Walt Disney's Magic Touch

I admire Walt Disney.

I enjoy going to the Disney Parks, especially Magic Kingdom, because of the fun my family shares. You should also know that I am secretly obsessed with how well they create personalized and memorable experiences. A little secret you might not know - I am actually trained by them in this field.

Mr. Disney created a lot of  details that to the average park-goer go unnoticed. He and other cast members do not spend time flaunting every little detail. The flip side is that if the details were left undone, park-goers would certainly recognize. The attention to detail reminds everyone on the team that every element matters, even if nobody lets you know they discovered it.

Here are four details from Mr. Disney you should know:

  • The horses on the King Arthur Carousel are all individually hand-carved and painted. They are continually being repainted, and all the brass is polished every night.
  • Walt made sure the grass areas weren't fenced in until he saw which areas people walked on. Areas that were used frequently as short-cuts had sidewalks added.
  • Walt Disney was very insistent that the designers take the perspective of young children into account when designing the park. Because of this, Walt would frequently stoop down while looking at a partially constructed building to take into account how smaller people would see things.
  • Gum is not, and never has been, sold inside Disneyland. Any gum found on the ground is scraped up immediately. Walt didn't want his guests to have to pick gum off their shoes every ten minutes, as was (and is) common at other amusement parks.

As you think about creating experiences for your customers and guests, remember that every detail speaks, even if you feel it goes unnoticed. The truth is nothing goes unnoticed. People especially recognize anything needing attention when it looks inconsistent with surrounding elements.