The science behind the Disney magic!

What is the first thing that strikes your mind when you hear the word ‘Disney’? Castles, childhood cartoon characters and everything magical. That’s about right!

Image: The Walt Company Disney Company Logo

According to reports, around 134 million visitors visit Disneyland theme parks and resorts around the world every year. (Attendance at the Disneyland theme park (Anaheim, 2016)) However in recent time, the brand which was once very powerful among all age groups has been facing stiff competition from Universal Studios and Sea World. A company which is highly admired for creating innovative products and ideas is now experiencing dwindling sales. A high pressure has been created on Disneyland to maintain its current market share. (Kuang, 2016)

How can Disney turn the tables to retain its previously held strong position in the market?

The Walt Disney Company has recently introduced ‘MagicBand’ and ‘MyMagic+’, a wireless tracking wristband and software system which is aimed to create a magical experience for its visitors while recording their activities. MyMagic+ which costed a whopping $1 million (USD) has overhauled the entire digital infrastructure of Disney. MagicBand on the other hand has enabled its visitors to have a seamless experience such as enter and exit Disneyland, unlock hotel rooms and making purchases at resort facilities. MagicBand enables the experience to be truly magical because visitors skip the long queues, pre-book rides and have a personalized experience. What else is unique about these products?

They are also generating big data! The Walt Disney Company has indeed created a product with a perfect combination of “better technology” and “willingness by consumer to share personal information”. (Nunan and Di Domenico, 2013)

Every move is being monitored!

Qualitative research techniques are implemented in the data mining process which are observational in nature. (Iacobucci, 2014)

A tremendous amount of crucial data is collected by MyMagic+ which uses passive technologies such as live location tracking, transaction history and more. (Nunan and Di Domenico, 2013) MyMagic+ then creates big data which Disneyland constantly monitors and updates for every move a visitor makes at Disney theme parks. This data is then turned into insights minute by minute to create targeted marketing strategies. However, it retains the privacy of its users which is not a bad trade-off.
Customer Expectations and Patterns:

According to attribute based perceptual mapping, Disneyland is perceived as high quality, high price.

Perceptual mapping of Disney Brands

Image: Perceptual mapping of Disney brands (Winsor, 2015)

As per the Multidimensional perceptual mapping, Universal Studios is perceived as aggressive and bold which is attractive to teenagers while Disneyland is perceived as romantic, sentimental and down to earth. While Disneyland attracts all the age groups, it fails to offer wider range of attractions like Universal Studios. To step up its game, Disneyland is constantly adding new attractions which are both aggressive and bold.

Multidimensional perceptual mapping

Image: Multidimensional perceptual mapping of Disneyland

Mickey Mouse knows what you are thinking!

Disney lays heavy emphasis on neurosciences which helps them to understand how a human brain works and uses this to carve out new innovative products. If you are a customer who gets daunted at the thought of finding a car park then don’t you worry, MagicBand will sort it out. This new technology plans the entire Disney vacation with precision and making each experience a memorable one based on the user’s preferences- a classic example of using neuroscience! Did you just shake Mickey’s hand and visit the haunted house? Well, MagicBand can track it all and refine its offerings accordingly.

Profiling data or personal profiles are used to make predictions about visitor’s behaviours and interest patterns which are derived using self-reports and digital exhausts. MagicBand acquires a large range of information including parks visited, preferences of rides, and visits to gift shops, food outlets, shows and hotels. All this is done through analyzing data which helps Disney make better decisions, improve its products and make the Disney experience very magical. The ultimate goal for Disney is to make patrons happy which in turn will spend more money. A win-win for both sides!



Username: pdugar

Student ID: 214405832


List of references:

Attendance at the Disneyland theme park (Anaheim, C. (2016). Disneyland Anaheim, California attendance numbers 2014 | Statistic. [online] Statista. Available at: [Accessed 15 Apr. 2016].

Cha, B. (2016). Tomorrowland Today: Disney MagicBand Unlocks New Guest Experience for Park Goers. [online] AllThingsD. Available at: [Accessed 18 Apr. 2016].

Fast Company. (2015). The Messy Business Of Reinventing Happiness. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Apr. 2016].

ITV News. (2016). Disneyland teases fans with panoramic photo of groundbreaking at Star Wars-themed land construction site. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Apr. 2016].

Kuang, C. (2016). Disney’s $1 Billion Bet on a Magical Wristband. [online] WIRED. Available at: [Accessed 18 Apr. 2016].

Mary Winsor Ms, R. (2015). The Magic of the Mouse: An Exploration of Brand Personality in The Walt Disney Company. University of New Hampshire Scholars’ Repository. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Apr. 2016].

Nunan, D. and Di Domenico, M. (2013). Market research and the ethics of big data. International Journal of Market Research, 55(4), p.505.

Sciretta, P. (2015). Disneyland Rumors: New FastPass System Coming? Star Wars Land And Marvel Expansion Updates – /Film. [online] Slashfilm. Available at: [Accessed 18 Apr. 2016].

The Huffington Post. (2015). [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Apr. 2016]. (2016). [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Apr. 2016].

YouTube. (2016). MyMagic + You’ll Want to Use It Everywhere | Walt Disney World. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Apr. 2016].







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