What Makes Walt Disney World Different? My Top Five Answers! #DisneySMMoms

25 Flares Twitter 24 Facebook 1 Pin It Share 0 Google+ 0 Filament.io 25 Flares ×

I was honored and grateful to be invited to the 2012 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration and attended for the third year.  It’s a three day conference for bloggers at Walt Disney World.  Speakers share their advice on topics ranging from life skills to extraordinary customer service.  Disney shares information with us about new and exciting things happening at the Disney Parks.

Since my daughter was born in 2005, we’ve visited Walt Disney World four times.  I’ve been organizing my pictures, remembering this trip and previous ones to Walt Disney World.  It has me wondering,

What makes Walt Disney World different and very special?

Difference Number One:  The staff, cast members, employees of Walt Disney World.  The people who work at Walt Disney World are happy.  They like saying, “yes, we can do that!”.  They love solving problems.  They care about whether you are happy and enjoying your vacation.  What a difference this makes!  Attitude is everything.  And Walt Disney World employees have an attitude that makes their guests feel like royalty.

No, they cannot cure my daughter’s sore throat that is scaring her and making her miserable (and everyone around her).  But what the server at Hollywood and Vine CAN do is (with my permission) bring her medicine.  She can offer my daughter a “special” selection of treats that no one else is getting.  She can stop by our table every time she passes and ask how she’s doing.  Her face can express the compassion, worry, and depth of feeling that only comes from someone who honestly cares that a child is unhappy and wants to change it.

Difference Number Two:  The condition of the property.  It’s difficult to describe how well maintained everything is at Walt Disney World.  The paint is fresh.  From top to bottom, from ceiling to floors, everything is clean.  If anything is broken, it’s not for long.  The things that irritate us at home, a leaky faucet, a burned out light bulb, a malfunctioning dishwasher, a messy car are missing from our vacation.  The trash is not overflowing, the sidewalk is not covered with… well, stuff, and there are no dirty dishes.  Let’s face it, people are not neat and tidy.  Any time you have great quantities of people, and especially lots of children?  It’s going to be messy!  But somehow, the Parks allocate sufficient staff and have the proper equipment to handle it.  My daughter’s outfits at the end of the day looked much messier than anywhere I every saw in the Parks!  Hmmm, next time I’m going to have to adopt the “Disney Way” and change her clothes more often during the day….

We’ve stayed in six different Walt Disney World Resorts, ranging from deluxe (the most expensive) to value (the least expensive).  Every single time, our room has been clean and well-maintained.  The deluxe room is bigger (lots bigger!).  The decorations in the deluxe are more expensive and expansive.  The bathroom is bigger.  It is a longer walk to the lobby and transportation at the value resorts.  The deluxe resorts are closer to the parks and it’s faster to get there.  But, but, but, in every room, every time, the room has been clean and comfortable.  Oh, a quick note related to reason number one, the cast members?  We received the same “royal treatment” no matter where we were staying!  Some of the extra amenities (ie refrigerator or microwave) were an additional charge at the value resorts but the attitude of the staff was exactly as wonderful no matter what we were paying for our room.

Crossing the Rope Bridge on the Wild Africa Trek

Difference Number Three:  Fun things to do for any age.  When you have a range of ages from parent to baby, it’s difficult to offer activities for everyone.  Like nowhere else, Disney has fun and interesting attractions that engage every level.  At what age should you take your child to Walt Disney World?  We first took my daughter when she was two.  Honestly, before our trip, I thought it was too young, but we were going on a vacation with close friends and they chose Walt Disney World.  After our trip?  I am very thankful we took my daughter at two.  She may not directly remember experiences, but she sees pictures and “remembers”.  Selfishly, I remember.  Watching her joy as a two year old at Walt Disney World is one of the best memories I have of her childhood.  Her face just lit up with joy.

It is important to adjust your plans to the age of your child.  With a young child, you need to plan your day around their physical needs and normal schedule.  They need to eat on time, they need to have an appropriate level of stimulation, they need to have enough sleep.  But if you do, ANY age is perfect for a trip to Walt Disney World.

Difference Number Four:  Accommodations for children that need special consideration.  My daughter’s best friend has multiple food allergies.  I was absolutely blown away by the care Walt Disney World food staff put into not only ensuring she was safe, but also in making her feel comfortable.  As soon as we told the server about her allergies, the chef came out and spoke to her mom, offering options that would fit her dietary needs.  Most of the time there wasn’t anything on the menu and they would create something just for her.  If the option included a pre-packaged choice, they brought the package from the kitchen, so her mom could read the ingredients.

It would have been easy to ignore the little girl’s feelings in the need to keep her safe, but not at Disney!  Whenever her food was presented to her, it was with a flourish, a smile, and made her feel like a princess.  I look forward to the day when there are menu choices for children with allergies and more complete, standardized information from location to location.  But, I cannot imagine any other vacation choice that will make your child feel as safe and happy.  Which leads me to the next difference…

Difference Number Five:  Safety.  One of the breakout sessions that I was able to attended was conducted by Disney Chefs.  As a part of the presentation, they discussed the safety precautions that  surrounds all the food preparation in the Parks.  It’s incredible.  And that emphasis on safety, goes beyond food.  I admit that I am a “helicopter mom”.  To keep my daughter safe, I hover.  I am over-protective, I admit it.  I feel safe at Walt Disney World like nowhere else.  The lifeguards at the pools struck me on this trip.  They are attentive, cautious, and ever vigilant.  It’s never a good idea to take your eyes off your children around water, but I felt comfortable that the lifeguards would ensure her safety.  When a child would linger at the bottom of the water slide, they immediately pointed out the danger and told them to move.  When an adult got too close to the edge of a pool holding heavy objects, they were immediately assisted and asked to step away.

No place is perfect.  No vacation is without moments of fatigue or over-excitement.  No person or staff member is perfect.  But in my experience?  Walt Disney World does it better than anyone else.  Hands down.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  Although I paid a fee to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Conference, I received complimentary items, special discounts, and other benefits such as food and entertainments so my family could experience the magic of Disney.

Comments

  1. 1

    I just got back from a family trip to DisneyWorld and I could not have agreed more with your post. It is the reasons you listed above that we continue to take our kids to DisneyWorld every year.

  2. 2

    All of the above is so true! And all reasons I’ve been and will continue to be a lifelong WDW fan. There’s nothing like staying on Disney property – the service, transportation, cleanliness, and not to mention the savings on cab fare from the airport = awesomeness!

    • 3
      Brn2lisn says:

      I so agree with you Barb – Disney is world class. It is more than a Brand, or destination of fun – it is the overall epitome of Customer satisfaction.

25 Flares Twitter 24 Facebook 1 Pin It Share 0 Google+ 0 Filament.io 25 Flares ×