It's been a strange year for the Walt Disney Company. 2020 began with bright suns and rising moons and March hit (meaning COVID-19 closures hit), and things went more Runaway Railway than Tron Lightcycle Run for the company.
One of the biggest upheavals for the company had to come with respect to the American political scene and how companies, the media, and indeed, how institutions respond to diversity issues.
Now, I'm not about to get into the politics of this, or whether Splash Mountain should or should not be re-themed, Mulan or Star Wars controversies, or any similar topics.
What I will say is simply this.
Disney after decades of maintaining the four keys of Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency, has introduced a fifth key...Inclusion. That's a magical thing.
You see, whenever people go to Disney Parks around the world, especially now after losing them for months, there's always one of us.....we see Spaceship Earth, or Main Street USA, the Tree of Life, or the archway, monorail, Mickey, or the back side of water and it hits us. Disney belongs to everyone. Walt's idea for a theme park in the first place was based on the concept that the entire family should be able to have fun together and it sparked 12 theme parks spread over 6 resorts, and thousands of Cast Members and millions of guests. Seeing someone beam with delight on seeing that character or spot in the park, or watching them break down with joyful tears all leads to the same place....a place where we all belong.
That was Walt's dream....inclusion. It needs to be at the heart of the company and in the hearts of guests.
Although it may not solve all our problems or heal divisions that exist, it's a great reminder that no matter our race, religion, sexual orientation, or nationality, the thing that binds all of us together as Disney fans is that simple idea decades ago that theme parks should be a place for all of us to belong.