Pilgrimage and Medieval Narrative Structures in Disney’s Parks

  • Susan Aronstein
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


After the Super Bowl in 1987, the Walt Disney Company screened the first in a now-famous series of commercial spots. Featuring clips of New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms and an orchestral rendition of “When You Wish Upon a Star,” the spot concludes with the campaign’s tagline: in response to the query, “Phil Simms, you have just won the Super Bowl. What are you going to do next?,” Simms replies, “I’m going to go to Disney World!”3 Subsequent ads have featured a bevy of beaming star athletes and newly crowned beauty queens affirming that a trip to a Disney theme park marks the “culmination of every dream and hope.”4 And, indeed, in popular discourse, a trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World is more than a trip; it is a pilgrimage, a journey that, as Karal Marling unironically asserts, “is like going to heaven.”5


Fairy Tale Edify Story Super Bowl Iconic Image Mickey Mouse 
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Copyright information

© Tison Pugh and Susan Aronstein 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Aronstein

There are no affiliations available

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