Dave Zanolla’s Disney Dream Course


The WIU Comm 379 (Disney World Communication Culture) class members and Zanolla (back row, far left in purple hat), Spring 2011, in front of one of the most photographed icons in the world, Disney's Cinderella Castle. Photo ID Kneeling L-R: Jane Ladage, sophomore, non-degree program, Bloomington, IL; Shelby Rogers, sophomore, mathematics major, Naperville, IL; Leah Zanolla. Standing L-R: Instructor David Zanolla; Colleen Krasich, sophomore, communication, Oak Lawn, IL; Andrea Patten, junior, communication, East Peoria, IL; John Felker, senior, political science, Chicago; Tori Jacobsen, senior, New London, IA; and Ethan Knight, senior, theatre-acting, McHenry. Photo courtesy of David Zanolla.

Communication faculty member Dave Zanolla planned his dream course and students registered–twice–and then he was the guest of “all things amusement park” podcast and you can read all about it.  Lucky Dave to get to design and teach his dream course, and lucky, lucky students get to take the class and earn credit for a trip to Disney World!

Read the whole story from University Relations and listen to the podcast clip from “The Season Pass.”

MACOMB, IL – In 2006, Communication Instructor David Zanolla was taking a backstage tour at Walt Disney World in Orlando (FL) when he started to realize that many of the concepts he taught in his classes came to life in the theme parks. Upon returning home, he began to design a supplemental unit for his Communication 130 (”Introduction to Human Communication”) classes to share what he had learned.

Fast forward to three years later when the Western Illinois University Centennial Honors College asked faculty for proposals of new classes. Zanolla saw this request as the opportunity to propose his “dream course.” This course, called “Disney World Communication Culture,” will be offered for the third time in Spring 2012 as COMM 379.

In May 2011, Zanolla was invited to talk about the experiences of the first two years of the course on the web-based “The Season Pass Podcast” (http://seasonpasspodcast.com). A direct link is listed at the end of the release.)

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