View Full Version : History essay on Disney! Help please

02-21-2005, 02:18 PM
I'm a student in England and I've got to do a 10,000 word history dissertation next year which I have to think of a subject for. Thought maybe seeing as I like disney I could do a history essay on that. Maybe something to do with Walt Disney or the effect Disney World had on Orlando. Has anyone ever done anything similar? If not, can you think of a good title for my essay? Something interesting to study?

02-21-2005, 05:29 PM
You could do something like "Effects of Walt Disney around the World"--

the effects of Walt Disney parks on other amusement parks around the world
the political effects/historical effects of the parks around the world
the effect of the movies around the world (good place to mention Song Of The South)
Walt's life and how he started what is now one of the most famous company's in the world (i'm taking into consideration Microsoft, IBM, etc.)

also, there is the whole idea that they have actually help revolutionized the world with their technology (look at Pirate's (ride)... audio-animatronics were like unheard of before that time)...
Hope this gives you some ideas :wave:

02-22-2005, 08:53 AM
Maybe about how WDW represents history. I read an interesting book a few months ago about Disney's slightly skewed interpretations of history, I could try and dig it out for you if you like :)

Good luck with it, and it's good to see I'm not the only trying to squeeze Disney into my dissertation somehow :teeth:

02-23-2005, 03:44 PM
If you're interested, I wrote a short 15 page paper last semester on Disney's position and role in the growth of Orlando for a poli sci class. You might be able to pull some ideas out of it and expand them, and if nothing else, get a list of sources to do some reading from which can help you develop and refine a subject.

02-23-2005, 03:54 PM
That would be fantastic! Any help I can get would be great. Perhaps you could send it to me, it would be great to read for some ideas. I haven't actually got to write it for another year but we have to submit our titles this week

02-24-2005, 01:33 PM
i wrote my undergraduate history dissertation on an old english religious sect. it was 12,000 words, and it was fantastic.

on topic -

in one of the US history courses i took, we spent about a week on Disney during WWII. disney put out lots of propaganda in the form of cartoons and other media, and certain disney movies from the time were supposedly analogies to the war. there's lots of stuff on the subject, you could probably get some good ideas if you google 'disney world war 2' or something like that.

hope that helps.

06-26-2005, 04:19 PM
Hey guys! I'm back! My dissertation title has just been OK'd by the department. It will be an investigation into DWs contribution to the US economy when it first opened, the contribution to technological advances and a brief look at the way disney films represent the 'American dream;'...

Can anyone recommend:

Any really good books I could start looking at
Any other secondary of primary sources that would be good for research
I'm going to Florida soon...anything in particular I can do on this vacation (ie visit certain places) that will be useful to my disseration
Any person I might be able to talk to in Disney that may be able to help me out

07-04-2005, 03:57 PM
Understanding Disney by Janey Wasko is great. I have written a few papers on Disney (not historical but critical), let me know if I can be of help! :earsboy:

07-04-2005, 04:09 PM
The movie Walt man behind the myth. Is great, there is also a book by the same title. It has info from Walt's daughter and other people who knew
Walt Disney.

07-04-2005, 09:08 PM
Well a bit of info you may not know Walt Disney's grandparents are Canadian and lived near Goderich Ontario and his father was born in Canada and moved to the US.

07-05-2005, 07:23 PM
I did my senior project last year on the history of Disneyland and it's impact on American culture, one of the funnest projects I've ever done.
I did notice, though, the lack of good books about Walt Disney. I'll agree with Saturday that the Wasko book is good for information.
Good luck!

07-10-2005, 11:18 PM
Married to the Mouse by Richard Foglesong is a good place to look at how WDW came to be, from a legislative/urban planning point of view. Foglesong is still a professor at Rollins College in Orlando; perhaps you could get ahold of him.

07-13-2005, 07:52 PM
Just saying good luck with your dissertation, i am also doing history dissertation this year and have just agreed my subject area - a look at how parades and processions can help shape communities esp in lancashire. :cheer2: