Around the World in 31 Days

That’s World, as in Walt Disney World – traveling in all sorts of vehicles.

 

In 2017, I was able to be at Walt Disney World for 31 days.

Thanks to the unexpected generosity of two of my kids, my 2016 Annual Pass was renewed for 2017. That, coupled with a lot of client work in the Central Florida area, was all I needed to have an amazing year of yes, magical, experiences.

Let me unpack this a little: I don’t do attractions that have motion to them (vertigo). Most of those days were solo trips (though I did have some very special time with my wife in April, and my wife and daughter in November). On some days I would drop in for just a few hours – maybe for a single show and a meal. Others, the full day experience. On one particular day, I spent almost 20 hours at the Magic Kingdom, beginning with a 5:45 a.m. visit with the Parking Lot Cast Members, and ending at 2 a.m. the next day closing the park out.

As one of my friends put it, “Why?”

In an image:

 

As former Disney Cast Member Jody Jean Dreyer writes in her book Beyond the Castle:

“Leave it to a Disney candelabra to speak the truth that we find our purpose in living for something greater than ourselves. Lumière knew too well the sorry life of a servant who’s not serving. Certainly Disney found its purpose and the secret of its success in providing excellent service to customers, visitors, and tourists. But because words have power to shape our attitudes and actions, those terms – customer, visitors, and tourists – were never used to describe Disney’s target audience. Instead, our Guests were invited, wanted, and welcome.”

 

In a phrase:

 

Be Our Guest” has been the invitation for people coming to a Disney theme park long before the song from “Beauty and the Beast” became a box office hit. As noted above, it underscores an important element in the Disney vocabulary, that customers are not referred to as such, but rather as Guests. In the Disney nomenclature, the word “Guest” is capitalized and treated as a formal noun. Everyone coming to a Disney Park is welcomed as a Guest for the first time.

That one simple vocabulary change, changes everything.

In a word:

 

Focus.

Start with the image on the left: the Cast Member is smiling at the large crowd headed her way. But as you look at the next image, she is looking downward – seemingly away from the crowd approaching her. As the other two images show, culminating in the lower right, her focus all along has been on children right in front of her, but masked by the crowd from my initial viewpoint.

Boom.

Disney expects Guests.

The 31 days at Walt Disney World provided me with dozens of conversations with current and former Cast Members. I was able to spend hours just watching interactions between Cast Members and Guests. I photographed thousands of “moments” that tell stories. Whether an hour or a day, my time at Walt Disney World provided an immersion into the excellence of Disney when it comes to Guests.

Now, it’s time to share that information!

Coming in 2018:

Guest Experience Boot Camps

Immersive Leadership Experiences

  • February 5-8, 20 Church Guest Experience Leaders, Walt Disney World

Tool Development

  • Guest Experience TeamUP – high-level thinking, ground-level application
  • Immersive Flip Deck – prompts for measuring Guest Experiences
  • Seven Checkpoints Individual Guides

Customized Consultations

Regular Content Updates 

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