B-Y-O-B: Build Your Original Brand – Part Four: Wow!

BYOB - Build Your Original Brand


Disney's Secret Weapon
How Magical Moments & Take 5's
Create Wow's and Build Disney's Brand

Building Your Outstanding Brand is about creating a loyal base of repeat visitors. It's about the wow, the sizzle, the spark that keeps people coming back time and time again-and if you don't know it already, these people are your "Marketing Secret Weapon". They are disciples of your brand who will go out into the world and share the personal experiences and memories that were created when they visited your attraction.

At the Disney parks, there's a process for everything and Disney's process for engaging guests and building loyalty is comprised of two programs: Magical Memories and Take 5.  Magical Moments are carefully orchestrated opportunities to individualize the customer experience. Magical Moments are planned, scheduled events that create special moments for the guest. Magical moments occur at both Disney parks and within each of the resort areas. Here are a few examples:
  • Guest of the day programs
  • Honorary titles, badges, buttons, and certificates
  • Honorary roles in shows, demonstrations, or attractions
  • Hands-on activities unique to the location
  • Special games and activities for the children
In contrast, Take 5s are more personal and spontaneous.  They are "in the moment" opportunities the Disney employees, called cast members, have to offer special guest moments. Take 5s give license to the staff to take just 5 minutes out of their day to individualize customer service. Take 5s can be proactive or reactive. From a proactive perspective, it can take the form of going out and greeting guests and looking for opportunities to be helpful. From a reactive view, it can be as simple as offering to take a picture of a customer. Simply put, Take 5s are a chance to do something nice for someone else.[1]

The key here is that Take 5s are not simply reactive. Disney encourages all cast members to be proactive with their Take 5s. Here are some examples of proactive Take 5s that will create loyal, raving fans at your attraction:

  • Offer to take that picture for them. Cell phone, camera, or otherwise, Dad is usually the odd man out in the family photo album. Why, because he's behind the camera. Encourage your team to be the hero and to take the photo for the family.
  • Don't just give directions--take them there. Rather than providing directions to a location, encourage your team to take the guest there and to provide a little tour along the way. A little more effort with an awesome impact!
  • Be an Expert--make a recommendation. Teach each member of your team to be a concierge--an expert on everything at your attraction. When you are able to educate your team on your attraction's history, fun facts, food offerings, retail items, etc., they can in turn share their knowledge with their guests. (I'm always amazed when ticket sellers don't know the first thing about the products they sell.)
One final point. Magical Moments and Take 5's didn't just happen spontaneously. Disney leaders planned for them, created the structure, and constantly hold their team accountable to ensuring that Magical Moments and Take 5s are part of the daily routine. It's part of the Disney culture precisely because Disney believes in the very point that I made in my opening paragraph-loyal guests are a Marketing Secret Weapon.
The fantastic thing is that these two programs don't have to be exclusive to the Disney parks. We can create similar programs, develop scheduled events, and train our team to do virtually the same thing at our attractions. For decades, SeaWorld has included guests as volunteers within their shows. Jungle Island in Miami welcomes every guest into their park with a personal greeting from one of the park's signature parrot ambassadors.  Are you creating Magical Moments or Take 5's in your attraction? If you are, click here Like us on Facebook to share what you do on our Facebook page.
This is part three in a five part series on building your attraction's original brand.  Here's a list of where we've been and where we're headed:
  1. Identity - click here to view
  2. Quality - click here to view
  3. Stellar Service - click here to view
  4. Wow - Today
  5. Consistency - May 30

[1]Kober, J. (2007, April 24). Magical Moments & Take 5s. Retrieved May 23, 2016, from 

"Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they'll come back. We have to be great every time or we'll lose them."

- Kevin Stirtz