Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Advisor/Committee Chair

Teresa Harrison


The overarching question of my research was to discover in which ways adults perceive Walt Disney World, not the Disney brand or Disney movies, but the theme park itself. Much research has been put into discovering what types of “fantasies” or “dreams” the Walt Disney Company has manufactured and subsequently Walt Disney World has stepped in to bring to fruition. However, we have not discovered what it is that others “dream” about who do not buy into the typical Disney fantasies we must look as how it is that adults perceive the park, not just at how children experience it. Perhaps most importantly, we must looker deeper into the aspect of control that comes into play at Walt Disney World. How much effort is put into this control and how successful are the anticipated effects? First, I examined how the Disney company controls aspects of park perception. This was be done through my own knowledge as a former Walt Disney World cast member. Then I explored what actual guests are saying about their park experiences. Do their anticipated experiences and feelings coincide with genuine outcomes? Furthermore, how do guests view Disney World in comparison to other similar theme park experiences, namely Universal Studios. Through all of the control that Disney exerts on their theme park, does that control garner the anticipated results or is it a vain effort?

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Communication Commons