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The bright colors, the smell of popcorn, “It’s a Small World” playing in the background, the cool mist of water on a hot sunny day. You combine all of those feelings and it’s what creates an irresistible environment for families at Disney—it’s what entices them to come back for more.
In the book, Be Our Guest, Disney recognizes that when it comes to creating an engaging environment it’s important to include all of the five senses.
- “About 70 percent of the body’s sense receptors are located in our eyes, making sight the greatest transmitter setting.”
It’s why Disney pays such close attention to colors. For directional signs, Disney uses purple and red flags because of an experiment they did where they set flags around the park, and asked guests to tell them the colors they remembered seeing. Purple and red were the ones they recalled the most.
- “Sounds are caused by vibrations of infinitely varying pitch, quality and loudness.”
Disney understands the power of sound. All we have to do is mention “It’s a Small World” and you will be whistling the tune to yourself for the rest of the day.
- “There are about five million receptor cells in the human nose and it is only a short trip from there to the brain. Smells are stored in our long-term memory.”
With this information in mind, Disney starts popping popcorn at 8:30 in the morning as guests arrive, in order to communicate the living movie they are about to be a part of.
- “The skin is the largest organ in the human body and touch is the sense that resides there.”
With that, touch becomes an important part of a guest’s experience at Disney. Many attractions have tactile properties. Water is a part of many attractions, and yet the lack of touch is what makes the Twilight Zone Tower of Terrors so thrilling as people drop faster than a free fall.
- “There are about 10,000 taste buds in the human mouth and each taste bud contains roughly 50 taste cells that communicate data to our brains.”
And so Disney caters to as many of those cells as possible with over 300 restaurants throughout their parks.
How does our current environment appeal to the five senses? Are we stronger in one than another, or completely ignoring one or more? What can we do in our environment to appeal to all five senses?
*Statistics and quotes taken from Be Our Guest, by Disney Institute.
Developed by Orange, YouLead is a simple curriculum designed to develop the leadership skills of yourself, your team and your volunteers. It centers on answering three basic questions: What can I do to continue learning as a leader? How can I be intentional about connecting with my volunteers consistently? What can we do to stay on the same page as a team? We do this by creating materials that can be digested in 20 easy minutes a week. Click here to learn more about a subscription to YouLead.