Monday, October 1, 2012

I Walk the Line

Yesterday I blogged about how amazing Disney’s marketing program is. Today, I’ll write about how amazing their line management skills are.

Anyone who has ever been to a Disney theme park knows there are lots of lines everywhere you go. But Disney has a way of making the lines seem shorter, both by making them invisible and by making them entertaining. As a parent, I appreciate both aspects of their approach. Keeping two toddlers happy in a long, hot line is never an easy task, but Disney makes it manageable. They hide the lines so even though you see a sign that says you’ll be waiting 10 or 15 (or 30 or 40) minutes, you don’t have that inner groan of seeing all 200 people who have to funnel through ahead of you. You shuffle through the line in one area with a clear goal in front of you – got to make it to that next corner! And then when you get around the corner – BOOM! More waiting in line. But around that corner there are lots of fascinating things to look at and details to check out. And just when you finish looking at everything there is to see in that section, you turn the next corner and there’s another whole room of delights.

Their attention to detail alone provides lots of interesting things to look at while you’re waiting in line. For example, outside the Enchanted Tiki Room, you can see birds and carved figurines that occasionally come to life and chat. In the line to the Haunted Mansion, you can read funny epitaphs and maybe see one of the carved effigies open her eyes, and you can push buttons to make music play or shuffle the books in the library. In the line for the Winnie the Pooh ride, some kids never make it to the ride because they’re too busy playing with the “whack-a-gopher” games, or playing on the vegetable drums, or jumping on the rabbit footprints to make the gophers pop out of their holes, or running in and out of Mr. Sanders’ house.
The Dumbo ride even has an air-conditioned playroom halfway through the line where you can stop for a long cool break!

Before you get on the Buzz Lightyear ride, you get to see Buzz himself give you a pep talk and instructions on how to help him defeat the evil Emperor Zurg.

Disney never gives you a chance to be bored unless you want to be. They make the waiting part of the adventure. And THAT, my friends, is the true magic of Disney.

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