From Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work

Attention to Detail

A capacity for childlike wonder carried into adult life typifies the creative person.

Kaiser News

Just before opening the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, Walt Disney was touring the ride and felt strangely dissatisfied. In his heart he felt that something was missing, although he couldn’t quite put his finger on what it was. He gathered as many employees as he could find—including the maintenance and food service personnel—and led them through a kind of sensual “tour de focus.”

“Does it look right?” he asked. Yes, the costumes and shrubbery were authentic; the buildings had been copied from the New Orleans French Quarter, down to their intricate wrought-iron decorations. They all looked right.

“Does it sound right?” Disney had the latest in audio equipment installed to accurately reproduce the sounds of music, voices, boats and even animals that you’d associate with the Caribbean. Yes, it sounded right.

“Does it feel right?” He had controlled the temperature and humidity to exactly match that of a sultry New Orleans night. Yes, it felt right.

“Does it smell right?” An elaborate, smell-producing system had been created that could combine the smells of Cajun food with gunpowder, moss and brine. Yes, it smelled right.

And yet, something was still missing. “What is it?” Disney asked.

Finally, one of the young men who had been sweeping the floors said, “Well, Mr. Disney, I grew up in the South, and what strikes me is that on a summer night like this, there ought to be lightning bugs.” Disney’s face lit up. That, of course, was it! The young man was given a generous bonus, and Disney actually had live lightning bugs shipped in until he could figure out a way to imitate them mechanically.

Bryan W. Mattimore

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