Only a few short days until New Year’s Eve, and I’m already exhausted from the seemingly never-ending holiday preparations. Additionally, I am struggling with keeping my immune system from crashing given that everyone around me (including my wife!) has been or is getting sick. It generally isn’t Christmas for me unless I have some sort of upper respiratory ailment. 😉
This time of year, however, does provide me with an opportunity to reflect upon something I am going to term as the Holiday Aesthetic at the Disney Parks.
Holiday Aesthetic at Walt Disney World
Having experienced a dozen or so excursions to WDW during the holiday season, including one at Disneyland, I am keenly aware that the look and feel of the parks and resorts is strikingly different from November through early January.
Aesthetic as a noun indicates the presence of a set of principles governing the idea of beauty at a given time and place or underlying and guiding the work of a particular artist.
Aesthetic as an adjective apparently can refer to the study of the mind and emotions as they are related to a sense of beauty or the appreciation of beauty.
From my perspective, the Disney Holiday Aesthetic can and should be inclusive of both definitions.
There can be no doubt that from their inception in the 1950’s, every design detail related to Disney Parks and Resorts around the globe has been planned from a specific set of principles. Those initial principles are very clearly Walt’s. It might be debated as to how much of those principles remain as the Disney company has moved past the millennium, but that is a topic for another day.
The specifics of the look and feel of the Disney Parks and Resorts has been studied and extensively written about in various mediums for decades. Frequently, these musings make mention of individual perceptions and emotions as they relate to the appreciation of architectural design and seasonal decor.
I am a Behavior Analyst and concerned with human behavior that is objective as well as measurable. For this reason, The Holiday Aesthetic of WDW for me is difficult to operationalize. However, I am keenly aware that it is something tangible that has always affected me in a visceral manner.
Here are a few more visually represented quintessential examples of the Disney Holiday Aesthetic from my perspective.
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What are your favorite holiday decorations at the WDW Parks and Resorts?