PROJECT: WALT DISNEY WORLD DOT COM REDESIGN (AKA NEXT GEN) PRAGMAGIC COPY PITCH & DETAILED PAGE EXAMPLES

Award: 

  • Association of Marketing & Communication Professionals, Hermes Creative Gold Award for the Walt Disney World Next Generation Website

Client: Began with disneyworld.com, expanded to disneyland.com
Roles: brand strategist, content strategist, project lead copywriter, researcher, SEO strategist, UX lead
Budget:  >$15 million, site redesign included My Disney Vacation redesign
Audience: Started with middle management, expanded to senior management—VPs and SVPs. Then, to all Guests of Disney sites.
Objective: 

  • Reduce the amount of abstract "magical" content on the site.
  • Replace with more pragmatic, actionable copy.
  • Provide as much information as——ideally, more than——fan sites.
  • Compete with Wikipedia.

Results: 

  • Received support from senior leadership (VPs & SVPs) for copy style pitch.
  • Changed the way copy was written for WDPRO websites so it was optimized for search engines, easily scanned, and provided relevant content in proper context to cause action.
  • Defined and established templates (formulas) for detail pages, brief descriptions, metadescriptions, page headers and other copy elements. 
  • This copy style was rolled out to all brands, became the voice and tone across Disney sites. SEO rose. A few detailed pages surpassed Wiki in Search. We celebrated.
  • Once launched, the website won an industry award

Tags—project roles & focus: 
 award-winning projectsbrand directioncontent management & strategycreative direction,  editor,  operations,  philosophy,  pitches,  project lead copywriterresearchSEOstrategic thinkingUX direction


 

On top of [Dina's] obvious writing talents, she has proven to be a great thinker in terms of providing great suggestions/insights into user experience issues ...;  she can think at the big-picture level in terms of overall page/site flow and also at the micro level as far as how page elements (including, but not limited to, copy) fit into broader page/site objectives."
—Kathy M.,
Senior Information Architect


 

The Story

The next step after working on the Editorial Style Guide project was to improve on the copy on the site.

With Walt Disney World Next Gen, a massive redesign of the site, we had the perfect opportunity to improve the content.

We called the new voice: pragmagic. Part pragmatic tone, part touch of magic. 


3 Steps towards Prag-magic Copy
 

1. Optimize copy for search
Place keywords in headers and repeat keywords in intro sentence.

2. Optimize copy to be scanned
Begin copy/content with benefit to Guest. Use and repeat keywords.

3. Provide relevant content in proper context; cause action
Clarify marketing phrases and language with prices, dates, and concrete information


new voice for next gen disneyworld.com pitch


The Story

IN OTHERS' WORDS

"Having been at WDPRO for over two years now, I cannot think of one other person who has exemplified what I consider to be a better work ethic than Dina Hardy. In the year that she has been part of the Content Team, she continues to lead the way in creating compelling copy that is not only relevant to the various marketing initiatives and business requirements, but is also delightful and magical to our Guests. I can say this because I have edited her work, and she is without question one of our strongest writers. But her merits on the written page only speak to a fraction of what she has achieved. Whereas other may get by doing the requirements, Dina goes the extra mile to improve not only the Guest experience, but the Cast Member experience, as well. Remarkably, she has made strides in improving the organizational flow of how we (WDPRO, the Business and Legal) do thingsfrom producing an eye-opening brochure defining and detailing the WDPRO copywriting process, to creating the first-ever, definitive Editorial Style Guide of Walt Disney World. She simply inspires me everyday to push myself to be the best I can be, and I simply cannot stress how pivotal she is to this organization. Without doubt, she would make Walt proud.”
—Charles O., Copywriter


detailed description pages
 

 

Here are examples of detailed pages——prag-magic copy in practice. 

All detail pages across the entire site needed to be rewritten. For years, the content on these pages was limited to a line or two——usually a magical or abstract or pun-filled tag line of the attraction, store, or restaurant; e.g., An a-"fjord"-able place for a Norwegian buffet. 

Not a helpful description if you'd like to know where the restaurant is, book a table, check out the menu, or find the hours.  

During the multi-million dollar Walt Disney World Next Gen website redesign, I:

  • established style, tone, and defined copy templates to provide actionable and usable content
  • lead copy team through these evolutions
  • edited copy
  • researched and wrote hundreds of detail pages for attractions, restaurants, events, shops, entertainment, hotels, theme parks, tickets, special offers, etc.

splash mountain magic kingdom theme park
detailed description example
 

Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain, a popular flume ride at Magic Kingdom Theme Park, offers big thrills to big kids, teens and adults. The twists, turns and 3 dips that lead to the grand drop down 5 stories (52.5 feet) of rushing water will either get you damp or drenched. If soaked is your goal, request a seat in the front, or sit on the right side, of the hollowed-out log.

One of 3 Magic Kingdom “mountain” attractions, Splash Mountain shares its big thrill classification with Space Mountain and its location in the Frontierland area with the mild but wild Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Splash Mountain features scenes, songs and characters from the 1946 Disney classic film, Song of the South. Listen as the cast of critters in the southern swamp sing a medley from the movie’s Academy Award-winning soundtrack while you travel in a log that splashes through the waters of the brightly-colored bayous. Meander past the homes of Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox.

 

On Splash Mountain, Gotta be Movin’ On

Say goodbye to Br’er Rabbit, he’s leaving his home in search of a little more adventure, a bit of fortune and a his laughing place—a place where he can live the life that suits him best.

Sounds like a good plan, if it weren’t for the not-so-bright Br’er Bear’s and the fast-talking Br’er Fox’s schemes to catch this restless rabbit. The wise Br’er Frog has a premonition: if Br’er Rabbit leaves his comfortable briar-patch home on Splash Mountain—protected by the prickly plants and dense, thorny vines—he’ll be caught by his 2 foes for sure!

Br’er Frog’s words don’t stop Br’er Rabbit from movin’ on. Join him on his journey around and through Splash Mountain. Watch as he outwits Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox, escapes their clutches and slips out of sticky situations. Plummet into dark caves and tumble over gentle waterfalls…until Br’er Rabbit’s taunting catches up to him—and he’s finally caught!

From the confines of Br’er Fox’s cave at the top of Chickapin Hill on Splash Mountain, Br’er Rabbit tricks Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox one more time. Don’t throw me down, down, down into the briar-brimmed pond, he pleads. Anyplace but there!

Of course, this is exactly what they do. Follow him as he plummets over the mountain peak on a 5-story fall that ends in a massive splashdown into the refreshing pond: Br’er Rabbit’s home, his laughing place.

After this ultimate plunge, drift past more southern critters aboard a lively Mississippi riverboat. Sing along with them, for it’s a zip-a-dee-doo-dah day! Everyone has a Laughing Place. Is Splash Mountain yours?

Tips about Splash Mountain Attraction

  • Sitting in the front of the log, or on the right side, increases your chances of getting wet.
  • Don't forget to check your photo on the way out.
  • Become part of the show while wearing Disney's Magical Moments pins with game buttons, which will sparkle and react to events and encounters while on the Splash Mountain attraction.While waiting for your Splash Mountain FASTPASS boarding time, take in the nearby Country Bear Jamboree show.
  • Take in the panoramic view across Magic Kingdom Theme Park from the top of Chickapin Hill, the peak of Splash Mountain.
  • After the big splashdown over Splash Mountain, look in the sky during the final riverboat scene. See a sleeping mouse in the clouds?

Fun Facts about Splash Mountain Attraction

  • "Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah," the tune written and composed by Ray Gilbert and Allie Wrubel, which marks the finale for Splash Mountain, won the Academy Award for Best Song of 1946.
  • Driscoll, the young boy who played the role of Johnny in Song of the South, would later become the voice talent behind the title character of the Walt Disney animated feature film, Peter Pan.
  • The story for Splash Mountain is largely based on the three main animation sequences found in the classic 1946 Disney film Song of the South.
  • The Zip-a-Dee Lady Showboat in the final scene of the Splash Mountain attraction measures 50-feet long and 30-feet tall.
  • During the design phase, Splash Mountain was named Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah River Run.
  • There are 68 Audio-Animatronics characters and critters throughout the Splash Mountain attraction.