Wait, might Walt Disney World really be considering a name change?

Wait, might Walt Disney World really be considering a name change? ...

There are always rumors surrounding the next great superhero film, and there are just as many around the next big addition to popular theme parks like Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Sometimes these rumors prove to be true, or at least have some validity to them, but many fans are concerned that Walt Disney World may not be known much longer.

Although it's difficult to pinpoint where this rumor originated, it was recently mentioned on the popular Disney Dish podcast (opens in new tab) that Disney might be looking to phase out the Walt Disney World brand and simply rebranding the resort as Disney World or rather, Disneyworld. As one expects, Walt Disney World fans, who are often resistant to change, are largely not fans of this notion.

The History Of Disney Worlds Name

The Florida Project was initially named after Walt Disney in November of 1965, but the event itself had no official name. It was used internally as Project Winter or simply The Florida Project, but the Disney World name had been attached to it early because it would be like Disneyland, only bigger.

The Disney World brand was finally officially renamed, but just over a year after the first press conference, Walt Disney died. The new CEO, Walt's brother Roy O. Disney, made the decision to change the name from Disney World to Walt Disney World, in order that his brother's name would always be associated with a project that was meant to be his major creative accomplishment. And while much of what Walt Disney World was never meant to be is still known, the name has been around for 50 years.

Why Is Disney Considering A Disney World Change?

A potential name change to Walt Disney World, especially one that small, might seem like a minor issue that it isn't really worth doing, but there are reasons why. The most important of these is the fact that most people already refer to it as Disney World.

Since the site was founded in 1971, the official name has always been Walt Disney World, but most people overlook it. For most people it is just Disney World, so changing the name is simply getting the official name in line with the unofficial one. This is likely because if the website were named WaltDisneyWorld.com, many people would have trouble finding it.

There are also signs that Disney as a company is taking a break from Walt. The biggest of these occurred on July 17, the anniversary of the opening of Disneyland. In previous years, Walt Disney's original dedication speech has been performed inside the park, but this year it was not played.

Many fans questioned whether or not to include the speech. Others wondered if Disney's recent efforts to make the park more inclusive meant separating it from Walt, who has not always been recognized as an inclusive figure. Splash Mountain is being re-themed away from its roots in Song of the South, and Walt was created and even championed.

While the majority of Walts personal opinions are untrue, again, it's a question of perception. Even if the failure to include the address was simply an oversight, the fact that this error occurred could reveal what was and was not important for the anniversary.

The argument can be made that Walt Disney intended not to name the Florida resort Walt Disney World, so changing the name would go more in line with his own desires, although I wouldn't expect to see that as an argument why the name change should be changed. Using Walt to justify Walt's removal is a shambles that will not go very far.

Why Walt Disney Isnt Going Anywhere

If the Walt Disney Company wanted to de-identifie itself with its founder, it would take a lot more time than just removing the first name from the theme park resort itself. Neither the motion picture studio nor the animation studio also bear the Walt Disney Company's full name. If there isnt a strategy to do the same thing from the whole company, it will take a lot more time and cause a lot of controversy that Disney probably isnt looking for right now.

Even removing Walt Disney's name from the Florida resort does not eliminate him from Disney World. A statue of him is currently being constructed at Magic Kingdom, and its been confirmed to be occurring very recently. Disney is even planning to make a film about the creation of Disneyland.

Is it possible that Walt Disney World may just be named Disney World, officially rather than just unofficially? Sure, it is possible. Just like the attractions and experiences inside the theme parks, names may also change. However, in the grand scheme of things, Disney World would still be Disney World.

If I were to risk my money, I'd choose to keep Walt Disney the man. Because Walt Disney has been more symbol than man since before he passed away. But the company's name is still frequently invoked by employees, but in an almost mythic way.