Performance and the Disney Theme Park Experience

The Tourist as Actor

  • Jennifer A. Kokai
  • Tom Robson

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
  3. Time, Tomorrowland, and Fantasy

  4. Environments as Ideologies

  5. Liveness and Audio-Animation

  6. Counter Identities

  7. Afterword

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 265-265
    2. Susan Bennett
      Pages 267-276
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 277-292

About this book


​This collection of essays explores the Disney theme parks as performance spaces—as immersive theatre spaces—and examines the agency of the tourist within those spaces. In contrast to much previous Disney scholarship, Performance and the Disney Theme Park Experience asserts that park guests collaborate with Disney Imagineers more than typically assumed. The book’s various sections explore nostalgia, utopia, progress, and fantasy; the ideology of park environments; the presence of human and audio-animatronic performers; and the inclusion of outsider identities within the parks.

Jennifer A. Kokai is an Associate Professor and Theatre Program Coordinator at Weber State University. She is the author of Swim Pretty: Aquatic Spectacles and the Performance of Race, Gender, and Nature (SIU Press, 2017).

Tom Robson is Associate Professor and Coordinator of Academic Programs in the Millikin University School of Theatre & Dance. He has published on topics ranging from historical stage technology to African American theatre to baseball movies.


Disney Theme park Tomorrowland Main Street USA Fan culture Indigenous Americans Animals Fantasy Animation Minstrelsy Trump Racism Consumerism

Editors and affiliations

  • Jennifer A. Kokai
    • 1
  • Tom Robson
    • 2
  1. 1.Weber State UniversityOgdenUSA
  2. 2.School of Theatre & DanceMillikin UniversityDecaturUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Literature, Cultural and Media Studies
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-29321-5
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-29322-2
  • Buy this book on publisher's site