Laurie Kopp

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Leadership Studies


I began my study of Disney by writing down all of my personal impressions and memories of Disney. Before I read any articles, texts, publications, conducted interviews, and made observations, I wanted to understand where my perspective came from and consequently, the biases that I may run into during my research. Like many, I have visited the theme park as a child. Returning to Disney, this time over Christmas break as a Jepson student attuned to the leadership process, I was reminded of my youth but also struck by the ingenuity and the plentitude of leadership practice. I left the Disney park feeling so good about what they were doing there, I wanted to study them for my project. At this point, I was full of excitement and expectation. I felt that Disney served as the perfect model for Jepson, as a highly effective model of leadership.

My methodology of my analysis of Disney World takes place on three levels. My memories of Disney as a child, my recent visit with my family, in which I was not looking for anything in particular but was intrigued to study Disney, and finally the observations that I made when I returned to Disney specifically to do research. My last visit proved to be the most revealing and I hate to add, but the most disappointing. It was disappointing because what I learned what I knew had to be true that the 'Magic' of Disney is not all that magical...