I spent the first 9 years of my life in Florida. I had the opportunity to go to Disney World several times in my younger years. I still have vivid memories of all the rides, food, and getting my Davy Crockett musket. As a kid, there isn’t any place cooler than Disney World(unless are a “big-boned” kid like me, then the Blue Bell factory would have been the most fun place on earth).
Since my childhood I have returned several times, most recently a couple days ago. Even at 23, I am still amazed at everything Disney. The Haunted Mansion is still cool. The Tower of Terror still makes me come out of my seat. And I still want the bigger Davy Crockett musket paired with a coonskin cap.
I’ve been to a lot of theme parks. Some cool, some awful. None ever compare to Disney World. I think it boils down to the attention to detail. Everything little thing at Disney is carefully thought out. Smells are pumped in around certain areas. Cast member wardrobe is carefully selected. No detail is overlooked.
There is a lot to be said about attention to detail. I think there are a few keys that set Disney apart:
The details can’t be covered alone Nothing significant can be accomplished by an individual. There’s always a symphony behind a soloist, a teacher behind a star. Walt’s name may be on everything Disney, but his brother Roy is just as important to the Disney success. They were each gifted where the other one was not. Different personalities helped make sure every detail was covered. Don’t try big things alone. You need others to help cover all of the details well.
The details are the biggest deal Ever notice how Disney cast members give directions? They point with 2 fingers, not one. One finger can be seen as condescending. Ever pass the bakery on Main Street in Magic Kingdom? Smell good? That’s probably because there are smells pumped into the street to draw you in. No detail is too insignificant to avoid. It’s the small details that make a big difference
The details must become important to everyone If you lead a group or team, you must make the details important to those following you. They need to begin taking ownership of the details. This creates a watchful eye within them. Everything becomes a big deal, a potential tipping point for either success or failure.
The details make the experience Ultimately the details work together to make the overall experience. All the sights, sounds, and smells make the Disney experience unique. The Disney Imagineers know that the details make the difference in the eyes of the customer. Why are bakery smells pumped into the air? To draw you inside, hoping you will buy something. Is this evil? It’s brilliant. They understand that the details are potential tipping points toward success.
Most people overlook the details. That’s fine, as long as you don’t want to do anything of lasting significance.