Tell people you're a Disney fan and they think you're a little funny. Really, a grown man with a fascination for Mickey Mouse? To them I say...whatever!
Well there's more to it than just that. And while there's nothing wrong with being a fan of the mouse, there's quite a few reasons to be a grown up fan of WDW. Here's a countdown of just some of the reasons I'm such a big fan:
All new Cast Members (Disney speak for 'employees') must take part in an orientation called Traditions. The class covers Walt Disney's teachings, business philosophies and legacies. While leadership comes and goes, the company's foundation remains strong to fulfilling Walt's legacy.
What's not to love about a 100 year old company that has stayed true to their founder's philosophies?
If you've priced a Disney vacation at any point then you know it isn't cheap. As a cast member told me during my recent trip, "There is no recession in Disney." A recent call to the 700+ campsite, Fort Wilderness, I was told there was absolutely no vacancy. In fact the only resort with vacancy were the value resorts.
Disney has managed to create a loyal following of fans that choose to spend their disposable/vacation dollars at the resort. Prices continue to go up yet the Parks are still full. It's hard not to admire this from a business perspective. One of Walt's business philosophies was "Do what you do so well that people will want to see it again, and bring their friends." That philosophy still rings true.
EVERYTHING in Disney tells a story. From the restaurants and attractions to the Parks and the stores, immense attention has been spent on creating an atmosphere that tells a compelling story. The themes, characters, colors and architecture all come together to immerse guests into the story.
Most businesses that I know of do not put as much thought into their practices, facilities or service. It's a reason for Disney's success.
Disney equates guest-facing business to putting on a show. Cast members who do not exude excellence as said to be displaying 'bad show.' Disney knows that when a guest (Disney speak for "customer") is present, cast members are engaged in putting on a show that will continue to wow others.
Guest interactions, costumes, facilities and story (as stated above) all play a part in putting on a good show for their guests.
Again, one of the reasons Disney gets high satisfaction ratings among their guests.
3. Excellence in Diversity
This company has their hand in EVERYTHING, and they do most of it very well. Theme parks, world-wide vacations, cruising, TV, movies, music, you name it and the company has done it. That's not to say that there haven't been failures, but Disney is a company that takes chances.
2. Attention to Detail
You may have heard that during the creation of Disney's theme parks that Walt had conducted research and found that a guest who is holding a piece of trash walked an average of 30 steps before discarding it on the floor. To combat this Walt had garbage receptacles placed every 30 feet.
Disney has proven that they put so much forethought into their work, more so than any other business vying for others' disposable income, and it's a reason they excel. And that's worthy of admiration.
Sure, this is where some of the funny comes in. The name, the brand Disney is synonymous with 'MAGIC'. Their attention to detail, excellence, story and show all come together to make their guests believe that anything is possible in their world.
And frankly, as weird as it seems, isn't that what everyone wants? Wouldn't it be neat to live in a world where anything is possible? Where people can fly? Where the good guy wins? Where dreams are not smashed by the outside world? Where everyone has a word of kindness? Where the innocence of children is cherished? I know that's what I would want and it's the reason I'm such a big fan of the World and the Disney company.