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Disneyland in Florida: Commodification and Globalisation Essay

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Updated: Apr 1st, 2022

Commodification involves the capitalistic process of turning objects, ideas and even places in commodities for the purpose of commercial gains. The practice of commodifying is widely growing especially in buying, selling and trading in areas associated with the current wave of popular culture. Media corporations around the world have brought names like the Disneyland to new places with the aim of drawing consumers near to what they have experienced or heard somewhere.

Globalization is the ultimate process involving integration of the world economies, cultural beliefs and practices in the societies through a globally recognised network (Dehesa 2005, p.235). Through globalisation, the world has changed to a small village where ideas, cultural practices and languages are experienced and circulated in a transitional way. The premise of the paper is to explore the extent to which commodification and globalization has been established in the society in regard to Disneyland in Florida.

Disneyland lies on south of Orlando in California, and is estimated to be the largest vocational resort which receives thousands of people. With so many media corporations being associated with the Disneyland, it has become commercialised than ever. In Florida tourism has become the center of attraction due to the change in the cultural, social and economic shift brought about by globalization. As a result Disneyland Florida has become a commodity which is consumed by people around the world.

Due to commodification it has become evident that people from different social background have attached themselves to Disney products more than ever. Globalisation it has become easier for people to travel to from one region with the urge of receiving satisfaction from a product they experienced or need to be associated with. Tourism has become the central part in the Disneyland due to the imprints and the picture made by the media fraternity.

With the onset of post modernism, all parts have become relevant and accessible by all persons in the society. Through commodifying of Disneyland many areas associated with it have become family places which are swamped with people who would like to experience Disneyland features. The relationship, synergy and interaction found in between consumption and entertainment has made Florida a tourist attraction zone.

For instance, the Times Square was occasionally associated with prostitutes but when Disney had it redone, it has now changed and termed as a public place (Arnold 2002). Disney has emerged as a model which is looked up to in other cities around the world. To people, Disney land acts as a democratic tourism point which provides reference in our culturally changing world. Disneynisation has manifested itself in the societies to the extent that people have become absorbed by the popular culture through globalisation.

Although many people have never visited Disneyland, they feel part of it through the materials they consume either through adverts, movies and stories about it. Globalisation has made it easier for the Disneyland consumption by different people who share different cultural, social, economic and political backgrounds.

Disneyland has gained an iconic status not because of the pictures portrayed in the entertainment sector but by the impact it has brought to society. According to Wasko (2001, p. 3) the company has gained a wide reputation which is insignificantly magnified to its initial resources and aim.

Due to the rapid marketing through various distribution channels globalisation has led to proliferation making its products everywhere in the world. Wasko (2001, p.2) notes that the good reputation of Disney is that through the production and commercialisation of children and family entertainment which is free from violence and sexually explicit content.

This has enabled Disneyland to be influential and not necessarily dominant in marketing family and children entertainment content (Wasko 2001, p.2). From its movies, characters to resorts and parts it has been able to built itself a place in the capitalistic world. Disney has brought a great change leading to culture shock and acculturation.

Marxist theory on capitalism is largely employed in Disneyland case in Florida. For instance, the huge tracts of lands were predominantly acquired to develop a business empire within the city. With its developed architectural designs it has been able to attract people from different parts of the world. According to Marxism theory, commodifying is aimed at achieving profits as the consumers achieve consumer satisfaction.

With the help of media coverage it has been easy to commercialise Disneyland to a product widely consumed. The internet, television, newspapers and other modes of media relay has helped in commercialisation of Disneyland. A special feature displayed by capitalism is consumerism which allows consumption of products and services. This is all evident in the Disneyland phenomenon, where people flock to Florida and shopping stores which commercialise their products

According to Schotle (2000, p.113), the rapid change in globalisation has accelerated the scope of commodification bringing in the aspect of consumerism. This has enabled the spread of relative services and goods from one place to another around the globe.

For instance, it is now ease to get a Disney product in any place of the world since the world has become a global village. As a result the Disney consumers have gained products of accumulation (Schotle 2000, p.114). Through this different diversities like culture and language have been influenced by its commodification.

The roles played by media are all capitalistic; this is evident where advertisements are sponsored by the Disney Corporation. The consumption of this by the people has changed their lifestyles to great extends. According to Vanovic and Wassung (2009, p.49) due to demand and cultural change parks that allowed the use of wine were opened in France so as to entertain its fans. Although the Disneyland in Florida did not allow this, different culture forced them to adapt to the new culture shock.

Several effects have been witnessed by the emergence of globalisation in the 21st century. Some of the positive effects include global business competition which has encouraged manufacturers to produce goods and services that can be globally competitive (Nash 2008). This gives the consumer the opportunity to enjoy quality goods and services. For instance, in regard to Disneyland other entertainment corporations have developed the art of production products and services which are market competitive.

Dehesa (2005, p. 235) points out that labour markets have been integrated giving room for expertise and specialization in line of production. This is seen in the entertainment industry where known companies like the Warner Bros Inc. produce different line of movies and films. Globalisation has led to worldwide media coverage whereby culture and beliefs are exchanged mutually.

Although globalisation has brought about positive changes in the societies, it has also brought about negative and adverse effects. The culture system has been eroded with the adoption of western culture which is transmitted through media sources like the TV and the internet.

With connected transport systems around the globe, diseases like HIV/AIDs and other communicable disease are being transmitted easily. For instance Disneyland in Florida is swarmed by people from different backgrounds; sexual activities are encountered since it’s a tourist attraction zone.

Culture, lifestyle and language are interchanged; this brings about cultural and language diffusion. Diffusion leads to cultural shocks and assimilation and consumption of media materials allover the world. Vanovic and Wassung (2009, p. 51) notes that after wiping out existing culture tourism through globalization creates a mono culture. This mono culture is responsible for the changes seen in today’s society.

The commonly known negative aspect on commodification of Disneyland is the buildings which brought about disruption in the quite and abandoned neighbourhood. It has also raised the standards of living in Florida due to huge flow of capital. Like commodities, Disneyland has been modified and simplified for easy persuasion and recognitions.

In other words, commodity culture manipulates people to want only presented options defying the law of demand and supply. Commodification has also brought about unwanted expenses and demands simply because they want to be associated with Disney. Since Disneyland has its transport system and employees tourists spend more compared to any other tourist attraction place in the world. Commodification has also affected people social lives making it hard to escape the market place even in the 21st century.

Commodification has brought about both negative and positive impacts in the society. For instance, through the commodification of the Disneyland in Florida it has become easy for people from different parts to access and utilize its products. For instance people living in Brazil or India are able to access Disney products with ease.

It has also made the Disney Corporation a large entrepreneur where employment has been created with more than thousand employees being part of Disneyland Florida. California has become a tourist attraction center with an estimate of more than 30million tourist per year. Many of these tourist are attracted by the vocational resorts and features found in the Disneyland which is regarded as the city of happiness.

Commodification over the years has become rampant in the society. With accelerated rate of globalisations it has become easy for culture change. From a contemporary view globalisation has changed how social, political and cultural aspects of life are conducted. Disneyland in Florida has become commercialized through the media fraternity making is more of a commodity than an entertainment aspect.

People have attached themselves to its products which due to globalization are available allover the world. Although it has changed the society globalization and commodification of Disneyland has brought both negative and positive impacts on the essential aspects of society. These effects are well discussed in the essay giving insights on the consequences the Disneyland has brought both in Florida and other places of the world.

Reference List

Arnold, M. C (2002). A Commodifield Utopia. Web. Available from .

Dehesa, G., 2005,. Winners and losers in globalization. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Ertman, M. M., & Williams, J. C., 2005, Rethinking commodification: cases and readings in law & culture. New York: New York University Press.

Landay, L., 2008, Having But Not Holding: Consumerism & Commodification in Second Life. Journal of virtual worlds research. Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 1-5

Nash, C. (2008). The positive effects of globalization. Web.

Scholte, J. A., 2000, Globalization: a critical introduction. Basingstoke, Hampshire UK: Palgrave.

Vanovic, M., & Wassung, N., 2009, Tourism development 1: fresh perspectives. Cape Town: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Wasko, J., 2001, Understanding Disney: the manufacture of fantasy. Malden, MA, Blackwell.

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