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Taste and Smell

How we approach the food in a land. Copyright The Walt Disney Company.

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Video transcript

Early in this lesson we made the point that Imagineers tell stories using all our senses. We talked about how we engage sight through buildings landscape and graphics. Hearing through music and sound scapes and touch through the materials that guests touch as they explore the lands. This video is about how we engage the remaining two senses taste and smell. Let's start with taste. Food is an important part of the theme-park experience and it can often tell a story itself so we work hard to make sure that even the food offered is part of the themed experience. In some cases specific items of food can become iconic to a land and tie really closely to the story and theme. To find out what that means in practice let's hear more from our Imagineers. You can take your food and you can make it very very tied to the setting if I'm in a place that looks like India I can put Indian food in an Indian looking place. In the case of Pandora we're on a alien planet and people do not really like to eat things that are alien in appearance. Unfamiliar. This is an important meal for them they're trying to feed their kids they need to kind of have a sense of what they're going to eat. So we couldn't really rely on the setting of Pandora as the source for the food we had to rely on the theme. And the theme is respect for nature and adventure. So by going to respect for nature we could get food that was fresh, that was natural, that was sustainable, that was organic, that was put together in a beautiful and natural-looking way and the adventure came from the fact that you get to assemble your own meal You get to pick from a variety of ingredients and make something yourself which is a little tiny miniature form of adventure. So the core themes intrinsic value of nature, transformation through adventure, personal call to action, even find a way of manifesting themselves in your ability to compose your own natural organic meal. The restaurants in Treasure Cove it wants to be consistent with the theme and the story of this land that is 1730. We didn't want it to feel like a big modern food hall so we've actually designed the restaurant to feel like a lot of individual venues so there's a place it feels like an old cigar lounge and another part that feels like a patio and in the case of pirates it's a pretty special restaurant because just like the original attraction the ride vehicle passes right by it so the people sitting on the patio get to wave to the people on the boat and vice versa. In honor of the story of Cars Land, that it's that it's race day in Radiator Springs, all of the residents got together and they tried to think about ways they could celebrate this event. And Sally with Sally's Cozy Cones decided that she would turn her cones into snack opportunities. She created certain snacks that were themed of the cones, frozen cone-coctions, for example, chili cone-queso, and she had a little bit of fun with the names with the theme of the cones of her place. Finally, let's talk about smell. Smell is a powerful sense it's directly tied to your memory. For example, I can remember the first time I went on Spaceship Earth at Epcot and smelled Rome burning - it's a memory that's forever seared in my mind and I'll never forget. We don't use aromas everywhere in a land, but when we do it can really help immerse you in a time and place. Smell is a very powerful sense and so when people do have smells they react very strongly. When you walk into a theme park, definitely one of the first things I remember hitting me as a kid is smells. I remember as a kid walking down Main Street, I could smell that that chocolate and those cookies wafting from the shop. The smell of cotton candy, popcorn, maybe it's things you'd only get to eat when you're in a theme park. But it really helps set the scene it really told the story of where you were. Engaging all of your senses, and as much as you can, use them to trigger a time and place and a sense of story, you want to do that. But in attractions we actually do pump very deliberate smell into the attractions to, you know, more fully immerse you in the story. and nicky's In Mickey's Philharmagic, for example, when Donald Duck is in the Beauty and the Beast scene and Lumiere is singing be our guest and the pie the apple pie comes out into the audience base and it smells like apple pie, it's part of making the whole experience of very believable. So what we did with flight of passage instead of having like four really clear aromas, we created four basic chemical mixtures and we would remix them very slightly over the course of the ride to get a bigger blend of aromas - but they're very subtle. So you don't get taken out of the story by the artificialness of having this smell come at you. It's very delicate. There are aroma experts and chemists that create smells. This is a level of sophistication in aroma mixing that you really had to work almost with people who professionally do perfume to be able to get this kind of finesse. So in the case of the the Pirates attraction battle for sunken treasure you go through full-on battle between two full-scale pirate ships cannons blasting. The smells we use are manufactured smells they're in there like little crystals with scents that have been designed to smell like something. There's thousands of different scents - I mean there's everything from bubble gum to moss to gunpowder. We tested several things that were called gunpowder that we didn't think smelled like gunpowder and then I think we wound up picking one that I think was called burnt metal or something - but it's the one that wound up smelling like gunpowder. In this next exercise, you'll have a chance to think about the food you would serve in your land. And the smells you'll use to add depth and authenticity to the environment.