Lessons from Disneyland — re-imagining the familiar

Model for Finding Nemo ride“Welcome to the world of pirates,” says Walt Disney Imagineering executive Bruce Vaughn as he describes the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland.

A “world” is how he conceives of the ride – a seemingly mundane description that has implications not only for Disney’s recent updates of that attraction, but also for other organizations’ innovations far different from those at Disneyland.

(This “welcome to my world” format) has become increasingly important in modern culture, from the “YouTube” Web site to Blizzard Entertainment’s “World of Warcraft” online games.

It’s the basic format of any endeavor that attracts people by offering interesting variety within a familiar setting, whether that’s the “Second Life” virtual world, the “Grand Theft Auto” game, the “MySpace” online community, a favorite store with new fashions, a familiar newspaper with the day’s news, or even a familiar church service with a new sermon.

This format demands a different type of innovation from what engineers pursue when they develop a new product or find a technical solution to a customer’s problem. To innovate successfully in a “welcome to my world” format, the trick is to add novelty without losing what’s appealingly familiar.



How Disney’s Imagineering develops new rides: Creativity techniques from the Imagineering division  (These include the traditional technique of building 3D models such as the one pictured above for the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage ride, scheduled to open in June at Disneyland.)

Explore posts in the same categories: Creativity in arts and business, High-tech innovations

3 Comments on “Lessons from Disneyland — re-imagining the familiar”

  1. David Hsu Says:

    Why not the new Sea Disney and Mystery insland in USA as Tokyo one!

  2. David Hsu Says:

    Should build new Sea Disney in Walt Disney World, ORlando

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