Friday, January 8, 2010

Mickey's Ten Commandments

Here are ten Imagineering guidelines, developed by Disney Legend Marty Sklar.

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 a 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. 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.

Martin Sklar, Walt Disney Imagineering, Education vs. Entertainment: Competing for audiences, AAM Annual meeting, 1987

Friday, January 1, 2010


The Disneyology blog hopes to provide a detailed look at Walt Disney Imagineering, with news, history, academic analysis, undeveloped plans, concept art and blue sky ideas of my own.

My name is Cole Younger, and I have a deep interest in Imagineering and the Disney theme parks. This year will be the end of my graduate degree course, and as a componant of that I have been writing a 10,000 word dissertation on the original Disneyland theme park. In my research, I've taken an interest in far more areas of the subject than I can fit into my relatively small paper, and so I have decided to create this blog as a sounding board for the ideas and questions that crop up.

As well as this, I want to provide a space for Imagineering news, history, and overviews of never built Imagineering plans, an area I'm particularly curious about. I have a website devoted to this, the Neverland Files, which can be visited here.

My personal website, when complete, will be found here, and will eventually serve as a portfolio of essays and ideas I've worked on in recent years.

To finish the introduction to my blog, which I hope will become a valuable source of Imagineering and theme park commentary, I want to include some quotes by Walt Disney - ideas and guidance by the visionary that invented the industry:

"Disneyland is like Alice stepping through the looking glass; to step through the portals of Disneyland will be like entering another world."

"Whenever I go on a ride, I'm always thinking of what's wrong with the thing and how it can be improved."

"Disneyland is a show."

"Disneyland is not just another amusement park. It's unique, and I want it kept that way."

And, of course, the classic;

"Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.