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Travel and Tourism

Storytelling, Disney-style

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Here at Hong Kong Disneyland, everything is about telling stories — and we have the best stories in the world,” says David Lightbody, director, Entertainment and Costuming at Hong Kong Disneyland. “Let me quote Walt Disney as he talks about Disneyland, ‘Disneyland will never be completed; it will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.’” 

Lightbody is responsible for all aspects of development, production and operations for HKDL performances and shows, as well as its costuming. 

“We always examine the shows because each live show is an ongoing process. It continues to be a living thing,” says Lightbody. “In my mind, every single show is unique and every night is opening night.”

Lightbody shares that he continuously observes each performance and regularly makes small adjustments in the shows.  He has to ensure that the cast is dedicated to every single show.  

When asked how the story has changed through the years, Lightbody says nothing has changed... and everything has changed.

“The bit that hasn’t changed is that at the heart of every performance here at HKDL is a story,” quips Lightbody. “The stories that my mum and dad read to me at bedtime and the stuff I loved about those stories, the characters the emotions and the connection to those stories are precisely the same in the young people today.”

 Lightbody adds that the wonderful thing about working in Entertainment is that his main job is to be a storyteller.

“It is not about telling stories, it’s about how we tell the stories,” he shares. “On one end we have the Disney Paint the Night Parade, which is the most technologically advanced parade ever staged anywhere in the world. We were inventing technological solutions in the process of putting our show on.”

Yet, he adds that HKDL has also done shows using traditional Chinese puppetry to tell stories. He was amazed that the young kids who watched the show were completely transfixed. 

“If someone said to me you have to use the most high-tech equipment for every story you ever tell, I would not agree,” he adds. “I believe our young guests can engage in story-telling across that whole spectrum.”

Disney is truly great because of the great characters in each of its stories. It is a company that is committed to writing new stories that are fundamental to its success.

“We never rest,” says Lightbody.  “I am never going to take you for granted as a guest. If a story is told with such high quality commitment, it touches you.” — KATHY MORAN

 

 

DAVID LIGHTBODY

DISNEY PAINT THE NIGHT PARADE

ENTERTAINMENT AND COSTUMING

HONG KONG DISNEYLAND

LIGHTBODY

SHOW

STORIES

STORY

WALT DISNEY

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