Lessons from Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

lessons from Disney's wilderness lodgeAs a former park ranger, the Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World was the perfect place to stay.

Based on Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Inn, Wilderness Lodge looks, feels, and smells like a historic National Park lodge. Many cast members are even in custom resembling park rangers complete with the iconic flat hat.

During my stay at Wilderness Lodge, I learned a few things, as I do anytime I spend time at Disney.

Dan Cockerell, retired Vice President of the Magic Kingdom, spent two years as the Wilderness Lodge General Manager. Dan joins me on this episode of the Jody Maberry Show to give his perspective on what I learned at the Lodge.

Create a memorable first impression. When you walk into the Wilderness Lodge, you know you are someplace special.

If you are going to copy, add your own personality. Wilderness Lodge has the feel of a National Park lodge but is full of unique touches of Disney. It taught me to be inspired by something but always add my own touch to it.

You are as happy as you decide to be. Even at the happiest place on earth, you won’t be happy unless you decide to be.

Make it easy for people to do business with you. Magic Bands are a good example of making it easy for a customer to do business with you. Magic Bands make the experience better but also make it easier to spend money.

Solve the problems you know guests will have. When we checked into our room, there was sun relief gel waiting for us with our soap and shampoo. Sure enough, we got sunburns and used the sun relief gel. Disney anticipated we would have a problem and provided a solution before knowing we would need it.

You can find out more about Dan Cockerell at www.dancockerell.com.

You may want to listen to the audio version of Dan’s book, How’s the Culture in Your Kingdom. I narrate the book, so if you enjoy this podcast, you will enjoy the book. You can find it here.

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Jody Maberry