internsblog2018

Fair interns travel to ‘happiest place’ to learn tricks of trade

Each year, the Ohio Farm Bureau State Fair Land and Living Exhibit interns travel to an exhibit with the goal of gaining knowledge that would better ours back at home. Previous trips have inspired attractions such as the Farm Bureau Foods Grocery Store, which drew in over 3,000 fairgoers last year.

This year, my fellow intern Abby Pozderac and I decided to take our study trip to Walt Disney World to find out exactly how what could have been just a simple theme park earned the title of “happiest” place of them all. Throughout our trip, we made note of features and attributes that made this experience more magical than others.

Attention to detail

“No chipped paint, all horses jump.”

It is widely known that this was Walt Disney’s mantra when he developed his outline for Disneyland. Walt gained this vision of perfection as he sat on a dirty park bench watching his daughters ride on a carousel that was in need of some TLC. Although Walt didn’t live to see his dream of Disney World come to fruition, his vision is still evident in the parks today.

While we were visiting, we noticed that every area of the park was cared for meticulously. There were no wilted flowers, no forgotten cups and no evidence of anything else that would be unappealing to guests. Noticing this further enforced the importance of having a polished presentation of our exhibit during the fair. We left with the realization that those small details really do matter.

7516825296_img_1232

Compassionate cast members

Many times, we witnessed a cast member stop in their tracks to answer a question, have a conversation or wish someone with a button, “Happy Birthday.” While we were enjoying dinner, we noticed a cast member who, while cleaning tables, completely pause what she was doing to converse with a guest about her home country. During this conversation, the cast member was genuinely interested in building a connection with the guest.

Facilitating the ambassador experience the past two years has been my favorite detail of this internship. Increasing transparency through confident and passionate conversations with fairgoers is one of the main goals of our exhibit. By watching our tour guide interact with guests, we gained a sense of how to better prepare our ambassadors for interactions they may have during the fair.

Dedication to sustainable growth

Disney World is constantly searching for ways to better itself. Whether it’s developing a new attraction, improving transportation systems or making the park more accessible, bettering their guests’ experience is paramount. But Disney is not only focusing on improving infrastructure, it is also focusing on improving sustainability.

A park that attracts such a high volume of people, in addition to caring for hundreds of animals in Animal Kingdom, must take measures to be sustainable. We witnessed those measures during our Behind the Seeds tour of the Living with the Land ride. In the zero-waste, soil-free and water-use-conscious greenhouse, we got some serious insight into what it takes to feed hundreds of people with very little resources.

7516825296_img_1252

Abby and I would like to thank the Ohio Farm Bureau for providing experiences like our learning trip to Disney World and for putting value in enriching their employees. We also would like to thank our supervisor, Dave Rule, for ensuring a fruitful experience this year.

 

Haley Wilson is a student at Ohio State University majoring in agriscience education.