Disney World Be Our Guest Book Review The purpose of this assignment is to learn how to write a publishable book review. Read Be Our Guest – Perfecting the

Disney World Be Our Guest Book Review The purpose of this assignment is to learn how to write a publishable book review. Read Be Our Guest – Perfecting the Art of Customer Service by Theodore Kinni. Write a book review with the goal in mind to send to the publisher for publication.

Use the following framework, with a minimum of one paragraph for each of the following seven sections:

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1. Introduction. All good pieces of academic writing should have an introduction, and book reviews are no exception. Open with a general description of the topic and/or problem addressed by the work in question. Think, if possible, of a hook to draw your readers in.

2. Summary of argument. Your review should, as concisely as possible, summarize the book’s argument. Even edited collections and textbooks will have particular features intended to make them distinctive in the proverbial marketplace of ideas. What, ultimately, is this book’s purpose? If there is an identifiable statement, you may consider quoting it directly.

3. About the author(s). Some basic biographical information about the author(s) or editor(s) of the book you are reviewing is necessary. Who are they? What are they known for? What particular sorts of qualifications and expertise do they bring to the subject? How might the work you are reviewing fit into a wider research or career trajectory?

4. Summary of contents. A reasonably thorough indication of the research methods used (if applicable) and of the range of substantive material covered in the book should be included.

5. Strength. Identify one particular area in which you think the book does well. This should, ideally, be its single greatest strength as an academic work.

6. Weakness. Identify one particular area in which you think the book could be improved. While this weakness might be related to something you actually believe to be incorrect, it is more likely to be something that the author omitted, or neglected to address in sufficient detail.

7. Conclusion. End your review with a concluding statement summarizing your opinion of the book. You should also explicitly identify a range of audiences whom you think would appreciate reading or otherwise benefit from the book.

Here are a couple of websites for more explanation of an Academic book review: • https://libguides.usc.edu/c.php?g=235208&p=1560694• https://wts.indiana.edu/writing-guides/pdf/writing… Copyright © 2011 Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Academy Award® and Oscar® are registered trademarks of the American Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
All rights reserved. Published by Disney Editions, an imprint of Disney Book Group. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher.
For information address Disney Editions, 114 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10011-5690.
ISBN 978-1-4231-4014-6
Table of Contents
Foreword by Tom Staggs
Chapter 1: Disney’s Approach to Quality Service
Chapter 2: The Magic of Service
Chapter 3: The Magic of Cast
Chapter 4: The Magic of Setting
Chapter 5: The Magic of Process
Chapter 6: The Magic of Integration
About the Authors
End Notes
Always remember, the magic begins with you.
ike most cast members, I love hearing from my friends and family after
they take a Disney vacation. As the chairman of Walt Disney Parks and
Resorts, I want to know everything about their trip—where they stayed, the
shows they saw, the attractions they rode, the restaurants they visited, and the
food they ate. But more than anything, I want to hear exactly how our cast
members made them feel throughout their visit.
While we may be known for our castles, mountains, cruise ships, and
hotels, I believe that one of the things that most sets Disney apart is our cast
—and it’s their special, individualized, and unscripted interactions with
guests that create the most memorable Disney moments.
Big or small, those interactions are often captured in the letters we
receive from our guests every day. In fact, reading those letters is one of the
most enjoyable parts of my job. They don’t always mention their favorite
attraction, show, or meal, but they almost always tell us about a cast member
who made their experience unforgettable.
This is true for guests I run into in the parks as well. They love telling
me all about the cast members who have made a difference in their visit. But
they also seem to have one inevitable question for me.
“How does Disney do it?”
Of course, my first answer is always, “It’s magic.” This gets mixed
reactions. Some accept this answer with a smile and give me a look that says,
“I knew you were going to say that.”
Others, however, press harder for concrete answers, as they genuinely
want to know the secrets to how we create that magic. Some of them have
businesses of their own, with a workforce to motivate, customers they need to
please, and products they want to be valuable and relevant.
They want to know exactly, step by step, what we do to make each
person feel special throughout a Disney vacation. They want to know why
our cast members are always smiling—how they maintain the enthusiasm,
creativity, and ability to transport guests to a place of fantasy and adventure
while simultaneously making them feel right at home.
Most are quite shocked when I tell them that it isn’t a secret at all. In
fact, we publish a book—this book—describing precisely how we create and
deliver a world-class guest experience.
And as you read through Be Our Guest, you’ll see that our magic is both
an art and a science. We start with a great story and design ideas to create an
experience. We implement training and processes like any well-run company
to make sure that we operate safely and efficiently. And we rely on the
intuitive hospitality and friendliness of our outstanding cast to make each
guest feel like we have designed the place just for them. As a result, after
several decades of practice, we have combined this art and this science to
build a culture of world-famous storytelling and legendary guest service.
Creating the best possible experience for our guests to share with family,
friends, loved ones, and colleagues is the essence of what we do, and it
defines who we are.
Individual stories, attractions, and experiences may change over time,
but the expectation to deliver a magical guest experience is timeless. It is our
dream and our mission to keep that magic alive, to exceed those expectations,
and to welcome people around the world to be our guests for years to come.
Tom Staggs
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
In this volatile business of ours, we can ill afford to rest on our laurels,
even to pause in retrospect. Times and conditions change so rapidly that we
must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.
—Walt Disney
alt Disney harnessed the talents of his cast members (Disney-speak for
employees) and inspired their hearts with his vision to create unparalleled
entertainment experiences. He understood innately that the long-term success
of his company depended upon his ability to motivate people, one day and
one innovation at a time.
The year 2011 not only commemorates the 110th anniversary of Walt’s
birth, it also marks another important anniversary for The Walt Disney
Company: the 25th year of providing “The Disney Approach” professional
development programs to organizations worldwide. Tens of thousands of
business practitioners in virtually every industry and country have
experienced Disney Institute over the past quarter century. They have found
that Disney Institute programs do much more than provide a substantial
learning opportunity. These programs inspire participants to see themselves,
their organizations, and the world at large in an entirely new light—using
Disney best practices as their beacon.
From our earliest days, education has been a hallmark of our company.
It was Walt himself who said, “We have always tried to be guided by the
basic idea that, in the discovery of knowledge, there is great entertainment—
as, conversely, in all good entertainment, there is always some grain of
wisdom, humanity, or enlightenment to be gained.” This philosophy is deeply
embedded in all Disney Institute programming.
When Tom Peters and Bob Waterman profiled The Walt Disney
Company (then Walt Disney Productions) in their groundbreaking 1984 book
and companion video, In Search of Excellence, corporate eyes turned to
Disney as a company that sets the benchmark for best business practices. To
facilitate the benchmarking process, the Walt Disney World Resort in 1986
created a program called “The Disney Approach to People Management.”
But the corporate thirst for information about the critical success factors
that drive Disney’s growth could not be quenched by one topic. So over the
years, new programs were created around Disney’s overall approach to
business excellence, including creativity, leadership, customer service, and
brand loyalty. In 1996, these professional development programs became the
core of Disney Institute, and remain so today.
Since then, Disney Institute has worked with companies around the
world, including many Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and
philanthropic, educational, and health-care institutions. We have established a
significant presence in the training world based on our abilities to appeal to
leaders in a broad range of organizations and to customize our content into
programs that uniquely connect participants to their own heritage, values,
people, and guests.
While workplace trends come and go, businesses will always need to
find new and creative ways to mobilize the brainpower, passion, and creative
energies of their workforce. And that’s what Disney Institute is all about.
In this book, the updated 10th anniversary edition of Be Our Guest, we
take you behind the scenes to discover Disney best practices and philosophies
in action. We provide you with an insider’s glimpse of the Quality Service
principles in action both at The Walt Disney Company, as told from the
perspectives and experiences of cast members from around the world, and in
other organizations, as told by executives who have participated in Disney
Institute programs.
Walt’s fundamentals for success still ring true. You build the best
product you can. You give people effective training to support the delivery of
exceptional service. You learn from your experiences. And you celebrate
success. You never stop growing. You never stop believing.
We hope this book will spark new levels of performance, productivity,
and pride inside your organization by sharing some of what has made our
company a legendary success over the years. But this book is only a snapshot
of how we make magic every day at The Walt Disney Company. We
welcome you to experience our programs for yourself.
We thank our editor, Wendy Lefkon of Disney Editions, for being the
guiding force in making this project a reality. We thank Ted Kinni for
crafting our story. We thank our clients for sharing their stories with our
readers. Most of all, we thank the many thousands of Walt Disney cast
members for their continual efforts to make a difference with guests and with
each other every day.
Jeff James, Vice President
Disney’s Approach to Quality
elvin Bailey was beginning to suspect that his boss might not be playing
with a full deck. “We drove ten or twenty miles and we got into this nasty,
wasted country,” he recalls. “Water, swamps, jungle, alligators. I thought,
‘He’s got to be out of his mind—this is nothing! Water up to our knees!’ You
couldn’t have given me the land.”
It was the mid-1960s, and Kelvin, corporate pilot for Walt Disney
Productions, was standing with Walt Disney in the Central Florida
wilderness, just southwest of Orlando. Walt was in the process of buying
30,000 acres, or 47 square miles, that would come to be known as the Walt
Disney World Resort. Even though he would not live to see the park
developed, Walt had no trouble imagining it amid the Florida scrub. He
pointed out Main Street, U.S.A., Fantasyland, and other nonexistent features
to the thoroughly astounded pilot. 1 But even a master of creativity like Walt
probably never imagined the full extent of what has become the world’s
number-one theme park complex or, for that matter, the growth of the
company that he liked to remind people “was all started by a mouse.”
To be sure, Walt was capable of big dreams. Under his direction, the
Disney Studios had become the world leader in the field of animated films.
The first theme park, Disneyland, was the embodiment of Walt’s personal
vision, and it was Walt who made the Disney brand synonymous with the
finest in family entertainment. But even those accomplishments were simply
a foundation for the company’s eventual success. Walt’s mouse would roar.
“No name shines more brightly in family entertainment than Disney,”
wrote Chairman and CEO Robert Iger in his annual letter to shareholders in
January 2011. 2 A snapshot of Disney at the dawn of the new fiscal year
revealed the world’s largest media company, with five major businesses:
media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products,
and interactive media.
The media network business is anchored by the ABC Television
Network, which reaches 99 percent of all U.S. households and owns ten
stations, six of which are located in the nation’s top ten markets. It includes
cable networks, such as ESPN, Disney Channel, SOAPnet, and an ownership
stake in A&E and Lifetime, and also the thirty-seven-station Disney Radio
Network. The parks and resorts business operates eleven theme parks at five
resorts in the U.S., Europe, and Asia as well as the Disney Vacation Club,
Disney Cruise Line, and Adventures by Disney, which conducts guided
vacation tours. The studio entertainment business includes feature films,
home entertainment, television distribution, the Disney Music Group, and
Disney Theatrical Productions. The consumer business includes merchandise
licensing, publishing, and the Disney Store retail chain, with more than 350
stores. The interactive media business, the newest in the company, is
extending the Disney brand into games and online services.
Disney’s businesses generated more than $38 billion in annual revenue
and $7.6 billion in operating income in 2010. Walt and Roy Disney would
surely have been astonished by these figures and the growth of their
company. In 1966, the year Walt died, the company’s entire profit was less
than $12 million. That same year, Walt and Roy briefly considered merging
the company with General Electric or Westinghouse in order to raise the
estimated $100 million in capital needed to build Walt Disney World. Today,
Disney’s ever-growing parks and resort business produces more than $10
billion in annual revenue in its own right. In 2009, Disney theme parks
occupied the first eight of the top ten slots in the industry. Thanks to the
insight and vision of its founder and visionary, the Walt Disney World Resort
is the largest of them all.
Since it opened, on October 1, 1971, Walt Disney World has expanded
to encompass four theme parks, two water parks, thirty-four hotels (including
those owned by other companies) with approximately 28,000 rooms, and
over two hundred restaurants and eateries. It includes Downtown Disney—an
entertainment and shopping district—and a dedicated wedding pavilion at the
Grand Floridian Resort & Spa near the Magic Kingdom (more than a
thousand couples tie the knot at Walt Disney World each year).
This is a good-size city located in an area about twice the size of
Manhattan. Walt Disney World operates every day of the week, year round,
and is the largest single-site employer in the U.S. It is run by a workforce of
more than 62,000 cast members—that’s Disney-speak for employees. The
cast entertains and otherwise serves millions of guests (that’s right, Disneyspeak for customers) every year. This city can have hundreds of thousands of
people in it on a crowded day. (To get an idea of the scale, consider that there
are a half dozen physicians working at Walt Disney World who are dedicated
solely to the guests.) The energy that powers this city? Magic.
Magic is not a word that is much used in the corporate world. It is not listed
on the standard balance sheet (although you could say that accounting
intangibles such as goodwill include magic). Your accounting staff is
probably not measuring magic’s return on investment nor is it amortizing
magic over thirty years. Magic is, however, a common word in the executive
suites at The Walt Disney Company.
“Our guests want to be amazed, delighted, and entertained,” says Bob
Iger. “They are looking for the kind of magic that will transport them from
their everyday lives into worlds that can only be created by Disney.”
This is not a new theme. Bob’s predecessor, Michael Eisner, also liked
to talk about magic. “The magic of a Disney vacation,” he said, “is to me the
magic of quality, the magic of innovation, the magic of beauty, the magic of
families coming together, the magic of our cast members. All of these things
kind of bundle together.” 3
Just because you cannot assign a numeric value to magic does not mean
that it is not playing a powerful role at Disney and in other companies around
the world. In fact, it is easy to see the effects of magic on business,
particularly at a place like Walt Disney World. Just watch the guests. Observe
the toddler whose turn has come to meet Mickey Mouse, life-size and in
person; the teenager who has just emerged from The Twilight Zone Tower of
Terror’s thirteen-story free fall; or the parents who get back to the hotel after
a long day and find a Winnie the Pooh plush doll with cookies and milk
patiently waiting on the bed for their child. Each is a magic moment in which
the bond between customer and company is forged and strengthened. And
each contributes another small boost to Walt Disney World’s return customer
rate of around 70 percent.
But the effects of magic are not restricted to the theme park resorts.
They are equally visible in the eyes of moviegoers as they watch films
created at Disney subsidiary Pixar Animation Studios—films such as Toy
Story 3, Up, and WALL-E, which won the Academy Award for Best
Animated Feature in 2008. And in the smiles of shoppers as they interact
with cast members in Disney’s flagship store in Times Square in New York
City. They can be heard in the yells of passengers riding the unique
AquaDuck onboard water coaster on the Disney Cruise Lines’ newest ship,
the Disney Dream. And in cheers and groans of the millions of football fans
who gather together to watch Monday Night Football on ESPN.
This kind of magic has a quality that leads to superior organizational
performance. Each magical moment builds guest satisfaction and increases
brand loyalty—and these are fundamental sources of organizational growth
and success.
But think about a magic show. To the audience, the show elicits feelings
of wonder and surprise. Most of those watching have no idea how the
magician is creating the effects they are witnessing on the stage. Not knowing
how an illusion is created and simply enjoying the show are a big part of the
fun. The magician’s perspective is completely different. To the magician, the
show is a highly practical process made up of a series of meticulously
planned, well-rehearsed steps that are designed to delight the audience.
This is true at The Walt Disney Company and at all other organizations
that create magical customer experiences— whether the customers are
consumers, tourists, patients, students, or other organizations. The happy
surprise that a well-served customer feels is a result of hard work on the part
of the organization and its employees. For the customer, the magic is a source
of wonder and enjoyment. For the organization, magic is a much more
practical matter.
“Disney really has practical magic figured out. Not that we get it perfect
every time, but we come very, very close a lot of the time,” explained
Michael Eisner in Harvard Business Review in 2000. “You can go anywhere
in the world and see that in action. Go visit Animal Kingdom in Orlando or
take one of our cruise ships to the Disney island, Castaway Cay. If you look
at people’s faces, you’ll see that Disney still knows how to sweep people off
their feet, out of their busy or stress-filled lives, and into experiences filled
with wonder and excitement.” 4
For years, Disney cast members talked of “sprinkling pixie dust” to
create magical experiences for their guests. But there is no line item for pixie
dust on any Disney expense report. The pixie dust is the show that has been
created—a show that runs at the Disney parks from the moment guests arrive
until they leave for home.
In this book, as in the opening sequence of The Wonderful World of
Disney that so many of us watched on television on the Sunday nights of our
youths, we will pull back the curtain and take a look at the making of
Disney’s practical magic. We will explore how the company has been able to
set a world-class benchmark for magical service, what the main ingredients of
its pixie dust really are, and, most important, how you can create your own
brand of practical magic in your organization.
Chances are very good that you are not working for a theme park or a movie
studio or a sports network. Perhaps your company makes components for
airplanes or sells business-to-business software online. Or perhaps you aren’t
in business at all. You may work in a school, not-for-profit hospital, or
government agency. Perhaps, at first glance, Disney’s magic does not seem to
have a place in those types of organizations. Perhaps it is time to broaden
your perspective.
Clearly, all organizations need customer-friendly employees. In fact, the
number-one question that Disney Institute’s corporate clientele asks us is
“Can you make our people nice…
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