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March 14, 2013

Attention to Detail Enhances Customer Experience at Universal Studios

by erikamaguire

In the Apple Experience, Carmine Gallo argues that Steve Job’s attention to detail was ultimately what allowed Apple to become so successful. While Jobs strived to create the most aesthetically pleasing devices, he also dedicated a lot of his energies to creating a store that people would flock to. By focusing on creating wide, open spaces and picking tables and furniture that matched the image he was trying to create, Apple retailers soon became as much a part of the Apple experience as the products themselves.

Nonetheless, after reading this novel, I have begun to realize how much this attention to detail affects my own experience with a particular retailer or business. Over Spring Break, I had the opportunity to travel to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. As I’m sure many of you know, the park is divided into a number of individual parks, each centered around a certain character or theme. For example, in Islands of Adventure, there are six themed areas: Seuss Landing, The Lost Continent, The Wizading World of Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Toon Lagoon and Marvel’s Super Hero Island.

As I came to notice, everything within each individual park – from the music, to the color of the rides, to the signage and the basic architecture – was meticulously chosen to make you feel as if you were truly in that time period or storyline. For example, in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, all the storefront names and set-ups were taken exactly from the books, and all the ride attendants and cashiers not only wore the cloaks and robes seen in the movies, but they also spoke the language of the characters in the novels, commonly referring to guests as “muggles”.

The food served in this section of the park was also items typically seen in the films: butterbeer, chocolate frogs, and Bertie Bott’s beans, and the music playing overhead was easily recognizable from the films. Moreover, al the rides were featured around some aspect of the Harry Potter storyline. For example, in the Forbidden Journey, guests were given a chance to walk through the Hogwarts castle, which was full of talking photographs, holograms of the main characters and props from the film, like the Sorting Hat.

Nonetheless, although I am sure I would have enjoyed my experience in Universal Studios no matter what, I really appreciated all the detail and amount of effort that must have gone into recreating these particular movies and themes. This attention to detail truly made me feel as if I was living in these specific time periods and thus my overall satisfaction and experience with the park was exceptionally high.

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