February 9, 1996 – The Disney Institute Experience Opens at Walt Disney World
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On February 9, 1996, the learning center The Disney Institute opened at Walt Disney World. Opened by Michael Eisner, the idea of the vacation experience was to provide guests a selection of over 80 interactive programs in eight categories: Entertainment Arts, Performing Arts, Story Arts, Design Arts, Culinary Arts, Lifestyles, Gardening & the Great Outdoors, and Sports & Fitness. The experience was held at the Disney Village, which included facilities for all of the programs, which included animation studios, culinary studios, and a 225-seat amphitheater. By the summer of 2000, the focus of the Disney Institute shifted from casual guests to programs that accommodated corporate offices and guests, teaching professional development. The last guests for the old version of the Disney Institute stayed at the resort on February 11, 2002, and was replaced by the Saratoga Springs Resort, a part of the Disney Vacation Club. Although there is no permanent location for the Disney Institute, it still operates, providing seminars and workshops in the following: Leadership Excellence; Selection, Training, & Engagement; Quality Service; Brand Loyalty; Creativity & Innovation; and Business Excellence.