Vintage fifties music wafted from the outdoor speakers as I enjoyed the early morning sun on the patio of Walt Disney Imagineering. “I Wish I Didn't Love You So,“ was the name of the song being sung by a vocal group whose name I'd long since forgotten. I recall hearing the tune when I was just a kid dreaming of a job at the Disney Studio. Now, here I was inside Walt's magic kingdom enjoying a tall latte as the music suggested another time and place. I looked up to see an older gentleman make his way down the path at the Imagineering facility. He was wearing a light grey suit and though he was older in years he moved with the determined stride of someone a good deal younger. He had a full head of greying hair and a cigarette dangled from his hand. As the gentleman approached, I thought to myself, "could that be who I think it is? Is that Walt Disney?”
Indeed, what would the Old Maestro think of his company should he suddenly return today? Would he be overwhelmed at the sheer size of his once modest enterprise? I suppose Walt would immediately wonder where was Marty, John, Marc or the Disneyland wizard, Bob Gurr. I can imagine Walt trying to enter the Imagineering building only to find the doors not accessible because he didn't have a company key card or a name badge. And, should he desire a hot cup of coffee He'd wonder why the heck the coffee was suddenly being called, “Starbucks?”
I snap out of my morning reverie as the fifties vintage music continues to fill the morning air. The older gentleman in the grey suit proves to be a vendor making an early morning visit to the Disney facility. My brief visit to 1962 had come to a close and I looked around to find myself in 2015. The glorious rule of The Old Maestro remains only a series of memories and the amazing enterprise Disney built continues on without him. Yet, knowing the boss, I know he would be totally dumbfounded at the sheer size of the company. On the other hand, He’d definately not be pleased with some aspects of this massive enterprise. The Walt Disney Studio is not the company it once was, and despite the lip service given to legacy, it never will be again. The song playing on the outdoor speakers is somehow eerily appropriate. A vintage pop tune that totally sums up my feelings on a cool January morning.