I have a love/hate relationship with Disney. I really disapprove of what they're trying to do with copyright law, but I also loved visiting Disneyland as a child and generally speaking, I think of Disney as Big Fun.
One of the things I like most is that the Disney experience is all-encompassing. If you visit a theme park, you'll note that every detail is meticulously looked after. Everything from the cobblestones to the water fountains is considered. I love that. It allows me to get completely lost in the experience, leave the real world behind, and tap into being a kid.
You pay a pretty price for that of course, but that's no different from any other kind of escapism. And heck, escaping to being a kid again and having fun? Yes please! So much healthier for the psyche than other types of fun I could go into.
Disney's mission statement is:
"The mission of The Walt Disney Company is to be one of the world's leading producers and providers of entertainment and information. Using our portfolio of brands to differentiate our content, services and consumer products, we seek to develop the most creative, innovative and profitable entertainment experiences and related products in the world."
I actually disagree a bit with that "Disney as a leading producer of information" part. Their stance on copyright is kind of at odds with that aim. They certainly have an educational component, but entertainment vastly outstrips it.
However, I do think "creative, innovative, and profitable" sums up Disney very, very well. Who they want to be is very much in keeping with who they are, and that's translated into big dividends for them.
But don't take my word for it. What do you think?