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Walt Disney World - Marketing Magic
Over 47 million people visit Walt Disney World each year. They come from all over the country, as well as from overseas. The average family saves for five years in planning their trip to Disney, and spend between $5,000 and $10,000 on the vacation of a lifetime.
In fact, not surprisingly, the eight most visited theme parks in the world are all affiliated with Disney - with all four Florida parks appearing in that top eight.
And Disney's parks are indeed a vision - a place where children and adults alike are able to delight in magic.
Traveling to Walt Disney World is on the "must-do-at-least-once" vacation list for most American families. The average pilgrimage requires a plane ride, an onsite hotel, a full week on Disney property, and the return home. And despite the high costs associated with this extraordinary trip, families claim it's well worth the money for the magic!
It is rather impressive - especially for a place that practically just breaks even each fiscal year. In fact, Disney World and Disneyland provide almost no profit at all to the Disney corporation. These parks play a major role in Disney's elaborate marketing machine.
Sell, Sell, Sell
The fee to enter any of the four Disney World parks or stay in a Disney Resort hotel provides next to no profit for Disney. Do you know where they hit your wallets?
The Disney World theme parks are consistently offering products and services that are sure to catch your eye and hit your wallet. The exit of nearly every ride dumps guests straight into a gift store. Just try pulling a five-year old through the store without them falling in love with a Winnie the Pooh plush toy or a set of Tinkerbell wings.
Outside of the obvious push for you to spend more on gifts and souvenirs, the transportation systems (all trams, monorails, and boats) are blasting announcements for guests to upgrade their ticket, to add an extra day, to take advantage of "dining specials," or to stay at a Disney-label resort. There are even booths that sell you your next Disney vacation.
Disney takes every opportunity to sell you more. The ride is there for entertainment; the gift shop is there for profit.
Walt Disney World is constantly advertising.
And while I wouldn't necessarily call their self-promotion "shameless," they do everything to ensure that their message is always in front of their audience.
Ads plastered on television, in print, and on the internet remind people everywhere about the magic of Disney. The Disney World commercials play straight to the hearts of parents and children, painting a picture of Disney World as exactly what it claims to be - "The Happiest Place on Earth."
Print ads urge parents to plan a Disney trip before their children get "too old," and television advertisements feature smiling, laughing families surrounded by the unlimited wonders of Disney. The perpetual promotion, and a clear message, have given Disney enormous power and unbelievable brand loyalty.
Disney is constantly growing. Magic Kingdom is currently undergoing construction to double the size and magic of Fantasyland. There is also expansion outside of the United States.
Now, the market has been taken abroad. There is a Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney, and Hong Kong Disneyland. Disney - a brand that was relatively unknown outside of the United States when Disneyland was first built, has now reached millions worldwide, with thanks to this brand expansion.
Disney is about as close to corporate perfection as perfection can get. Disney is always innovating, building, and improving. New attractions and shows garner public attention and grow to accommodate the changes desires of the market. Old rides are updated and modernized. Regular improvements not only draw back repeat visitors (guilty as charged!) as well as impressing new visitors.
Not only are the parks constantly growing, but the products that Disney pushes at guests in each park are perpetually growing. Movies, Disney's largest moneymaker, are the heart of the operations. Rides based off movies remind guests of their favorites and sell products based off of those rides, but the Disney parks as a whole function to create brand loyalty, so that families all across the world will purchase movie tickets and DVDs of new Disney creations.
Disney is famous for having some of the best customer service. Disney employees are groomed and trained to a tee and always wear a smile. The ground is always free from litter, the food delicious, and there is extreme attention to detail in every possible aspect.
Disney World employs a cast and crew of 64,000 to keep the magic flowing, making it the largest single-site employer in the United States. Each factor of a Disney vacation is carefully constructed to fit into Disney's perfection. Anything that is damaged is either removed or fixed immediately. The streets are always sparkling. The bathrooms are always spotless. Disney is a master at serving the customer a healthy dose of the perfect world.
Disney works hard to maintain their magic. Every factor of what makes Disney so wonderful is thanks to a brilliant marketing team that keeps the magic flowing all day long. And the truly wonderful part is that, despite the fact that most of us are well-aware that Disney is just one giant marketing machine - it really is the most magical place on Earth!
When was the last time YOU went to Disney?