The Ins and Outs of “The Happiest Place on Earth”
As you enter the park gates you are greeted with the quote “Welcome to the Happiest Place on Earth”. As you walk down Main Street crowded with thousands of people it feels like you are in a dream. If you haven’t already guessed its Walt Disney World. Yes, we could talk about all the attractions and secrets to discover, but what people want answers about the history of the park, what is behind the so-called “magic”, and as well as secrets they try to keep from guests.
The history of Disney was not a smooth transition into the mega-company it is now. Walt Disney Animation Studios was founded in 1923 in Los Angeles, by Walt Disney and his brother Roy Disney. Walt, in the beginning, was an unsuccessful businessman after jumping job to job in search of success. He was heavily interested in the art of animation while working as a cartoonist for a Kansas City Film Ad Company. In 1923 he left with everything he had left and gone to Hollywood to pursue his dream.
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After pitching his idea to his brother they created the company and found a distributor originally calling it “Disney Bros. Studio”. Shortly after they produced short films called “The Alice Comedies. The motion-picture production blew up to become one of the most well-known companies to date. Since then the company has received twenty-six Academy Awards holding the record for the most awards in history with a total of 59 nominations.
After producing several hit films like Snow White and Bambi the brothers started to develop a secret character which was Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse which made Walt Disney think about creating a theme park shortly after creating other notorious characters like Pluto, Goofy, and Donald Duck. After a year of construction in Anaheim, California the 17 million dollar park opened on July 17, 1955. Currently, the company has 11 parks all around the world. But how do they make Disney so magical?
With over 50,000 guests per day, the operation behind Disney is some of the most intricate and in-depth strategies to make park guests come back again and again. Disney’s marketing tactics are to make the guests feel like they are not necessarily in another world but just in a perfected version of it. Guests feel a certain way as they enter the park because it’s their business tactic that makes them different from any other amusement park. They don’t just sell park tickets.
They sell emotions and happiness which is just the beginning of the “magic”. Besides the magical feeling, Disney uses other innovative psychological techniques throughout their parks. Starting with Main Street as you walk down the first thing you would expect is countless of people crowding the streets but Disney made the pavement black, combine that with the suns heat it makes the crowds flow fluently down into the sections of the park to disperse guests in different directions. As crowds walk down the main street they are greeted with enhanced smells of vanilla as you walk by the candy shop and convenient strong smells of hot dogs as you pass the restaurant but why is this?
Disney uses aromatherapy with a patented device called the “Smellitzer”. This device is used throughout all their parks giving the guests the urge to figure out what the certain smells which In this case gets them to eat or get candy at the shops or restaurant which generates tons of revenue. Other tactics the company is anything from the nostalgia that brings you back to the films like Cinderella’s Castle to Snow Whites Grotto. What a lot of people don’t know is that Disney has many secrets from hidden tunnels to darker secrets that are swept under the rug to maintain their reputation.
Everyone has secrets, Disney’s fluctuate from intentional secrets to make the park have a mysterious side while other secrets the company hides that could potentially make guests feel not so magical. Have you wondered how the characters just pop out and travel across the park? That’s because Disney has tunnels that can travel to any part of the 9 acres of Magic Kingdom. One of the darkest secrets of Disney is guests trying to make it a graveyard by putting passed loved ones in certain places throughout places. Other secrets involve feral cats crowding the park while it’s closed at night to having a highly selective club that has a 10-year wait list for high rollers and celebrities.
In conclusion from without the influence and passion by Walt Disney, there wouldn’t be what many call “The happiest place on earth”. Disney is already interesting just to visit but with their constant innovations and technology, it only keeps getting better with time. Even though there are some secrets in Disney it will still always be “The Happiest Place on Earth”.