Disney at Work Podcast #7: Part II of Lessons From Disney–And Vice Versa!

Disney at Work Podcast #7: Part II of Lessons From Disney–And Vice Versa!

With Special Guest Doug Barnes of The Season Pass Podcast

Welcome to the second part of our latest Disney at Work Podcast episode, where we had a great time chatting with Doug Barnes of The Season Pass Podcast about Lessons From Disney – And Vice Versa. If you love all things regarding theme parks, you don’t want to miss this episode. He, along with Brent Young and Robert Coker, have a terrific podcast, and it was our honor to have Doug be our first guest on our Disney at Work podcast. If you haven’t heard it yet, you can find Part I here.

In this second part, we continued chatting about the following two topics:

  1. What lessons could other theme parks learn from Disney?
  2. What lessons could Disney learn from other theme parks?


Here are a couple of images and thoughts that round out the ideas we spoke of during the podcast:

The fine line that Doug spoke of between new attractions and what is beloved at Disneyland can be found here along the newly laid tracks for the Disneyland Railroad, where Rivers of America has been kept, but shortened in order to make room for Star Wars to come in. Bringing in new attractions while preserving what makes Disneyland great is a big challenge.

Construction in Frontierland in preparation for Star Wars Land. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

We spoke of the use of broad and tight spaces in the Harry Potter experiences, which can be seen here at Diagon Alley.

Lessons From Disney
Diagon Alley at Universal Florida. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

There is so much to love in the new Fantasyland Forest–except for the highway that goes through. Disney emphasizes the need to deal with capacity, but the open road spaces sometimes impede the theming more than anything.

Lessons From Disney
The Fantasyland Highway going past the Be Our Guest restaurant. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The details are incredible at Harambe Marketplace–perhaps indicative of what to expect from Pandora when it premieres. Now if only there were better food and beverage per caps.

Lessons From Disney
Harambe Marketplace. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.




A great example of an immersive environment are the attractions themed to Alice in Wonderland in Disneyland Paris. Like Pandora, most haven’t seen the movie–and if they have, they don’t remember exactly how the story goes or all the characters. Yet the film still offers a great sense of place.

Lessons From Disneyland
Alice in Wonderland maze in Disneyland Paris. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

An example we provide of a great turn around is the year Walt Disney added a monorail, a submarine voyage, and a Matterhorn bobsled ride. Nowadays, it would take years to implement these attractions.

Lessons From Disney
The monorail curves around the Matterhorn as it moves above the submarine lagoon. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Pirates of the Caribbean at Shanghai Disneyland is a great example of how people across the industry were contracted to create a totally new experience in the theme park industry.

Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure, at Shanghai Disneyland. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Lessons From Disney: Souvenirs For Your Organization

From this and the Part I episode, we have some important souvenirs for you to apply in your organization:

  1. Immerse your guests/customers. Remove the distractions from the products and services you offer.
  2. Create the entire experience. Don’t just focus on the product or service.
  3. Don’t just put lipstick on a pig–Create value.
  4. Get to market sooner.
  5. Don’t wait to make quality better.
  6. Don’t lose your heritage.
  7. Don’t wait for your competition to surpass you.
  8. Don’t be so right about your rules.
  9. Cut out the dog and pony show.
  10. Get guest/customer input.
  11. Consider outsourcing to attain the best of the best.

Thanks for joining us! If you like our podcast, please share a positive rating and/or review. And please subscribe, so you know when other episodes are available.

J. Jeff Kober

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