What Would Disney Do?

My primary job for more than a dozen years has been a digital platform manager. As such one of my concerns has always been to make sure the platforms I work on provide the user with a good experience. I look to the leisure travel industry for lessons on good user experiences. After all the only reason people spend their own money to travel is for the experiences it provides them. If the experience the traveler receives isn’t good, they will not do business with that organization again and word will get out about the poor experience.

I have been a fan of Disney for 20 years now and they have continued to improve on the guest’s experience over the years, both in the parks and the movies/TV shows. The park attendance continues to rise year over year and Disney had 10 movies that each made over 1 billion dollars in 2019. This proves they are doing something right. While I don’t blindly attempt to follow what Disney does, when I am thinking about a problem I do ask myself WWDD (What Would Disney Do).

A relatively recent enhancement to the user experience when staying on Disney property is the use of your Magic Band (RFIC chip you are sent ahead of time) as your room key. Before your trip, you enter information on their web site, including a credit card, and you never have to visit the front desk. In the afternoon you get a text message when your room is ready that includes your room number. You go directly to your room, bypassing check-in, and use your Magic Band or cell phone to unlock your door. When your trip is over you get an e-mail in the early hours of the morning of checkout with your final bill. Waiting in line to check-in or check-out is a thing of the past. In contrast, when I stay at Wyndham it takes 15-20 minutes for me to get checked in, usually late at night, which leaves me irritable and not the way I want to start my vacation.

The staff in the parks all put forth every effort to ensure you are enjoying your visit. They understand that ensuring guests have a good time is their top priority. Ask anyone, from a manager to a street sweeper and they will gladly do all they can to help you. Most of the time when you see a manager walking around they are carrying grabber and if they see even the smallest bit of trash they will pick it up and throw it away. From what I can see the entire organization is devoted to the user experience, and those of us responsible for building things consider their example to ensure our users have a good experience.