By: Liz Alton [@Beinglizzie] Insights from Disney:
Emotions and Storytelling
Disney is one of the best storytelling engines in the world. Immersive storytelling elevated the brand beyond the basics of regional amusement parks and water slide attractions to become a global titan that’s captured imaginations from Orlando to China. The dream team that builds the attractions, the destinations, and every aspect behind the experiences are the Imagineers.
From immersive storytelling to bringing cutting-edge technologies to bear, the line between marketing and entertainment is thinner than ever before. Brands are creating apps, virtual reality experiences, pop-up branded events, and full-scale immersive tours to delight customers, tell their origin stories, show the manufacturing process, and help build deeper, emotion-based connections.
My Take from Brownie Bytes
I was fortunate to know the executive VP of Imagineering at Walt Disney World in Orlando (his son was my best surfing and cycling buddy in high school / college). I got the inside scoop on how Disney produced their story-themed attractions. Then my buddy and I were the first two “test particles” (that’s what the imagineers called us) at Typhoon Lagoon. Yep, the first two surfers at the wave pool.
Prior to Typhoon Lagoon, in the mid-1970’s in college I worked for an engineering firm that tested a lake/beach/wave machine in a Disney World lake. It was a complete failure. The wave washed away the sandy beach every 2-3 waves and the water looked like the stirred up brown cypress oil muck that it was. I got to ride 1 wave. That’s right 1. It was a white-water-willy wave only the white water was the color of barely foamy puke. Not a pleasant experience. Not all Disney rides make it to the public. In fact, most are running at 20% of their capacity for safety reasons. Typhoon Lagoon can crank out a 9 foot wave. But the public only sees 2-4 feet.
Years later I was fortunate to work for both IBM and Motorola. I was the first multimedia producer at both companies so I got to work with Disney imagineers to build business and home of the future exhibits at EPCOT. I learned how to develop stories with the integrated Disney spin. A great experience.