Tricks used by Disney World?

A friend of mine recently moved and is attending a media school in Florida. He learned some things about Disney World that he shared with me. I don’t have a cite, but he did learn these things in a class. I found these things very interesting and was hoping to learn more info. Disney World probably isn’t the only theme park to use these tricks, but they are evil nonetheless.

  1. The soda machines have thermometers inside of them that raises the price of a soda when the temperature rises. They can get away with this legally by claiming that the soda machines use more energy when the temp goes up and thus the sodas should cost more.

  2. All the water features throughout Disney World have scent emitters on them that emit the smell of chlorine. Chlorine has the effect of making you feel thirsty so you go buy an expensive bottle of soda.

  3. The bakery on the main street at the entrance to the park also has a scent emitter that releases the smell of baking food, no food is actually baked in the store.

  4. Also at the entrance to the park, as you walk past the shops, there are speakers emitting the sound of a crowd. This produces a herding effect to get people to keep on walking away from the entrance and into the park, rather than hanging around and blocking the entrance. They will shop on the way out of the park.

So, I wanna know more! Does anyone know of a webpage with more info like this on it? I tried google and couldn’t find anything yet.

What do you all think of this evil genius?

David Koeng’s book Mouse Tales has a truckload of behind-the-scenes stuff for (Anaheim) Disneyland, from the union strikes to the hidden scent emitters to the after-hours employee parties. Sounds like a book you’d enjoy. :slight_smile:

Don’t know about the rest, but this is a myth.

Let’s look at this one at a time, hmmm?

This makes no sense. Just set the prices higher in the first place. After all, Disney can (and does) prohibit outside refreshments. So, they can set any price they like, & if the customer wants a soda, they’ll buy. Also, the non-hot months have lower #s of sodas bought. Profits go down. Keeping prices high all the time causes the hot/cold differences to average out.

Also, why add extra parts? They cost bigt bucks, & would need to be fixed. Not cost efficient.

No. Chlorine is added to keep It’s A Small World from smelling like the Everglades Swamp. Chlorine kills bacteria & algae, & keeps the waters clear & pretty, instead of green & slimy.

Yeah. It’s called a “vent”. Every bakery gives off the smell of baked goods.

Needless & wrong. People rush to enter the park, as they are eager to ride the attractions. And the entrance is the same as the exits. And they shop everywhere!

I think you’ve either never been to a Disney park, or you didn’t reflect on what your friend said before you posted.

And I am a former Disney Employee. Been there, done that.

I’ve been to Disney World several times, and don’t remember seeing soda vending machines in the parks. There are carts selling bottled soda and water everywhere, and as far as I remember, the prices are uniform (and uniformly high) throughout the resort.

There are soda and snack vending machine in the hotels, and maybe the water parks and mini-golf places, but not in the theme parks.

I did see on a show (Travel Channel, I believe) that they do pump in artificial smells, particularly at the bakery and the candy shops. Doesn’t bother me, they still have real baked goods and candy - just smells better.

The other stuff rings false by me.

True or not, how would this be considered ‘evil’? If it actually works, I want to see this strategy employed at shopping malls!

While I feel that most of these are wrong, I am sure they do some things like this.

First off, there aren’t many Soda machines in the park. They usually have venders with carts. On a related note, I have been told (I have two relatives who work in Disney) that Disney pays less than a cent per bottled soda/water. Yet you are charged 2-3 dollars.

I have also noticed (as someone who has been going to Disney several times a year for 29 years) their water fountains have slowly become less desirable to use (warm water, that tastes funny).

Disney also has an initiative that they supposedly won’t build a ride that they can’t market/build a shot at the exit. They tore up Mister Toads Wild Ride and replaced it with Winny the Pooh, because Mister Toads had no marketability. They had room to build Winny elsewhere, but chose there to have more shops in Fantasyland.

Disney used to be a magical place, where you were away from the outside world. Now it’s a big shop, where you can buy McDonalds french fried IN THE MAGIC KINGDOM.

Just go to Universal, Busch Gardens, or Six Flags, trust me, the rides are better.

The Travel Channel will repeat any old rumor.

Did they show you the equipment? If not, it don’t exist.

Fresh baked goods give off wonderful smells, & Disney is keen on quality in food prep.

So, no pics, no artificial scents.

Some of these tactics aren’t really secrets. On your next trip to Disney World take the Behind the Scenes Tour of the Magic Kingdom. They will show you many of the speakers they use for BGM and BGN (the Disney World terms for back-ground music and back-ground noise). They will also go into some deatil on how they use noise, architecture, live attractions, and general park planning for crowd control. These aren’t necessarily insidious though. You really want good crowd control methods in a park as small as the Magic Kingdom with the number of people who go through it each day. I found the tour very interesting. I never saw any vending machines inside the Kindom however and at the resort at which I stayed (Polypen.) I purchased a big mug the first night with which I could get free soda refills at the snack stand for the rest of my stay.

Just for the record many other businesses do similar things. The florist at my local grocery store has a small vent that blows flower scent out into the general area. I noticed an employee re-filling the dispenser with floral scent fluid.

I was coming in to recommend the book Mouse Tales but see that rjungbeat me to it long ago, so let me just second it. Fantastic behind the scenes stuff that reminded me of a lot of the same stuff we used to do at Opryland.

I especially like the story about the employee’s last day on the Jungle Safari ride.

This is probably not true, at least for bottled sodas. Maybe its that cheap, or nearly so, for a fountain drink, but there’s no way the Mouse can get bottled soda for a penny. Creating a bottle, filling it, and shipping it costs much more than a penny, no doubt about it.

There’s always the Snopes Dinsneyland page.

I’ll say right off that this is probably an urban legend.

Disney, as I think all will agree, does like to engineer their parks. They want things to happen in certain ways and don’t like surprises. So when something starts happening they didn’t expect, they research it to find out what’s going on and how to bring it back under control.

Supposedly at one of the water parks there was a place where the line of people going up to use the slide was becoming unexpectedly congested. If there’s one thing Disney has studied, it’s crowd movement, and all there projections had failed to predict there would be any congestion at this point. So engineers were sent to study the situation and find out what was wrong.

What they found was that when large breasted women in small bikinis went down the slide they had a tendency to lose their tops. And they found that men tended to enjoy watching topless women. And there was one place along the walk up to the slide where there was a particularly good view for watching people slide down. Ergo, numerous men lingered in this spot to wait and watch for topless women to slide by. Now that the engineers knew what the problem was, it was easy to address.

They built an alcove with bleachers at the spot so voyeurs could watch without slowing down the people who were moving.

This was a much-publicized idea floated by Coke a few years back. From a 1999 column:

The notion engendered so much hostility that it never went into large-scale production.

So the idea is a real one, but whether Disney actually does this is highly doubtful.

Perish the thought! Do you have a cite for this? :wink:

Oh, and Mouse Tales has been added to my after-graduation reading list.

I was expecting this thread to be about REAL Disney tricks, like the forced perspective they use to make Cinderella’s castle look gihugic. Now I’m disappointed.

Bottle soda, by the way, was either $1.50 or $2.50 (I forget, as I never bought any) when I was at Disney World the first week of March. There were no soda fountains, except inside of restaurants, so the first rumor listed by the OP is definitely false. You can’t have price-raising thermometers inside of machines that don’t exist in the first place.

I didn’t think Disney was evil. It was cute and fun, and sure it was commercial and overpriced, but so is every theme park in the world. Plus there are plenty of little hidden places, like the back walkway between Tomorrowland and Mickey’s Toontown Fair that wends peacefully beneath flowering trees and affords you a chance to sit down on a bench in the shade and enjoy nature instead of the sound of thousands of screaming children for a while. The only thing I hated was the stupid midday parade, which blocks Adventureland off from the rest of the park and which prevented me from getting to Pirates of the Caribbean from Splash Mountain for an hour. The evening parade, which used to be the Main Street Electrical Parade but isn’t, got me trapped in the park when I wanted to get home, but that was more because of the cowlike stupidity of the parade watchers who were too dumb to move when I tried to leave; apparently they couldn’t conceive of anybody NOT wanting to watch the parade.

Hey, maybe that’s an Evil Disney Trick, too. They use the parades to trap people in parts of the park so they have no choice but to go shopping!

It still pretty darn big.

My favorite park is Epcot, though…

Why would it be “illegal” to sell sodas at a higher price when the temperature rose? I mean, you could sell a can of pop for $100 so long as you found a willing buyer, and there would be nothing illegal about the transaction.

I remember touring Europe, when our tour bus pulled up at a small cafe. The proprietor was delighted to see us come in. The menu was written on a chalkboard. When he saw the second tour bus pull up a few minutes later, he erased all the prices and wrote in higher ones. When the third bus pulled in a few minutes after that, he did it again.