world and bring them to life in a way that everybody again can see themselves.”
How does this affect the Disney Legacy?
He admitted in the interview that he had received some opposition from loyal Disney fans that felt that he was destroying the legacy of Walt Disney.
D’Amaro shares his reply to such claims, “I will pay tribute to our founder, to our legacy, but I will also at the same time push us to be relevant today. To add an inclusion key is so powerful.”
Guest Experiences & Technology
Due to the Disney Park closures and reopening guidelines, D’Amaro shares that new technology was developed that we will continue to see in the Disney Parks. These include the Park Pass Reservation system, the Virtual Queue system, and even the shift towards Mobile Ordering.
This even includes the new Disney Genie Park Planning Tool that will debut later this year. D’Amaro shares, “We’re focused on the future and creating the best Guest and Cast Member experience.”
“We’re focused on the future and creating the best Guest and Cast Member experience.”Josh D’Amaro
Even through the global pandemic and the reopening of all of the Disney Parks it truly does seem that the Walt Disney Company is stronger than ever before.
What do you think of this new Inclusion key and the Disney Park experience? How do you feel about the new technology that will remain in place such as virtual queues and park passes? Share your thoughts with us on our Facebook Page.