My family just got back from its (almost) annual trip to Walt Disney World in Florida. It was a marvelous trip… as always… and we had a wonderful time. Each year, we have VERY high expectations for the trip and for the service we’ll receive from the cast members at Disney. We usually stay “on-property”, and this time it was at the Kidani House section of Animal Kingdom Lodge. Last year we stayed at Jambo House – Animal Kingdom Lodge.
The reason I bring that up is that, while we go with high expectations of guest services, each year they manage to find some way to exceed our expectations. This year was no exception… One of the unexpected little treats was at the Grand Floridian. We usually take a day to visit some of the different resorts to see where we might want to stay in the future, search for “Hidden Mickeys” and just relax a little. While visiting the Grand Floridian, my younger son asked if we could go to the top floor of the main building to look down into the atrium. When we got to the elevators, we figured out the the top 3 floors were all Concierge level and there was no access for non-guests of the Concierge level. But, one of the cast members who happened to be getting off of the elevator asked if we needed assistance. When my 4 year old told him what we wanted to do, he escorted us to the 5th floor and proceeded to tell us all sorts of interesting facts about the resort, hidden Mickeys and other Disney trivia.
That wasn’t our only experience… but it illustrates the ability of Disney’s staff to take it upon themselves to do “just a little more than expected” to give their customers a better experience…
But the actual reason for the post…
I used to work for Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA when I was WAY younger. And ever since, I can’t help but think back to that experience while walking through a theme park. One of my favorite things about working at the park was being there after it closed. One of the jobs I had kept me in the park as much as two hours after closing… and all of the guests would be cleared, as well as many of the other employees.
Walking through an empty theme park is quite enjoyable. The park is clean, quiet and there is no jostling or crowds. It might be a false reality… I wasn’t really walking through a Bavarian village of two centuries ago, or New France… but it was much different than walking in most other places… and it was REALLY quiet. It was almost eery, but not in a bad way. Maybe unexpected is a better word.
Working in a theme park is a fun experience for a young adult. There are a lot of things that happen that make for fun stories later… the people that you encounter, strange weather and even a different kind of work ethic. It is quite entertaining and even possibly enriching.