Photo above courtesy of Walt Disney Company.

The Disney trip is the latest way that Tech’s College of Business is offering immersive learning opportunities to its majors

A group of 17 students in Tennessee Tech University’s College of Business got an immersive learning experience at the happiest place on earth.

The students spent four days at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida as a culminating activity for their “Leadership the Disney Way” course, taught by instructor Sherrie Cannon and lecturer Chelsea Dowell.

Students on the trip visited non-public areas of the parks, participated in workshops and team building activities, met with Disney leadership to get an up-close look at the entertainment juggernaut’s marketing operation and, of course, enjoyed the many rides and attractions.

Pictured above – Students in Tech’s College of Business give a “Wings Up” hand signal outside the Disney Imagination Campus at Walt Disney World Resort

“It was cool for me to get to go completely behind-the-scenes at Disney. That’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said P.J. Barnes, a senior business intelligence and analytics major from Crab Orchard, Tennessee “We got to see everything from where they made the uniforms, to where their lockers were, how they ran things and where some of their executive staff were.”

Caedmon Oakes, a senior business management major from Greeneville, Tennessee, called the trip a “sneak-peak, a few days where you could see everything.”

“It was really interesting just to see the whole operation,” he added.

Addison Dorris, a senior marketing and human resources management major from Portland, Tennessee, said the trip offered insight into Disney’s intentionality around details as minute as paint colors – explaining how the park used proprietary shades such as “Go Away Green” and “Blending Blue” to create optical illusions that ensure certain structures do not disrupt the park’s pristine aesthetic.

“As a marketing major that was so important to see how you create an atmosphere for your customer that makes it feel like they’re totally immersed in a different world,” added Dorris.

Cannon said she believes students can learn powerful lessons from Disney’s business model that they can apply to their own careers. 

“I’m such a proponent of getting students hands-on experience and Disney is the perfect setting because everything they do is a marketing opportunity, from the smell you experience when you walk into the parks, to the visual features and costuming, to the people,” said Cannon. “And from the economics side, the impact of Disney on the state of Florida is incredible.”

The Disney trip is the latest way that Tech’s College of Business is offering immersive learning opportunities to its majors. College of Business leadership reports that more than 90% of students in the college have participated in at least one experiential learning activity.

Now, Cannon is fast at work planning a reimagined version of her course for spring 2025 – this time with an added twist.

“It will be a land and sea package,” said Cannon, describing the capstone trip planned for next year’s course. “Disney has offered to let us do three days on land and three days at sea on a Disney cruise ship!”

Learn more about Tech’s College of Business at

Image by wirestock on Freepik.

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