Mickey’s Commandments #4: Create a visual “weinie”

Part 4 in a 10 part series on Mickey’s Commandments, as related by Michel Lingerfelt at a recent conference. This one needs a bit of explaining…

4. Create a visual “weinie”

While no one seems to know for sure what Walt Disney meant by “weinie” one explanation I like is as follows: Disney had a dog. He would train it to follow him by feeding it piece of hot dogs. The theory is that this commandment relates to that. A visual “weinie” is something people see that draws them toward a place.

During our conference our speaker Michael Lingerfelt talked about when MGM (now Disney’s Hollywood) Studios opened there was no giant magician’s hat. The main visual element was an imitation of Grauman’s Chinese theater. While impressive in it’s own right, the theater failed to draw people toward the center of the park. Without the visual draw people congregated at the front, and cast members had to actually move people along toward the attraction, away from the entrance.

Now, every park has a central “weinie” which visually draws people in; from the hat at Hollywood, the Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom, Spaceship Earth at EPCOT, and of course the castle at Magic Kingdom. These images are iconic, almost like a logo for each park.

This commandment is more difficult to apply to church life in general, unless you are in a building program. Having a strategically placed, large iconic structure on property could help draw people toward your main worship center, or focus them toward other areas.

But if we shift this a bit, you can also see that a strong brand identity, which may be symbolized by a logo or image could draw people toward information about your ministry. An easily identifiable ministry logo may help someone who is looking for help know where to go, who to ask. For example, if you have a children’s check-in location at your church, you may want to use the children’s ministry branding to help guide parents and families to that location.