I've noticed that I am sort of spending a lot of time and money on this stuff these days, come to think of it. But it's new and fun and so well done. Still...ouch. Is that really what we think Disney management thinks? I don't think that's what OLC thinks (maybe I'm just terribly naive), or at least not the CMs. Everyone I have ever met who's worked there has been just as excited as park fans about getting the job, doing the work, and even reminiscing once they quit and start their "real" career job at many times the salary that it was "the best job they ever had, and one of the best experiences of their lives." Honestly. I heard that just last week.
I really do think that OLC and the Japanese consumer market just totally "get" Disney...it's not just marketing; it's a bonafide experiential difference, I think. It is magical for people in Japan, at every level. I even have a student here whose husband works not for OLC, but actually for Disney on their Japanese website, and he, too, seems to have a genuine appreciation for his job in a very special way. One of the key things I've noticed since my "eyes opened to Disney" is how often I can spot little Disney things everywhere. There's always someone around me with a character or a Mickey mark on a mobile phone or T-shirt or something, usually a lot of people around me. It's like the experience is always with you. I really do notice this on a day to day basis, but I didn't always, so I'm not exactly a dyed in the wool "Disney freak." There is something different going on here, though, I think. I don't remember ever noticing such a constant stream of Disney references post elementary school in the US. Was I just oblivious?
In fact, I once thought that Tokyo DisneySea was designed by a Japanese team, and that the advertising and goods of TDR and the Japanese Disney Stores were produced independently by OLC's "professional Disney freaks," with just licensing permissions. At first I thought that's why all the design and merchandising here are so great, but the more I hear, the more I seem to understand that all the attractions and shops, hotels, products, graphics, advertising and promotion, everything...it's all designed back at Disney headquarters and just licensed to OLC, right? So, I don't get how there's such a disconnect between upper management of Disney (where all the actual design comes from) and the OLC (who only do scheduling/planning?) and fans of Disney parks (who are numerous and worldwide)...what am I missing? Sorry to be such a dumb n00b.^^