Pixie Dust and Profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher, and Yasmine Spencer. As they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply these big scale concepts to your own business.
Welcome everybody to this week’s episode of pixie dust and profits. Today, we’re going to be talking about holding rooms, which might sound like a really funny phrase to you, but essentially it’s what happens before the attraction at Disney world. It’s that long line you wait in before you get to the ride, and we’re gonna talk about why it’s so important to build holding rooms into your business processes. So if you have ever been to Disney world or really any amusement park, you’ve probably waited in line to get on your favorite ride. Now at Disney world, the crowds are much, much, much bigger. And so that weight can be a little bit longer. And in case you didn’t know, Orlando, Florida can be pretty hot. Even in January, you’ll have a random day. That’s very, very warm, but especially in the summer, when the crowds are really large, it’s hot, you will melt on the pavement.
And so they built these ride to have these holding rooms and these cue lines that will keep you entertained throughout the entire experience. And so while you are waiting in line, there’s actually things for you to do, to get excited for the ride. And you don’t find that at a lot of parks, you won’t find that at six flags, you’ll just find a normal turn style that you wait in and you try to make your own games as you stand in law line. But one of the ones that is relatively new when they redid the fantasy land area of Wal Disney world is the Dumbo line. And so if you haven’t been to it, essentially gumbo is in the back of the park and there’s a huge circus tent around the ride. And you walk inside and the air conditioning, and there is a giant playpen.
It’s one of those indoor play structures with the netted fences. So the kids can climb and jump and just have a lot of fun and be loud without anyone telling them that they need to be quiet. And essentially what you do is you get one of those buzzers that you get at a restaurant to say, your food is ready and they take your name and your party size. And they say, here you go. And you can get to play. Your kids can run around and jump and play and just have a blast. And this big playground, while you have this buzzer waiting to tell you, it’s your turn to ride on Dumbo. Now I’d love to see this on a ton of other attractions, but so far, this is the only one that does that. And during slower seasons, you won’t actually get to experience that part of the ride because they just kind of let you walk right past and get on the ride.
But in busy seasons, my kid has a blast jumping and running around with all the other kids, because he’s an only child. And to run around with other kids, it’s actually pretty fun for him. He’s young enough that like a playground still seems really exciting. So it’s a lot of fun and it’s all demo themed. Demo’s actually flying at the top of the room. So you get to see him and get excited for the ride. The brilliant thing that Disney has done here is that they have taught you a new way to wait. And I think it’s so important in our own businesses that we think about that because sometimes we have sold our product and there’s a shipping delay before the person receives it, or we’ve sold them a service and we’re not actually gonna work with them for another month or two, because you know, the event is far off or the one on one time is far off. So for example, for us, pixie, dust and profits live is in August. We’re recording this in March. We have people who are, are ready to go and excited to be there. And so we are making sure that we’re sending them communications every month, even if we don’t have a big update to share with them, we are letting them know that we are thinking of them. They are in our minds and this weight does not have to be long and torturous. It can be fun.
So another ride that we wanna talk about is one of the newer rides at Disney and to one of our favorites, seven doors, mind train. So it is not uncommon for Nicole and I to make reservations at, be our guest early in the morning for breakfast. So we can jump on and ride some doors, mind, train, like as soon as the park opens. For those of you who don’t know, if you do have an early morning breakfast reservation, that is one way that you can hop in and join the line before things get crazy, because,
And then you use your fast pass to write it again a little bit later,
Because like right now I’m looking at wait times and like, we’re, we’re kind of like in low season at Disney, like spring break is just around the corner has gotten too, too crazy yet. And it’s like an 80 minute wait and that’s actually low for, for what I’ve seen. And like, usually you’re looking at upwards of two hours. And I think if it weren’t for the fact that, you know Hollywood studios has all of like the hot attractions right now that line would be a lot longer, but basically one of the things that we love about that line is the interactivity that happens as you go through the queue. So they have little intro active like boards where you can play like games again with other people in line. So it’s not necessarily just entertaining you, you get to interact with other players.
There’s a story. And a lot of like mythology that sort of like gets established. And there’s actually another fun ride that we’re gonna talk about. That goes into way more detail on that. But you, you sort of get wrapped up in the story as you’re eating in the line. And then there are these like really cool barrels that if you can work with everyone who is waiting in that area of the line with you to spin them fast enough, it projects an animation up on the ceiling. So there’s all these like fun, little interactive games to keep you entertained. And like Nicole said, when we have people waiting to work with us or waiting for a launch to happen, it’s really important for us to sort of pepper in these little fun experiences throughout. So if you have a wait list of, you know, people who are waiting three or four months to work with you but they haven’t quite committed to signing up with you yet because you haven’t opened up spots, share some client successes, for example, like that’s a fun tidbit that keeps you top of mind. So when it does come time for you to release a few openings to work with you been engaged and they know of like the awesome work that you’ve done. So they’re jazz for you to like work on their project or work on their brand.
Or like if you have a new product coming out and, or a new pattern or something like that, you can start teasing it. I know ya just bought some new mini ears that were brand new to the shop that was making them. And so they tease them and make a wait list. So if you’re not making wait lists for your new offers that are coming out, really consider doing it. Even if you only get five or 10 people who sign up for that wait list, that’s five or 10 people who are going to know about it first and be ready to buy it when it is released. And so definitely think about that, even if it’s just an idea you have that might not come out for another six months, you can at least be talking about it and capturing those people,
But don’t fall into the trap of thinking, just because people signed up for a wait list that they’re gonna be customers, you still have to nurture them, right. So you still have to make sure you’re doing exactly what you’re doing with everyone else. They’re a little warmer and they’re probably gonna be easier to convert, but don’t get, see those people, you know, are probably your most like precious and hottest leads at that point. So make sure you’re still doing everything you can to convert them.
Yeah. They might have been interested in it when you first talked about it and they signed up for the wait list, but if it doesn’t come out for a few months, yep. They might be in a different spot with their business. Like we talk about small business owners being very flexible and that things can change quickly for us. Remember things change quickly for your clients and customers too.
And like those years that I just bought, by the way, from chasing childhood on Instagram, there’s like an eight week wait for them to be delivered to me. So the thing that she did really well is she educates people on the release dates. Pre-Ordering her product. So not only are you like waiting for your pro to arrive, you’re waiting to order, but she educates upfront. She lets you know, how long you have, how many spots are available, what the process is like. So she does all its upfront nurturing. She’s sharing all these fun pictures of like the ears in the parks where I’ll be wearing them because I haven’t reached a point where I’m wearing ears at home just yet, but soon potentially with all the ones that I’ve, I’ve ordered as of light and as a customer, now that I’ve made that purchase. Yeah. It’s gonna be two months before it comes to me, but at least I’m educated and I know what I’m getting myself into and I’m able to make an informed decision when I can purchase them. So check her out out if you haven’t already.
Yeah. And so one of the things we also wanna talk about is revolutionizing how you wait in line with the Disney parks play app. And we’ve talked about this in a previous episode. So I’ll just give you the gist here. But the Disney parks play app is essentially just another app on your phone that allows you to do trivia, to listen to music, to play games while you’re in certain areas of the park. So if you’re in, you know, tomorrow land, you might be able to play a certain song from the space mountain ride. If you’re over in Hollywood Stu studios, one of our favorite things to do is play the game in toy story mania. So while you’re waiting in that line, which can be definitely more than an hour long because it’s such a fun ride. And my son’s favorite, we will play that game in line.
And at a time they had like the heads up game where you just have to pretend that you’re ham the pig and every one else guess it. There’s trivia about the movies, things like that. And so you have to actually be geo located to a certain location for these things to unlock so you can play them and do them. And so there’s a level of fun to it, accessibility because it’s on a phone that people already have in their par pockets. And there’s also a layer of exclusivity because you can only do this game while you are standing there in that exact, in that exact line for that exact ride. In the pen pan line, there are certain things that happen with the app that like things fire off in the line. And so it’s really, really cool. And so I want to encourage you to think about the, that you can make things feel exclusive, fun, and accessible to people as they’re waiting to work with you or as they’re waiting to even become a customer with you. This could even extend to just that engagement period where someone has just learned about you and you know, they’re, they’re not really ready to buy anything yet, but you need to nurture them a little bit. So make it, it fun, make it accessible and make it exclusive.
Yeah. Even like giving people like behind the scenes peaks of like products that you’re working on. I have wor I’ve like purchased from small shops that will like literally send out an email of like, just to customers who are waiting for their products to keep them engaged of like, Hey, check out this batch of products that I just, that are going out the door. And you’re like looking to see like, oh, is like mine in there. But even if it isn’t, again, it’s still exciting to see that momentum is happening and progress is happening. So when you do hear something like, you know, an eight week shipping time or, or eight week turnaround period, you know that there is stuff happening during that time, you’re not just like waiting. So we’ve talked about Dubbo, some doors, mind, train parks, play app. What about Pandora and flights? A passage, which is one of my favorite rides at Disney hands down.
We brought my husband’s entire family to Disney world, a whole bunch of us there. I think our group was like nine people. And my father-in-law who probably even have been going on points of passage. Just for health reasons wanted to just write it back to back to back. And we had to explain to him, I’m sorry, the line is three and a half hours and we got these fast passes, so we can go on now. And we could do a swap with the grandkids and stuff, but sorry it, unless you wanna wait three hours, you can’t go on it again. He was so mesmerized by that ride. It’s really an amazing unique experience. If you have not gone on it, I highly suggest so seeking out those fast passes or getting ready to wait in a three hour line
Or just like going for, or thing in the morning. That’s usually when wait times are the shortest, but like not only is the ride incredible, but the line. So obviously if, if you haven’t seen avatar, it’s like, it’s kind of a complicated story. Like you see these blue people and these like bird flying things called Banes and you know, mountains floating in the air. If you haven’t seen the movie, there’s a lot of mythology that you need to understand in order for the ride to like really make sense. And Disney does a fantastic job of explaining that in like the pre ride sequence, if you go through the fast pass lane, but if you actually go through the full like cue for the lo the ride, there is so much world building at GY that happens in that. And I, I don’t wanna spoil it just because it’s, I, I really think like at some point everyone needs to like go through it and experience it. And even
If you walk past the line, you just, you just experience it. And then the ride comes. You’re like, okay, I’m not going on. And you go out the exit door. The line is really special and you know, we’ve been talking a lot about like tea things that you’re working on, keeping people holding in case like they’re ready to buy, but they haven’t bought yet. But the really important thing here is I think Yasmin has experienced it at least once. I know I have there’s a certain component to the avatar ride, the pre ride sequence where you’re standing in a room and, you know, they’re matching you up up with an avatar that is compatible to your body. So that way you can connect to that avatar and enter this world of the nav. And so it’s this kind of hokey room that you’re standing in and they’re pretending to scan you. And you know, if something goes wrong, though, if for some reason people are taking a longer time to get off, off the ride or, you know, they have to just have a cleaning session in between lines. And you’re kind of stuck in that holding room for a little bit longer. They just make it part of the experience.
So what happens is, and if you experience this, you’ll know what’s up. Is the, do you know what his name is?
I just say like the doctor who’s helping.
Okay. So the doctor that’s helping you through the process says like, oh, there’s like a glitch. It didn’t work. Let me start the process all over again. So then you go through the matching sequence again. And I think Nicole, when we were there last time we went through it, like I think two times,
Yeah, it definitely repeated itself, but it, it wasn’t obvious that it had repeated cuz the first time he said there was an, there was an issue and he’s gonna rescan. And then the second time it was just like, it was ex it was scanning even longer. Yeah. He kept scanning and you know, there’s like a hologram picture of you on the wall. So you can dance around and make like faces and move your arms and stuff. And it reflects on the wall. So it did take a little bit longer and you know what, that is actually the pre pre ride room. There’s one more room after that where they probably have another sequence to like slow the role of you as you’re trying to enter the ride. And so what we really wanted to highlight here is that Disney, the ride might go down at times. And so they built in that margin for, okay, if the ride is down for an extra two minutes, how can we buy two minutes without people realizing that they’re still waiting a little bit longer than usual, they built that into the acting and the material that they deliver. And so we wanna encourage you in this weight room process to think about
How you can build in that margin for contingencies. Exactly.
Yeah. So it could be, if you’re launching something and things are gonna take a little bit longer to get off the ground, having extra content sort of planned just to push out the launch sequence again, you can tease something that’s coming and build up anticipation without committing to a hard set launch date. So that’s where having a little bit of extra content to make it seem sort of like organic your audience. Isn’t gonna know the difference and you get to buy yourself an extra week if you’re building anticipation for a launch of a project, but like, oh Hey, some of the components that you need to actually finish the products to put them up in your shop have been delayed. Well again, maybe you can talk a little bit more about the behind the scenes experience, show yourself creating like one of the items in the meantime, again, to build more anticipation, to create more of that exciting content, that’s gonna keep people super interested without necessarily disappointing them because it’s gonna take a little bit longer. And then, Hey, when you have things done, announce that the release is gonna be in a week or we would recommend again saying like it’s happening tomorrow only because sometimes people need a little bit of time to plan, but it never hurts to give them like a guideline. So, you know, we’re gonna launch at some point in March while March gives you a lot of flexibility.
Yeah. So for example, we launched season two of Pixie Dust and Profits. And we were trying to plan when that start date would be because we took a winter break and we knew that it would be probably the end of January, early February, but we were uncertain on what date there would be yet. So we did not communicate any dates of when the show would be back when we kind of did this like launch maternity leave for haz. And you know, we said in the email, we’re taking a break, like enjoy the holidays. And then, you know, we had enough material that we just recorded a bonus episode that we sent out on Christmas Eve to everybody. And you know, it, we never announced that it was happening. It was something that we just had the material for. And yes, been recorded that solo episode in between baby cries.
And we got it out there and it was like a bonus. It was a special bonus for everyone to consume. And we still had content going out every two weeks. We had a recap of all of our best episodes, the ones that have been downloaded the most. Then we had one that gave everyone all of the bonuses that we had given out throughout the first season of pixie dust. And so even though we did not know the specific launch date of season two, we had a bonus episode go out. We had a recap email when we had all the bonuses that we had provided throughout season one to everyone. So that was about six weeks of content that we were able to give out without even telling anyone the date of season two. And we also could make the graphics that said, you know, we launch in a week, we launch in four days, three days, two days, one day tomorrow.
So we had all that stuff ready to go, not knowing that we would need every single one of those. But once we did finally have a clearer picture after Christmas and new year’s of when that date would be, we could communicate it and we could do it easily because we already had it all written and ready to build. We just needed to plug and play the date. And so when you think about this contingency planning in your business, like how can you build some margin in without it being noticeable? I think it’s a good plan. For example, if I ever go to a conference or a retreat, I always is build a margin day and that’s the day after the retreat. I do not come back home and expect to work at my regular productivity level the day after going to an event where I had to speak, because I just can’t not only do I have to acclimate back to the routine of life, I also have to catch up in the inbox and everything else that’s going on. So when you’re doing a lunch build in a week or two of potential delays and it’ll seem seamless to the customer because you’re not going out there saying, oh, sorry, guys, I need to move this out a week. Or I said that this workshop would be on the 10th, but it really happened on the 18th. You don’t have to do any of that, cuz you’ve already built in that buffer week for yourself for preparing for emergency and CS. And then if you deliver early, that’s just a bonus.
And the best way to do that, like Nicole said is like building in that time, but like build it in as early as possible. So whenever we project plan for clients, you know, we know something might take a month to get done, but we will plan it out over a month and a half, for example. So we build in that buffer time into every so if something does get pushed back, if something does get delayed, we have the catch time. So we’re not feeling rushed, we’re not anxious about it. And it doesn’t impact the quality of the product that we put out.
And I would say another tip is that if you have a team or you work with contractors, your buffer time needs to be even longer than it is. If you are just a one person solo operation, because especially with contractors, they’re not employees, they’re not in it every single day. They’re not, you know, constantly checking their messages. They might need a first draft, a second draft and then a final draft. And so things can take a little bit longer with team because you have that back and forth. And that’s kind of the trade off between having an employee who costs more and having a contractor who might more in an hourly rate, but less overall because you don’t need to commit as many hours to them. So just keep that in mind, like the more complex the project, the more complex the team you need to have even more buffer room.
And just one thing to add to that, make sure you’re communicating things up front and letting people know when stuff is happening. Again for like me and Nicole, it’s really helpful when we plan with clients and know sort of the full year plan, because then we can plan things accordingly. But you know, when you get sprung on you that something needs to happen in like two days. Well, you can’t always expect contractors to turn things around on such short notice. So just make sure that you’re communicating with your team and giving them a heads up on when things are coming the earlier they have noticed the earlier they can block off time and it’s gonna be more likely that they’re gonna be able to meet deadlines and things are gonna go seamlessly.
And to that point also saying what the non-negotiables are versus the negotiables. You know, if you want something quick, that me, that it’s either gonna be very expensive and, or take a little less time, but you know, you need to be able to say like, these are things that it has to have. These are the things I can let go of. And we can add later because this is a quick turnaround and I understand that not every that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Yeah. So anyway, we thought that this is a great way to introduce this holding room buffer concept to you and the projects you’re working in and the products you’re creating. And just in the experience of someone who is new to you and just building that relationship with you, like how can you make their holding period experience way more fun, way more interactive and just make you accessible to them because that’s why they’re following you or they’re like part of your orbit. So thank you guys so much for joining us for this episode. We’d love to hear from you on Instagram @pixiedustandprofits.
Don’t forget to join our mailing list. If you haven’t yet it’s magic.pixiedustandprofits.com. We’ll see the real soon.