The Disney Effect…Do You Have It?

By: Dan Kennedy on: November 22nd, 2010 6 Comments

I am a frequent visitor to Disney, and I love going with a bunch of kids.

Disney never fails to astound and amaze. On my last visit, I took note of something I had not crystallized thought about before. It occurred to me one night, leaving the Magic Kingdom after a parade. Probably 50,000 people elbow to elbow, butt to butt, walking very slowly along toward the exit.

Unlike being in a comparable crowd exiting a sporting event, business convention hall or anywhere else, hardly any pushing, shoving. Civility, politeness. Graciously letting people move in front. Care taken not to bump strollers, kids. Everybody pleasant. I saw this throughout my visit . People holding doors for each other. Stopping to help somebody pick up dropped packages, juggle kids. Incredible civility. Why?

The Disney culture not only profoundly affects its employees, it somehow “magically” affects its customers while under its spell. People change their attitudes and behaviors while on Disney grounds, in Disney hotels. (It suggests this is the place to meet for difficult contract negotiations or dispute mediation.)

Well, here’s a question for you to ask yourself: what “magical effect(s)” does your business have on your customers or clients or patients?

I think my businesses and I have created something of a unique “culture.” Has had some profound, positive effects on our Members. I think we create greater entrepreneurial spirit, bigger and bolder thinking, and, obviously, an exceptionally passionate, even obsessive interest in and enthusiasm for great marketing. I also observe our Members far more willing to help each other, share information with each other, mentor each other than businesspeople in other settings and groups.

Finally, our customers are successfully trained and conditioned to invest in continuing education and improvement, to value information. I have research stats I also think the “customer culture” of our Membership is changing, caused I believe by the shift in sources and means of new member acquisition. I am watching this with curiosity and interest.

Starbucks is a “culture business.” Its customers feel part of something, alter their attitudes and feelings while in its environment. Not to the Disney extent, but still an important factor in Starbucks’ success.

Big Idea: what is the ‘culture’ you are deliberately striving to – and investing in – creating? What attitudinal and behavioral changes you strategically work at inspiring?


Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to

6 Responses

  1. Whoa. Excellent Post!

    I think that part of the reason that people are so “graceful” as they leave Disney property is because they know that as they get ready to leave and head back out of the park, they are leaving the magic kingdom and will be back in their regular lives.

    So the people themselves choose to “keep the magic alive” and let it liger for as long as possible… keeping in line with what Disney gave them in their experience throughout their stay.

  2. Marla says:

    Glad to read your comments. I believe we should all strive for move beyond the medocre, and value each person who appears on our path. All people, regardless of their lot in life, have something to teach, to reveal, or share. Whether we are ready to accept their gift is another matter. I want to create a culture of mutually supportive individuals, who connect and feed each other by validating their goals and work toward a common good. For example, the CCC during the Depression showed how a group of people can pull together and create something good out of a seemingly negative situation….unemployed people.
    When you visit a national park, you can still enjoy the fruit of their labor. With all the greatness technology has to offer our world, surely we can harness it to ameliorate people’s lives. That’s my goal.

  3. Ray Higdon says:

    It’s funny, as a network marketer I think more companies need to work on the “Amway” effect. I am NOT in Amway but can appreciate what they did. I just listened to 4 old CD’s from Amway and they talked about vision, leadership and having a strong community. Not once in 4 CD’s did they talk about the product. That is a powerful lesson as you look at what they have done. they created a culture like you talk about in this article, great job!

  4. Rob Anspach says:

    …five years ago during an August heat wave we made the mistake of going to Walt Disney World…cast members, guests and even contractors were grumpy. Yet, even though we had to deal with the heat, bad vibes and grumpiness it was still a great vacation.

    Fast forward to the present and we 30 days away from going back to the worlds biggest human trap operated by a mouse. Sure it will be crowded, but it will be the holidays and the magic and the culture will make memories that last a lifetime!

    How do you make memories for your clients?

  5. […] In my last post, I discussed the Disney Effect and your business culture. Let’s continue on this topic and why it is so important to your […]

  6. Sylvan Noel says:

    You’re exactly right Dan. I was in disney this weekend, and when leaving my mom was in a different longer line for the tram. She asked the guy behind me if she could get in my line and he said “absolutely not!” She gave him the “stink eye” and then he said he was just kidding. I told her no one is that mean in Disney

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