Lessons from Disney

Magical World of DisneyIf you’ve ever taken the time to read Walt Disney’s biography, you know that he was a very creative person! You also know that he tried many things like working a summer job at the railroad station, taking drawing and photography classes, driving an ambulance, and the list goes on!

He is most famous, though, for creating Disneyland, which he said all “started with a mouse and a dream!” Walt Disney most likely didn’t know the success he would have in creating this magical park – he was merely following a “dream” to express his creativity and create a place where families could explore, take rides, and meet Disney characters!

Today, many people from all over the world have experienced the magical “world” of Disney (and Walt Disney World)! And, Imagineers, who are the design and development arm of the Walt Disney Company, want to keep it that way. In an effort to maintain interest in the the Disney brand they avidly follow Mickey’s Ten Commandments (as you read through them think of how they can apply to Fischler faculty, staff, and students):  

  1. Know your audience – Don’t bore people, talk down to them or lose them by assuming that they know what you know.
  2. Wear your guest’s shoes – Insist that designers, staff and your board members experience your facility as visitors as often as possible.
  3. Organize the flow of people and ideas – Use good story telling techniques, tell good stories not lectures, lay out your exhibit with clear logic.
  4. Create a “weenie” – Lead visitors from one area to another by creating visual magnets and giving visitors rewards for making the journey.
  5. Communicate with visual literacy – Make good use of all the non-verbal ways of communication – color, shape, form, texture.
  6. Avoid overload – Resist the temptation to tell too much, to have too many objects; don’t force people to swallow more than they can digest, try to stimulate and provide guidance to those who want more.
  7. Tell one story at a time – If you have a lot of information divide it into distinct, logical, organized stories; people can absorb and retain information more clearly if the path to the next concept is clear and logical.
  8. Avoid contradiction – Clear institutional identity helps give you the competitive edge. Public needs to know who you are and what differentiates you from other institutions they may have seen.
  9. For every ounce of treatment, provide a ton of fun – How do you woo people from all other temptations? Give people plenty of opportunity to enjoy themselves by emphasizing ways that let people participate in the experience and by making your environment rich and appealing to all senses.
  10. 10.Keep it up – Never underestimate the importance of cleanliness and routine maintenance, people expect to get a good show every time, people will comment more on broken and dirty stuff.

Now, go forth and create, be an IMAGINEER! Leave your comments!

– DeAndra Clark


“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” 

~Walt Disney


About ideaworksblog

Nova Southeastern University Fischler School of Education
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