Adam M. Berger is president and senior show writer at Berger Creative Associates, Inc., an Orlando, Florida-based creative writing and consulting firm serving the themed entertainment and attraction design industry. His credits include projects for Dollywood, Disney Event Productions, Kennedy Space Center, Nickelodeon Recreation, Paramount Parks, Ride The Ducks, SeaWorld, Silver Dollar City, Six Flags, Universal Studios Florida, Walt Disney Imagineering, and many others.
Every Guest is a Hero: Disney's Theme Parks and the Magic of Mythic Storytellingby Mr. Adam M. Berger
Though you may not be aware of it, whenever you're playing in any of Disney's many theme parks, the Imagineers who designed those parks are busy playing with your head. EVERY GUEST IS A HERO reveals for the first time how the artists and technical wizards of Walt Disney Imagineering have harnessed the magic of mythic storytelling to press all sorts of psychological buttons you never knew you had, inspiring you and millions of your fellow visitors to return to the parks again and again.
Longtime theme park designer and attraction show writer Adam M. Berger is your tour guide, decoding the mythic themes and archetypes of the Disney parks in an entertaining, engaging, and always accessible manner. You'll discover page after page of "ah-ha!" moments as you encounter one surprising connection after another. You'll also find a collection of ten "Mything in Action" case studies that break down the mythic content of some of your favorite Disney attractions, scene-by-scene. There's even a chapter devoted to the mythic realms of George Lucas, offering tantalizing clues about some of the amazing experiences now being Imagineered for Disney's forthcoming Star Wars-themed lands.
It's a must-read volume for Disney enthusiasts and aspiring Imagineers alike. So strap yourself in, keep your arms and legs inside at all times, and prepare to embark on a voyage of mythic proportions. Once you've read EVERY GUEST IS A HERO, you'll never look at your favorite Disney attractions the same way again.
- BCA Press
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12425911 Joseph McGarry's review Mar 28, 14 · edit 4 of 5 stars bookshelves: business Read from March 11 to 28, 2014 I received a free copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. I haven't been to Disney Parks in many years. When I was there, I really didn't think about epic journeys or Innermost Caves or anything like that. I just wanted to get on the ride as quick as possible and not spend all day in line. (This was before Fastpass, which allows guests to bypass the line.) I noticed that Disney spent a lot of time on its waiting area, but I thought it was just to keep everyone occupied while they were waiting in line, especially going by the sign that says "Your expected wait time is 60 minutes." I also knew that Disney was good at storytelling. Now, as Adam Berger informs us, this was all part of the mythic design, to make the guest feel like a hero. He goes through an introduction of the myth-making story of Disney, and then describes 10 rides in detail through the lens of Joseph Campbell's theories about myths and epic adventures. I don't know if all rides are like this--I don't remember any kind of epic journey on It's a Small World--but he does a reasonably good job of explaining everything. I think at times the epic part can go overboard trying to fit epic journeys into the rides. Quite frankly, for most people getting to the end of the ride by itself is epic enough. It does say something about Disney's attitude, though. If they put this much effort into the waiting area of the ride, they really care about the guest experience. It may be a lesson for other businesses as well. The customer needs to feel like they're valued, and not just for their money. They need to feel like they're part of something special. In my experience, this can be rare. The epic journey in a lot of cases is getting through to talk to someone in customer service. Push 1 for this department, push 2 for that department, isn't what customers want. All in all, a good book, and recommended reading for any business pro, or anyone who wants to know more about what's behind all that stuff in the waiting line at Disney.
Adam Berger's wonderful book about Disney's theme parks provides the reader with much more than the usual tourist information about the magic of Disney. The author weaves the specific rides and attractions in each park with mythic adventure. Inspired by the mythology writings of Joseh Campbell, Berger guides the reader through the specific rides and adventures and reveals the mythic hero that the Disney guest will feel like. With direct quotes from John F. Kennedy to The Little Mermaid's Sebastian, this book guides you through the heart of Disney's experiences in guiding each guest in becoming a hero. The book itself is easy to read, exciting, descriptive, and provides more in depth and thought-provoking ideas for readers who are interested in Disney. You'll find much more in this book than the typical "have a magical day" experience! There is even a description of the metaphysical properties of circular imagery and how various cultures have embraced the importance of circles. Needless to say, Berger leads us to understand why the use of circles throughout Disney parks is so important in its design and imagineering! Read this book. You will definitely enjoy it!