Mickey and Ronald




suggest appetite lose my appetite
founder in-depth respective
brief Big Time ambulance
corps prickly personality
empire above all milkshake
vast invent foot in the door
afford ruthless biography
local expand enterprise
foster enchant placement
charm breathe theme park
tactic similar essentially
allure recognize according to
arch golden Golden Arches
aura employ the point is
dazzle enthrall




Fast Food Nation

Within 10 minutes of reading Eric Schlosser’s book, Fast Food Nation, most people will have lost their appetite for hamburgers.

As the title suggests, Schlosser takes an in-depth look at the fast food industry.


The book includes a brief biography of Ray Kroc and Walt Disney, the respective founders of the McDonald’s and Disney Corporations.

The two men had much in common.

Neither went to college. Both served in the army during World War II (in the same ambulance corps). Both could have prickly personalities. Both could be ruthless in business.

And above all, both built vast empires out of nothing.


How did they make it to the Big Time?

Essentially, by taking a small idea — and BALLOONING it.

Walt used a garage for an art studio, since he couldn’t afford to rent a real one. It was here that Mickey Mouse was “born”.


One way Walt expanded his enterprise was by inventing product placement (advertisements) in movies and around his theme parks.

More significantly, he created and fostered the magic, enchantment and allure of Disneyland.

By the time Walt was done, Mickey and Donald and Goofy had gone from cartoons on paper to living . . . breathing . . . characters. With a home of their own.

Now people could visit them in person — everyone could now become part of the Disneyland Magic.


McDonald’s employed a similar tactic.

Kroc got his foot in the fast food door by selling milkshake machines to local restaurants.

To create an empire, Kroc made a hamburger more than just a quick meal: he invented a character to go with it: “Speedy the Cheeseburger” . . . which then became “Archie McDonald” . . . and, finally, the Ronald McDonald we know today.

In fact, according to studies, Ronald McDonald is now more recognizable worldwide than images of Jesus Christ. And more than 90% of children in the U.S. can recognize the Golden Arches before they can read their own names on paper.

McDonald’s commercials feature the fantasy world of “McDonaldland,” which prospers under the leadership of “Mayor McCheese.”

Dazzle and Enthrall

The point is, both Kroc and Disney realized that the bigger the aura and charm that surrounded their product, the more they could dazzle, enchant and enthrall the public.

The result: a burger and a mouse have become American cultural icons.

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McDonald’s. “Within 10 minutes of reading Eric Schlosser’s book, ‘Fast Food Nation’, most people will” feel hungry and develop a big appetite. True or false? What does the first sentence mean?

KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken).
Who were the founders of McDonald’s and Disney Corporation? Did they have similar backgrounds, characters and accomplishments?

Burger King.
Both men inherited big businesses from their parents. True or false? How did they start?

What was their secret of success? What methods, techniques and tactics did they employ?

Taco Bell.
They used psychological “warfare”. Do you agree?

Pizza Hut.
McDonald’s and Disneyland are ordinary companies. Yes or no?

Domino’s Pizza.
What is the lesson or main idea of this text?

Disneyland (Anaheim, California, USA).
Are there theme parks in your city or country? Have you visited a theme park? Describe it.

Universal Studios Hollywood (California, USA). McDonald’s is popular in my city. Yes or no?

Six Flags Magic Mountain (Valencia, California, USA). Why are theme parks successful? Why is McDonald’s so successful? Is McDonald’s success good, bad, neither or both?

Europa-Park (Germany). How could you apply the tactics of McDonald’s and Disneyland to your enterprise?

SeaWorld San Diego, SeaWorld Orlando. What will happen to McDonald’s and Disneyland in the future?

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