Podcast #16: Bookending the Theme Park Experience

Podcast #16: Bookending the Theme Park Experience

We have a new episode of our podcast for you this week from David and I. It’s about everything that happens before you enter the park, as well as what happens after you enter the park. You can find that podcast here.

Walt Disney World

We mentioned the parking experience at Magic Kingdom. Here are some images of that same experience played out in the former Disney Hollywood Studios parking lot.

Below are the four parking lot areas of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Note that the variance includes:

  1. Different Disney character
  2. Different entertainment theme (music, stage…)
  3. A themed graphic backdrop for the text
  4. Different fonts
  5. Different primary colors (Note that the Minnie has not been replaced, but it has traditionally had a bright yellow background)
Photos by J. Jeff Kober.

The map below is a replica of the kind of maps used by parking lot Cast Members in noting which rows were parked at what time of day. This is then used to help Guests at the end of the day figure out where they parked.

A replica of the parking map used by Cast Members. Drawn by J. Jeff Kober.

Tokyo Disneyland Entrance

We mentioned Tokyo Disneyland, and thought many of you who had not visited would benefit from seeing images of what the park has to offer before you enter. Take a look at these images from its guide map:

Front Entrance to Tokyo Disneyland.
Descriptions of what is on the map.
Other additional features at the entrance to the park.
A quieter moment at the entrance to Tokyo Disneyland. The photo shows the spread of services across the front of the park. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
A far more congested moment at the start of a new day. Note that the landscaping as well as queue ropes create order as Guests get ready to enter. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
A space outside the gates simply dedicated to handling group photos. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
A refreshment center again located outside of the park. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Studios Moving Forward

We leave you with this final photo from Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s just a taste of all the changes coming to create a better arrival experience.

The new gondola system being added to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Souvenirs for Your Organization

You don’t have a theme park to run. You probably don’t have a parking lot this big. But there are messages to be gleaned for any organization big or small, public or private:

  • Look at your customer experience bookends
  • Anticipation matters!
  • The show starts on the sidewalk–or the parking lot!
  • Walk your customer experience backward—Look for the trigger points that may emotionally impact the experience you offer.
  • Remember the bookend  may be the last thing they remember.

Would you like to hear more of these kinds of messages? We would suggest any of my books, like Disney’s Hollywood Studios: From Show Biz to Your Biz. It has more details like the parking lot example above — details that give you ideas on customer service and leadership and performance excellence. Check it out today!

J. Jeff Kober

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