Disney Magic: Smells like … Johnny Depp?

Fast Company: “Disneyland’s Imagineers–the creative force behind Walt Disney Parks and Resorts–rely on a scent-emitting machine known as the Smellitzer (patented by Imagineer Bob McCarthy), which produces specific sweet, savory, or mundane smells to accompany various park attractions. Imagineers understand that smell is hardwired to our brain, specifically the area that handles emotions … So whether you’re shopping for a stuffed Donald Duck or clutching your safety bar on Space Mountain, you’ll get a whiff of whatever the Smellitzer crafted to make your experience complete. Even the wafts of popcorn along Main Street U.S.A. are by design.”

“For the 1983 park opening, the food and beverage team picked Japanese staples they thought would appeal to park-goers: rice, fish, and other items that required chopsticks. But after slow sales, the team realized it was the exact opposite: The Japanese didn’t come to the Happiest Place on Earth for what they could get at a local sushi shop. They sought the ultimate American experience. They wanted hot dogs, French fries, greasy finger foods, and sugary soda. They wanted sticky hands and food comas.”

“The French, they discovered, were not like the Japanese; Europeans had no interest in partaking of the “American experience.” So they stepped out of the park to eat more traditional French dishes (perhaps with a glass of wine), then returned to jump on the rides. Disney went on to restructure the Euro food offerings with street fare like sausages baked into French bread in lieu of hot dogs and brioche filled with Nutella instead of churros.”


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