palm trees at Walt Disney World

Episode 52: Jungle Cruise & The Quest for Continuous Improvement (Transcript)

Nov 23, 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.

Yasmine (00:25):
Hello and welcome to another episode of pixie dust and profits. I’m Yasmine. And I’m Nicole today. We’re going to be talking about what has been like a controversial update over at both Disneyland and Disney World. And that is the updates to the classic ride jungle cruise. Now I’m a big fan of jungle cruise. I’ve been on it like dozens of times, both at Disneyland and Disney world, and I never tire of the jokes. So what about you, Nicole? I’ve been

Nicole (00:54):
A few times that I will admit if the line is too long. It is something that all skip, but not now because it’s been redone. So I need to see

Yasmine (01:02):
Exactly. So they have updated the jungle cruise ride and Disney really overhauled it to make the ride a little bit less controversial. What do we mean by that? There were a few perhaps like inappropriate racial depictions in the ride. So they went through, gave it an overhaul brought it up to modern times, add a little bit more diversity. That’s reflective of, you know, the world we live in today and we’re going to dive into some of the changes they made there and what you can learn from that to apply to your own small business. So Nicole, why don’t you start off with a couple of changes that we saw on the ride?

Nicole (01:40):
Sure. So some of the updates that have been made are, you know, because of cultural insensitivity, these rides are made 40, 50 years ago and don’t necessarily age well. And so Disney is very aware of this and they are slowly changing all of their rights. They’ve also naps changes to splash mountain that should be happening in the next few years. So there were other changes made throughout the ride that had nothing to do with cultural or racism or social justice issues. There were changes just, you know, adding a couple more animals or, you know, changing the name of a few things. They did change the story. It’s about the grandchildren now and not necessarily about the original storyline. So there were other things that they did to the ride, but,

Yasmine (02:22):
And more specifically, the person who now runs jungle navigation, co is Alberta falls. Who’s a woman. We also see more women throughout the scenes as well. So they’re also adding in a little bit of gender diversity that didn’t exist before.

Nicole (02:37):
Right. And I mean the new movie that just came out based on the ride loosely, I think like the location and some of the stories based on the ride and the rest of it is just storytelling and creative imagination. I mean the main character is a woman who is the Explorer, who is the fearless one who is continuing to go through all of these adventurous scenes to get to her end goal. And, you know, that’s something that didn’t exist on the read before the main characters weren’t women and they weren’t, you know, architects or explorers or anything like that. So there’s definitely changing the story and changing what the times. And it’s something that I am proud to say, I love Disney. And I’m proud to say that they’re doing these things because I’m a woman. I want to see more women in things. I think,

Yasmine (03:25):
I think it’s going to call like, you’re right. Like it’s good to see, you know, more representation throughout Disney and they are really working hard to make sure that it is an inclusive place for all.

Nicole (03:37):
They’re not doing it totally right in every area. I mean, if you’ve seen jungle cruise, the movie, for example, there’s kind of a token gay relationship in there, or at least a gay man in the story, as, you know, a side character, not a main character and the scenes where it’s obvious are kind of those scenes where you can tell they cut away and then did the, you know, funny scene with the gay guy or the gay joke. And it, it really was jarring knowing that they had just made these changes to the ride. And now you’re putting in a token gay joke or character or whatever it may be. And they were obviously done in a way that they could cut those scenes out later for different markets. So that wouldn’t appreciate having that type of representation in that movie. And so things like that are, you know, they’re not doing everything how they probably should be doing it, but we recognize that they are taking steps to correct some of the things that just haven’t aged well and, you know, should have been thought about 50 years ago, honestly. So,

Yasmine (04:41):
So what can we learn from this, for your business? Now, I’m going to hazard a guess and say that a bunch of the people listening to this podcast probably haven’t been in business for 50 years. So you don’t have policies that are like that outdated, but things evolve really quickly especially in the digital age. So what can we learn from Disney? Well, we need to frequently look at our own policies and how we run our business to make sure that we are updating things in order to be more inclusive in order to keep up with the times like, heck even marketing strategies and like product offerings, like customer preferences change. Are you making sure that you’re evolving your business to keep up with your target audience? And what’s that saying, Nicole it’s we’ve always done things that way. It’s the worst way to grow a business? Like if you don’t change, you don’t evolve. You’re going to be like blockbuster. I mean, we know, we know the story pretty well. Netflix offered their services to blockbuster and are pitching for it to be bought by blockbuster and blockbuster was like, we’re good. And I think there’s like one store left in this.

Nicole (05:46):
I don’t even know what a DVD player does. Does anybody, any player?

Yasmine (05:50):
And the only reason I have a DVD players, because we have like a zillion and PlayStations and takes DVDs, but I can’t,

Nicole (05:58):
I do have a DB station. See, I don’t even remember that it has that feature.

Yasmine (06:02):
We’re streaming everything these days. So what are you doing to evolve your business to keep up with the times? In fact, on the last investor called Bob JPEG commented on the fact that distribution deals with talent can’t like exist as they did before. They’re now relying on Disney plus to bring theatrical releases to market. And with a lot of like existing talent deals, they drive a lot of revenue from like basically the theater theatrical run like movies, actually in the theater that determines how much money they get paid out in addition to their contract. And by like there’s lawsuits. Recently we heard about Scarlett Johannson where she sued Disney because they released black widow on Disney plus, and that ate into theater sales. So, you know, is that fair? We’re not here to debate that, but like at Disney, as a company is keeping up with the times of pandemic change, how movies are distributed and things need to evolve

Nicole (07:03):
Lucky for them. They had to sneak class in place before all of those. Right. Because I mean, it could have been so much worse. And I think in terms of like Yasmin mentioned, your business might not be 50 years old. It might be two years old or half a year old. But I think if you start thinking about things in terms, especially if you’re a digital or an online based business, like what’s happening around you and how can you be different from that? So for example, if you are a coach or you are a service provider, like how can, what you do be different from everybody else. And I think, you know, we can get a little controversial about it, but there are people out there teaching other people to do things that they did four years ago that worked one time and they’ve never done it since, or replicated it since.

Nicole (07:48):
And they’re trying to teach this formula or methodology to others, and maybe that’s not how you want to do business. And maybe people are kind of sick of that happening over and over and over again. So you need to evolve. If you have a product like that, I’m not saying that you did a wrong thing or you’re bad, or your business isn’t going to work or anything like that. I’m just saying like, stop and reflect like that might’ve worked last year or two years ago, that might’ve been a great offer for you, but today our audience is still connecting with that or are they kind of tired of it? And how can you refresh or think about, you know, what wasn’t working about this and what do I need to improve? And with that said, we have a guide for you. It’s called the three areas.

Nicole (08:32):
You can always improve in your business, even if you don’t have a dime to spend. So even if you’re not willing to make big investments, there are places in your business that you can make incremental small improvements that can lead to big picture results. When you do those improvements all the time in, in little steps, they all add up. And so that is on our website. You can find that at and you’ll find it there. And the thing about it is it gives you prompts and ideas about these three different areas of your business or your products, your customers, your processes, your systems, all of those things. So that way you can start thinking about, Ooh, wow. Yeah, I could do a project there and I could do a project there and I can make these little improvements just like Disney does, but there, there are attractions or jungle cruise, right? Yours are, you know, I have five different t-shirts in my shop and I need to look at what they say and you know, what the cut is and how they actually fit people. And maybe I need to update my sizing guide or anything like that. So get that guy.

Yasmine (09:33):
Yeah. Or maybe you have like a digital product that tracks metrics on Instagram, but have you included like reels in there and stats related to that as the platform has evolved, it’s little things like that are little tweaks that you can make to make sure that your product is more relevant to your audience. And more helpful in the long run

Nicole (09:51):
At the bottom line has really listening to feedback. Whether that feedback is coming from your customers, the industry, as a whole just trends you’re seeing where things will be going in the future, your own feelings about the offers and products that you have out there. We grow as people every single day. And when you started your business or started your offer, you’re a different person today than you were. Then you’ve learned more, you’ve done more. Maybe that means that things need to evolve in your business. So think about it as you have a new jungle cruise, and then there’s going to be a jungle cruise to at some point. And it’s like the 2.0 version of whatever you’ve already put out there.

Yasmine (10:30):
Well, we hope that you took away some helpful tips. A reminder that we do have our guide available in our shop. If you want to check it out and if you’re not following us on Instagram, yet, we highly encourage you to do that. We share a lot of additional tips behind the scenes and yeah, so many more surprises. So you don’t want to miss that we @pixiedustandprofits. You’ll also want to get on our mailing list. It’s And don’t forget to check us out on Patreon. If you enjoy this episode and you found it helpful, there are multiple ways that you can support us. That’s at And we’ll also link it in the show notes below. Thank you again for joining us and we’ll see you real soon.



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