Guest Blog

Guest Blog: Koehler Disneyland Series The Creator

Monday, May 6, 2024

 Koehler Guest Blog: Disneyland Series: The Creator

To all who come to this blog series on archetypes at Disneyland, welcome. This series is your series. Here Dr. Koehler offers insights into the presence of Dr. Pearson’s 12 archetypes at the Disneyland Resort, and here you will encounter new ways of thinking about those archetypes across the fan experience. This blog series is dedicated to the dreamers, the doers, and the lovers in The Walt Disney Company across time, with the hope that it will inspire new ways of engaging with the mythic mouse in the future.

--Inspired by Walt Disney’s openingday speech


The Creator


By Dori S. Koehler

“Sometimes just one drop is all it takes. See the ripples, watch them turn to waves. You never know who it might touch. And soon it might be all of us. Maybe there’s a world that you can change. So, start a wave.”

--  Cody Fry, Disney California Adventure, World of Color One


One might argue, and I certainly will, that the Creator archetype animates Walt Disney’s life from the start. As a young child living on a farm in Marceline, Missouri, he learned to imagine new worlds, essentially as a coping mechanism against the difficulties of early 20th century rural life. Walt was always on the hunt for a new angle on art, from the Alice Comedies at his Laugh-O-Grams Studio in Kansas City – the first animated shorts to insert a human actor into the cartoon world – to building the first theme park based on corporately branded narratives. He was moved by an archetypal energy to create something new, something previously unseen. This is the energy of the Creator archetype, and it has animated countless employees at The Walt Disney Company for over 100 years.

In her book, What Stories Are You Living?: Discover Your Archetypes – Transform Your Life, Carol S. Pearson suggests that Creator energy activates a “desire to craft things and structures of beauty and value and activates the imagination to provide the inspiration needed to succeed” (59). As a mythic icon, Walt Disney offers a clear example of a Creator persona, drawing millions to embrace the characters he created, the parks he touched, and the artists he influenced, as they seek to activate this archetypal energy in their own lives.

The company that bears his name knows this to be true. In 2023, they released an updated version of Disney California Adventure’s popular World of Color show called World of Color One. The show, which celebrated Disney’s 100th anniversary, begins with a clip of Walt Disney talking about how gratified he is that the public has enjoyed his work for so many years. “One man. One dream. One hundred years ago. [1] Walt Disney set ripples of happiness and imagination in motion.” This theme, the idea, that anyone can make a difference, is the overarching theme of the show. This call to Creator energy is central to the overarching all-encompassing mythic message Disney offers to the world. As the lyric from the show’s song Start A Wave asks, “Will you be the one to start it?”

Creator energy is present in the way fans engage with The Walt Disney Company through incalculable examples of visual art, social groupings, video games, fiction, and nonfiction. But one group of artists has recently begun to utilize transmedia creativity to craft something new. These social media content creators, some of whom are live streamers, are Disney fans who offer followers a live interactive experience of the parks.These streamers curate an experience of the Disney properties, whether in Anaheim, Orlando, or Disneyland Paris. And, although the Asian parks restrict live streaming, some fans visit Japan and China to create and post social media content.

These content creators, what I call fan-trepreneurs, craft a para-corporate enterprise that fuses their fandom with a desire to curate a new kind of community. Streamers may have past experience working for Disney. Sometimes they have other connections to the company. But they all have at least one thing in common: They work with their Creator energy, and they embrace Disney’s mythic message that there’s a Creator in all of us. They embody the message explicitly given in World of Color One: No matter how small or how insignificant our choices may seem, each of us can start a wave. They base their community on that axiom.

This kind of creative energy requires a creative stage. Again, to Dr. Pearson’s thoughts, “Creators recognize that they are the authors as well as the performers of the parts they play in an unfolding drama” (60). Disneyland content creators utilize the parks as a metastage on which they create their best selves and their best messages. Although most of these Disneyland content creators are present across all social media channels, I have found that TikTok offers the best examples of how Creator energy manifests within the Content Creator/Live Streamer community. TikTok’s algorithm is masterful at bringing together like-hearted people.

To illustrate this, I point readers to one prominent account, SometimesCastles. In addition to live streaming the parks, SometimesCastles, run by romantic pair Skyla and Ry, creates a lot of informative content about theme parks. Like many other streamers, they engage the Creator archetype by consciously curating the kind of community they wish to have. In their post titled Disneyland Live Streamer Positive Jam Session [2], they bring together several live streamers for a dance-off that highlights several of the mythic messages that inspire them. These messages are as follows:

·     Dance like no one is watching.

·     Find joy in everything you do.

·     If you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.

·     Be so happy that when others see you,they will be happy too.

·     You’ll do more if you are brave enough to try.

·     A moment comes for everyone to take a chance and when it does, it’s wondrous.

These mythic messages conveyed on Castles’ account combine a sense of what it means to be a Disney fan with their personal life philosophies. They create a sense of play through collaborative interaction with other friends and fellow content creators, Eat.Sleep.Postivity, TheJungleSkipper, VersaceVibez, and Christina’s Magical Moments, crafting, joy out of the raw materials of life. This positive jam session then spills out into their wider lives as fan-trepreneurs and leaders of a new kind of Disney-fied social media community. Though there is some discussion about which way the TikTokers will go if the current attempt to ban TikTok passes muster with the courts, one thing remains true:– these young people will continue to take the raw materials of their mythic values and create something new. This is an attempt at refashioning the American Dream, to forge one’s path, and to build community based on the pursuit of happiness.What could be more mythically American than that?

Dori Koehler, Ph.D. is a cultural mythologist and scholar of American popular culture. She is a professor of Humanities, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Popular Culture at Southern New Hampshire University. Her book The Mouse and the Myth: Sacred Art and Secular Ritual is available on Amazon. Her latest chapter on Disneyland live stream content creators, and the construction of community (from which much of this blog draws) is forthcoming in a second edition of Palgrave’s Performance and the Disney Theme Park: The Tourist as Actor. She lives in Santa Barbara with her husband Bruce and their cocker spaniel Sorcha.




[1]The show returned in 2024 with that line changed to “Since 1923…”

[2]I’ve linked the Instagram post, as Castles has removed the TikTok version ofthe post pending their search for new music.

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