Six business majors are having a magical spring break this week. They’re in Disney World as part of the Managing the Magic course. The class counts as a business elective and is being led by Dr. Suzie Smith, Robert Vance Professor of Economics and Business Administration, and Karen Mattison, assistant professor of economics and business administration.
Yes, the week will be lots of fun, and they’ll learn a lot too. This semester the students have been covering material from the textbooks Disney University and Theme Park Design.
“Students took reading quizzes, did presentations, engaged in class discussion about the concepts, and are creating storyboards to design their own attraction as part of their assignment,” said Dr. Suzie Smith, Robert Vance Professor of Economics and Business Administration.
During the course, students learn how Universal and Disney create a magical culture for guests and cast members. Students also dive into how Disney trains their cast members to deliver the high caliber of customer service that Disney is known for.
During the trip, students will experience Disney and Universal Studios parks as guests. They’ll compare park attractions and cast member behaviors. Students will also examine how each organization orchestrates cast, setting, and process.
Students will also meet with PC alum Patrick Greer to learn about his experience in the Disney culture. Plus, they’ll meet a group of business students from Western Illinois University for a six-hour behind-the-scenes backstage tour of Disney.
“We have collaborated with the professor in this course, David Zanolla, so it should be fun for all of us to meet up during this endeavor,” Smith said.
The trip to Disney is one of four spring break trips for PC students this year. One group of students is visiting sites in Alabama and Georgia on the Civil Rights Tour. A group of history majors and minors is going to the Yucatan Peninsula, while the PC Choir and PC Ringers are touring the southeast.
The spring trips are just one part of PC’s academic program. To learn more about what goes into a PC education, visit the Academics page.