Dan Naden

@Disney: 3 ways to turn your wait in line into a world of wonderment

Waiting in line for something thrilling is sometimes difficult.

Your mind races with excitement in anticipation of what’s next.

  • The movie premiere that you’ve been longing to see is now just 30 minutes away.
  • The newest version of the iPhone that you can’t live without just went on-sale and you are nearly to the front of the line.
  • The clock on your oven counts down 5,4,3,2,1 signaling that your juicy, succulent Thanksgiving turkey is about ready.

As I recently stood in line to ride the much-hyped Disney World coaster, Expedition Everest, “The Waiting”, a familiar song from a Florida native son, Tom Petty bounced through my head:

“The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you get one more yard
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part.”

Waiting in line is time-consuming at Disney, although not nearly as bad as expected when I saw the immense group of visitors. The crowds were heavy during our stay, yet, surprisingly, we never waited for more than 30 minutes for a ride – sometimes even without a Fast Pass.

The Alphabet of Fun should start with D for Disney.

The wait for Expedition Everest was one of the longer ones, yet once immersed within the world of Yeti footprints, Himalayan explorers and snow-capped peaks time seems to melt away. You find yourself pondering the existence of the Yeti instead of searching for a clock, which you’ll be hard-pressed to find at Disney World.

@Disney: Why not try these ideas to make wait times seem even shorter and thrill the customer in the process?

  1. Can characters entertain the guests as they wait in line? The youngsters might want to frolic with Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse, but I am thinking more characters that are true to the theme. How about a pirate mingling with the line as they wait for the Pirates of the Caribbean? Or a bearded explorer in search of the Yeti for the masses waiting for Expedition Everest?
  2. I realize I am biased living in Austin, Texas, the live musical capital of the world, but can Disney World weave music into the experience of waiting? The Pirates of the Caribbean already has an entire movie soundtrack guaranteed to make everyone say, “AARRRGGGGHHH.” Music over the loudspeaker could add ambiance, but imagine the impact of a live band playing imposing ‘pirate music.’
  3. Surprise customers that had to wait the longest for a ride on Space Mountain with a Fast Pass to another great ride at the resort. You’ll turn a happy customer into a Disney evangelist.

The customer service of Disney is legendary in concept and execution. Despite the lines, I’ll still wait for the rides and shows at Disney World. The thrills that await are unforgettable. Perhaps trying a few new customer experience angles will even enhance its excellence.

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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