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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Disney Makes Memories Out of Potential Misery

I know I just bashed Disney and their guest services, so I wanted to come back and make amends with the mouse, so here goes...

Our first full day in Disney World, we went to the Magic Kingdom for the Electric parade where floats and characters lit up by thousands of lights pass by thousands of people. Like most anything in Disney World, you have to rush there early to get a seat and be able to see. So, we hurried to find a front row seat along Main Street to watch. Being the perpetual people watcher I am, I looked around and noticed young children juiced up on cotton candy and funnel cake and suckers and Mickey only knows what else. This is the formula for disaster I thought. How could any parent legally keep kids in order while managing anticipation of the parade?

It was at this point that I noticed cast members stepping out of the crowd into main street with hula hoops. They each selected one of the hula hoops and began hula hooping right there in the middle of the street for all to see. Another group came out with a big rope and began to jump rope. Then they turned, found a child and invited them to join in the fun. This went on for almost 45 minutes. Kids jump roping, hula hooping and at one time even a group of about 20 played Mickey Says and doing the hokey pokey under the guidance of cast members. Anyone was welcome to join and several kids ran to get their parents involved too. Yes, even I stood in for a round or two of the chicken dance before the parade started as parents clicked picture after picture of their child dancing, jumping and swiveling their hips on Main Street Disney.

The amazing thing here is Disney didn’t just provide a really cool parade, but they also knew the potential misery parents would face and provided a solution to it by making a memory for everyone with some plastic hoops and a big piece of rope.

Ask yourself, what kind of plastic hoops and rope do you have laying around your business that you can alleviate your customer's misery with?