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4 Must-Know Lessons from Disney on Customer Service

, | December 29, 2020 | By

Looking back, we can all remember a moment when Disney impacted our life.

Whether you’re a child or an adult experiencing the Disney ethos for the first time, it changes you.

Disney Cast Members are trained from day one to deliver an experience worth writing about.

With decades of life-changing experiences under their belt, it’s easy to understand that Disney is the guiding light for customer service across industries.

Walt Disney once said, “You reach a point where you don’t work for money.”

We don’t believe he meant that money in your business isn't a priority or even important…


At some point, the money exchange is just not relevant to the experience that you want to create for your customers.

Provide a great experience, exceed customer expectations, and memories are generated.

Do this over and over again and the money will come.

Trust us.

Move Your Service from Good to Great

It’s quite simple, yet for some reason we all have a little trouble sometimes.

Take a trip down Main Street and you’ll immediately be enveloped within the magical experience.

For those of you working to create this at your own property, it can be a bittersweet moment.

Two things will happen.


You’ll see how well Disney’s standards are executed by Cast Members.


You may get frustrated with the fact that you and your team could be delivering a higher quality of service to guests at your property.

Understanding the moments and memories that take place at your property may light a little fire for you to work your butt off and deliver a world-class service environment.

Your class is in session and we found a few things Disney does to perfect and provide service so good, even adults are kicking and screaming when they have to leave.

Redefine Your Customer Service

The Disney Institute transforms organizations through custom solutions based on the time-tested success and insights of The Walt Disney Company.


Let’s start transforming your team’s customer service leading to “Wow!” moments. You probably deliver great service, but you can always do it better.

Exceeding guest expectations is delivered in a package deal.

There’s always more than meets the eye.

It’s not only about being a kind person that leads to a memorable experience.

It starts with safety.

Safety makes dreams come true.

  • Practice safe behaviors in everything you do.
  • Take action to always put safety first.
  • Speak up to ensure the safety of others.

If something could potentially harm your team or your guests.

Take it out of the equation.

Don’t even make it a possibility.


As a professional, you must decide whether a project will require too much time and money to complete safely.

End that fairy tale before it even gets started.

Be courteous. It’s the right thing to do.

  • Project a positive image and energy.
  • Be courteous and respectful to Guests (yes, with a capital G – that’s the Disney way) of all ages.
  • Go above and beyond to exceed Guest expectations.

Your patrons pay a handsome fee to attend your events.

We say, make it worth their time.

This is where the Guest contact part of the customer experience enters the “stage.”

Don’t have service standards in place? Don’t let it ruin your magical moment - the Seven Dwarfs got you covered.

Always be ready for the show.

  • Stay in character and perform your role during the event.
  • Ensure your area is show-ready at all times.

It’s important to know:

The experience is only a part of the memory.

The environment you and your team maintain adds to the “Show.”

It’s the stuff you don’t see that makes the experience something to remember.

Make it so your guests don’t have to think about wet floors, broken cup holders, candy wrappers, or other messes distracting them from enjoying your events.

Disney is all about efficiency. Are you?

  • Perform your role efficiently so Guests get the most out of their visit.
  • Use your time and resources wisely.

Efficiency is the final product for delivering a customer experience good enough to be comparable to what’s delivered by the Cast Members at Disney.

  1. Knowing and following all processes and procedures.
  2. Having an awareness of all your surroundings to know of any potential hazards.
  3. Communication.

Take it from us.

Your team’s ability to communicate has a lasting impact on all aspects of your operation from incident response all the way to customer service.

Over to You

Put these things into action, and then check back to see how your team is doing. You can continuously analyze your customer service effectiveness too.

Take a page from Walt’s handbook and always strive to do it better. That’s how you always make your guests’ experience memorable.

Your customers’ memories certainly matter to them. Show them how much they matter to you!

Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and freshness.

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