Always remember, the magic begins with you. -Be Our Guest, Disney Editions Book
In January I spent a week at Disneyland in Southern California.
I’ve been to the theme park over twenty times and always enjoy every minute.
The seven hour trek down to Southern California, the delicious turkey legs from food carts, autographs from Disney characters, Fantasmic, Splash Mountain and other attractions.
Simply, the happiest place on earth.
Every time I visit the park I’m always enthralled by the Disney Company’s attention to minute details. They know the little things matter. The customer experience matters. If you have a good time, it will equate to a return trip.
Disney understands human psychology, marketing & customer service.
While perusing the park I wrote down a notes in my iPhone’s Evernote app, of which we’ll explore below.
The Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters Email Marketing Machine
The photo above is my Uncle Greg and me on the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters ride.
My Dad and I always have some form of bet going between scores. I won a game with my 762,000, he won another & Uncle lost one. Eventually I came out on top.
The marvelous part of this ride is its ability to capture emails.
This might sound weird, but really, it’s an email marketing machine.
After you go through the ride, gain points by shooting lit targets & defeat the evil Emperor Zurg; you’re brought to a room filled with touchscreen computers after exiting the ride.
You visit a computer, find your picture (like the one posted above), enter your email & the photo is sent.
Disneyland collects thousands of emails every hour using this email collecting method.
Once you’ve entered your email to have your photo sent, Disney promotional emails are sent to your address until your unsubscribe.
What Disney understands is that if the “freebie” attached to entering an email is great enough – almost every person will choose to give their contact information. It’s basic marketing psychology displayed at its finest, and in a very large dose.
Takeaway: What are you offering visitors in return after they share their email address? Is it a strong enough pull, and valuable enough, to warrant receiving their contact info? Ask yourself; would I give my email in return for this free product or giveaway?
Free Magic Lessons
My brother found an interest in magic at the old Main Street Magic shop, where actor Steve Martin once worked and performed.
How does the shop entice you to buy a magic trick?
First they perform the trick in professional fashion, and then offer to teach you how to perform the trick in the back room covered by a red, velvet curtain.
Ultimately, my brother bought a few magic trick packages, was taught how to perform them in the back room, and went on his merry way.
“If you notice a child’s balloon pops; give them a new one.”
After talking with my cousin, who works at the Disneyland theme park (and previously worked at Disney World), she relayed to me this simple instruction taught at the park to employees:
“If you notice a child’s balloon pops; give them a new one.”
Disneyland understands that the cost of a free balloon is minute compared to the customer’s overall satisfaction.
Disney’s goal is to leave the customer with a lasting, positive impression.
Collecting Entices Buying
Disney is a machine when it comes to producing collectible products.
You’ve probably heard (or collect yourself) of Disney Collectible Pins, Vinylmations; and Disney movies.
The goal and thought of “completing a collection” in a human’s mind sparks a form of hunger that is only satiaseted by a purchase within the collectible set.
Throughout my stay I purchased ten more Vinylmation characters.
Disneyland won again.
The Main Street Optical Illusion
After spending weeks of my life at Disneyland, I’ve come to understand certain “tricks” they play with your mind. Aggregated by talking to employees, family members who have worked at the park and research online.
One optical illusion they’ve designed for the customer’s benefit is the following:
Main Street is the road you walk on when first entering the park.
It’s designed to look longer when you enter and shorter when you leave. How do they do it? They slant the height of the buildings to grow shorter when you’re looking towards the castle (entering) and taller in the reverse direction.
This gives your mind an optical illusion of distorted distance.
And why do they do this?
Disneyland wants the park to look larger, grand and monstrous when you first enter the park. Early in the morning, you’re energized and ready to walk anyways. When you leave the park, late at night, you’re usually tired; and enjoy seeing the exit feeling like it’s closer.
Again, Disneyland seeks to produce a better experience for the customer.
“There Be No Trash In These Parts!”
In one, two-hundred foot sized coutyard of the park, I counted 26 trash bins.
It was a trash bin roughly every 20-50 feet.
The entire park is also pressure washed every night between closing and opening times.
It’s an unwritten law that every theme park in the world you visit, after visiting Disneyland, will always feel dirty.
Disneyland understands the impact cleanliness (or lack therof) makes on theme park visitors.
Mickey keeps a clean home.
A Man, A Mouse, A Legacy
I don’t know that Walt Disney, when he envisioned Disneyland, was so much concerned with trash bin placement as he was the overall enjoyment and satisfaction of his visitors.
The man understood the power in dreaming, building a quality product, and delivering it to the people.
For it was he who so elequantly stated at Disneyland’s grand opening…
To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America; with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.
What have you learned from the Disneyland theme park that you might take into your own business? What is your customer service policy? Does it exist?