As soon as you enter the Sunset Boulevard area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can’t help but notice a decrepit looking hotel off in the distance. I’ve seen it dozens of times and it still sends chills down my spine when it first comes into view. Housed in this structure is one of my favorite attractions in Walt Disney World – The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
While that dramatic reveal is truly a sight to behold, it’s actually not my favorite vantage point to soak in the amazing architecture that’s represented in this attraction.
Believe it or not, my favorite vantage point isn’t even located within Disney’s Hollywood Studios at all.
Yep, my favorite vantage point is actually…wait for it…from the World Showcase promenade in Epcot.
When the Disney Imagineers were designing the Hollywood Tower Hotel (the façade that houses the Tower of Terror attraction), they realized that guests visiting the World Showcase promenade in Epcot would be able to easily see the top third of this new structure behind the skyline of the Morocco pavilion.
With that in mind, the Disney Imagineers didn’t want to spoil the experience of the World Showcase by having a foreign-looking structure in the background (pun intended).
Instead of shrugging it off and saying, “Oh well,” the Disney Imagineers designed the Hollywood Tower Hotel to have Moorish architectural cues so it would seamlessly blend in with the skyline of Epcot’s World Showcase.
That level intuition and foresight sends chills down my spine.
Think Outside the Park
You’ve probably noticed that I tend to follow a certain format with my blog posts here on DisneyMBA.com. I introduce observations I made while visiting one of the Disney vacation destinations, then I connect the dots to a set of common business challenges that can benefit from those observations. The dots are connected in a section I call: “Think Outside the Park,” a play on the often-overused phrase, “Think Outside the Box.”
This time, I’m literally talking about a time when Disney Imagineers thought outside of the park.
What can we learn from Disney’s design decisions on the Hollywood Tower Hotel that can help us in our own careers?
The bottom line here is that they thought two steps ahead and considered the impact of their project from as many angles as possible.
Here are some examples of how we can use that type of logic in our professional lives:
1) If you establish a discount pricing structure that’s only available for new customers, do you think the customers that have been loyal to you for years would feel slighted?
2) If you’re disrespectful to a co-worker, do you think she might hold a grudge and make life difficult for you when she eventually becomes your boss?
3) If you have a political bumper sticker on your car, could there be a risk that your clients would be less interested in developing a strong professional relationship with you if they perceive that you have a different set of values than them?
Whether it’s a $1 bumper sticker or a $100 million theme park attraction, you need to invest the time and energy to think about the potential risks, objections, and any other inadvertent downsides that may be presented down the road.
Now, I want to throw it back to you. What are some other good examples of how we can think two steps ahead in business and avoid major blunders? Leave your comments below and let’s see if we can help each other!