Disney has patented a system that’s purpose is to offer an “immersive scent score in the theme parks.”
The idea is to combine scents in time to visual entertainment in order to “trigger memories and create powerful emotional responses” as “smell is arguably the most powerful human sense.”
What does this mean?
Basically Disney has a system that will time certain scents to match visual stimuli in certain areas, and by mixing scents, in combination with existing scents, to a set area it will theoretically create a stronger emotional response and make it more immersive.
I can’t help but thing of Pavlov’s dogs here. Dang it! Every time I smell cookies and sunscreen and then see a picture of Mickey I have to spend $100 at the Disney Store. (I’m kidding…mostly.) Of course that isn’t exactly what this does, but I can’t help but think of the similarities.
You know what I’m sure it will work. I wear a certain perfume in the summer and mostly when I got to Disney Parks. If I put it on any other time my family will say “Smells like Disney in here.” Same with sunscreen. The idea is sound.
So why is everyone equating it to Smell-O-Vision?
According to Blooloop, back in the 1960’s there as a Smell-O-Vision that was to release scents during the film Scent of Mystery. They incorporated 30 scents into the screening, but it didn’t go any further.
I think the idea is to enhance attractions with a “scent track” (think soundtrack for smells) to create a more immersive experience for people. I can see this being used with parades or night-time shows.
This idea isn’t new to Disney parks. They’ve been doing it for years with smells, like cookies (which is why I used that example.) I admit that I have bought tons of wax melts on Etsy that smell like “Dole Whip” or “Poison Apples” or “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parade.” So the idea behind it is true. (They say emotional connection, I say conditioning.) But with this they are wanting to do it on a longer, more immersive level.
Now Universal Studios already is doing something similar to this idea with one of their Universal Accelerator companies called Pium. They are using it in a pilot program at Loews Hotels at Universal Studios.
Can’t have Universal getting the leg up on that!
Seriously though. They patented this. It’s something they already do and in attractions like Journey Into Imagination and Soarin Over the World. I think they just want to make it on a larger scale.
What do you think? Do certain scents make you think of Disney? When you smell them do you immediately want to book a trip or buy a snack too?
Comment and let us know!
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.