For those of you who do not know, I am headed off to boot camp for the Navy on Tuesday. I will be there for about eight weeks and then I head Maryland for six months to train for my job. I ask for your patience as I will be absent for a couple of months. I know a piece of you will feel as though it is missing while I am gone but I promise you I shall return. There could be a guest writer who may offer a new but very similar perspective on all things WDW. Hopefully you will take me back when I return!
Now…about the title to this post. You must be thinking “What in the world does Disney have to do with boot camp?” Well, not a whole lot but bare with me… Toward the end of my training in boot camp I will experience “Battle Stations 21” which is the Navy’s largest simulator. It is an officially commissioned ship that never sees the seas yet is deemed the unluckiest ship in the Navy. Day after day the ship is attacked and recruits have to put their training into effect battling flooding, smoke, fires, and many other surprises. Of course the ship is not actually under attack but the point is to make the situations feel as real as possible. This involves attention to details and we know no one does details like Disney! Now hold on! Don’t jump to conclusions too soon.
Battle Stations 21 uses fans to create a breeze and uses scents to replicate the smells found outside and inside of a ship. There are vibrations that create the illusion of explosions followed by fires, smoke, and flooding. The attention to detail of the the “set” of the ship and the effects used in and out really make recruits feel like they are in the action. If you have had the pleasure of visiting one of Disney’s parks then you know Disney does well to make guests feel as though they are somewhere they are not or experiencing something they are not.
Some have claimed that Disney built the enormous simulator for the Navy’s Recruit Training Command. While I do not doubt at all that Disney could accomplish such a feat, I had a difficult time believing this. After a little research I discovered one of the companies involved was founded by Bob Weis who is an executive vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering.
So although Battle Stations 21 may not be as fun as experiencing a Disney attraction I am sure (being the WDW nerd that I am) I will not be able to help but reminisce of a more magical place than the unluckiest ship in the Navy.