Since its beginning in 1923, The Walt Disney Company has captivated audiences around the world with its well-known stories. Classic films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937) and Pinocchio (1940), and Dumbo (1941) set a standard for storytelling on the silver screen that Walt Disney insisted his company continue when Disneyland first appeared on the drawing boards.
The theme park design team that Walt assembled from his film studios naturally gravitated to their storytelling roots, too, as they began translating two-dimensional movies into three-dimensional servicescapes; originally named WED Enterprises, this team later adopted the title Walt Disney Imagineering - a combination of "imagination" and "engineering" - to signify the importance of tales to the technicalities of park design. "Story is the essential organizing principle behind the design of the Disney theme parks," noted animator-turned-imagineer John Hench. "We transform a space into a story space. Every element must work together to create an identity that supports the story of that place."
For over 60 years, Walt Disney Imagineering has expanded its saga of storytelling across 5 mega-resorts (encompassing 11 theme parks, 2 water parks, 36 resort hotels, etc.), 4 cruise lines, and countless other assets operating under Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. This global empire includes hundreds of attractions that were experienced by over 132.5 million visitors in 2013 alone (according to the Themed Entertainment Association). The Disney Parks Blog series on "The Magic of Disney Storytelling" highlights some of these stories, covering areas and attractions found at Disneyland Park and Disney's California Adventure. Check out some fan favorites using these links: