Disney has always been known for creating original, unique experiences for all guests in their world-renowned theme parks. However, as of late Disney seems to be departing from originality in their parks, instead opting to utilize their vast range of existing characters from television and film, otherwise known as intellectual property. Intellectual property has been used throughout the theme parks since the birth of Disneyland, but more and more upcoming projects are centered around movie characters rather than brand new ideas. This trend is now extending beyond the barriers of the parks themselves into several Disney hotels, including the Polynesian Village Resort and the Contemporary just to name a few. While many are wary of intellectual property taking over, the introduction of IP could rejuvenate the Disney hotels. These are some movies and television shows that could enhance the theming of resorts around Walt Disney World.
Mary Poppins, the film that enabled Walt Disney to purchase over 20,000 acres in Florida to create the most magical place on earth, is sorely underrepresented at Disney World. Since a Mary Poppins attraction is unlikely to come to fruition in the near future, Disney’s magical nanny could finally make her rightful debut at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. A Mary Poppins theme would work very well with the whimsy of the Grand Floridian. Although this resort’s guest rooms are beautiful in their own right, they pale in comparison to Polynesian’s Moana rooms and the soon-to-be-revealed Incredibles-themed rooms at the Contemporary. Mary Poppins’ own elegance would heighten the existing splendor of the Grand Floridian and make it equal with its other monorail resort counterparts.
While this idea may be rather unconventional, a reimagining of Pop Century to the fan favorite Disney+ show, WandaVision, would be absolutely amazing! Instead of rooms themed to the different decades in the twentieth century, the rooms could reflect the decades represented in Wanda Maximoff’s twisted sitcom. Given Marvel’s lack of presence in Disney World and the franchise’s extreme popularity, this theme could be a smash hit with fans. It would really be a gas!
The Little Mermaid
Although the Art of Animation already boasts Little Mermaid-themed guest rooms, Ariel-inspired thematic touches throughout the Beach Club would coordinate well with the resort’s oceanic theme. Subtle references to the 1989 animated film that would not undermine the Beach Club’s sophisticated charm could adorn the guest rooms and lobby, such as mermaid silhouettes and seashell light fixtures. Splashes of Little Mermaid theming could revitalize this beautiful resort.
Dumbo, the adorable circus elephant, would be right at home at the Boardwalk Inn. Art inspired by the cherished Disney classic and bright colors reminiscent of Dumbo’s circus could brighten the Boardwalk’s rooms, creating an extra spark of Disney fun. Perhaps even pink elephants could parade along the rooms’ walls to further immerse guests in the magic. Carousels, circus animals, and striped tents decorate the Boardwalk Inn, so a Dumbo retheme would not intrude upon the jovial, turn-of-the-century carnival theming of the resort.
Intellectual property seems to be the wave of Disney future. The future assimilation of intellectual property into more resorts doesn’t necessarily mean an elimination of Disney’s treasured past, rather it could lead to a reinvigoration of our beloved hotels and exciting new ways for our favorite characters to come to life off the screen.
What are your thoughts regarding the use of IP in the Disney World resorts? What themes would you introduce into the resort rooms? Please let us know your ideas in the comments section below!
Katrina is a bookish writer and unapologetic Disney enthusiast. She can't imagine anything more wonderful than a day at the Most Magical Place on Earth with her family. When she's not occupied with her studies, she writes, reads, daydreams about wandering World Showcase, and wishes she were riding Cosmic Rewind.