Book Jeff

Life Is an Omnimover

It was a most interesting announcement.

Last spring, Lyndsey and I were at Disneyland enjoying The Haunted Mansion when everything suddenly stopped. We heard the voice overhead reminding everyone to “face forward” and were told that our tour was “being monitored.” I wasn’t 100 percent sure what was going on. Even now, I’m not sure I want to know what was going on.

But we both have our theories….

What I find interesting is we were riding in “Doom Buggies,” aka Disney’s famed Omnimovers, which do anything but just “face forward.” Here’s why. Following the success of the Ford Magic Skyway at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, Imagineers were looking for ways to improve both attraction design and storytelling. According to Disney Legend Bob Gurr, the idea for the new ride vehicles came during a casual meeting in John Hench’s office. Gurr saw a candied apple sitting on John’s desk, grabbed the apple by its stick, swiveled it, and began rotating it. This candied apple became a kind of prototype for the Omnimovers we enjoy today.

Before Omnimovers, Disney attractions were usually an endless chain of vehicles and guests who just “saw what they saw.” With the Omnimover, first dispatched in Disneyland’s Adventures Thru Innerspace attraction in August 1967, and then The Haunted Mansion in August 1969 (and many others since), Imagineers are able to focus a guest’s vision into a particular scene…and away from what they don’t want us to see. They can rotate the ride vehicle 180 degrees, rocking backwards, turning left or right, and point the clam-shaped pods in a very specific direction. Sam Gennawey explains further:

The Omnimover allowed the Imagineers to manipulate the guests’ point of view like they would a movie camera. Guests would be focused on the best part of the illusions. The guests would be isolated into small groups, and their movements would be under complete control. The timing of each scene could be precisely mapped out.

And you can do the same with your life and your world. The Omnimover reminds us of one of life’s greatest truths, per Tony Robbins. We don’t really experience life. Instead, we only really experience the parts of life we choose to focus on. Think about it.

If you focus on the parts of your world that fill you with joy, happiness, and abundance, then you will feel joy, happiness, and abundance. If, however, you constantly focus on your frustrations, your anger, and where you are lacking…then your story will be one filled with, you guessed it, frustration, rage, and scarcity.

So, be careful where you point your camera each morning. Pay attention to what you think about at the end of each day. I want to encourage you to stay on track by staying away from negative news, negative people, and negative thinking. Manipulate your mindset by setting your sights on the specific story you are striving for, even if for right now it is only an illusion.

Regardless of which direction you are facing, remember to keep moving forward. Because yes, your tour is being monitored.

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” — Apostle Paul, Philippians 4:8-9

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