Two Days at the Disney Lab: Uncovering the Secret of Disney’s Magical Guest Experiences

Note: In 2013 I had the opportunity to spend two concentrated days at Walt Disney World, and the result was the following series of posts on my Top Ten Takeaways. I’m reposting them beginning today, with a few updates. It’s timely, because when this series ends, I will be onsite at Walt Disney World, where all 14 of my immediate family will be spending the week. After that, it will be time for a brand new series about what I learned on the Adams Family Adventures at Walt Disney World!

Class time is over – it’s time for some lab work!

Over the last month, I have invited you into the world of training at the Disney University – courtesy of a new book entitled Disney U, by Doug Lipp, former head of the training team of Disney University.

Last week, I had the opportunity to take the lessons learned from Disney U and watch them in action at Walt Disney World – spending a whole day in the Magic Kingdom and another day in a “Backstage Magic” tour of all four theme parks.

Want to join me in some lab work?

Ernesto, Disney Institute Tour Guide

Ernesto, Disney Institute Tour Guide

Two comments made in passing by Ernesto, our Disney Institute tour guide for the Backstage Magic tour, put everything in perspective for me. Like bookends, they made the day line up and look all in place. The first was made at our first stop “backstage” at the American Adventure in Epcot. The second was made as we walked down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom at the end of the day.

If you notice it, something is wrong.

It’s not the magic that works; it’s the work that makes the magic.


With those two comments in mind, and looking back over those two days immersed in Disney culture, I have managed to uncover the secret of Disney’s magic. It was right in front of me all the time, yet I didn’t notice it.

That same magic is also very applicable to the volunteer Guest Experience teams in your church as well.

Are you prepared to be overwhelmed by the simplicity of Disney’s “Magic?”

Attention to details.

Yep – that’s it. It’s so simply stated, but so powerful in application.

As I spent hours walking the parks, talking with and observing Cast Members, watching Guests, and participating in discussions with Disney Institute leaders, I realized the Magic of Disney is attention to details. But don’t let that simplicity fool you – as I discovered, there is an art and science to Disney, and literally thousands of actions stem from those three simple words – Attention to Details.

With that in mind, tomorrow I will begin the Top Ten Takeaways from my Disney Lab experience, with a challenge for you to consider applying them in your church.

Ready to learn?

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