castle at disney world Laura foote

Episode 49: Building Hype: Disney’s 50th Anniversary Celebration (Transcript)

Oct 12, 2021



Intro (00:01):
Pixie Dust & 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.

Nicole (00:26):
Hey, everyone, welcome to a new season of pixie dust and profits. And, oh my gosh. Do we have a lot of things to talk about? It feels like it has been an entire year with how much has been going on in the Disney verse. And first step is the 50th anniversary celebration, which kicked off just a few days ago. We are so excited because as of right now, we have the opportunity to go enjoy the 50th celebrations a few times and we’re looking forward to it. So we’ve been following it for months now. So join us today. As we talk about hyping up your products and making a big fanfare for a huge celebration in your business. And also we get to kick out about some of the Disney things that are happening.

Yasmine (01:09):
Yeah. So we are so jazzed for the 50th anniversary and it’s not because Disney seemed to be inspired by pixie dust and profits like branding when they came up with their colors. I don’t know if you guys notice that. But we, we knew that the 50th was coming and based on how they treated the 25th anniversary, we knew that they would do something really big. And you know, they did not disappoint. They have been teasing all of the fun stuff. That’s coming up for the 50th anniversary for several months. Now

Nicole (01:39):
It’s even like a year, you know, cause they had like construction updates and stuff while

Yasmine (01:45):
They painted the castle, like they updated the little like cones. Is there a proper term for that? The Tourette’s I think and painted them like a blue color in anticipation of the 50th a couple of weeks ago, the plaque went up and everything has this iridescence ear spelled E R no pedals movement,

Nicole (02:08):
Just everything has pixie dust. I was like gold sparkly. I am in love with the new castle. I know there were a lot of haters out there who don’t love the castle being changed if they think it looks too much like Disneyland’s castle, but I, my millennial heart is in love with the castle makeover and I’m so glad it is not the birthday cake of the 21st.

Yasmine (02:27):
That was interesting. Let’s let’s leave it that, but it’s, it’s so pretty. And like my glitter and sparkle loving heart is like here for all of the updates. So like even the cast member pans have like little like rhinestones in it. There’s lots of glitz and glam. And needless to say, if we are super jazzed, especially because we’re going to be at Disney for the 50th anniversary, which kicks off on October 1st, 20, 21 it’s going to be a year long celebration. So like, if you don’t happen to be there in October, don’t worry. You’re still going to get to partake in all of the amazingness. But

Nicole (03:02):
I think they said it was going to be 18 months. So yes, you absolutely have time to get there. And they might’ve extended that because of how long COVID is and that they had to have reduced capacity and all of those things, but you absolutely have the opportunity to take advantage of the 50th celebration

Yasmine (03:20):
This week. Like Nicole said, well, we want to talk about is the amount of lead-up that Disney has had to this event. They have done quite a bit, not only just actual like physical updates to the park, but they’ve been teasing the countdown. It is August 24th as of this recording. So we’re recording a little bit in advance. And right now there’s a countdown on the website, the sepsis actually going to be released after the 50th kicks off. And a few weeks ago they started teasing all of the merch. Like the Disney spirit sweaters have like glitter and sequins all over it. I need to get that. And like, everyone’s just so excited. They’ve added all sorts of like special events and parades. There’s going to be a new fireworks show magic kingdom.

Nicole (04:08):
I know I can’t wait for it. I mean, they took away wishes, which, you know, rest in peace. And then they gave us happily ever after, which is this projection show on the castle, which is fun. You know, it’s different, it’s not a huge firework show, but I am so excited for new fireworks. And I was actually really surprised because you know, some of the things we talked about before is Bubash, doesn’t currently have any plans for fireworks. So the fact that they’re, you know, unveiling an entire new show around the time that the Halloween party would be for the 50th is super exciting because we get to see a new show. But yet they’ve been leading up to this forever. It feels like, and all that does is build the FOMO, the fear of missing out. And even though it’s 18 months long, we’re going to be there in the first month.

Nicole (04:55):
And no that wasn’t intentional how we chose this trip for fixing us live event. If you want to go to the next one, make sure you get on the wait list at But, you know, we didn’t know that it was starting October 1st and we’re just super glad and lucky that we get to be there at that time. So let’s talk about celebrations in your business, launching new products, what we can learn from Disney and how they did this. Okay. So October is when it comes out, but they started showing all the merchandise in August two months before he can buy it because all the Instagrammers are wearing it and looking forward to it and sharing the pictures and planting the seeds in your head. Because when you go to Disney, you’re going to bring that budget up a little bit higher, so you can get the special ears.

Nicole (05:43):
And Disney does a really good job about their branding in general, but there’s different sub brands every single year. Every time we go, because we go often, there’s a different theme for the year and a different color at so earlier this year we were there and it was color blocking and very eighties inspired. So I got a sweater. Well, I’m going back in October and I’ll probably buy another sweater because it’s a completely different theme now with the 50th anniversary. So when you’re thinking about your business, thinking about it in terms of seasons, I mean, we did that with the podcast. We have different seasons for the podcast and our look changes a little bit in between those episodes in between those seasons. We think about like, what, where are we heading now? What, how are we editing our brand a little bit? How are we elevating what we’re doing?

Nicole (06:31):
And so thinking about that in your business too, it doesn’t necessarily have to mean the colors you’re using, but it could be what you’re talking about. When was the last time you updated your content pillars? When was the last time that you looked at the pictures on your feed and felt like, do those really align with like, what’s going on in the Instagram world right now? You just need encouragement for that. But yes, sub brands are so important because the 50th anniversary is almost like its own product at this point, just like star wars, just like Hollywood studios, just like Epcot. They all kind of have their own sub brands. And it’s really important that each standalone, because that’s that much more money people are going to spend.

Yasmine (07:10):
It’s also like a great visual identifier of like the different products that you have on your suite, whether they’re like service based products, info products, or physical products. So this brand that I’m gonna reference isn’t by any means a small business, but like bath and body works releases the same sense pretty much every year. And every year they update like the design and theming of the stickers. They put on the candles and on the little so bottles and stuff. And like, I look forward to, I just want to see what’s going to be their interpretation of like Chris full morning, this year from a visual standpoint. And they even actually like have different designs. So depending on like your aesthetic, you can probably find that like popular candle scent that you love in a different bottle design. So it fits better within your house.

Yasmine (08:01):
And Hey, if you don’t want the sticker showing at all, they got little holders for that. But think about how you can make things stand out visually because you can sell the same thing, kind of like over and over again, if you have a physical product, if you put a twist on it, we talked about like repurposing things in your business. In a previous episode, you have a shirt design that’s super popular, release it in two or three different colors and see how that performs. Sometimes people love something so much they’ll buy multiples of it. Or it actually,

Nicole (08:33):
It got worn and it was their favorite shirt and they were like, I need another one because you get to a certain point in your life where you don’t want to think about next outfit. You just want to buy the one, you know, already fits.

Yasmine (08:44):
Yeah. And yeah, we we’ve been there. So making it easy for them and letting them get like a little updated design is perfect. Cause they have an old favorite, but it feels like something new. So think about how you can use branding and colors that pull from your either original brand or Disney’s case. They sort of went with the theme that, you know, pulls away from the standard, Walt Disney world logo, branding, and colors, and they’ve created something completely unique that really signifies the 50th anniversary. So you can add hype, dazzle and pizazz to really anything in your business and it’s worth celebrating each milestone or product as if it’s something really special. Cause it is

Nicole (09:30):
Yes. Yeah. And milestones could be, you know, obvious ones like hitting 10,000 Instagram followers. So you can get the swipe up feature or they could be less obvious. It could be something like, Hey guys, I finally, you know, made it an entire summer with summer Fridays where I didn’t work. Like that’s a milestone you can celebrate and share to you know, how many orders you’ve had on your site. Or this is the first time in the summer that I had orders every single day. Like you can make milestones that feel maybe small or innocuous, but they are big milestones for you and where you’ve come in your business and then you can celebrate them and bring your audience in for the celebration with you because they’ll feel a sense of ownership to making that success happen. Right? So there’s also a lot of other stuff going on with the 50th anniversary.

Nicole (10:20):
So there’ll be increasing capacity this fall, once the 50th anniversary starts. And in order to keep order, I guess they have announced some pretty big changes that I’m sure we’ll talk about in another episode, but fast pass, which is a special lane that you were able to book 90 days before your trip to quickly get through the lane, you get to choose a couple of rides a day will no longer exist. Now fast pass has been closed since COVID began because they wanted to control how many people were going through the lions. And it just made things easier from that standpoint and in its place. We now have Jeannie plus Janey plus is going to be a service that helps you kind of plan your itinerary throughout the park. And again, we’ll have a whole episode on DV class, but the important thing here is that they know that the 50th anniversary is coming. They know more people are coming because they’ve been building that FOMO for so long.

Yasmine (11:17):
It’s super cool how it works. So there’s been a lot of controversy because again, it is replacing FastPasses, but genie plus is great for basically people who aren’t Nicole and I who might want to go a little bit more with the flow. Don’t create spreadsheets, the plan, you know, every day of their trip. So they can be as efficient as possible and maximize how many rides that they get on. And it actually looks into real-time metrics of the park and sort of gives you an itinerary as you go. It takes preferences into consideration. So what rides are like must do’s for you. And based on that, it’ll like, give you suggestions, like, Hey, now’s a great time to go on like mine train because it’s the lowest weight of the day. And it’ll actually predict like the expected wait times throughout the day.

Yasmine (12:02):
So they put in a lot of data analysis into this. So what does this have to do with FastPass? Well, you no longer actually get free, fast passes with your stay. So as Nicole said, you could book 90 days out previously, if you’re staying at a resort 30 days out, if you were offsite or an annual pass holder that is gone in order to get sort of like advanced fast passes or access to the lines, you have to pay an additional $15 per ticket per day for genie like plus. And what that does is it works similarly to max pass at Disneyland and that’s going away and being replaced with G plus two. And what it does is it actually lets you like book a fast pass one at time. So no more advanced bookings, like you book your first one first thing in the morning, and then once you use it up, then you can book another one and you do it all through your phone.

Yasmine (12:57):
So you don’t have to like go to any kiosks or stalls, like get your fast pass ticket. You do one at a time, which in theory should give you more than three fast passes a day because you’re able to like book them in quick succession. Again, if you’re a planner, could make things a little bit tricksy because you know, you might want to eat somewhere, but then go on a ride that’s all across the park and have to hope it all the way over there. But the other thing that they did was add in the lightning pass, which allows you to pay an additional fee to ride two top tier rides in every park. So for example, my train that we referenced, that’s rumored to be one of the rides where you would pay like an additional amount to get like a fast pass to that. And you can only book two per day. There’s only two rides in every part that will be eligible for this. People are because frankly like this was something that they saw or saw as included with their tickets in the past. And now it’s an additional fee. So you’d be paying $15 at minimum to book your FastPasses sort of, as you go and then, you know, potentially an additional 15 to $50 because it’s going to vary depending on time of year and how busy the parks are for the additional rides.

Nicole (14:14):
Yeah. And I mean, I see both sides of it. Disney is already a really expensive vacation and now you’ve added another layer of basically pay to play and pay to play really only hurts the people playing. You know, we’ve seen this with my gamer communities and things like that. And it’s on a whole nother level when you bring it to theme parks. That said though, the other theme parks in the Orlando area already have paid things like this. And so it was without fail. You know, writing was on the wall that this would probably happen at Disney world. My hope is just that it disperses clouds. And when we go back to, you know, our very first episode about the power of magic bands and we talked a lot about FastPasses passes and dispersing crowds throughout the parks you know, this is just an update to that.

Nicole (15:01):
Now we talked about magic bands of bringing them, the technology of them, being able to see where people are in a park at any point in time. Well now they can use that data and the genie plus system to disperse crowds even further. So they can pull right up and say, oh, Hey, you’re in, you’re in the central, you’re near the castle. How about you go to adventure land and here’s the next ride you should go on. And then five minutes later, someone’s in the exact same spot in front of the castle and it tells them to go to tomorrow land. And so they can kind of disperse crowds with it. So hopefully even though this has an extra cost, the experience for all Disney goers, including those who didn’t buy it and who are in standby lions have a better experience because you know, you’re not standing by for three hours because all of the FastPasses have arrived together.

Nicole (15:52):
You know, we can just hope for the best and we will be experiencing it on our trip in October and we’ll report back with how it works. But I just want to highlight the reason we’re talking about this now is that because with the 50th anniversary, they needed to find ways to get more people in because they’d been hiding it for so long. In addition to everyone being cooped up from being home for so long, they have pent up demand for vacations already, and now you have a limited exclusive event opportunity. And so demand is going to be really, really high. And introducing this at the same exact time, I think has a pros and cons list for Disney. So pros being, hopefully it can disperse crowds, obviously they’ll make a little more revenue. And all of that, I think on the content, we’ve talked about some of the struggles that we have with Disney it, and I am just hoping that the Disney or the genie service actually works as intended when you were, you know, both launching a whole new, a 50 year product at the same time as you’re launching a genie class product.

Nicole (16:56):
That’s a lot to take on even for a company as big as Disney. So it remains to be seen how successful it gets rolled out. But I’m just going to use this as a word of caution for you when you were looking at developing new products or new approaches in your business to maybe not take on two really huge things at the same time, especially when you’re a small business owner, because the more divided you are, the longer it takes for things to get out there. And the easier it is to overlook things that might’ve been solved if you worked on them separately. So I’m going to go with my risk averse hat there and say, maybe you shouldn’t try to, you know, do all of these things at once.

Yasmine (17:38):
Yes, we know how poorly that typically ends. And we don’t want that for you. Well, thanks again for joining us for this new episode. I know there was a lot to talk about and like it’s been insane this summer with all of the Disney updates. So stay tuned for future episodes. As we dive into more of what Disney has done over the summer and have coming up and the lessons that you can learn from them, if you don’t follow us on Instagram, please do we share you know, exciting Disney updates there. And we go a little bit deeper into certain elements of the Disney experience. You can follow us @pixiedustandprofits.

Nicole (18:14):
And if you want to text us, it is us who answer. So ask us a question and we’ll get back to you real soon. I it’s 2 0 7 2 0 3 6 7 6 9. And we would love to hear from you, see you real soon.



loving the podcast?

Leave us a review on iTunes!
It helps us know you're listening and ready for more!

you said

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

leave a comment

even more pixie dust!

bonus BUSINESs builders

get access

We're magically breaking down big-business strategies for your small business in this pack of 3 mini-workbooks and 2 bonus audio files!