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Attention to Detail or Tribute To The Past?

Joshua Gans writes in the Harvard Business Review how Disney’s Attention to detail pre-dated Steve Jobs. You can debate whether Disney’s attention to detail, which supports the story being told, and Steve Jobs attention to detail, which is more focused on achieving an emotional state, are the same thing. What I found funny was that Gans picked one of the few details of the park that has nothing to do with story, but rather is an interesting tribute to Walt Disney World’s early days.

I agree with Gans general point about how detail has to be there to make a business successful, but his missed one important detail about his story, the Mickey Mouse on the manhole cover is not there to remind you of Mickey Mouse. Instead it’s a leftover from the early days of Walt Disney World when the resorts logo was a squared capital ‘D’ with a globe version of a hidden Mickey. This details Gans points out was really just branding for the sewage & water utility company Disney created as part of the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

There are hundreds of hidden mickey’s all over Walt Disney World, but the manhole covers and survey markers are not to be counted among them. They’re purposeful Mickey icons for the point of brand identification, not story.

What is your favorite Walt Disney World detail?

(Photo Credit: JustJason)

6 thoughts on “Attention to Detail or Tribute To The Past?”

  1. One of my favorite details were found in Minnie’s house – all of the cheeses and baked goods for all of Minnie’s friends, with little notes on them and all around the house.

  2. Definitely the set up for the waiting area to meet mickey mouse over at Toon Town, it was set up like a red stripe tent like a local state fair and a giant movie projector showing the classic toons it was like we were actually in a movie theatre but in a fair.

  3. I hope Mary Ellen and Masterball have different ‘favorite’ details, because both of theirs have been bulldozed….

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  6. Whether or not it’s a “tribute” would depend on the age of the manhole cover (I mean, how often do those things need replacing?) And in either case, it’s still an example of attention to detail.

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