Walt's Kingdom

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I really had this text in my mind ready to blurt out to the keyboard before I had this shot picked out.
One of my fondest memories from High School was this field trip to Orlando (with the band)  

I wasn't talented enough to actually play an instrument very well but I was tapped as the photographer to shadow the band on such trips.    The band nerds didn't pick on me (as much) as the jocks.  I guess for insurance purposes, it was the safest course of action to keep me busy, instead of my usual hours spent selling fake report cards and test answers..

Me and my friend Robbie Hurst went absolutely bat doo-doo wild taking pictures with our Canon AE-1's.  Not just band nerds but camera nerds too!   The lack of coolness here is limitless.

I remember between the two of us we shot dozens of rolls of film (personal) and a dozen + for the yearbook.   I stumbled on a few rolls just a few weeks ago that I never did send off.  I will with my next batch but who I'm skeptical in their condition given heat and storage.

Here I stood, today on the last day of, frankly, an exhausting vacation reflecting on what has changed since that field trip 16 years ago.    Disney World is still very similar and.. so am I.     I think my total camera roll for the 9 day trip was around 7600 shots.    Of which, some were brackets and crap.   10-20 really good shots are hiding in there waiting to be discovered (I hope).

I wonder what Walt would think of his Kingdom in 2013?    I remember these stories that I heard as a Wal-mart buggy-pusher about Sam Walton closing a Wal-mart, firing all of the "associates", because of a bad customer experience.   Don't know if it was even true but it was legend among the Stockman back in 1996, the details ever-evolving.

I don't think that was Walt's style but I do believe he cared deeply about the customer experience.   I believe Disney as a company, still does.    I can only imagine how hard it is to try to make a million people happy.    Just doesn't seem possible.  

So how was the trip?  Long, good. With high points and low points.

Sure, I'm a little annoyed at the $40 dining reservation cancellation fee that will be on my express checkout form because of a scheduling mishap.   I'm pretty sure that isn't the kind of thing Walt would have been happy to hear about.     But....   I think I'll eat this one.    Isn't worth getting the ol' dander up, if you catch my meaning.

So would Walt approve of his Kingdom in  2013?  Sure.   I think he'd make some changes and have a broader vision for changing the world at large but yes -- I think he'd be satisfied with the result.   I think the Make-A-Wish donations, smiling faces and genuine-article attempts to create positive experiences outweigh the $3 20 oz bottle drinks, long lines and seemingly lawyer-run policy driven behavior of the often rotational staff.

But hey, what do I know?   I'm just a dude with $3 to spend on a coke. :)   Have a great week..