Making Backstage Guest Worthy
It stuns me that even though there are no major attractions planned for the Magic Kingdom at this time, there is still so much construction activity going on in the parks. No one can say that Disney doesn’t work very hard to keep things up to snuff.
Here’s just one amazing addition. Do you know where this is?
This is the backside of the east side of Main Street U.S.A. It is designed to provide for guest overflow, and it’s simply beautiful. The use of trees and landscaping really has transformed a backstage area into a beautiful park lane. While its use is usually set aside for busy nights when the park is heavily attended, it’s nice enough to experience during the day. Buildings in the distance have been transformed to look like an extension of Main Street U.S.A..
Part of the charm of the Disney theme parks has been their ability to separate the fantasy from the real world. The attention to providing a thematic show experience is simply what makes Disney, Disney. But some things are more important than the guest service key of Show. The guest service keys of Safety and Courtesy are both more important than putting on a great show. That’s why in years past, when Main Street U.S.A. has been overwhelmed by guests viewing the parades or fireworks, management decided to open up the area backstage so that guests could safely exit the park without having to go upstream against the traffic. In fact, of the four Disney guest service keys–Safety, Courtesy, Show and Efficiency, having guests go around the backside of the street met the needs of 3 of the 4 keys.
Still, it was very utilitarian behind the scenes. All the magic of being on Main Street U.S.A. was completely dropped, and what people saw when they went backstage were pipes, sheds and plain stuccoed buildings painted in “go away green”. It was clean but very plain and not the least bit themed.
So this is a big step to take this same area and transform it into a park lane. Now moving guests behind Main Street U.S.A. is Safe, Courteous, Efficient, and good Show. What an investment to an area that most guests seldom see. But that’s what makes the Magic Kingdom amazing.
Ask yourself: In what areas behind the scenes in your organization do customers find themselves? Do they convey what you value? Do they maintain the professional image you are trying to communicate? How do you separate backstage from onstage? How are you making backstage guest worthy?