Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Planning Your Next Trip to Disney?

Every time Disney holds a new celebration, I get antsy. Why? Because that means that Disney is going to be putting out their next planning video!!! I love the planning videos, as they give you that touch of Disney when you aren't really there.

However, if you're planning your next trip to Disney or are thinking about possibly asking for a new DVD to add to your collection, don't bother. If you already have the Year of a Million Dreams one, you've got the What Will You Celebrate version already. There's a few minor differences, of course...basically the fact that Disney's included those Mickey shaped balloons mixed in with the clouds and they have included some video of the new attractions that have opened recently...but otherwise, it is the EXACT same video they've had for the past two years.

So, why does this bum me out? Because, I think Disney can do much better with the planning videos than they have been lately. I have proof in my own Disney Planning Video DVD collection. All too often, Disney's Planning DVD's are simply obvious marketing ploys to convince people to come down to Disney. They try to entice people simply by showing them all the pretty rides. "Ooh...look pretty rides!!! You and your family must come down to ride them." And sure, that's all fine and dandy. But I want a little more substance...something that actually shares information that's worth knowing. Because everybody knows how cool Space Mountain is...but not everybody knows other aspects that are just as important in having a successful vacation.

So, which planning video am I talking about? Which one has the best information included in it's 60 minutes of footage? Ironically enough, it's the one that was the most debated (and often hated) on Disney forums and that's the Happiest Celebration on Earth video. This is the one with Erin, Dave (the bench guy) Stacey (the kid expert) and Luke (the thrill-seeker).

To me, this was the MOST comprehensive video Disney has every produced because it showed so much more than just the pretty popular rides. (Which sure, it did that too.) It showed what stuff would be good for families, what stuff would be good for those who were looking for the thrills, what stuff Disney had to offer for those looking to relax a bit, and the stuff that was brand new to the Disney property. Plus, it showed tons of other random things that many people (and by this I mean your average tourist) would miss because they had no idea that it even existed.

The biggest perk about that planning video was that they also offered up explanations of what things like Fastpass and Extra Magic Hours were and they talked about the Disney transportation. They also even mentioned Magical Express, which was a brand new service at the time.

But these are all things that constantly need to be explained to newbies and it just surprises me that Disney chooses only to market their rides, (albeit...I know this is is a big reason why people come to visit) when they should be marketing some of the services that are offered that also makes Disney, Disney.

Explanations of the stuff described above, explanations of the dining plans, what on earth ADRs are and that you NEED to have them, explanations of recreation stuff really is available, etc. There are tons of stuff that Disney could market that doesn't just include the rides. And yet, these things are consistently left off planning videos, time and time again.

This was simply the best video for the average tourist as it actually taught them something, instead of just pushed tons of rides at them...ooh...pretty. And, it was also enjoyable (for those who could get past the Luke character's exuberance for thrills) for the Disney geek too. Because it really felt as if you were going on vacation with these characters. You felt connected to them. You cared about what they did and where they went and were interested in learning more because you could possibly see yourself in one of the characters portrayed.

So, come on can do something way different than what you've been putting out there recently. I know because I've seen you do it. Don't just put out only fluff in your planning videos. Put in the meat and potatoes...because that stuff makes a huge difference in the experience that people walk away with, way more than you think it does. And because of that the average tourist should be just as aware of what the Haunted Mansion is as well as they should know how Fastpass works and that it is indeed payment necessary. All these aspects help to make up a vacation and they all should have equal bearing in a planning video.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

agreed! I actually loved that planning video!

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