Every inch of Disney's parks are carefully planned with precision to ensure a happy (or dare I say magical) experience for their visitors. It is theatrical spectacle at its pinnacle. They spare no expense to leave you in awe. From the minute you are greeted by the world’s happiest employees (are they really? Who knows, but they like their jobs enough to fake it) to the final moments you are left with; a finale of fireworks that marvels the finest you’ve seen.
If you’ve never been, it is hard to explain what Disney World is like. The two most popular parks, Magic Kingdom and Epcot are very different, but were both created with the intention of displaying the forward thinking of Walt Disney and his company. Magic Kingdom was designed to provoke the nostalgia of people of all ages. Whether you are familiar with the characters or not, the attractions inspire a piece of familiar culture. Epcot is kind of like a school field trip on a cocktail of drugs. There’s something for everyone, especially for those who appreciate design.
The parks are set up so that you can truly escape. It is like a great novel or a t.v. show that you binge watch on Netflix; it allows you to enter a different world and be a part of it for a while. The landscape of Disney is set up to create this illusion of worlds and every participant is a part of this deception. When we returned home, my 4 year old looked at a building at the airport and asked, “ is that building real?” After seeing man made creations all week, his perception of what was real was a little off-balanced. It was for me too. Even portions of the park that aren’t ready for visitor's eyes yet are designed to blend in and further the story being told.
While on the Sea in Epcot, the ride suddenly stopped. The soundtrack that was playing to carry the story forward was replaced momentarily by the same character voice letting us know what was going on. The ride didn't skip a beat. The veil was never lifted. I didn't have to break the escape mode I was in. After a few minutes, the character came back into the soundtrack to let me know that the ride was about to continue where it left off. Every detail is part of the larger design to ensure that clients feel safe, and are having a good time.
• How do you inspire nostalgia in a client base from multiple generations?
• How do you manage crowd control without being overbearing to your client?
• How do you use design to tell a linear story in a physical realm such as a street (or land in Magic Kingdom )
• How do you distract your client from unavoidable instances such as remodeling, or machine breakage?
I'm pretty sure a field trip to Disney is in order. Students would surely benefit from analyzing all of the problem solving that is taking place on a daily level at these parks and within this company. I'll get started on writing for that grant.