Overall, I was very impressed with the tour from Leadership Academy because of its positive exposure of Disney’s behind the scenes work. Since I have the experience of being a guest at Disney before and after knowledge of how the processes work, I can fairly say that it is a completely different experience. One cannot fully appreciate the beauty of each attraction and detail at a park, show or experience without knowing the countless hours and dedication that goes into production.
The most awe-inspiring moment from the tour was definitely the costume stitching warehouse behind the Hollywood Studios. There, we saw most of the process from idea to finished product for costumes to multiple shows that we had visited. From the perspective of someone who simply comes to a show, watches and leaves, they can appreciate the performance. However that is just one dimension of an enormous cluster of designing, scientific procedures and calculated executions. For the completion of a costume itself, the design goes through multiple approvals, improvements and tests to ensure that experience is at its best. Our tour guide, “Jill” told us that Disney believes in “absolute perfection and that anything less is unacceptable.”
However, it is possible that these tours are an extended Disney facade and are an illusion to some guests that think they have gotten the real backstage view. Regardless of what the truth really is, there is nevertheless countless amounts of hours of dedication that go into each performance. Before going off stage, I was worried that viewing the workshops would ruin the idea of magic for me however I was very pleasantly surprised. (Perhaps too much so which is why I am questioning the verity of it.) The Leadership Academy lead me to further respect Disney’s determination to pleasing their consumers to the fullest extent. I believe that the Academy had some poorly executed exercises that were irrelevant and useless. The activities were contradicting, ultimately served no purpose, nor taught a valuable lesson.
The tour that we went though did not directly reflect Disney’s work. The tour had some backstage showing, but it was brief. The majority of the time we spent with our guide was on stage, discussing analogies of working for Disney. I think the time on the tour could have been better spent possibly interviewing cast members off stage or watching how things work. As a student and one who is paying for this tour, I was curious about how the functioning of such a “well-oiled machine”, not particularly in how working for Disney could be. However, I was generally appreciative of the opportunity to see the costume design process.