Disney’s 4 levels of detail and mixing peanut butter and honey.

Walt Disney had 4 levels of detail:

  • Level One: You see something like a church steeple off in the distance, you recognize something over there and start to walk towards it.
  • Level two: You’re on Main Street. You see the buildings and their general placements and relative details.
  • Level three: You’re in front of a building, you can see the textures and the colors of the materials used.
  • Level four: You’re touching a door, or a door knocker, you can feel its weight, its temperature, it’s texture.

Most other theme parks likely stop at something like level two or level three, level 4 is what makes Disney a better experience.

This ties in with another thought I’ve often had when I make a mixture of peanut butter and honey. When you mix them together, from your current perspective they turn into a homogenous looking mixture. If you put it under a microscope with enough magnification, it would no longer look homogenous, you would see separate peanut and honey clusters. If you magnified enough again, it would look homogenous again, but only as either peanut particles, or honey, not as the mixture.

There is something magical about showing people something that is right in front of their eyes that they didn’t see. That’s what the microscope does for the peanut butter and honey mixture, and that’s what Disney does for the experience as you walk closer and closer to the attractions and see the detail applied.

What are the levels of detail in your work?