Before I tell you though, I never had a chance to go to Disney when I was a kid, but went for one day when I was about 22 ... which was an absolute blur at the time, and didn't really appreciate it.
Then, my family and I went about 5 years ago, and I was very impressed with the efficiency of all the parks, the traffic flow, the rides, the entertainment, etc. etc.
I could literally list like 1,000 "things" that make it so "special." But, it's really none of those things that I have listed (in my opinion).
So, here's my take on what makes Disney so special:
For those of you that have been there before, you know what I mean. From the moment you step foot on their premises to the time you leave ... every person you come in contact with, makes it a point to allow you feel like you are the most special person on the face of the earth.
It's absolutely amazing. And it works.
So I did a test today (because we are currently at Disney on a little vacation... hence the reason for a break in my blogging). A little reverse psychology if you will... and it all happened by accident.
The story goes that there was this lady in charge of putting down tape, and pulling it up again after one of their famous parades during the day. Well, she was having a little difficulty getting the tape up off of the ground for numerous reasons... it was pretty hot out and it was sticking... there were tons of people walking on the tape after the parade was over... oblivious to what her job was: WHICH WAS TO PICK UP THE TAPE!!!!
Well, as my group assembled trying to figure out what we were going to do after the parade was over (and before our scheduled lunch), I decided to just help out "Robin" and pick up some of the tape for her. It was only about 6 feet long, and she thanked me initially.
But then I noticed more people walking all over the tape behind us, and I could tell that Robin was getting frustrated, but wasn't about to show her frustration... so without her seeing, I just quickly picked up the rest of the tape, because quite frankly, no one is going to mess with a 6 foot 7 guy picking up tape off of the ground (is what I'm thinking in my head).... and I just wanted to help out this poor lady who was having some difficulty with the crowd.
You would have thought I built a house for her!!! She thanked me profusely, and I genuinely felt good to just give back some of the kindness that these people at Disney show ALL of the time to their customers.
Well apparently, it didn't go unnoticed as someone quickly came over and started asking me all of these questions about extra rides and if I could have my pick ... no strings attached, yadda, yadda, yadda....and the next thing I know, I'm holding in my had a FREE PASS to any ride in Magic Kingdom for our whole party of 13 people!
Just for picking up tape!!!! How cool is that???
Well, come to find out, Robin is an elementary teacher (I think she just retired, or is about to be retired) and we shared a few quick stories about me being a teacher and so forth. We shared a great moment, and then went on our way (after someone from our party took a picture).
There WAS a ride by the way, that we couldn't get on... and we came back to the park later that night, and 7 of us went on... no questions asked.... no line to wait in... and all had a great time on the ride.
But YOU and I both know that's not why I picked up that tape.
I picked up that tape to serve someone in need. Just like Disney does for us when we visit their awesome parks. We can certainly do that in our classrooms, too. Can't we?
I know we can, and I'm on a mission to try and help you do it. To serve (and to teach our students how to serve) is such a POWERFUL message to promote in your classroom.
Every day. Just like Disney World does.
Why? Because it's all about the people. That's why.
The ones we deal with... just happen to be students.