In fact, a trip to Disney World is such a terrific experience that perfectly logical people, young and old, often describe it as “magical.” And they often have something like withdrawal symptoms just after their vacation ends – they miss the experience even though they just got a big dose of it a few days earlier. What is that intangible feeling or experience that makes a Disney World vacation so different, so impactful, and so magical?
The magic that creates a unique and wonderful experience for Disney vacationers probably varies by person, but here are some of the elements that might just contribute to that special feeling:
People come to Disney World from every corner of the planet, and arrive on every day of the year. While the summers in Orlando can be oppressively hot and humid, and the winters can have an occasional cold spell that flirts with temperatures that freeze overnight, by and large the skies over Disney World are usually a deep, clean blue color. There are occasionally puffy white clouds. Yes, it does rain at Disney World – especially in the summer time when an afternoon downpour that lasts for fifteen minutes is typical. And yes, there is a stray gray day here and there. But by and large the skies are blue. Much of the population on this earth doesn’t get that kind of weather very often. And we all know that there is something about a nice day, weather wise, that can elevate the mood of even the most hardened traveler.
Perhaps the one defining quality that makes Disney parks so different from other entertainment ventures is the details. And it is all kinds of details. It is the music that was especially composed for the attraction that you visit. It is the carefully researched architecture that makes up all the buildings – from Disney resort hotels to restaurants. It is the landscaping that is not just meticulously maintained but also is designed to support the story of the area you are in. It is the focused attention that Disney has on keeping everything ultra clean – all the time. And it is the little touches that aren’t really necessary but are absolutely key to making Disney a magical place: From a mouse ears logo on the manhole covers to the towel art that housekeeping leaves on your bed, from the little thematic touches that enhance the attractions to the light fixtures that match the time and place of each area. All these little details come together to make the sum much greater than all the parts.
The last, and perhaps the most important piece of the Disney magic, is people – or more specifically Disney front-line employees – or “Cast Members” as they are known in Disney speak. These dedicated men and women go to work every day and give 110% to helping ensure that each guest has a special experience. Yes, these are real people with real problems and real lives. Disney Cast Members have stressed relationships, cars that break down, and worries about how to pay for their kid’s education. But they are all trained and retrained to constantly put the needs of the guest first, to be polite, and to do everything in their power to make memories for each visitor. Cast Members are trained to smile, to point with two fingers, to make eye contact, to say hello first, and to seek out opportunities to do something just a little extra special. That is why companies from all over the world send their management to study Disney’s methods for attracting, selecting, training, and managing people.
It All Comes Together
There are countless vacation destinations out there, and there are plenty of hotels, amusement parks, and restaurants. But none of them does quite what Disney does. By using their location with great weather, the details in everything, and the Cast Members who call Disney the place they are building their careers, the Walt Disney World Resort does something quite incredible –they create magic every day.