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What do you want to do when you visit Disneyland or any other theme park? Go on rides? Eat? Meet characters? Whichever of these reasons you think is luring you to the parks, there’s a strong chance that something else is steering you there, instead.

Disney invited me to spend some time with its Imagineers and park managers over the weekend, to talk about the new Pixar-themed attractions that the company is debuting this spring and summer at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. I’ve spoken to many theme park designers over the years, and it always fascinates me how much more attention they seem to give to what visitors are feeling or thinking over what they’re actually doing while in the park.

This might seem backward. After all, visiting a theme park is supposed to be an activity. It’s not like sitting at home watching TV, reading a book, or even going out to a movie. Theme parks are something you do, not watch. You don’t have to think about them.

But doing a park isn’t a chore like doing the dishes or cleaning the garage. (At least, it shouldn’t be.) No one is forcing you to go. So if theme parks are going to entice people not just to come to the parks, but to want to spend a whole lot of money to do so, their designers need to find a way to make people crave those trips and want to come back again and again.

That means designing to trigger people’s emotions. Anyone with the money can buy a roller coaster or spinner ride and set it up in a parking lot. Disney and Universal make billions at their theme parks because they’ve elevated what some might dismiss as carnivals into emotional playgrounds.

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I suppose this isn’t much different from other forms of entertainment. No great author sets out to “write a book.” You want to tell a story and engage your readers. The medium isn’t the message. It’s just another tool to trigger a desired emotional response from people you want to become satisfied customers and loyal fans.

“I really want everyone who is in our audience …read more

Source:: East Bay – Lifestyle


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Disneyland’s creation of Pixar Pier is part of its efforts to touch the emotions of its guests

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