Keys to the Kingdom Lesson: Design Integrity

As promised in my previous blog, “A Day with Rae,” I am following up with some really awesome facts I learned on my recent Keys to the Kingdom tour. As I stated previously, I will not give away any secrets we had to promise not to reveal “so help me Walt” but not everything was a big secret. Some things were just little known facts.

One of the most notable discussions on the tour was the design of different aspects of the rides and attractions at Disney World. During the tour, I learned many things about the design integrity of Disney imagineers; specifically about their keen determination to create perfection. One of the best examples of this is the Hall of Presidents.

When tasked with creating this important representation of our country’s history, the imagineers painstakingly researched every aspect of the presidents. From the exact color of their hair to the sound of their voices to the gestures the presidents made. Everything had to be perfect for all of the millions of visitors who would see and hear these animatronic representations of some of the United States’ most beloved figures. What you might not know, though, is that the integrity of Disney design is such that the creation doesn’t only relate to what the guests see, but also what the guests never see.

Everyone knows that President Roosevelt had polio.  In order to overcome his lack of mobility, Roosevelt had steel leg braces created that could be locked into an upright position to keep his legs straight. We also know that several presidents wore eyeglasses. Something you may find interesting is that if you were to lift up the pant legs of the Franklin Roosevelt statue in the Hall of Presidents, it would reveal exact replicas of the leg braces he wore. Even more than that, if you investigated further, you would find that every replica of a president who wore eyeglasses is wearing specially-made identical spectacles with the exact prescription that particular president wore during his presidency.

To me, this personifies Disney in as clear an example as any I have known. People who work for Disney care to make everything perfect. Not only the things seen by the guests but the unseen things as well. This must be why we all enjoy it so much.


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