Recently I had the good, or perhaps not so good, fortune to be arrested by the First Order while I was strolling through Tomorrowland at Disneyland. I had heard of this happening before but never had it happen to me… until a sunny Sunday afternoon. I really had no clue what was going on as the Stormtroopers whisked me away, isolated me, and then decided that perhaps I wasn’t as big of a threat to the First Order as they thought. Grinning as we walked away afterwards, I had to think “this is really what Disneyland is all about.” After all, where else can one go and become part of the Star Wars story, go on adventures with Peter Pan, or play musical chairs with Alice and the Mad Hatter?
My arrest happened a couple of weeks ago but I find myself reflecting on it as time goes by. The Disney experience really is what sets it apart from everywhere else. There are so many other places to visit that have fun or thrilling attractions. Very few, however, can match Disney in the experience. It is immersive and pulls guests right into whatever story is being told at any given moment or place. Going on a roller coaster is thrilling in one way, riding through a story is a completely different thing! The addition of the story, the music, the characters all add to an emotional journey that is being taken as one goes through the attraction.
At this point it is important to note that Universal Studios has also recognized the importance of the experience. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter creates immersive experiences that rival those of Disney. This is a very good thing. Hopefully with more competing experiences at competing theme parks, it will continue to drive up the quality of the experiences being offered.
As Disney moves forward with new things like the Star Wars themed lands, I find myself getting more and more excited as I think about how the potential for these types of experiences is really incredible. The possibilities for the stories that will be told and experienced really are incredible! The heart in so many of the stories found within the Walt Disney Company (Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars) catalogue creates unlimited options for future lands, attractions, merchandising locations, and things that haven’t even been considered yet! This isn’t even taking into account the technology progression in previous and coming years!
For theme park fans who love the story experience, it is a great time to be a fan. As Disney and Universal continue compete to provide incredible fan experiences, they will only get better. I, for one, am very excited about this and am really looking forward to seeing what is coming!
What new types of experiences would you like to see come to the Disney Theme Parks?