palm trees at Walt Disney World

Creating New Products With What You Already Have

Apr 12, 2022



You may have found yourself planning a “staycation” over the last few years as a result of COVID restrictions around the globe. Disney, on the other hand, is always adapting – making the most of any environment they find themselves in!

We had the honor of interviewing Diane Barrowsmith of SixCastleCompany to discuss one of Disney’s innovative brand new offers that launches in the summer of 2022. Disney Cruise Lines are famous for enhancing the high seas, but recently they launched a brand new U.K. Staycations with Disney’s Magic at Sea! 

If you’re looking for some magical inspiration to help you pivot and innovate within your business with assets you already have, keep reading!

Disney’s Magic at Sea

Recently, Disney revealed exclusive UK Staycation cruises lasting 2-4 nights that depart from four different ports in the UK, float about at sea and then loop back to port. Previously, Disney only offered longer cruises leaving from the UK, lasting 7-14 days, but they were few and far between with a hefty price tag attached. With these new shorter cruise offerings, they are tapping into a new audience who may have wanted to give a Disney Cruise a shot in the past, but the buy in was too high. 

What’s really interesting is that Disney already offered a slightly similar model with cruises that depart from the U.S., going through the Bahamas. They are shorter trips without a stop at Castaway Cay, which is Disney’s privately owned island, but rather loop back to Port Canaveral in FL. Disney took what was already successful in the states and brought it over to a new audience in the UK!

It was also such an innovative move for Disney to make during the global pandemic. They found a way to make the Disney experience more accessible to their audiences. These UK cruises don’t leave the UK, going from one port and sailing back around, making people feel safe enough to invest in this unique experience. With the lower end price tag and time commitment, they are able to bring in a brand new audience who may not have otherwise been able to afford a Disney cruise. 

The Magic of a Disney Cruise

You may be surprised to hear that we have never actually been on a Disney cruise before! Yes, we know it’s shocking! Even as Vacation Club members who spend quite a bit of time at Disney, their cruises have a pretty big price tag that can be a deterrent, especially for new audiences.

A Disney cruise is typically for someone who’s been to Disney World and knows what to expect. These cruises stand apart from other typical cruise experiences, so there’s a higher price tag that comes along with this level of entertainment and service. Imagine cast members who cut up your kids’ food for you, servers who remember your drink orders, and who make an effort to really get to know your preferences during your voyage. There is a Broadway level of entertainment in the shows they offer, nurseries and kid’s clubs, along with adult only pools. They really provide an amazing balance for families with their wide variety of offerings and accommodations.

Adapt and Pivot Your Current Offers

While the specific details and prices of these exclusive UK cruises have yet to be released (Disney loves keeping us on our toes!), we can learn from how they use their current assets and offers their audiences already love.

Target a new audience

Ask yourself, where’s another audience that lines up with your current audience that you know you already have a base for? Disney took what was already working in the states with shorter cruise experiences and brought it over to the UK to tap into a new audience. Not only did they use an asset that they’ve already got, but they also encourage this new audience to book future Disney experiences without impacting the audience they already have over in the U.S.! For small businesses like your own, take a look at the assets that you have available and all the audiences that you could potentially tap into and how to match those things up. You may need to tweak and repackage your offer to fit this new audience, but you don’t need to start from scratch!

Ascension Models

We’ve talked so many times about ascension models and you may be thinking…Nicole and Yasmine keep on about these models. But it’s because they are so important! Quick refresh – an ascension model is a ladder of different value offerings that grow with the customer. 

Disney does this with their resorts, ticket offers, dining plans, and more. They used this model again to reach people who may have wanted to take a Disney cruise, but the price tag prevented them from doing so. These shorter UK exclusive staycation cruises appealed to a new audience, in hopes that they would taste a bit of the pixie dust magic on this quick Disney experience, leading them to return and try out Disneyland Paris or even make the trip to the states for Disney World or a longer Disney cruise! They bring people in at the bottom of their model, moving up until they become vacation club members like us!

Pivot your offers

When looking at your own products or services, if something’s not selling, it may not be because it’s not a good product. Perhaps you need to look at the environment it’s in, look at your product description page and how it’s being described. Especially if you have something that people might worry about in this COVID world right now, tweak it a little bit, make it sound safer and more trustworthy! 

Shift with the Seas

You don’t have to have it all figured out! Disney hasn’t even released prices and details for these exclusive UK cruises yet, as regulations and protocols are still ever changing in this COVID world. It kind of reminds us that not everything does go to plan that as a small business owner. The ability to shift and adapt as things out of your control come up emphasize that we can’t strive for perfection. Disney is constantly shifting and pivoting so they can keep bringing the magic to their audiences, no matter what the environment around looks like. 

Don’t forget to subscribe to Pixie Dust & Profits and tune in each week, as we share more tips from the Mouse that can help you grow your small business. And be sure to follow Diane @sixcastlecompany!



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