Walt Disney had the idea that Guests could feel perfection.
As I’ve written before, the secret to Disney “magic” is simple: it’s attention to detail.
Easier said than done in any organization, but the Disney organization certainly leads the way for others to follow.
In this post, I displayed 3 close-up image and asked if anyone could identify them. If you haven’t guessed yet, here are the images, with identifying details below.
The more important question is, “What do these details have to do with anything?”
Disney Imagineers excel at transforming a space into a story place. Every element they design works together to create an identity that supports the story of that place – structures, entrances and exits, walkways, landscaping, water elements, and modes of transportation. Every element in its form and color must engage the Guests’ imagination and appeal to their emotions.
The minute details that produce the visual experience are really the true art of the Disney themed show, its greatest source of strength. The details corroborate every story point, immersing Guests in the story idea. Walt Disney knew that if details are missing or incorrect, Guests won’t believe in the story, and that if one detail contradicts another, Guests will feel let down or even deceived.
The apple is part of a larger display holding a bag of apples. It is found in what was originally known as Kingdom Crossing, but almost everyone now calls it the “Tangled bathrooms.” There are an amazing number of details all around this area, all having to do with the movie Tangled. The apples? They were a favorite snack of Maximus, the horse of the palace guard (a lovable sidekick throughout the movie, and one of the co-stars of the “sequel” Tangled Ever After.)
The window contains two lanterns, and can be found on the second story just around the entrance to The Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square. Liberty Square is a small place but packed with dozens of details that highlight our country’s early history. The lanterns? Well, let’s just say Paul Revere would have known what to make of them!
The withered and dying roses can be found in the rose garden outside the Haunted Mansion, near the queue line. Nowhere else on Walt Disney Property will you find plants allowed to exist in such a condition – but that’s part of the mystique of the Haunted Mansion. It’s filled with 999 ghosts, and no one wants to work anywhere near such a “haunted” place! The general run-down look of the whole area is also augmented by the dour, unsmiling faces of all the Cast Members – one of only two places in Walt Disney World where smiles are forbidden!
These three examples are representative of the genius of Walt Disney, now carried out by Imagineers and Cast Members. This is why Walt insisted that even details others thought no Guest would notice – like dying roses – were important.
Inappropriate details confuse a story’s meaning.
Appropriate details immerse the Guest in the story.
How do you pay attention to the details in your organization?