Instead, I’m exhausted, broke, and my feet still hurt.
Yet, despite my whining, we all had a wonderful time, especially my 6-year-old niece, Jacelyn, who was celebrating her 7th birthday early. She was treated like a princess by everyone on the Disney payroll, starting with her appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, where she was “magically” turned into Alice, complete with appropriate hair style, nail polish, and dress. After her pampering, she was fortunate enough to be selected to actually meet Alice, get an autograph, and ride the teacups with her.
|Alice took time out of her busy Wonderland schedule to pose |
and ride the teacups with Jacelyn
|Not even Jacelyn could remove the Sword from the Stone|
The rest of the week was a blister-inducing thrill ride, with park hopping from the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Downtown Disney. Crowds were fairly light most of the time, wait times for rides were only 5 to 10 minutes usually, and our hotel, the Pop Century Resort, wasn’t spectacular, but was clean and comfortable.
The only negative from the whole trip was on Thursday when it started pouring rain just after Tinkerbell flew from Cinderella’s Castle and the first fireworks lit up the sky. I lost Ella in the crowd as we tried to dart, along with hundreds of others, to the nearest shop, all the while getting pushed, shoved, and run over by baby strollers. Fortunately, she found me a short time later, and after a little forced shopping (it was still raining), we left the park, along with everyone else, it seemed, and endured a long, cold (A/C on full blast) bus trip back to the hotel.
While I enjoyed the time away from my online activities, I couldn’t fully turn off the thrifting portion of my brain, and continually thought about the business, and how we could learn a lot from Disney’s business model.
Granted, there is nothing thrifty about Disney. However, they are experts at separating you from your money. To do so, they mine every conceivable niche (vacations, food, toys, souvenirs, etc.), and they are constantly marketing, advertising, and, of course, selling. Disney also excels in customer service, with every employee, from the restroom attendants to the cast members on the parade floats, trained to ensure that park guests are treated like royalty, or, at the very least, like human beings, and not just like paying customers.
To be sure, our businesses are not and will never be comparable to Disney. However, if we take advantage of every opportunity afforded us; learn as much as we can about what actually sells; train ourselves to recognize, then exploit, potential new markets; and ensure that our buyers receive nothing less than total customer support, then maybe we will have a little more magic in our kingdom.
OK, that last line was kind of corny.
Back to work. Have a great week!