Walt Disney’s Mandate: "Keep the Park Fresh"

Keep the Park Fresh

Fresh encompasses Walt Disney’s strategy for keeping Disneyland relevant and competitive; the never-ending pursuit of perfection. Walt’s philosophy of keeping the park clean, fresh and friendly extends to every cast member and every attraction. Timely upkeep of attractions keeps them fresh. Continuous development of cast members keeps them fresh, engaged and enthusiastic.

Ten years after Disneyland opened, in 1965, Walt reinforced his commitment to keeping Disneyland fresh. During the tenth anniversary celebration, Walt thanked his pioneering group of imagineers and staff for their hard work in making Disneyland successful. However, he closed the evening with this comment,

“I just want to leave you with this thought, that it’s just been sort of a dress rehearsal and we’re just getting started. So, if any of you start to rest on your laurels, I mean, just forget it.” 

Disneyland was a decade into an unprecedented run of success, and Walt referred to it as a “dress rehearsal.” Walt’s admonition to his leaders to avoid “resting on their laurels” underscores the need for constant improvement and attention to the details. “Resting on one’s laurels” is the equivalent of getting stale, a condition not acceptable to Walt. He expected the exact opposite; keep Disneyland fresh by constantly maintaining the property, keeping it clean, updating attractions, and by ensuring every cast member receives world-class training.

How is your company keeping your service or products “fresh?”