A cursory glance of “The Smile Factory” can lead one to believe that author John Van Maanen is applying scathing criticism towards the Walt Disney Company and their amusement parks

A cursory glance of “The Smile Factory” can lead one to believe that author John Van Maanen is applying scathing criticism towards the Walt Disney Company and their amusement parks. However, such a mistaken reading would be missing what is essentially an intriguing combination of cultural and workplace sociology. By invoking the various ways by which park employees, break from the park’s design and the scrutiny of whose who would enforce the park’s rules.
It is important to recognize that Disneyland is by nature, a land of arifice, but not in the pajorative sense of the word. Its function is to provide guests with a conflated version of American culture that is flattened down to its cheeriest aspects for the purposes of entertainment and what one Disney executive is quoted to describe as the “feeling business”, where interaction is the principle that governs the “happiness trade”. Thus, while cultureal pundits would be quick to deride employment at the park as an abject form of self-tyranny, it would be foolish to ifnore the critical role which protocol plays in optimizing this happiness trade.