If it seems like Disney vacations are getting more and more expensive, but you find yourself wondering why you’re still willing to drop your hard-earned dollars at the House of the Mouse, you’re going to want to read this article.
Today we’re going to talk about four reasons why you just can’t help but spend money at Disney World. In fact, this is all by design!
1 – A Sense of Belonging
First and foremost, Disney creates a sense of belonging for everyone in the Disney family, and this all comes down to labels.
Employees are called “Cast Members” and are frequently reminded that they have to work together and play their part to put on a fantastic show.
Customers are called “Guests”, and Cast Members will often welcome you “home” – especially if you’re a Disney Vacation Club Member. Disney wants you to feel like you belong. They want you to be just as comfortable as you would be at home. If you’re wearing a Celebration Button, they’ll wish you happy whatever you’re celebrating.
Disney has a whole educational process that Cast Members go through before they can start their jobs. The processes teaches them Disney’s Traditions, and helping guests feel like they belong and are special is an important part of the process.
Walt was a showman (in the best sense of the word). He was focused on the people and their experience. The company maintains that focus today.
2 – Opportunities to Shop
Besides the underlying sense of belonging, Disney provides many opportunities to shop. From standard Mickey merchandise to souvenirs specific to an attraction, you can drop your hard-earned money just about anywhere you turn.
In fact, Disneyland is considered one of the first shopping malls. From the very beginning, you could walk into a store and pass through to many other stores without going outside, which was a welcome relief from the Anaheim heat.
When Disney World was built, much like Disneyland, you entered Magic Kingdom onto Main Street USA. This area is lined with stores full of Disney-themed food, apparel, and merchandise for every part of your life. The turn-of-the-century theme creates a sense of nostalgia for Smalltown, USA.
It’s no secret that Disney was ahead of his time when it came to urban design. He was, indeed, a revolutionary. This is no more obvious than in Epcot, but it’s kind of hidden in Magic Kingdom. He designed the park to create that sense of belonging we discussed above, but it also forces you to feel nostalgic perhaps for a place you’ve never even been to!
Plus, all of the shops are air-conditioned, and they run one into another, so you don’t have to go back out in the heat.
3 – Emotional Connections
Disney is a multi-generational American brand. Walt’s life and his work screams “American Dream.” People like that.
At this point, Grandparents and even Great Grandparents would have visited Disney World in the early days. This means potentially four and even five generations of families have been visiting the parks!
Why does Disney have such staying power? It all goes back to Walt’s original plan: he wanted his parks to be family-friendly for the whole family. Besides being a showman, Walt was a marketer. He knew how to craft messages that would appeal to kids and adults alike, and he created attractions that spanned time and space. Sure, some of these attractions have become dated, but we still love them (I’m looking at you, Carousel of Progress)!
Walt and his successors created an emotional connection with their brand, and parents and grandparents want to share their fond memories with their children and grandchildren. Visiting Disney World has almost become like a rite of passage!
4 – Ease of Use
Visiting Disney World (and even Disneyland for that matter) is easy. Walt strategically placed his parks in areas that are easy to get to, and he made it easier to get to them.
Disney chose Orlando because it had year-round comfortable temperatures (or, at least not too cold) and because it could appeal to potential guests on the east coast who, as studies at the time showed, were not very likely to cross the Mississippi River to get to Disneyland.
From the beginning, Walt liked that Orlando was close to the airport even though his original plan was to build his own airport. Disney now offers free transportation from the airport to the Disney resort hotels so guests didn’t have to worry about transportation from the moment they arrived in Orlando.
Besides the lure of spending money on a Disney vacation because it’s low-stress, Disney also makes it easy to spend that money. They literally wrap your credit card around your wrist so all you have to do is scan your MagicBand to pay for anything and everything you want or need while you’re on vacation!
Everything in Disney World is designed to be effortless – including spending money.
What can’t you resist spending money on in Disney World?