NDD93 (2 Posts)

Blogger, father, retail manager, barbershop singer, graduate of the Disney Institute.

Why do you go to Walt Disney World?

For most of us ND types, we could write volumes about why we choose to spend our money (or other peoples’ money) at the Walt Disney World Resort. But there is one reason I want to particularly focus on today.

Recently, I was able to spend five nights at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort. I had heard so many people talk about it and blog about it that I thought I would give it a try. From the iron railings, brick inlayed streets, horse-drawn carriages and that ever present Dixieland jazz band music, you are transported directly to Bourbon Street . . . without the smell of urine and the sound of party goers until the wee hours of the morning.

A smaller resort than other moderates, POFQ has a great theme, ample sized rooms and comfortable accommodations for this family of four.

Immediately following our family time, I went to another resort for a work convention.  I’m not going to name the other resort. Let’s just say it is close to the WDW Resort but it is not owned or operated by the Disney folks.  The rooms were great, beds were comfortable, free internet access (wireless too!) and the price was about what you would pay for a moderate resort at WDW.

But, the main difference that struck me was . . . . can anyone guess? It was the level of customer service, the red-carpet treatment if you will, that was lacking. Before the check-in process was finished, the front desk representative was going over a list of “you can’t do this and that” before they got into the short list of resort benefits.  This really didn’t impress me to start my stay in such a negative way. Maybe I was expecting too much.  Or, maybe they weren’t too concerned with having my business.

As part of my Disney Institute experiences, we were taught from the beginning that there is no real pixie dust that is sprinkled around every day in order to create the magic. It is the people that make the magic happen.

For instance, a great friend and mentor, Jeff Noel, invited me to join him and his current Disney Institute class for a special viewing of IllumiNations one of the evenings we were around. They even had several desserts setup on tables in this area just in front of the China Pavilion. The group for this class represented several countries and they were appropriately dressed in casual business attire. My son and I showed up in our Disney t-shirts and shorts. We definitely stood out so we tried not to get in the way even though we were all fighting for wall space to get the best view.  But we were still welcomed as special guests.

During the show, I had been standing behind my son so we didn’t take up much room. I decided to move off to the side so that others could see better. What I was able to see was the reaction on my 10-year-old son’s face to the spectacle before him. It was a mixture of awe and pure joy as the music filled the air along with the stunning display of pyrotechnics.

When it finally ended, we snuck out and headed for our ride back to the resort without saying goodbye. I noticed my son rubbing his eyes a bit and I asked him if he was okay. He told me that this was the best vacation ever and he was sad to see it end with the best fireworks show in the world.  We stopped in front of France and had ourselves a good cry.

He also commented that he likes my Disney friends because they do special things to make vacations special. I told him that is what separates Disney from just about everyone else out there. We didn’t do anything to deserve the VIP treatment we received. Yet, Disney seemingly goes out of their way to make magic. And it’s the people behind the magic.

Another example of how they made our trip special goes back to the last Friday of this year’s Star Wars Weekends. Another Disney friend sent me an email saying he would like to be our special attraction pass to use any way we wanted. Not really understanding what he meant, I told him we were at DHS and he could meet us there. When we met up, he asked where we wanted to go. He would be our Fast Pass for the afternoon. WOW!!!!! It took a moment to decide what to do because I was so awestruck. So we got to go to the head of the line for Toy Story Midway Mania and my new favorite ride, Rock N Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith! We talked a little business as we walked along the way. But the joy of being able to enjoy these attractions without the long wait was almost overwhelming.

If you are in any kind of service capacity with your job, I ask you why people do business with you. Do you offer a level of service that makes your company stand out from everyone else? Or is it just business as usual? You are the one that can make a difference. Are you a magic maker?

Contributed by: David B. (NDD#93). David lives with his wife and two children in the Atlanta area. He is the writer and creator of the blog It’s All About The Customer .

4 thoughts on “ARE YOU A MAGIC MAKER?

  1. Wow. I'm guessing your stay was at the Swan and Dolphin. I have had great experiences with the staff there and excellent customer service and “magic” all around. It's one of my preferred hotels — definitely one I'd choose over any moderate other than CSR.

  2. Hey Amy. Yes, the second stay was at the Swan and Dolphin. . . we were on the Dolphin side. By most standards it was fine. However, starting with a Disney run resort and going elsewhere seemed to be a letdown. Especially when there were several “magical” moments that occurred along the way before getting there and none afterward.

  3. David,

    Great post! and you know your article sums it up in the quote by Walt himself said and I hold very dear to my heart.”You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.

    I deal with alot of customers in my company and it is important for me that the feel that I have done my best to make them satisfied with the end result.

  4. That is the reason why we absolutely LOVE going to Disney World… my kids even noticed the difference when they were 14 & 17 and we went to two different parks in the Orlando area. They couldn't believe the difference in cleanliness and friendliness. While they said they liked the rides, they said they liked the over all “feel” and people at Disney a whole lot better.
    I am someone who is absolutely feels that customer service is extremely important to anywhere I do business, I used to teach customer service in a retail food chain up north to new employees (and beat them to death with it, TeeHee)… I will go out of my way to a place with better service instead of someplace closer if they have terrible service. Plus I will let the owner/manager of a company know when I have been treated poorly and treated better than average.
    Great article.

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