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.
Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s episode of pixie dust and profits. I’m Nicole
And I’m Yasmin,
And we are here talking about the above and beyond magical engagements that you have with cast members at Disney world. So we’re going to share a couple of our favorite stories of memorable moments with different cast members in different roles. And then we’re gonna give you a couple of business lessons on how you can better interact with your customers. So that way they can feel magical too. So, um, what inspired this episode is a recent trip I was on. If you’ve listened to the last episode, you know, that I got COVID on that trip. So things went a little by the wayside, but before that happened, um, some of you may know that my mother is disabled. She has very low impaired vision. She has a condition called usher syndrome. I share that in case anyone out there has it and wants to know they’re not alone.
It’s a very rare condition, but essentially it makes it really difficult for her to see and dim lighting. And, um, just, she doesn’t always see objects that are in front of her, especially things that are low to the ground. So she does use a walking cane. She is very independent. So sometimes she tries not to use the walking cane and I have to remind her of mom. You have that for a reason. Um, but one day my husband, my kid and I, we went to Hollywood studio. She stayed behind at the hotel and I guess she decided to go for a walk and go to the lobby at the hotel, just to check it out, see the different paintings and sculptures and all of the things that every Disney resort has to make it unique and fun. And she’s went to the store to just see what kind of merchandise they had, and you could also get snacks and lunch and things like that.
So we came back and she was telling me the story about how nice they were in the lobby and how one of the cast members like helped her walk around the store and took her arm to make sure she wouldn’t bump into anything. And just really was very kind and supportive and didn’t make her feel like they were going out of their way to help her, which, um, if you can imagine having a condition like this, you know, when you’re putting someone out or when you’re inconveniencing someone and she very much doesn’t ever want to ask anyone for help, she wants to do it on their, on her own. And so, um, it really meant a lot that my mom was gushing about how she felt like she was valued and just got the support that she needed in that moment without asking for it and without being condescended to. So, um, that’s one magical moment about, um, I think in general, how disability friendly Disney world is and how patient their workers are with a lot of situations, because as you know, there all walks of life come through Disney world. And so they have probably seen everything under the sun that you can imagine, and they’re just really patient, no matter what your situation may be. So I, I just give them kudos for being able to maintain the level of calm they can, especially in the last two years where I’m sure it’s been rough.
I’ve also had some magical experiences at Disney. Um, two, in fact, it happened recently. Um, the first one being when I took my daughter to Disney world for the very first time, you know, this has been a trip that I have been planning since she was like pretty young. She’s still pretty young, but, um, basically as soon as I was able to like take her Disney, I had planned the trip. And of course, you know, with COVID, we’ve constantly had to cancel and reschedule. So finally on a whim, I was actually supposed to go Disney with Nicole back in may, but she was unable to go and I decided to turn to a little family trip. So I took my daughter, my husband and my mom, and all my daughter could talk about she’s about two and a half. At this point was meeting goofy.
She was so excited to meet goofy. So we did some of the character dinings because it was really hot we’re Canadian and you know, us and like, you know, may heat in Florida don’t go well together. So I knew she wouldn’t really deal well with staying in line too much to meet character. So I went the character dining route, and when she met goofy and melted into him that sweet cast member, let my daughter hug him for, I would say about a minute, minute and a half. He, he just waited for her to be done, which, you know, when they have to go around and meet a bunch of different like tables and stuff, like I knew that they were going that little bit of an extra mile to let her have that moment. And it, I think it was a core memory for us, a core memory for her, but the way my little one just melted into goofy.
And I said to goofy, she has been waiting all trip to meet you. And he sort of signaled to me that like he was waiting all trip to meet her as well, which, you know, listed another awe for us and from the two tables around us. Like everyone just loved that moment. And, you know, for a little one, like meeting these characters, that’s such a big deal. And I’m just so grateful that like the Disney, um, characters, not, not the cast members behind them, cuz of course they’re real really take that moment to make those, um, experiences extra special. So that was such a sweet memory that I will never, ever forget. And I myself have been, um, engaged with quite pleasantly, um, at Disney. In fact, when we went to Bubash for the first Pix and profits live for the party, Nicole and I dressed up as the fairy godmother from Cinderella because we were, of course everyone’s fairy business godmother.
And I unfortunately had to bail on that, um, event halfway through because my feet were not happy the first day when we went to Disney, I think my shoes got a little wet. And um, essentially like I got like the worst blisters on the very first day. And this was like the second last day of the trip and my dogs were barking. Um, so I ended up leaving early and as I was leaving, one of the cast members, um, turned to me and said, oh, has the clock struck 12 for you as well, fairy godmother. And it’s such a simple thing for them to acknowledge the fact that I was dressed up as fairy godmother and to make that little like joke, but it made me so happy. And so giddy as you know, like a 35 year old woman at the time. Um, and it just like left such a lasting impression and they really do keep the magic alive, whether you’re little or, you know, in your mid thirties as I was. Um, so that made the trip a little, um, special for me too, to just have that moment. And it was just, you know, a cast member commenting on my costume and doing so in a really funny way.
It it’s just one of those things that I think they get to have fun with too. Mm-hmm and you know, they probably stay fairy godmother costumes, and they know, they know that if you’re wearing that, you want the reaction, you want to be acknowledged, you wanna have fun. And they do it in such a kind and respectful way. And I honestly cannot think of a single moment where I’ve had a bad cast member interaction. Um, obviously there are neutral ones where, you know, you’re checking out, but even then they’re still very friendly, but I can tell you off the top of my head, the bad, um, I don’t call, they don’t call them cast members at universal, but the bad interaction I had with someone there, cuz it stuck out because it’s just not common. And I think that it just goes to those core values that they teach their employees and what the brand is all about and that you live and breed the brand while you have that cast member tag on.
And probably while you have it off too. So I’ve shared this story before, but it is a core memory for us as well. It was in the pre COVID days. You know, it was actually on the flight home was when they were talking about a mysterious illness overseas. And um, it was my dad’s birthday. My dad does not usually come on these trips. So it was a big deal that he came like the whole family was there. My brother, my mom and dad. And so it was his birthday and we ordered his favorite character, Donald duck. We ordered a Donald’s duck cake from the boardwalk bakery. So me and my son went to go pick it up at the lobby and it was January, it was extremely cold for Florida. It was maybe 40. I remember one of the days of that trip rise of the resistance had just opened.
And me and my husband were there at like five in the morning, six in the morning to, you know, try and get our spot. And it was about 45 degrees. It was so cold. It might have even been lower than that. I can’t even remember. I just remember freezing and I’m from Maine . So, um, anyway, we went to go pick up his cake, very cold outside. We went to the lobby to get ice cream because you can’t have cake without ice cream. And the cast member was like, wow, ice cream. This is the first time I’ve seen this bot today. And we said, yeah, you know, it’s grandpa’s birthday and we have a cake, so we need ice cream and you have candles anywhere. And she was like, oh my goodness, happy birthday. She pulled out some candles from somewhere. I don’t even know I was like in their drawer.
And then she walked me over to the lobby or told me about in the lobby, you can go ask someone and maybe you can get a balloon. And so I walked over to the lobby. I told them what was going on and they told me, oh, just wait a minute. We’ll see what we can do. I’ll look in the back. They come out like five, 10 minutes later and they have a set of balloons and they have a card signed by Mickey. It was just like a picture of Mickey in front of the castle. And Mickey had signed it and said happy birthday. And it was just, you know, I ordered a cake and I came out with a party and it was amazing. It was awesome. Walked back to the room with this balloon and cake and ice cream. And we had a blast.
It just sticks out to me as like, you know, if I hadn’t had that interaction with the cast member being friendly about asking why I’m buying ice cream, which is, you know, just chit chat, the whole story wouldn’t have come out and we wouldn’t have gotten to the balloons and the cake and all of that stuff. So I just think it’s something so sweet that I didn’t have to have happened. And it is a core memory and it was just a little bit of, it was just a balloon and, and a cart. Right. so I think they do a great job with just understanding the situation or reading the room. And mm-hmm, this kind of goes back to what Yasmin was talking about with the characters at the character dining. I’ve done many character dinings. Um, we have one in particular that we like to do every trip and the characters are very smart about knowing which tables they really need to spend a couple extra minutes at and which ones they can kind of like wave and walk along.
Um, even during C when character dining was a little bit different where they basically removed tables and they had this like squared off section that the character could stand in the middle of, they did a great job of making sure they were like doing poses at every table. So you could get a picture of them. Um, and not, they weren’t just like standing there and you couldn’t do anything. So I think they’re really observant of the situation and how to interact with everyone. So what does that mean for your business? Like how can you be more aware of the situation that your customers or potential customers or followers are in and how can you interact more with them? Well, one of the things
That we experienced was the fact that every single of these interactions left us feeling acknowledged and left us feeling, uh, you know, noticed. So if you have a business, especially if you have one where you have, like, whether you have like a hundred followers or like, you know, a million, um, often you’re engaging with your customers on social media. So are you taking the time to actually go back through those comments and respond back to people? I mean, one example I was telling Nicole, as we were playing this episode is there’s this, um, embroider who I’m absolutely like obsessed with her work. Um, she’s at needle or thread on Instagram and she just makes the most beautiful fabric collages. And every time I comment on her post, she will like respond back and acknowledge me. And it just like makes me feel special and more engaged and involved with her work and her success because she’s taking that time. So one takeaway there is when people are commenting, you know, try to respond within one business day. I know if you have a ton of comments, it might not be possible to respond to every single person, but taking some time to respond back to your fans and customers goes a long way in building brand loyalty.
Yeah. And I’ll add to that, that responding in a timely manner. And I am not a proponent of, you know, instantly reply to anything that comes your way. I think there should be boundaries mm-hmm , but one business day I think is reasonable. And even if you don’t have the answer to their question, if they asked a question or whatever it may be, you can still reply and say, you know what? I hear you, this is a great question. I need to do a little bit more research. And that goes a really long way cuz they were acknowledged, they were listened to. And you said exactly what you would do next.
Or like, you know, if it’s something that you want to respond to, but you can’t in that moment, this happens a lot like on TikTok, like I’ll get comments on posts and it’s something that I wanna create a video on, but I can’t, I’ll just pop in and say, Ooh, that’s great. I’m gonna create a video on that soon. Which again, doesn’t, you know, hold me to a specific timeline, but allows me, you know, within a week or so to get back to them with a more detailed response of their question plus it’s content ideas.
Now, when you’re thinking about things like from the inbox perspective, or this could even happen on social, but the comments on social will tend to be a little more higher level. But I always think like sometimes people will send in a question, if you can anticipate the question that would happen before or after that you can add so much more into your reply to that person. So for example, if someone emails in asking a question and we sometimes have a blog post that answers that question, we can say, here we go, here we go. This is what you would do. We have more information about this here and this blog, but I also think that you might li like this related content and obviously we make that more punchy and fun and more conversational depending on what it is. But if you can give a couple more resources or anticipate what their other questions or hesitations might be, it’s just another way for them to feel like, oh, you heard me, you saw me and you supported me.
And those are all things that make you feel that you are valued and respected. Um, you know, I was just thinking about one time my husband collects pins from Disney and he wanted this Christmas pin from the Christmas party. We had gone to the Christmas party, but they were sold out. And so he asked a cast member like, is there any chance, like we went to this, I, they just didn’t have the pin. I really want that pin. And they went down into the storage areas, which are actually underneath the stores and magic kingdom to try and find that and did not. But then later on in the week we did find one, but those little interactions like that, like you don’t have to go down into the store, dare to find anything she could have said, you know, all we have is what’s behind the, the desk here and left it at that.
But she didn’t. And so think about that when you are replying to someone’s email or their DM and say, you know what? I actually have something that you might be interested in. Let me send it to you. Whether it’s your own content and resources or somewhere else mm-hmm because even if you’re sending them to somewhere else, as long as it’s like not a direct competitor, it’s still, oh, like they’re a helpful person. They’re gonna come back to the helpful person. And so I just think it’s important to, um, not just answer the question being asked.
So we’re wondering what are ways that you try to help your customers and fans be seen? Um, you know, how do you sprinkle some of that magic in your business? Be sure to follow us on Instagram and tell us in the comments or send us a DM. We’d love to hear from you. We’re at @pixiedustandprofits on Instagram. And if you want more great business ideas from us, be sure to get your free business bundle. It’s at magic.pixiedustandprofits.com. Thanks so much for joining us and we’ll see you real soon. Bye bye.