Episode 84: Genie+ Changes

Jul 18, 2023

In this episode, we discuss the changes to the Genie+ system at Disney, sharing our experiences – both successful ones and not-so-successful ones. Though the fluctuating prices of Genie+ can be frustrating, a dash of strategy here and a sprinkle of Pixie Dust there, and you’ll conquer these parks without breaking the Genie+ bank to make the most of your next Disney visit.

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Episode 84: Genie+ Changes (Transcript)

Jul 18, 2023

Nicole (00:00):
Hi everyone. Welcome to this week’s episode of Pixie Dust & Profits. Today we’re talking all about the Genie+ Changes. Now, if you dunno who we are, I’m Nicole.

Yasmine (00:10):
And I’m Yasmine.

Nicole (00:11):
And this is our summer snack series of Pixie Dust & Profits. We’re bringing you short and sweet episodes for the summer while you’re probably taking some time off your business or we hope that you’re taking some time off of your business. So today we have some brand new CHA changes coming for the Genie+ system. If you haven’t been to Disney since the Pandemic Genie+ is essentially what replaced the Fast Pass system of years past. We now have this kind of two-tier system for Lightning lanes where you can buy individual lightning lanes to the big ticket rides. Like what do we have? Seven Doors, mind Train, rise, is that still? Yeah, rise on it. The

Yasmine (00:51):
I think so. Tron as well. The Neutron Ride.

Nicole (00:54):
Yep. Guardians of the Galaxy. All of

Yasmine (00:56):
Of those rights of the resistance.

Nicole (00:58):
And so you can buy the individual passes to those rides that would otherwise have a very long wait or have a high demand. And then you can also buy Genie+, which is access to a system that allows you to re reserve a Lightning lane pass for one ride at a time. And you can only ride the red once. So if you’re familiar with Universal, you can buy an express pass that lasts all day long and you can go on the ride as many times as you want. And so today we’re talking a little bit about these changes. So at a baseline, all you really need to understand is when you buy Genie+ you have access to being able to get lightning cleans at all of the parks right now. And so there’s strategies around it. I will send you to Wish upon a planner if you would like to learn all the strategies, but we’ve had some good times and some times where it was kind of a waste of money. It can vary. It used to be a flat rate of, what was it, like $11? The first time we did it,

Yasmine (02:00):
It was 15. So when we had gone to Disney with Pixie Dust & Profits live, this was like two years ago, right Nicole? Yeah, it was like our second day. That was literally, it was literally, yeah, the second day it came out, the first day it came out, Nicole and I were there. We got it to try around at Epcot just to see what it was like to familiarize ourselves with it. And then the second day, that was when everyone else joined us and you know, we started using it for our park trips and yeah, it was 15 bucks per person. Yeah, think it’s not 15 bucks per person anymore. I’m not talking box for a person anymore.

Nicole (02:30):
I was there as a personal trip in April, which was kind of during the spring break time, so that’s probably one of the most expensive times of the year. And I think there was a day that it was like $25 each. So it can get pretty pricey if you have a large group. Fortunately only have a family of three, so it’s not too bad for us. But, you know, we’ve had the great experience where on one trip I was grabbing lightning lanes all morning long for the park. We were going to go to that night night, which was Hollywood Studios. And somehow we got to Hollywood Studios at seven at night. It was just me and my husband that our kiddo was with his grandma and we had lightning lanes for everything. We had like Rise, slinky Dog, millennium Falcon tower Terror was closed at that point I think.

Nicole (03:17):
So we didn’t get a chance to go on that, but we, we basically had everything all for after 7:00 PM so that was an amazing experience and probably like best case scenario, but I’ve also been on the flip side of that coin where we, we purchased it for a day also at Hollywood Studios hoping to save some time and you know, my kid very bravely went on rides of the Resistance for the first time and really enjoyed it. But he was done with rides after that. He did not want to go on any other rides. And so we had bought this Genie Plus and really did not use it that day at all. We didn’t get any of our money’s worth at all. So definitely go check out Wish Upon and Planner if you need some good strategies for using it. But I, we say all of this because to give context to the changes, there were definitely parks that you would just say no, I don’t need Genie Plus if I’m going to Animal Kingdom today the Safari is really never more than like a 15 minute wait for at certain times of the year.

Nicole (04:14):
Expedition Everest, you can walk on the single rider line most of the time and even when you wait with friends, it doesn’t take that long. It’s just not a park where lions are the problem. And so

Yasmine (04:26):
And the rides that do have long lines, well there’s the individual Lightning Lane pass for that. Yes. Like flight of Passage, the avatar ride, so

Nicole (04:34):
Right. So it’s a separate pass. So why would you buy Gen Plus if you’re just gonna buy that individual more premium ride? So you know, it’s not really worth it for, for that park. And then Epcot to a lesser extent, depending on what you wanna do at Epcot because you know, I think it’s cosmic rewind, the Guardians of the Galaxy Rollercoaster is on its own individual pass, but Remy I believe is now on the regular pass for the day. Mm-Hmm. So you’re really getting it for test track Remy and frozen. And you know, if you don’t have kids that are interested in any of those, then you might not need it. Testra being the one that goes down the most often. And I’d say if you really, really, really need to go and test track, you might wanna consider it. But essentially Disney saw this, right? They saw the data they had, they saw, you know, what people going into Animal Kingdom and people going to Epcot or not buying Genie Plus and we want them to buy it because that’s more money in our pockets.

Yasmine (05:30):
Well, especially as the prices increased. So originally it was sort of like a flat rate of like $15 per park, but then it started to increase based on how busy the parks were. Right? So it was like it was demand, right. Higher demand for it higher price and you know, there would be days where the price would go up to 30, $32. I think even 34 I remember hearing for

Nicole (05:53):
Gene Yeah. In March person

Yasmine (05:54):

Nicole (05:54):
Spring break. Yeah. Yeah. And, and the thing about the Genie plus to get the most use out of it in some ways you kind of had to buy park hop tickets because mm-hmm, you would, you know, in the morning you would kind of get your lightning lanes for the afternoon for whichever park you were switching to. And they, they put somebody restrictions around park hopping that you can’t do it till after 2:00 PM and you have to go to your new park because of the pandemic that I think they just started seeing that this was all getting so complex. I mean some of you probably understand everything we are saying and the rest of you were like, I can’t follow any of this. And so they knew that this is getting complex for their audience. They could tell with the questions coming in, the complaints at the customer service booths, what, what do they call them? Like the customer experience, like those happy booths they have? Yeah,

Yasmine (06:45):
The guest services. Yeah. Yeah.

Nicole (06:47):
So they were, you know, they have all this data and so one of the things that they decided to do was, well, we still wanna get our money for Genie Plus and we still wanna have this dynamic pricing so we can charge more money when things are busier because we’re Disney and we want revenue and profit. So now they’ve split it. So you can buy a multi park Genie Plus or you can buy a single park Genie Plus. And in some ways it simplifies things based on like if you have a park hopping ticket or not. I think they’re also doing away with needing to have park reservations starting in January, which is should also help this kind of problem where you’re like stuck into a park.

Yasmine (07:29):
The caveat right now though is like, that’s for dated tickets is what they’re guaranteeing like after January. Yeah. So if you buy like a gated ticket, I, I said gated, I meant dated. So it’s for like, you know, January 4th through 17th or whatever. That’s a really long window, but you know what I mean, like yeah, you don’t have to worry about reservations. Not a hundred percent sure if it’s completely being done away with for annual passes, but we’ll see.

Nicole (07:52):
Yeah. So like with all this backstory, I think the thing we really wanna touch on is, first of all, Disney makes their decisions based on data, but that doesn’t always mean the, they are ignoring like the feelings part or the like how users actually use it. So yeah, they’re getting a lot of questions and confusion and you know, they’re like, okay, we’ll make a, a single park pass and a multi-part pass and it’s cheaper for these. And we have some that are on their individual passes. It’s still really complex to understand and they’re trying so hard to be innovative because they’re Disney that when you turn around and look at what other parks are doing, like universal, universal is very expensive. It’s, you know, the trips I’ve been in the area that’s at least $200 a person. But you go and you get this unlimited express pass, it’s $200 and you can use it the whole day at the park you’re at. You just keep going on the ride, you wanna go on, they have a lane for you to like walk right on and you can go on that ride however many times. I think we did Flight of the Hippogriff five times cuz my kid really enjoyed that. You know, family rollercoaster. So Disney’s trying so hard to be innovative and different that is this really helpful? Yeah. So they just charge $300 for a pass .

Yasmine (09:14):
I mean if they charge $300 for a pass, I think we would see a lot of, a lot of angry posts in Facebook groups and and stuff. Absolutely. But, but yeah, like they’re, they’re trying to, you know, like created this amazing app. I mean maybe amazing is debatable, but they created this like complex app which does a lot like, it gives you recommendations on how to plan your day. It takes into consideration like where you are in the park and what you have planned to help guide you. Which if you were newer to Disney, that can be a valuable tool in your pocket. But of course with it comes all of these you know, priced experiences that historically were free and included in your park ticket. Like in the past the benefit was booking on Disney property because you got advanced access to picking out your fast passes, you get three per day and then after that it’s like once you use all those up you can get an additional one but you’d have to like use up your initial three.

Yasmine (10:09):
And it was it was, you know, great for everyone cuz it sort of leveled the playing field, but with obviously increasing costs and seeing what other parks are doing, Disney knew that there was revenue to be made. So they created the Genie Plus system and it sort of worked into all of the restrictions and changes that came after the pandemic. Everything sort of changed. So it was an easy way for them to be like, well we’re not doing Fast passes anymore, we’re doing this. But one thing that I have to give Disney props for, does anyone say that anymore? Nicole? Giving props my dating myself. I think I just did.

Nicole (10:44):
Yeah. You know, they, they take the w

Yasmine (10:46):
Yeah, they took the W Yeah, yeah. What what Disney takes a W four. Please don’t make fun of me on the internet. Any Gen Z we’re totally

Nicole (10:59):
Get a DM that’s like you use that entirely wrong. Yeah, yeah.

Yasmine (11:03):
Well, but they are not afraid to kill their darlings and in this case they’re not killing Genie Plus, but Disney is like, they have, they’ve scrapped entire projects that they’ve invested quite a bit of money into. If they saw that it wasn’t gonna, you know, bring a good return the Star Wars hotel, right? Like that’s the most recent one. They literally scrapped a product they spent millions upon millions on because it just wasn’t profitable. And they’re gonna shift directions and who knows what they’re gonna do. We’re gonna find out hopefully in the coming months and years. But they are okay with taking the data into consideration, taking the customer feedback and shifting gears because they do not want to sink money into something that is not maximizing revenue for them and profits. And

Nicole (11:55):
I think this is really important to keep in mind as a small business owner, like oh hundred percent, I have seen so many clients who are just like changing things nonstop . And it’s like, you know what, sometimes I get frustrated as the operations manager with that because it’s hard to like keep projects on track. But at the same time, like Disney isn’t afraid to just up and say, you know what, we’re completely changing the system. We don’t care that you already have a trip planned cuz people plan their trips but like a year out and they’re just, okay, you know, there’s gonna be millions of people that this will affect and we’re just gonna, we’re gonna roll it out and we’ll deal with the customer service that comes with it. So, you know, take some of those chances of like, don’t be afraid to, to change things if they’re, you know, not working. But it’s so interesting because I feel like this system is still so complex mm-hmm and they’re still trying to do it with data. But you know

Yasmine (12:51):
What, the price will increase and decrease depending on demand to a degree. But like you’re no longer paying 34 bucks for Animal Kingdom. It’ll be like 16 or $17 in. Yeah.

Nicole (13:00):
I feel like a lot of these parks are like, let’s do the premium experience where it’s just like easy one and done. You know, we upsell you how many people are gonna convert when something’s $300 versus you know, the mobile game method that Disney’s playing here where it’s like, oh, it’s just an extra 10, it’s just an extra 15. And then, you know, you look at your credit card statement at the end of the month and you’re like, oh, that was a lot of extra 10. Yeah.

Yasmine (13:27):
One of my my in-laws friends explained it as like, 30 dollaring you to death. It’s like, oh, it’s $30 for this, it’s $30 for that. They, they were talking about like yard equipment cuz we had recently renovated our backyard and need to get like a new hose attachments, like, oh, it’s just $30, but you’re like spending 30 here, 30 there. Before you know it, it’s like several hundred dollars that you have spent without really thinking of it because you just see, oh, it’s like 10 bucks per guest or 16 bucks per guest. Yeah, that’s not that much, but spread it over your whole trip. It adds up a bit.

Nicole (13:59):
Absolutely. And you know, when we come back to like your, your business, what, what products do you have? What price points do you have? Are you trying to be the, let’s have a lot of things at $27 and go for like volume where, you know, Disney probably nets out ahead of Universal in this, you know mm-hmm. Realm. And some of that’s just due to the sheer numbers Disney brings in. But when you look at it, it’s probably because of what Yasmine Yasmines was just talking about what Yasmine, princess deal, what Yasmines was just talking about, right. Where you are $30 to death and you’re just $30 doesn’t sound like much when you’re looking at a water bottle that’s $8. I won’t say that their water bottles are probably closer to $4. It’s the, it’s the alcoholic beverages that Yeah. Get into the numbers when you’re like, oh, well you, you know what? I can get Genie+ instead of getting a margarita, it’s the same prey. Mm-Hmm. But yeah, so just, just keep in mind it’s okay to change, it’s okay to be innovative, but at the same time make sure you’re getting data from your customers on like, is this working? And some of that data might be indirect, it might be nobody’s buying

Yasmine (15:10):
Mm-Hmm. and I recently went through an experience with this, with a client of mine, and I know like Nicole, you’ve been seeing this in the industry as well, where, you know, we have a premium product and it comes with a premium price and we notice that sales are down because literally like we’re in a recession, you know, people are holding onto their dollars a little bit more, but they still want that support. We still get, you know, an outreach of messages people for people looking for support. So we looked at, you know, we have our product, it’s a good product. We don’t necessarily want to change the product, but we need to change our strategy for bringing revenue into the business. And rather than, you know, steeply discount our products and take away from the premium value that this client offers, we looked into creating a newer lower cost product that wouldn’t necessarily, you know, take away from her current offerings.

Yasmine (16:03):
And that’s a product that we’re working on right now to bring in revenue and you have to be able to like adapt and you have to be able to change. And one of the consequences of introducing this product is we ended up killing one of our launches that we typically have every fall because right now it wasn’t the right time for it. You know, we knew that the projections weren’t going to help us hit the goals that we needed to as a business, so we pivoted to a degree. And that indirect feedback was what drove it ultimately. So like, don’t be afraid of change, but at the same time I wanna caveat like don’t change things all the time too quickly. Like it’s easy to have like, you know, a fear of something not working and wanting to pivot right away, but like, wait for some data that like, that’s important because what you don’t want to do is be all over the place.

Nicole (16:56):
Well thanks so much for joining us today and make sure you tune in for next week. We’ll have another summer Snack bite series episode of Pixie Dust & Profits. By the way, if you’re interested in joining us at Pixie Dust Live, which we talked about earlier in this episode, you can go to pixiedustandprofits.com/live to find out about our new events or sign up about the wait list when our events eventually fill up, which they always do. So thanks for joining us today and we’ll see you real soon.

Yasmine (17:23):

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Episode 83: Moving Your Mirrors

Jul 11, 2023

In this episode, we discuss a seemingly peculiar design choice of Disney Parks: the bathroom mirrors. More specifically, how they’re intentionally placed away from the hand-washing stations for a very conscious reason—and it’ll make so much sense once you hear it! (No one preens like Gaston, after all.)

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Episode 83: Moving Your Mirrors (Transcript)

Jul 11, 2023

Yasmine (00:01):
Nicole, you know what really grinds my gears? It’s when

Nicole (00:04):
I’m sure the list is long, so like, can we narrow it down?

Yasmine (00:08):
Okay. Okay. So what grinds my gears at Disney is when I am in the bathroom, you know, I’ve done my business washing my hands and I wanna adjust my ears because, you know, they get like wonky during the day and there’s no mirror. Like, have you ever noticed that if you go to a Disney washroom and you’re washing your hands at the stations, there are no mirrors?

Nicole (00:29):
Yeah, pretty, pretty often. I, I, I know that I’m always like, I have so much hair, so it’s so hot down there and I hate putting my hair up. But in Florida it’s kind of a necessity. Necessity sometimes. So, and after the rollercoasters when your hair is like all over the place, you’re like, I just wanna make sure that I don’t look like a crazy person, .

Yasmine (00:46):
Right, right. Well, before we get into this episode, I do wanna introduce us and say, welcome to Pixie Dust & Profits. We are doing our summer snack size series where we are doing shorter episodes every week to keep you motivated in your business all summer long. And, and today we’re gonna be talking about keeping things moving. So Nicole, why don’t you tell us why Disney has no mirrors?

Nicole (01:09):
Yeah, so if you go to Disney, you’ll notice this, especially in the newer areas. So if you go to Magic Kingdom, this may not be as true. Mm-Hmm, because all of the restroom areas are older, you know, 50 years, there was just an anniversary. But if you go to probably like the Rati area, often you’ll find that the bathrooms in Disney are intentionally designed. They’re always available in some quick to get to location, so they’re always thinking about that. But the bathroom itself, Disney is a place where queuing theory and engineering need to be top-notch because so many people go there every single day. So in the bathrooms you’ll walk in and, you know, there’s the stalls and then there’s where you wash your hands. And usually there is not a mirror where you’re washing your hand, it’s actually in like the outside area where people may be waiting in line to for their turn. And there’s a reason for that. And the reason is, first of all, it reduces vandalism. You can’t have cameras in a bathroom, but if there’s beers there, people know that, like other people can see them. So there’s that. But mostly it’s to keep people moving because if you’re standing there waiting to wash your hands and someone’s putting their lipstick on or

Yasmine (02:27):
Or adjusting their ears,

Nicole (02:28):
Adjusting their ears or their hair or whatever it, you know, that’s just going to take extra time. And so you’d end up waiting and then no one can move between the stalls because you’re taking all the room up in the middle. Like it’s really intentional that they, in the newer restrooms have the mirrors in a separate location. They’re also full like mirrors. So I actually really appreciate it cuz then you can see your whole fit.

Yasmine (02:49):
But yeah, they don’t want to have any bottlenecks in the bathrooms and they wanna keep things flowing. And you know, Disney does that in a lot of interesting ways in other parts of the park too. And I could go into more detail on that, but this is a snack size series. We’re keeping it short and sweet. So what we wanna do is look at bottlenecks in your business. And I know that we’ve talked about, you know, bottlenecks in the sense of like, sometimes you are the bottleneck in your business, you’re slowing progress down, but in this case we wanna look at things more systemically. What are the processes in your business that keep everything from flowing smoothly? I can speak to one in my product based business. Should I start there, Nicole?

Nicole (03:32):
Yeah, yeah. Okay. So let everyone know what your product based business is.

Yasmine (03:36):
So in addition to this podcast and running my consulting company, I do run sort of a crystal and, you know, ritual tool shop called Lunar Drift apothecary. And back when I first started the shop, we had like a really, really high volume of orders. And it was, it was a little bit crazy. I I would basically work, you know, from nine to five in my consulting business and in the wee hours of the morning when I was not with my daughter, when she basically before she woke up, after I dropped her off at school and at night after she went to bed, I was like packing orders, like nonstop. And one thing that I did at first, cuz it was really important to me was like, write a handwritten thank you note with every single package. And I still maintain that. That’s a nice touch. And I personally love it when I get a handwritten note from a small business, but it was taking me so long to write them because A, my penmanship is atrocious, you know, I like, so I constantly had to like scrap notes and like rewrite them from scratch. B again, I was handwriting like, you know, a couple sentences for every single order that I got and I was shipping out hundreds of orders a week. And three

Nicole (04:44):
For context, she launched those business and had a few like semi viral, like minor viral videos Yeah. On TikTok. And so this was around Christmas time in the holidays mm-hmm. So she had an influx of many, many, many, many orders. Yeah. So handwriting it was intense. A hundred of these was definitely difficult.

Yasmine (05:04):
Yeah. And like the third issue that I had was, wait, Holland, I forgot my third thing handwriting. Oh, right. And the third thing was, I’m so used to typing all day, and this goes back to the fact that my penmanship is atrocious. My like actual handwriting muscle muscles are not strong. Like, I rarely write things these days, honestly, like I’m typing everything that I do and I’m gonna be honest, like I do not have the skills I did back when I was in school because we’re constantly typing, so it just delayed the process. So I need to make a pivot because this was slowing down how quickly I can get orders out. Like it wasn’t just packing crystals, which takes longer than, you know, just putting a few like shirts and a poly mailer. Not to say that that packing process isn’t like intentional, it takes a while.

Yasmine (05:52):
I had to individually wrap every single crystal to make sure they don’t break in transit because they can be fragile. So I needed to do something to expedite the flow and the pivot that I made was, instead of, you know, having these four by six little promo cards that were intentionally made for writing like notes to every client, I ended up ma redesigning them into a smaller format. I put some of the information that I would’ve written in my note, like thanking them for their order, giving them a coupon code, you know, where to find me on social. But I also included a little area where if I didn’t wanna write something extra, I had that space to do it. And then what I did instead was on their invoices. I would always like, you know, write a little, I thank you so much, or like a little comment about what they ordered. I still put a personal touch there, but again, I wasn’t sitting, going through every single order and writing, you know, five to eight sentences for each person. And I actually like almost doubled the amount of orders I was able to ship out per week because that’s how long it freaking took me to write notes.

Nicole (06:57):
Isn’t that long. Yeah. And I imagine with a little toddler in the house if she saw you writing notes, she would also want to write notes or write on her notes.

Yasmine (07:07):
Oh, oh yes. My customers often get little pictures and drawings on their like invoices and stuff from my daughter when she’s around when I’m doing shipping. So but yeah, it would’ve been way worse at that volume.

Nicole (07:22):
Yeah. So we’re, we’re talking about like, you don’t need to remove the mirrors and entirely from the bathroom, you just need to move them a little bit and flow will improve. So where Yasmine, you know, kind of made a pre-printed card that had a lot of information but still had space to just say like, thanks name. Even that goes a long way and that’s a quick thing to write. You know, that’s kind of a process about bottleneck. We often talk about like the analysis paralysis, waiting for perfection, the like internal bottlenecks to yourself. But I also wanna talk about team bottlenecks and whether you have a large team or you have a small team that’s just, you know, one virtual assistant who maybe writes the show notes for your podcast and gets them published for you. And so when you’re talking about teams, sometimes the bottlenecks are like your leadership or your communication if you don’t have a way to let them make decisions.

Nicole (08:14):
So for a while we stalled on Instagram because it was just relying on us to write the content and get it moving. And it was, you know, the podcast is kind of a passion project for us. We have a lot of fun with it, but our day jobs are our consulting businesses. And so at earlier this year we just kind of gave the green light to the team of, look, we have 70 something episodes of this podcast. We have tons of content you can pull from and we have a lot of wonderful photos of Disney courtesy of Allie at Wish Upon a planner and also Laura Foot Photography. So go check those two guys out. But go ahead, take the pictures, write whatever you wanna write and you have a blanket. Go ahead. These are people we worked with for long enough that we know that they’re not gonna be writing anything scandalizing or vandalism for our social channels, but we were holding up that process so much and we didn’t clearly communicate that we were okay with them just publishing.

Nicole (09:17):
Mm-Hmm. So they had some things were in here and there, so it wasn’t just that they were waiting for us to tell them to do the work. They were waiting for that autonomy of this is a decision I trust you to be able to make, and I’m okay with what the result is going to be. You guys have shown that you’ve been able to do this work. And so just think about the communication. You might be in your head saying, I wish people would do X, Y, z I wish they would take this off my plate. But if you’re not communicating that in a way that your team understands, whether that’s like tasks or having a meeting, we don’t have a lot of team meetings with our VAs. We, you know, often send boxer messages, which is audio back and forth, or we talk in Asana, which is our task-based system. But you know, we actually said, you know what, this is important enough that we need to get in a room together. We need to have like a 20 minute meeting. Just say like, hi everyone, just want you to know we love what you’re doing. Just hit publish, we’re okay with it. And so now we have our Instagram engagement moving again. So just think about those bottlenecks in your business. Where can you move the mirror so that way it’s not holding everybody else up.

Yasmine (10:21):
Well, I hope you took something away from one of my biggest annoyances at Disney. It’s, it, it’s really interesting when you look at how Disney structures things and when you realize the intentionality behind it. Thank you for listening to this episode. We hope you enjoyed it.

Nicole (10:39):
And if you wanna join us to see the mirrors and the bathrooms in perso, come to Pixie Dust Live. It’s happening this October 15th, and you can find all the information about that at pixiedustinprofits.com/live-2023. We do go to the parks and have some fun, but the focus is on moving our businesses into 2024 with intention and a plan, a content strategy, a offer stack the ascension ladder, your product offerings. We talk about all of these things at Pixie Dust Live together. It’s a very intimate retreat. There are only five slots as of this recording, three of them are taken. So if you want one of those last two spots, go check out pixiedustandprofits.com/live-2023 and you can see the mirrors in the bathroom for yourself.

Yasmine (11:23):
My personal favorite is Rapunzel’s Bathrooms and Magic Kingdom.

Nicole (11:26):
Those are, those are really nice. I also,

Yasmine (11:29):
They’re probably the newest that’s,

Nicole (11:30):
I also like searching for the Pascals outside of that bathroom.

Yasmine (11:33):
It’s just a fun vibe all around in that area.

Nicole (11:36):
Awesome. All right, well we’ll see you next week.

Yasmine (11:38):

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Episode 82: One Day at Disney

Jul 4, 2023

In this episode, we discuss the concept of content multiplication using Disney’s “One Day at Disney” as an example. We can’t get enough of how Disney strategically planned and executed multiple forms of content from a single project, including a coffee table book, a documentary, and short episodes.

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Episode 82: One Day at Disney (Transcript)

Jul 4, 2023

Nicole (00:00):
Hey everyone, welcome to this week’s snack sized summer series episode of Pixie Dust & Profits. I’m Nicole.

Yasmine (00:07):
And I’m Yasmine,

Nicole (00:08):
And we are bringing you business bits all summer long. I hope that they’re something that gets you thinking about your business in new ways, whether you’re vacationing or taking a slow summer, or you’re right in the middle of it all and you’re prepping for Christmas in July. Because I know for a lot of our creators and makers, this is the time of year where they’re getting ready for their largest season, which is the end of the year. So thank you so much for joining us today. Our episode is really, really fun to us today. We, I mean, this was inspired by a visit probably a couple years ago to the D V C resorts, but it has nothing to do with D V C. I know we talk about D V C a lot, but it was just something that happened while we were there. We walked into our room and there was this, what, 200 plus page beautiful hard cover like glossy paged book,

Yasmine (00:59):
Coffee table book.

Nicole (01:01):
Yeah, it’s like a coffee table book, just a conversation piece, right? And it’s called One Day At Disney. And then we start flipping through this book and we start seeing all of the different jobs that keep Disney running all these short little features. And we were like, not only is this beautiful and we’re, we’re loving the content inside and we’re engaging with it, but of course, both of us, our brains are running all around of like, this was genius that they did this.

Yasmine (01:26):
And what’s really cool about one day at Disney is they didn’t just publish it in a book format, right? Nicole, if you are a Disney plus subscriber, you may have seen the documentary where they, again, dive into all the cool jobs that keep Disney running, but that’s not all, is it Nicole

Nicole (01:47):
N? No. So, I don’t know, maybe everyone has a different stream on their Disney Plus, but I tend to get all of the documentary type things because those are the things that I watch. I loved the Imagineering series and I hope they do another season of that. But this is kind of of the same vein. So they have one day at Disney, and if you go into Disney Plus and you search for that, you’re gonna see two options. They’re going to have about an hour long documentary that kind of goes through most of these roles that are featured in the book. But then they have one day at Disney shorts. And so just like we’re bringing you a snack size series for summer, they’ve kind of broken up this documentary in a different format for viewing. And there are 51 episodes in the one day at Disney shorts, and they’re each like seven to 10 minutes long.

Nicole (02:31):
So it looks like they tried to keep ’em around eight minutes so that way you could just kind of understand that particular role and move on to the next one and binge watch it or, you know, exit and do something else. But I, I think it’s a really ingenious thing, and that’s what Yaz and I really loved about this. Okay. The, the book is interesting in and of itself. We could probably do a different episode about every job that they’ve mentioned in there. You know, you have things like the animal keepers animal Kingdom to the casting directors for the show. Obviously Imagineering is a popular one. They even go beyond the parks and they start talking about like some of their news anchors on the different, a ABC shows people, the Broadway, some of the Broadway actors. I, I saw one that was like the research and development of making the, like the Spider-Man animatronic.

Nicole (03:25):
Good Morning America co-anchors. I mean, this goes all over the place. So what was really interesting about this is they had the book in the room. There’s so many levels of everything that’s interesting, but they had the book in the room, obviously to entice D v c members to purchase that book. I can’t remember off the top of my head. I feel like there was a card with it that kind of said like, take this home with you, you know, an advertisement to purchase your own copy. And so in and of itself, great marketing, put your own stuff in the room so people buy it and take it home. But when we go and look on Disney Plus and we see they have so many different forms of this same piece of content, they have the book, they have the long videography, and then they have the short form.

Nicole (04:07):
But I want ya to talk a little bit more about this cuz her and her husband do you kind of like editing for some clients over the years. And there’s, there’s an intentionality here from Disney that I think everyone needs to know when they wanna execute things like this. A lot of people talk about content repurposing. We’ve talked about content repurposing, and we think this kind of falls more into the content multiplication realm, which is something completely different. And if those terms mean nothing to you, let me just start with saying content repurposing is taking something that already exists and trying to reuse it in a different way. So that could be like, oh, I have this hour long video, let me try and cut it up into individual episodes. But Yasmine’s gonna tell you why that doesn’t always work.

Yasmine (04:48):
Yeah. So my husband, Dylan, who also edits the podcast, Hey Dylan he is a video editor and a lot of our clients come to us for YouTube editing or podcast editing or other just editing projects. And after an episode is cut up, we always get the question, oh, hey, can we just like cut this into a bunch of different talks or like reels? And the short answer is, sure we can, but sometimes the content always doesn’t flow that way with content multiplication. What goes into your content planning is just that a plan. So when you are creating the script for like one day at Disney, for example, or for a podcast episode or a YouTube video that you’re doing, you’re intentionally planning little breaks into it and basically writing the script so it can be segmented. So even though you are maybe recording it in one go, it’s being set up to be cut into smaller pieces so you can repurpose it.

Yasmine (05:47):
So when we look at what Disney did it with one day at Disney, they did obviously the photography, the principle of photography, the actual photography, the interviewing, and the script writing. They did this project in one go. They didn’t sit down to like interview that same animal keeper three different times, once for the book, once for, you know, the documentary and another time for the shorts. No, they did this all in one go. And then different team members took that content and worked on their respective project. So you had the book team taking the photos and the probably the video scripts, which were then transcribed into actual content for the book. Then you had the documentary team that, you know, had to cut out a lot of footage to fit all of those jobs into a one hour documentary. But then the shorts are probably extended.

Yasmine (06:35):
I’m not probably there. The shorts are extended little highlights of each individual role. So they’re pulling that out. And what that might look like for you is if you’re doing a YouTube episode, teaching your audience about a specific topic, the actual footage that you might produce could be, you know, 30 to 40 minutes of content, let’s say. But then the video that goes up on YouTube might be a 15 minute cut of that, where it’s more you know, you’re teaching to specific topics. It’s a bit shorter. It’s made to be edited in a way that’s appealing for YouTube. That’s another topic that I can go into is editing for your platform. And I think I’ll touch upon it a bit after, but it’s edit for YouTube and then they might make longer cuts from that original recording to be put up on TikTok or reels or YouTube shorts or whatever short format video that you want to put out that goes into maybe a specific topic in a bit more depth but isn’t long enough to necessarily warrant its own YouTube video. And then you can take that content and probably transcribe it into a blog post and you can transcribe it into Instagram caption. So it’s taking that one piece of content, and I know this sounds like content repurposing, but what’s different is you’re going into it thinking of all the outputs and structuring the content in a way that will make it easier to produce those outputs versus trying to, you know, find the perfect spot to cut a video to create a TikTok and have it sort of start and end oddly.

Nicole (08:07):
Yeah, exactly. That’s what I was gonna say. This is more about the the process of how you’re going about your content than it is about how to repurpose the content. Because it’s not about repurposing, it is about, I love how you put that yasin where you start at the beginning with, okay, I want to make something about all of the jobs at Disney. What is the end goal? Like, what is the end output? Okay, we are going to have eight minute short videos that really go in depth for each job we’re interviewing. We’re gonna have an hour long documentary that kind of gives an overall view of many jobs, but maybe not all of them. Maybe they wanna highlight their, you know, most featured things or whatever might be, I’m sure there are more Marvel ones in the interview longer series because they wanna sell Marvel, or have you watched Marvel?

Nicole (08:54):
You know, there’s probably an intention behind which ones made those cuts. And then the book, right? They, they knew what the outputs were going to be when they started planning the process, and they probably had multiple video cameras and two different teams working on each side, like Yasmin said, because there is such a different way to go about this. They did this with Bob ER’s book too. Mm-Hmm. He’s actually one of the featured shorts where he’s, it says, you know, c e o. So it’s really cute that they did like the seven minute video, just like he was any other employee and put him in here. He isn’t even the first episode. It’s, you know, a couple episodes in. And that was also the masterclass that they recorded for masterclass, which was basically the story from the books mm-hmm.

Nicole (09:39):
And so they planned how many pieces and ways that this content was going to be used in advance. And that is the difference when you’re taking something and you’ve planned for it to be filmed in multiple ways. It might be something like those podcasts where we’re recording an episode and then you don’t see us when the episode ends. We’re like, let’s rerecord this part as a little advertisement to insert somewhere else, or let’s record a video to use in a different platform. It’s, we just talked about the topic so it’s fresh and top of mind, but when we’re thinking, okay, we’re gonna do a cut now for YouTube, we’re gonna talk a little bit differently than we do when it’s a, an audio podcast episode. And so there is a difference between doing that where you have an hour set aside for filming and you’re thinking about, you know, here’s the topic we’re talking about, but we need to do it in these different formats versus I’ve recorded it once and then it’s an afterthought.

Nicole (10:30):
That’s what usually happens with content repurposing. And that doesn’t mean it’s bad, especially if it’s good content, but content repurposing makes it, you can just tell, you can tell when you’re on TikTok or you’re u on YouTube or you’re scrolling through Instagram reels. You can just tell this what’s not meant to be a reel. This is like, someone recorded this on TikTok and put it over here. It doesn’t work. Even though TikTok and reels might feel similar on the surface, you can tell when you’re watching it. It doesn’t feel organic, it doesn’t feel natural, and therefore the engagement is low and the algorithm isn’t gonna put it in front of people. So I hope you enjoyed this snack size summer series episode. It’s really about multiplying your content, thinking ahead about how you’re gonna use it before you film it. And maybe even after you film it, if after you film something and you’re like, oh, that was great, or after you wrote something that was great, stay in that mindset and, and go the extra five minutes to go do it for another platform.

Yasmine (11:27):
You know, I’m gonna add in one little tip there. We did this with one of our clients where originally we were planning on doing YouTube episodes for her podcast as well. And the idea was that we weren’t just gonna put up the podcast recording on YouTube, we were going to take that script and then we had sectioned out specific p parts to then use that footage for the YouTube video. So it was a little bit more succinct and set up for YouTube. But we found that process didn’t work for the client in the end in terms of how she wanted to, you know, create content. It didn’t feel that organic for her, which was fine. You sometimes have to tweak things. But then what we ended up doing was when we found that there were specific talking points that she had where she got really excited rather than use that, you know, video recording of her recording the podcast where, you know, she would be looking at her notes and might not be making eye contact with the camera.

Yasmine (12:20):
We had her take those points and literally after she was done recording for five minutes, she would just talk straight to camera and sort of repeat that. But she’s re basically using that same content but just shooting the footage in a slightly different way. So it’s succinct and it’s basically made for a short YouTube clip, a YouTube short, or for us to put on TikTok and we were able to take that content and multiply it in many ways. And it wasn’t that much effort. It was literally, like Nicole said, an extra five minutes for her.

Nicole (12:47):
Yeah. When, when it’s top of mind and you just talked about it like it’s it’s still in your head. Exactly. It’s not like you have to reset up your room or get your production ready to go again. It definitely makes things so much easier. And sometimes it’s helpful to just like look at how they record movies, right? Mm-Hmm, you know, they, every single second of a movie is recorded over and over and over again for the expression and for the, and then we’re not saying you need to curate your content that hard, but just think about how, like, okay, if I’m, if I’m talking to someone on YouTube, what are the videos I like to watch on YouTube and how do they act while they’re on that? No one would really love the videos from these audio recordings because we’re just in sweats and just chatting. Maybe sometimes we,

Yasmine (13:36):
We get excited, looks on our faces, which I don’t know, might not be the most video friendly. Sometimes, I get crazy eyes when I get excited. Just warning everyone,

Nicole (13:44):
We will, we will, we have plans. We’re planning, we’re we notice we’re on episode 82, you know, episode a hundred is coming. We, we we’re thinking of things for that. So if there’s something you wanna see, some topic you’d love to hear about, let us know. We have a few more snack series coming out this summer. And we’re, we’re treking along to that hundredth episode really soon. But we’ll see you for our next episode next week.

Yasmine (14:07):
See real soon. Bye

Nicole (14:09):

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Episode 81: Disney vs. Universal

Jun 27, 2023

In this episode, we discuss the concept of the lifetime value of a customer. Case in point: Disney and Universal. Both are theme parks that illustrate different pricing models. Disney focuses on encouraging longer stays and offers discounts for multi-day tickets, while Universal caters to shorter visits and prices accordingly. Tune in to discover how these insights into different pricing strategies can be applied to pricing services in the business world.

Download Episode 81 transcript right here

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Episode 81: Disney vs. Universal (Transcript)

Jun 27, 2023

Nicole (00:00):
Hey everyone, welcome to the Pixie Dust & Profits podcast. I’m Nicole.

Yasmine (00:04):
And I’m Yasmine.

Nicole (00:05):
And this is our summer snack size series, snack size summer series. I don’t remember,

Yasmine (00:11):
I think’s snack size, summer series, snack

Nicole (00:13):
Size summer series. We’re doing short and sweet episodes all summer long just to get you thinking about your business at a time where we tend to focus on other people and let our business go by the wayside because we are enjoying the beach or family vacations or just, you know, soaking up some sunshine and getting other things done. So today’s episode is a topic that we talk about very often. I wanna preface this episode with, I recently took a vacation to Disney, of course, big surprise. But this time it was a much longer trip than we usually take, and we added on a surprise day at Universal. My kiddo and I have been reading the Harry Potter books, and so we really just wanted to explore the two Harry Potter areas at Universal. And we’re just gonna talk about the lifetime value of a customer in terms of universal versus Disney. So Yasmine, I don’t know if you’ve been to Universal, but I know you’ve kind of, we’ve talked about this a lot and you’ve kind of priced it out and

Yasmine (01:17):
All of that. Not in Florida, but quite often in California.

Nicole (01:22):
Yeah, so I, the, I think like the baseline that we should talk about is like, they have two very distinct models. We talk a lot about Disney’s Mo model, where basically the longer you stay the quote cheaper it gets because they want you to have like seven day tickets, right? You know, it’s, what does a one day ticket cost these days? $120. It varies by date, it varies by park. It’s kind of like, it’s, it’s a little overwhelming if you haven’t been to Disney before, quite honestly. So you, you pay like $120 for one day, two days is, you know, $215. You save three bucks and then you go all the way up. And so you probably cap out somewhere around $400 for a seven day. And I’m just quoting these off the top of my head. I’m not looking at anything. I’m just assuming that, because usually when we do the math, when you get an annual pass, it, it works out if you go for 10 days, two trips of five days, 10 days total, something like that.

Nicole (02:22):
And so Disney kind of has this model of stay longer, play longer, we have four parks, you know, explore every nook and cranny of all of them. And you know, in the last episode we talked about the Reedy Creek District. And visually, when you’re at Walt Disney World, it does not look like the rest of Florida. It, you are in a bubble. And this is why we missed the Magical Express, because the Magical Express would take you from the airport to the bubble and you never had to leave it. Lately on my trips, I have been renting a car now and so I, I see the outside of the bubble more and more and it’s, it’s really funny, like once you cross a line, it’s suddenly you’re in a completely different place. So Disney really wants you in that bubble and they price accordingly. Mm-Hmm.

Yasmine (03:07):
So with Universal, they do things a little bit differently. Now, universal doesn’t really have the sort of long stay appeal that the Disney like bubble does, cuz like Nicole said, you can go to the parks, but there’s just so much to do on Disney property. We once made a day out of like literally resort hopping on the monorail. We, we just ho visited every resort in the monorail. We had some food here, we shopped. Like, there’s just so much to do. Shout

Nicole (03:34):
Out to the Grand Floridian Cafe. It has my favorite meal there. The heirloom apple salad, my favorite, if I have any opportunity to go there, I will.

Yasmine (03:43):
It’s so good. But universal, I mean they have a lot of parks in Florida and I personally haven’t been you know, they’ve built out like their Harry Potter lands, they have some like water parks and stuff, but you typically don’t stay there for a week. At least not anyone I know does. Universal is usually like a one to like two day sort of visit and trip. You hit up like the, the areas and the lands that like appeal to you and it’s like an add-on to a Disney trip if that. So they basically priced to maximize their revenue from these short stay. So things are a lot more expensive.

Nicole (04:21):
Yeah, we definitely experienced that. So they do things like in order to take the Hogwarts Express train from Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley, which are two Harry Potter areas in different parks, you need to have a one day park to park or park hopper if you know Disney language pass. And so that costs more. You can’t just have a pass to one park. If you want to take that train, like you can, you know, see the train with your eyes, maybe if you wait in line and then not go on it, actually you can’t. They scan your band even to get in line for the train. And so they, they price accordingly. So your tickets are 200, $220 to be able to do, you know what is probably the biggest draw to the park is the Harry Potter right now. They know that you’re only there for a day or two In our situation, my child gets very motion sick and a lot of the rides at Universal, even the shows at Universal are 3D motion.

Nicole (05:24):
They’re just, they’re meant for older kids. I think you know, that teenager world because that’s different than Disney. So they kind of wanna hit that market, which is totally understandable, but there’s a lot for someone who doesn’t even really get motion sick, there’s a lot of rides that you get motion sick on. So we can’t really do much at these parks. We, we are just going to experience all of the Harry Potter that we can going into shops, you know, trying the butter beer, getting a wand, walking around doing some magic, and so they really get their money’s worth. The other thing that Universal does, knowing that you are probably only gonna be there for a day or two, so they have three signature premium resorts and if you stay at one of those resorts, you get what’s called an express pass. And that Express Pass lets you, for as many times as you want, go into the express line for a Ride Disney.

Nicole (06:15):
If you have been to Disney and you’ve heard of Genie Plus or the old Fast Pass system, usually you can only go on a ride once with that. So if you wanted to get Genie Plus, you cannot keep going on the same ride over and over, you can only go on once it’s one time Use Universal let’s you go on as many times as you want. And so you want to stay at one of those premium resorts so that way you get this like front of the line access. But those resorts come with a premium price tag, like $400 is probably the cheapest one at the cheapest time of year. You can buy that pass if you don’t stay at the resort. But they’re typically 800 plus dollars per person in your party. Yeah

Yasmine (06:52):
$205 if you were to go like this week. So if, if I could just like pop in with some numbers while Nicole was explaining everything, I’m like, okay, let’s just see how much this would cost. So right now they have if you buy two park day, two day tickets, so like you can park hop basically for two days, you can get three days for free. So like that seems like a good deal. So I add that on. This is for a family of two with one kid. Then if you wanna add on the Universal Express unlimited pass, that’s like $1,800 for like five days for a family of three.

Nicole (07:27):
And the thing that you don’t know if you don’t go to Universal often, and we experience because we did stay one night at one of the more premium hotels because I needed to make sure my kid could do all the Harry Potter stuff because we only had one day, well we only had one park day, we were not going for longer than that. A lot of their lines have a single rider line, which was actually faster than the unlimited pass line. And we are a family of three with a child who does not ride some of those more intense things. And so for us, we’re always gonna be in a single rider line. We don’t have someone else to watch our kid for us while we’re there. And so that express pass maybe not worth it as much as maybe for some other families, but I definitely, what we’re getting at here is Disney prices for you to stay a long time because Disney knows the longer you’re staying there, they can keep bringing your, your park tickets down.

Nicole (08:24):
They’re stuffed to experience every day. You could plan seven days at four different parks and water parks, all of those things you’re spending money on food, souvenirs, snacks, all of those things during that entire stay. Universal knows even if you get the two day pass at upgrades for three more days, you probably two days is enough to get everything done in all those parks multiple times over. And so they know people aren’t even looking to stay for five days, so they’re just gonna make that deal look sweet by saying you got three days free, you don’t need them. And so they’re pricing everything as if you were staying there for five days, but you’re only staying for two. So your hotels are expensive. Even things like trying to get a bottle of water while we were there felt so pricey. It was hot one day and this was the very end of our trip.

Nicole (09:20):
So we didn’t have any like groceries left over any, you know, water bottles. And it felt like we were being overcharged for every little thing that we ate or drank. So it wasn’t the best feeling. So when we cut down to it, we’re talking about this lifetime value of a customer. Are you going for someone or, or are your customers, is your ideal client someone who’s like spending a long time working with you or are they kind of, we’re just doing this one task together and we’re moving on. And that’s what you need to think about while you’re pricing your services. You know, if I’m helping someone as a consultant and I’m not doing the work, but they need me, they need to talk to me right now, they have all these ideas in their head, they need to clear it out.

Nicole (10:09):
I’m not doing the work so I can’t necessarily control the results and so I need to price accordingly. I have clients who are my monthly retainer clients and they come first in priority. Their projects come first. If someone comes in and they want just one day with me, there’s gonna be a little bit more of a premium because I have to shift around other projects. Sometimes I have to work late or on weekends to account for, you know, squeezing someone in. And so they’re getting that universal pricing versus the Disney like, Hey, slow and steady, we’re gonna get everything done. We’re we’ll work together over time. We know we have the time to get this done.

Yasmine (10:50):
Yeah, like my retainer rate versus my regular rate is different and there’s a bit more of a discount with ongoing retainer clients because it also on my end guarantees like, you know, I I say guarantee, but like I have an agreement with my clients, I’m gonna be working with them month over month for in years in some cases, right? So it makes sense to give them a bit of that like deal because the lifetime value of that customer is infinitely more than, you know, someone who will come in for like a short project or shorter engagement. And again, things aren’t price learning

Nicole (11:25):
Curve with a short project, right? That’s when you’re coming in and you dunno their systems and you’ve gotta, you’re, you’re spending an intense amount of thinking time understanding everything that’s happening

Yasmine (11:36):
And that gets priced into the package for like a shorter engagement because you can’t just like dive into someone’s business not knowing anything and expect to have like, you know, reasonable results. So all of that might make, you know, a one month engagement seem more expensive than what a client who might get slightly more hours pays for one month of a retainer. But that with that client, like I’ve been working with them for like four or five years now, so I literally know their business like the back of my hand and the constant updates and you know, meetings that we have keeps me in the loop so I’m able to accomplish more in a shorter period of time simply because of that background knowledge. But with short-term engagement, you have to learn all that stuff in order to do the work, to have results.

Nicole (12:20):
And just to say like one is not necessarily better than the other, they’re just d different. Oh no. And so you need to price differently. So for everyone out there who is, you know, looking to do v i p days or anything like that, you’re gonna probably price those higher than if someone were a continual client. And sometimes one of the things that I see that trips people up in our industry often is they are trying to charge v i p day rates to a retainer client. Mm-Hmm. and re and no one wants to book. And well, because an ongoing cost is so much more, at some point it becomes do I hire an employee instead that might actually be cheaper. And so you need to like think about some of these things. The reason why a day rate can garner so much more is because the client is in a pressure cooker, right?

Nicole (13:06):
They have a project they need to get done, they wanna get it done by a certain date, or they don’t have a skillset that you do have and they need it right away. And that’s what a V I P today is great for and that’s why a garners a premium. You have a steep learning curve and you need to do it quickly and you need to do it well for them to pass on good feedback about you. But retainer is completely different. Like Yasmine said, you can do things more efficiently because you know the brand so well because you’ve been working with them for so long. And so my retainer clients I think the last time I raised my rates was probably like two Januarys ago. And I know that inflation is crazy and I could ask for a raise in rates, but there’s also, there’s a back and forth relationship there.

Nicole (13:50):
And so just think about that lifetime value of a customer when you’re considering the types of products your customers are buying from you and what their experience with you is like. There’s nothing wrong with preferring Universal’s approach over Disney’s approach. They’re just different. And clients might have different expectations. Me being a very big Disney person, knowing that system in and out, I knew Universal was a luxury purchase that we were making for a very specific reason. And I still left feeling like gutted like, oh, that was so much for one day. We had fun, we have great pictures, but we probably will not be doing that again. It’s not a routine until he wants to ride roller coasters at like 17.

Yasmine (14:38):
Yeah, absolutely. What are other ways that you are incorporating lifetime value in your business? We’d love to hear, let us know by commenting on Instagram. We’re at Pixie Dust & Profits

Nicole (14:50):
Now. If you wanna have more conversations like these with us and spend some intentional time thinking about the products and services that you sell, who your target market is and how to price everything that you have going on, then you might wanna consider joining us at Pixie Dusts live. It’s happening this October. pixiedustandprofits.com/live at this event. We do a yearly planning session. We get into the weeds with what your product is, with what your business is. This is a very exclusive event. We only have five seats. It is Yasmine and I as coaches, and we also have another coach who comes along with us who talks about content, content strategy, developing that runway for your launches that you’ll have coming. And this is an event where you can get all of this business planning done and also get to have some fun at Disney World. So again, we have five spots for that. We only have two available as of this recording. So if you’re interested in that, pixiedustprofits.com/live and we hope to see you there.

Yasmine (15:53):
Thanks for joining us again, and we’ll see you real soon. Bye.

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Episode 80: Free Speech Extends to Businesses, Too

Jun 20, 2023

In this episode, we’re discussing the ongoing battle between Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, and Disney. It all started when Disney spoke out against a bill in Florida that restricts school children from talking about the “don’t say gay” bill. Disney has been striving to be more inclusive and representative in their content and employment practices. In *alleged* retaliation, Governor DeSantis threatened to remove Disney’s special district status, which would shift the cost of managing Disney’s infrastructure onto taxpayers. Tune in to discover how Disney is mitigating this and what you can learn from this in your own small business. 

Download Episode 80 transcript right here

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Episode 80: Free Speech Extends to Businesses, Too (Transcript)

Jun 20, 2023

Yasmine (00:00):
Hello and welcome back to Pixie Dust & Profits. I’m Yasmine.

Nicole (00:04):
And I’m Nicole.

Yasmine (00:05):
And we’re back with the second episode of our snack-size summer series. Again, we know in the summer you are busy. We’re busy, so we’re keeping all of our episodes short and sweet. And this week maybe the topic that we’re talking about isn’t so sweet. But if you have been keeping up with any of the news of what’s happening in Florida, I am sure you have heard about the battle going on between Florida’s governor, DeSantis and Disney. Before we get into the details, let’s talk about how it started. All of this discord had stemmed when Disney had spoken out against the don’t say gay bill that Florida enacted. Essentially, it does not allow any school children to say the word gay or talk about homosexuality in any capacity. And Disney, if you’ve been keeping up with their content, especially I would say over the past couple years, has really been trying to be more inclusive about the different voices and backgrounds in the characters and actors that they feature in their shows. And

Nicole (01:12):
All of their employees, I mean, they’re the largest employer in Florida.

Yasmine (01:16):
Yeah. And they’re, they’re really trying to be inclusive and create content that reflects the modern day world. Now, depending on where you live, that might not necessarily reflect your exact reality, but doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. And I think Disney’s doing a really great job of elevating different voices that historically we didn’t really see represented well in media. And also like in companies, the fact that they’re, like Nicole said, hiring people of all different backgrounds, beliefs, sexualities, I think is so, and

Nicole (01:49):
This also isn’t very new either. Bob Iger was the CEO for over 20 years. We have obviously recommended his book numerous times, but if you’ve read it, there’s a lot of information in there about how the core to Disney is storytelling and relatability to those stories. And so you have to be telling the stories of the people who will be consuming them in order to stay relevant and innovative and expand into the future. So none of this is a surprise or slow going in any way. Disney’s been working toward this for very many years.

Yasmine (02:29):
Absolutely. So the issue that we’re having is that as a retaliatory measure, and we know it’s retaliation, governor DeSantis has threatened to remove Disney’s special district status. So Disney operates Reedy Creek, which is a special district in which they are responsible for paying for all of the municipal infrastructure and planning. This was done when Disney was first built many, many years ago in order to basically expedite a lot of like the building processes when they want to build new rides and resorts and facilities but also to not put the weight of managing Disney’s infrastructure mm-hmm. in terms of like roads, utilities, the fire, et cetera, department fire departments Yeah. On the neighboring residence and taxpayers. So Disney pays for all of that. And we know this is retaliatory because there are 1,800 special districts in Florida alone, and Governor DeSantis is trying his darnedest to dismantle Reedy Creek. So I won’t get too much into the details of like what has happened, but essentially he’s trying to dismantle it, have a board take control over what happens that’s not including anyone from Disney and push the cost of managing the district back onto the taxpayers of Osceola County,

Nicole (04:01):
Who are overwhelmingly have a party that is not as of a zone. Yes. and so, you know, talking about this, there’s active litigation about this. So you will probably be seeing headlines by the time this comes out. They’ll probably be new news about the whole situation. But essentially Disney is suing the state saying that all of these practices of trying to essentially take over their business operations and how they run their business is retaliation against something that they did, you know, a year and a half, two years ago. And so for purposes of this episode, you know, whatever side of whatever you are on, I think everyone knows what side Yasmine and I are on. But at the very base of this, regardless of all of the politics surrounding it, we just wanna say like, it’s a fundamental right. In our country, Yasmine is Canadian, but it’s, it’s a right to free speech. Right. And that extends to businesses and has for a very long time. Now, there’s a lot of pros and cons to the fact that businesses, you know, have a voice and can exercise free speech and lobby and all of those things. We’re not gonna get into that. But at the bottom of it, we’re talking about how free speech extends to our businesses too.

Yasmine (05:13):
Yes. And as business owners, sometimes it could be scary to voice our opinions and views because we don’t want to, you know, offend any customers that we have, especially if we serve, you know, people across all beliefs, you know? But I also think that consumers today are leaning more and more towards supporting businesses that share their views and values and, you know,

Nicole (05:42):
Don’t prop up a system that has harmed many Yeah. And continues to harm many. Yeah. I, I think people are just looking more and more as the generations are getting younger, we’re so plugged in to the internet mm-hmm. that it’s not even the internet, it’s just how we live our lives now. And we’re kind of, of the generation, we’re that sandwich generation where we remember the days before dial up, but mm-hmm. , we, so we still see Google as a tool. And I think like when you start getting younger than we are, it’s not a tool, it’s just everyday life. And so your brands, like the shirt you’re wearing, the shoes you’re wearing, they represent so much more because everyone has a personal brand now, right? Like even if I, you’re not out there taking an Instagram photo every day and showing your outfit of the day, it’s almost as if everyone has a personal brand and you don’t want to be walking outside wearing something that is just doesn’t feel good morally or ethically.

Nicole (06:48):
And so I think this is so much more ingrained and we’re just continuing, that’s going to keep going on and getting deeper. I know the word parasocial gets thrown out all the time. And so like, we’re kind of getting into that like, relationship with our brands where they’re part of our identity and personality in a way that I don’t think was in the past. In the past. It was like, you watch a Coca-Cola commercial on tv and that’s what everyone is drinking because that’s the only commercial on tv. And now there’s so many more nuances, there’s personal choice. And so yeah, you’re, you’re a brand, you’re a walking brand and you want to feel aligned with the things that are going on. And so free speech is something businesses are allowed to do. Whether that’s saying, you know, we’re, we’re all about the environment. Everything that we make is, you know, recyclable in some way. We’ve thought about the entire production process from cradle to grave. Like that’s free speech. You’re allowed to say. Like that’s what your brand’s platform is all about.

Yasmine (07:46):
And you know, there could be consequences to having specific values and belief systems, but you know, consumers also have a right to vote with their dollar. And at the end of the day, I feel like, you know, you wanna attract customers and people who also align with your belief system. Like you want someone who cares about like the environment. If you’re an eco-friendly brand, you want to attract customers who care about inclusivity. If you’re Disney, you know, we both hold like Disney Real estate, I’m using air quotes, you can’t see that because I’m obviously talking. But we both are D V C owners and I feel like personally Disney’s stance on this issue could have affected whether I continue to remain a D V C member or sold my D V C properties because I care about where my money goes and what it ultimately supports. At the end of the day,

Nicole (08:46):
I, you know, taking off the rose colored glasses, we all know that Disney is putting money behind whichever candidates are going we’ll support their interests, giving them the most return on investment. Mm-Hmm. , we, we know that and we know that there’s no perfectly aligned company or anything like that. But just thinking about those things beyond, I enjoy going to Disney World, it’s a lot of fun. Who do they stand for? What are they doing? You know, definitely things they’re benefiting from in the system, but who are they harming? And let’s keep exploring that. You know, a lot of it stuff came out during the pandemic about how workers were treated and you know, the things they’re doing to get things back on track and take better care of their employees. And so there’s also been on their news where they’ve decided not to bring a whole campus to Florida that they were originally planning to relocate.

Nicole (09:43):
I think it was imagineers from California to Florida. And that’s gonna bring a whole bunch of business to Florida to a different area, not necessarily the Walt Disney World campus. And they’ve canceled that project. And so when you think about the cost of free speech in this case, not only is the state losing money by not moving all these jobs and this opportunity over, it’s just this, this back and forth of you do this, we’ll do that, you do this, we’ll do that. And who really loses there? So just think about that in terms of your business. And you have the right to free speech. You also have the right to the consequences of that free speech. But we just think it’s really important to remind everyone that you can say what you need to say as a business owner. And that might have consequences, but you shouldn’t be retaliated against for it.

Yasmine (10:40):
Especially not by the government.

Nicole (10:42):
Twitter bots are another story entirely.

Yasmine (10:46):
All right. Well, we’d love to know what you think about this, if you wanna talk about it at all. No pressure. You know where to find us. We are on Instagram at pixiedustandprofits,

Nicole (10:56):
And you can also email us at hello@pixiedustandprofits.com. We love hearing from you. If you have ideas for some of our Summer Snack series episodes, we would love to hear them. We’ll see you real soon.

Yasmine (11:09):

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