Attractions Management Issue 1 2018

Page 5

Disney hospitals Disney has announced a $100m fund to transform childrens’ experience of hospital stays. The five-year initiative will start in Texas and roll-out worldwide. We love it, but we’d also like to see a dual focus on prevention, to stop kids getting sick in the first place


imes when children are in hospital are some of the

impact on recovery and wellbeing and we hope a research

most upsetting and stressful for everyone involved.

project will run alongside this initiative to assess the impact

Now Disney has announced it will create a new

of both environmental and psychological interventions on the

programme for children’s hospitals to help ease this

health of children. That way, lessons can be shared elsewhere,

pressure and make the hospital experience less distressing.

creating a great legacy for Disney.

The $100m initiative is part of Disney’s Team of Heroes

American children are among the most stressed and

community outreach and philanthropy programme and will

medicated on the planet, consuming up to 95 per cent of the

start at the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas.

world’s Ritalin, meaning many are on strong mood-altering

Disney has a long association with hospitals going right

drugs from a very young age and experiencing low levels of

back to Walt, but this new programme will be more comprehensive and wide-ranging. Disney is sending in the Imagineers to create a kidfriendly atmosphere and will be using technology to bring characters to life. RFID will enable patients

mental and physical wellbeing.

There are many things Disney can do in its attractions to help kids’ wellbeing – number one, improving the food offerings and reducing the sale of soft drinks

to customise their hospital

We know that up to 90 per cent of disease is epigenetic and only 10 per cent is genetic – so much is preventable. We would like to see Disney back up its work in the hospital sector with a new focus on prevention to stop kids getting sick in the first place.

stay by unlocking special

With its reach and influence,

elements, so their favourite characters surround them for

the company could be a huge force for good in teaching

the duration of their time in hospital – enchanted artwork will

children self-care through its many channels and touch points.

come alive and interactive wall murals will tell Disney stories. At the softer end of the experience, children will be able to choose bed linen and gowns, in-room entertainment and ‘play

In addition, a new focus on wellbeing in its theme parks would help to keep them out of hospital, leaving those resources for children for whom disease in unavoidable.

carts’ featuring their favourite characters – all with the aim of reducing fear, relaxing them and raising their spirits. Finally, in-room, themed pop-up theatres will make justreleased movies available specially for kids and parents.

In addition to educating, there are many things Disney can do in its attractions – number one, improving the food, with more healthy choices and, dare I say, reducing the sale of soft drinks, which cause or exacerbate a range of serious diseases.

Hospital design is at the forefront of research into ways in which the environment can aid healing, shorten hospital stays

Let’s hope this focus by Disney on kids’ health and wellbeing can embrace prevention as well as cure.

and speed recovery, so this initiative by Disney is very timely. There’s also clear evidence that mental state has a significant

Liz Terry, editor. Twitter: @elizterry

Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2018 AM 1 2018



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