Last week my family and I spent the week in Orlando down at Disney. The kids were excited to see the sights and experience Disney for what it is to a child. I was excited to experience the Disney experience from a User Experience standpoint. Much has been written about the Disney Way and how they do all that they can to make sure that someone has a great time anywhere on their properties.
For the most part everything was fantastic. We were treated well, engaged, spoken to, our questions were answered….all except for one interaction. This particular incident will stick with me forever, not because it was something so bad etc, but simply because it was so out of character for Disney….and it will be something that I will talk about to everyone I know…again not because of the trouble it caused, but just because it is not what you would expect to happen.
We all know that Disney World is a crowded place. We all know that there are certain events that take place inside the parks at certain times that everyone clamors to see. We are all ready to stake out the best spots to view and “hang out” that offer us the comfort and accessibility we wish. We know this and so does the Disney staff, and one would think that they would go out of their way to insure that this is a pleasant and seamless process. I am guessing that they do, but one particular employee for whatever reason decided that my family was going to be the target of his “jerkiness”.
The Cliff Note version is we had stood in the same spot for over 20 minutes getting ready to watch the fireworks display. Numerous Disney employees walked by us and no-one asked us to move or thought twice about us being where we were. All of a sudden one employee, quite rudely, told us that we had to move…and we had to do it right then and there. I was surprised by his tone, but more surprised when he expected our group of 9 people to simply step out into a crowd of people and cut them off, impede their progress, and basically create a road-block so that we could find another spot to stand. I refused to move and cut someone off and told him as much….and I got an eye-roll, a sarcastic comment, and then he did just that…..cut everyone off, stopped them in their tracks and made a huge deal out of us crossing the sidewalk…..
Again I mention this not to make a big deal of the incident itself, but to simply show the ramifications of ruining someone’s experience.
I told multiple people about what happened…both Disney employees and patrons. My family and friends have done the same thing. I have thrown something out on Twitter, Facebook , and now a blog and everything describes a negative experience. Disney as a company works hard to insure that there are no negative experiences and yet one employee has caused an experience to be talked about by a multitude……
Be careful how you treat people. Be careful how you talk and interact with people. Be careful how you represent yourself and the organization that you are recognized with….because you never know what kind of effect that might have, and how viral that experience can become. All it takes is one negative experience and someone can create a tidal wave of negativity….and in this day and age, with all the choices people have…your reputation is something to be valued, preserved, and developed….in a good way of course….
Enjoy your Day…..Be Good !
- About Disney Company’s Employee Empowerment (thinkup.waldenu.edu)