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Keeping the magic.
While sitting on a park bench at an amusement park watching his two daughters play, Walter notices how dirty and unkept the park was. He watched as parents waited, bored with nothing to do while their children went on rides. Surely, there had to be a better way to spend time together with family. In that moment, Walter’s mind conceptualized a new type of amusement park.
His plans were met with skepticism, but in 1955, Walt Disney proved them all wrong. His vision of a utopian world was realized with the opening of Disneyland in California.
“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” - Walt Disney
Walt stopped at nothing to maintain this dream-like world. He was very involved in all aspects of park operations and was frequently seen walking around the park during the day and at night. Maintenance crews worked after park closing, out of sight of guests, to ensure the park was free of litter and filth, and ready for opening the next day.
During one of his walkabouts, he noticed a cowboy walking through a futuristic themed section of the park. The Cowboy didn't belong there. So he thought of building underground passageways to hide uninspiring park operations like trash collection and removal, merchandise distribution, food deliveries and general movement of cast and crew.
“First, think. Second, believe. Third, dream. And finally, dare.”
Although it was not feasible to create these passageways at Disneyland, he did build them into his plans for Disney World, Florida, which opened its doors in 1971. Theme-park experts credit the park’s success to this continued focus on cleanliness and keeping the magic in place.
Today, some 600 Disney employees, from painters to gardeners, work to ensure that the 85-acre park stands up to the immaculate ideals of Walt Disney himself. The staff is trained to provide the ultimate guest experience and always be of service to them even if it’s “not their job.” The first rule they teach at employee orientation is “we create happiness” and the second, “Everyone picks up trash”; even management. Working together to create magic, promotes pride and ownership. It is, and has always been, the Disney way.
“Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, dreams are forever.”
What are you doing to bring magic to your customers?
Morty Silber, CEO
Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner