Last week, I took a trip to Disneyland to not only celebrate my one-year wedding anniversary with my husband but to also leave adulthood behind me and let the child within me escape normalcy and interact in a world full of wonder and unexpectedness. We need that sometimes.
I work at a company that delivers experiences all the time. We know experiences are what makes or breaks an event. So suddenly, for the first time, I became acutely aware of the Disney experience. Before I even began my trip, a little bird told me to download Disney’s free app, Mousewait. It’s imperative you do this before you go to the park. You’ll find it most useful on your journey.
From the moment I stepped onto the Disney property, the sounds of whimsical music grabbed my attention. Memories of my childhood poured into me and all sense of adult responsibilities went away. I was a child in a magical world. I could already smell churros before I entered the park, which, let’s face it, are made the best in Disneyland. Every single Disney employee I encountered was friendly, smiling and looked like they really enjoyed their job. It was a lovely break from the cold, distracted stares I get in the Starbucks line every day before work.
The most amazing part of the Disney experience is how every little detail that you see, hear and smell was carefully thought out to greatly impact your day. Random entertainment surprises you in some of the most inconspicuous places. I was passing by the saloon and three actors came out suddenly and did a hilarious performance. At the end, they invited everyone to the restaurant. What a clever way to get people engaged! At California Adventure, all would be quiet on the streets sans the crowd of people moving along to the next attraction when suddenly a car filled with musical performers would drive up and rock the crowd. I would bet that someone strategically planned out each and every performance from the location to the time they arrive.
Have you ever taken a real close look at the attractions as you’re riding through them? Like, REALLY take a look at them? There are so many details in the scenery of these rides that it becomes truly magical. One that stuck out to me was The Little Mermaid ride in California Adventure. When we first get into the two-seater “shell” car, you start to ride backwards down the ramp as if you are dropping into the ocean water. In front of you is another shell car and bubbles are video projected onto the back of that car as if it was filling it up with water. I was amazed by just this little detail. It literally felt like you were riding into the water.
And did you know that there are hidden Mickeys all over the park and on the rides? Kind of cool, huh? Someone actually took the time to inconspicuously hide Mickey heads all over the park and when you find one, you feel like you’ve accomplished something.
Walt Disney thought of everything. It’s not just the colorful characters and enjoyable rides – he really thought about the experience from beginning to end.
Amanda Chartier Retter, Marketing Specialist, InVision