Peeking Behind the Mouse’s Curtain
Remember that inquisitive feeling you used to have as a child? Or those DK books which showed you the inner workings of planes, castles and automobiles? We all love to work out how mystical and miraculous phenomena actually work. How planes fly. How cranes can build themselves so tall. And how the magic carpet flies at Aladdin.
While we like to be amazed and surprised by something that we never dreamt was possible, the next step of enjoyment is pulling back the curtain and finding out how they tricked us.
Disney has great control over the former. Between their large amount of money and their incredibly creative personnel, the shock and awe surrounding Disney experiences is something which stays with its customers throughout their entire life. But what about the second part?
There is the old saying that ‘A magician never reveals his tricks’. But those historic magicians didn’t have to compete in the crowded entertainment market of today. The next part of the enjoyment involves revealing those tricks and finding out how Disney tricked you.
The perfect example is the magic carpet in Aladdin. Every night, the magic carpet takes flight in the New Amsterdam theatre on Broadway wowing children and adults alike with their ‘No Strings Attached’ magic carpet. Once the initial shock and awe is over, audiences start looking for an explanation. How is a carpet flying before my eyes with two people on board?
Well, Disney is starting to enter this new ‘revealing’ entertainment market.
The Disney shows on Broadway have teamed up with Walks of New York, a New York touring company, to take their fans on a journey through Times Square peeking behind the Broadway curtain and discovering the costumes and props from some of Disney’s most famous shows including Aladdin, The Lion King and Mary Poppins. Tour participants get to try on costumes, walk through the theatre district and go backstage at Aladdin.
Now, I’m not saying that they will actually reveal the secrets of the magic carpet (because this is a secret too good to give up!), but they will certainly lift the veil on a number of others allowing all the participants to go back to their friends and brag about their specialist knowledge. Ultimately inspiring more people to come to the theatre and be blown away by Disney’s command of the mysterious.
You have to keep some secrets close to your chest, but by opening the doors and explaining some of the inner workings your fan base only becomes further initiated and more enthusiastic as they join an elite group who know the secrets before they go forth and spread word-of-mouth amongst all their friends.