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 business.
Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of pixie dust and profits. So today we’re going to talk about something a little different now, Nicole, and I like where your people, if you ever want to talk about Disney rides and attractions, because we definitely have our favorites, we’ve definitely been on the all and we definitely are anticipating some of the new ones that are coming our way very soon, especially in star Wars, land to star Wars in January. And I can’t wait to try all the new rides. Yeah. Cause both of them will be opened by that point. Hopefully if everything stays on schedule. Yeah. But we’re not gonna talk about the rights today. We’re gonna talk about what happens at site, the rides at Disney. And what’s really interesting is when you talk to maybe you’re like standard, like not Disney fan, they think Disney is all about like the rides and the attractions like mean the characters and stuff.
But for people like us who like have DVC and go back multiple times a year, we know that there’s so much more and we’re going to talk about what to do in the park, outside the rides and the experiences that Disney’s created and how you can replicate that for your business to keep your audience engaged. Because the cool thing about having all of these magical experiences that fall outside of the traditional rides and attractions at Disney is that ultimately for them, it really helps with the flow of the audience. It mitigate some of the bottlenecks, you know, those lines, they can get pretty long and you know, that’s arguably the worst part about going to Disney is waiting in line. But they, they have a few ways of making it exciting. And Nicole is going to talk about that in a bit, but by keeping people in other areas of the park, doing things that don’t necessarily require a lot of waiting, they can keep their customers really engage and, you know, just have something for everyone because you know, you might not want to go on Pirates of the Caribbean and a lot of time in a row.
And if you don’t, then we can’t be friends because I go on that ride like multiple times every time I go in the park, but that’s a story for another day. So one attraction that I really wanted to dive into as we get started is sourcers of the Magic Kingdom. So if you’re not familiar with that, it’s okay. I’m going to, I’m going to put on my nerd hat here, bear with me. It’s kind of like magic the gathering. I don’t know if you’ve ever played that, but it’s basically a card game where you like use your cards to other cards. Simplest way that I can explain it. There are sort of like mythical creature types and all these rules and the cards have different like values in terms of like strength and toughness. And you have to be strategic with which cards you play in order to win the game.
And sourcers are the Magic Kingdom, which you can play in Magic Kingdom is kind of a simplified, more kid friendly and more interactive version of that. So you get like a deck of cards, the cards have you know, different qualities like charm. They have a different characters that reflect each of the cards and you go around to these really cool portals where an interactive villain actually pops up and tries to like, you know, cast a spell on you and you have to hold up like the right card, you know, based on the qualities of the little, like hero that you have in your hand and try defeat the villain. And
It’s so like, if a dragon is like shooting fire at you, you might want your Elsa card to counteract the dragon. Exactly. The fun part is like, these cards are interactive, but it’s also helping you like walk around the magic kingdom to different parts of the park.
Yeah. And it gets you like exploring. You have like different areas that you go to. And it’s something that’s fun for like everyone. I mean, I actually got my husband Dylan into it because he’s a huge magic, the gathering fan. That’s why I play it now. And that was like a really fun way for him to sort of open his eyes up to like the full Disney experience. Because as we’ve mentioned in previous episodes, I’m still really trying to sell him on, you know, being regular Disney goers. I’m getting closer, guys, it’s working and Brown like special parties that they have. So Mickey’s not so scary Halloween party and the very Merry Christmas party, you can actually get like special edition cards that you only can get during the events and play those as well. So they’re always looking at ways of like enhancing the experience and really giving you like a lot of fun things to do outside of just waiting in line and getting all those fun rides.
And a few of the brilliant things about the sources of the magic kingdom are that the interactive exhibits are like a mirror inside a display at a shop. And so you have to hold your card in a specific spot to activate the mirror. And all of a sudden this display becomes interactive to the environment. Other people stopped to see what you’re doing, what’s going on. And Disney’s also getting you to go inside a lot of shops while you’re playing this game. And another thing we mentioned about the lions, there’s usually no line for the sourcers game because they can start you in different places in Magic Kingdom. So you can start right on main street. You can be an adventure land so they can disrupt the flow of people. However they need to who are playing this game and you shouldn’t have to wait too long and maybe one or two other groups would be in front of you while you’re waiting.
So we had a lung, a lot of fun playing. It, went on my husband’s first shirt with me and my son’s first trip when he was one and a half, you know, he doesn’t cross for the concept, but he could stand and he could hold a card and he could see how cool it was to hold the card up to a key, a key log and see the screen change. So it was a lot of fun even for one and a half year old though. I think the target market is probably the 10 year old pre-teen teen crowd that maybe feels like they’re a little too old for some of the rides at magic kingdom and who isn’t quite ready for all the thrill rides. So the card game is really fun. Another thing I want to talk about that we do ourselves. We do a lot of pin trading when we go to Disney world and this really started because if something my husband got into and so every time we make sure to buy a couple of pins that are special to us at the end of our trip, if you don’t know about pin trading, it is an entire world at Disney World in and of itself, you can get special event pins for the Christmas parties and things like that.
You can get pins that have the year on it. There are grab the bags in case you like the mystery element where you can get like last seasons pins and a lot of eight, but you don’t know what it is until you open the bag. Yeah, cast members are involved in the process, so they each have pins. They might have a lanyard and you can walk up to them and trade pins. And with a little kid, this can be difficult because they don’t always want to give up a pin in order to get a pen. But it, it ends up being a really fun way to interact with cast members that maybe even you would never talk to before, but you’d be like, Hey, can I just check out the pins that you have? And it’s a barrier that doesn’t exist because you’re talking to a cast member and an employee versus you can also pin trade with other guests at the park.
So they are usually stations. There’s a nice one at Epcot where people just kind of go and they bring their collection and they trade with each other. But for us, we just like the buying pins pins that are special to us and trading a couple of the ones that are in our favorites with other people around. So pin trading is really fun and something that we make sure to do every trip. The cool thing about pin training. When you think about it from like a revenue standpoint is you are getting people to spend lots of money on these pens. They’re no, they’re not cheap. They range from probably like $6 to $20, depending on how intricate it is. And some of these are crazy. My son’s souvenir and his last year, he chose slinky dog, which is, you know, two halfs in a slinky in the middle.
It’s a pretty complex pin. And you know, they’re getting people to buy these every year, every trip, multiple packs. And then if they go on a style, they just put them in a black bag that no one can see through and sell those. So it, it really is a revenue generator for them. And another way to get people out of the lions because they’re exploring and running around for pins. And some of them be quite exclusive. We tried to get one at a Christmas party and could not find it in. My husband, went into at least six stores looking for it. And a magical cast member, days later, while we were still looking for this pin, found one down underground in storage for him and brought it up. So we hunted that down for a while. W which pin was that? Nicole? It was from the Christmas party in 2018. So you could only get it at the event. And they were sold out because we were just so close to Christmas that they hadn’t gotten their resupply yet. And he just really wanted it. It was a super cute one with like Mickey and the Christmas tree. And you know, that cast member a few days later went above and beyond to go find it for us.
Those are my favorite pins. It’s just sort of the memory of ones. Cause like I always try to like personally, when I like buy pins, get one from the resort that I’m staying at, if it’s a new resort. So started that collection. But I also always try to get one with like the year or something seasonal just to remember the trip and you know, we go a lot, but each one is very special.
Yeah. We always get a year ornament. That’s the big deal for us is to get an ornament and have it hand painted with the year that we went super fast
Fun. So speaking of hunting things down, another fun thing you could do at Disney is look for hidden Mickeys. So hidden Mickeys are basically little like Mickey shaped figures that Disney really looks sort of sneaks into and hides all around the park. You can find them at the resorts, you can find them in the parks and basically anywhere on Disney property, like one of our favorite discoveries of a hidden Mickey was realizing that the solar panels that Disney has that really generates a ton of power for the park is in a Mickey shape. You can walk around and you’ll see, you know, a little Mickey’s on the ground. You can look up during certain rides and see sort of one hidden in the ceiling. It’s really cool. And they’ve extended that with other characters. So when Nicole and I were at Disney world last January, or this January, actually this year still we’re in 2019. Someone mentioned to us that we can go on a Pascal scavenger hunt in the tangled area of magic kingdom and find the little pascals and we did. And it was super fun. We were like running around trying to find that cute little lizard wherever we could. And I think we got them all didn’t we,
I don’t think we did. I think we found like seven or eight and I don’t think anyone knows how many there really are. But I went back a few months ago and was with my son and my husband was going to ride the mine train. And obviously my five-year-old was not. So we went over to the tangled area and I told him about finding Pascal and his friends. And we had a blast for half an hour, hunting them all down in. Some of them are really hard to spot. I’m not going to lie, had to look up on a blog to help find some of the last ones. But we had a blast. And then when dad came back to join us, he showed dad where they all were. And it’s just one of those little things that makes waiting for someone who’s riding a ride that you can’t go on.
So much more fun on the topic of scavenger hunts. You did a full one during the holiday season, didn’t you? Yes. So last year we went for the holidays and we took the extended family. So a lot of people who hadn’t been to Disney world and we had like the iconic Disney trip, you know, where you’re going on, all the rides and, you know, it can be really big. And there were rides like Sorin and test track and mission space. And my son who was four at the time just did not want to do any of those things. So we found something that he would want to do. And they had this scavenger hunt called the Chippendale Christmas tree spree. And it’s basically chip and Dale are being naughty as they are. And they were going into the wreaths and stealing ornaments from all the different countries and Epcot.
And so it was a scavenger hunt that you paid like $9 to participate in. And you get this little guide that shows all of the countries of Epcot and has a sticker. And once you find Chippendale in that country, you put that sticker on that country. And then once you finish, you hand it in. And so we had a blast for probably two hours running around the world, showcase, trying to find Chip And Dale, my kid thought it was hilarious that they were stealing ornaments everywhere. And then once it got finished, he handed it into the shop at the end. And they gave us the option of choosing a pack of greeting cards. And there was one with like Mickey on it and one with Minnie on it. And they were Christmas themed and he just had such a blast doing it. That that was fun and of itself, but getting a reward at the end was also amazing to him.
So there’s plenty of stuff for you to do if you don’t want to wait in line, you’re tired of waiting in line or you just want a different type of experience. Like I go to Disney and I love the environment and I love the fun and I’m there to spend time with my family. So it’s really fun if we’re doing a scavenger hunt or we’re waiting in line, we’re having fun together. Another thing that Disney has now is the play Disney parks app. So if you are waiting in line and not doing any of these experiences, you can still have an experience. The play Disney parks app came out in 2018 and it’s essentially an app that is location-based. So if you were waiting in line for toy story mania in Hollywood studios, there are games that are themed to toy story that you can only play while close enough to the ride there’s trivia, there’s music.
You can have playing from your phone. There’s also like badges and achievements, and I don’t even know how to get them, but sometimes you walk by something and you just get a badge. So it there’s a little bit of gamification in it. And then the other cool thing about it is that Disney’s not really reinventing anything here. They, one of the games that you can play as like heads up, essentially, it’s just got a word for you to guess and act out, and it’s just Disney themed. So it’s like a picture of ham, the pig from toy story and you, Oh, ink. And so on suppose to guess ham, and it’s not anything new. They didn’t invent heads up. They just put Disney licensing on it. And now people are playing that in line. So even when they’re waiting in line, maybe traditionally they’d be upset about being in the heat or just being there for four hours, if you’re waiting for avatar and you know, it just gives them something to do that is still Disney themes. They’re still having fun and they’re still seeing your branding everywhere.
That’s awesome. And you know, one thing I’ll just add is like Disney. I feel like spends as much time designing the waiting in line experience as they do the rides sometimes like I’m honest, like I’m a fast pass princess. I will do everything I can not to wait in line. But if you ever get the chance to like walk through the actual standby line, like the experiences for a lot of the more recent rides are just like incredibly in depth, like even seven doors, mind train, there are little games that you can play, like the, those barrels of gems that if you spin all of them around and you kind of have to get like people who are waiting in line with you around that area to participate, it’ll like project snow, white dancing with the doors. Like that’s super cute. Cool. and
Through the standby line for frozen ever after, and we couldn’t get a fast pass for it, we did the standby line and somehow it was only like 35 minutes. So it wasn’t too bad, but there were details of the line that I hadn’t seen cause I’d only ever done that ride on fast pass. And so there was this one little like cabin room you walk into, and it’s the guy who has like wandering Ocwens shop. And so it’s the guy. And then if there’s like a little sauna window and then all of a sudden his face pops up and he’s like, you, and it’s just the best because it’s, it’s so funny. We all kind of caught by surprise. We smiled and laughed. And it was something that I hadn’t seen before because I always did FastPass. So even when you’re in a regular line, you can have fun.
So we’ve talked a lot about Disney and some of our favorite out of ride experiences. How does this apply to your business? What can you learn from this? Well, Nicole and I actually thought hard about look the lesson here, and we have a few examples and this time we want to include not only service-based examples, but product based examples. So I have a couple of Instagram accounts that sell Disney merch that I love and adore, and I’m going to shout out one of them, which is pop line blink. So if you have lived on this planet for the past, like four or five years, you probably know what a pop socket is, touch it to your phone, keeps it stable. Works as a stand. As a new mom, I hear it’s going to be very helpful for me to have one.
So I don’t consistently drop my phone which I do now all the time think heaven’s for cases, but pop line bling creates these really adorable Mickey and Disney themed pop sockets. And one of the things that’s really unique about her designs is that she uses Swarovski crystals or like, you know, glitter enamel to really jazz them up and make them super unique and customize them. So you can get like, you know, a Cinderella mini PopSocket or like Elsa mini pop song. And she has like different ways of using the crystals to customize them. And the other crazy thing about her business is that she like sells out like that. Like literally she’ll announce pre-orders for a product
Speaker 4 (18:37):
And in 10 seconds
They’ll be gone and you just kind of have to wait till the next pre-order. And she only releases like a certain number of styles at a time. So you kind of have to wait until your product is available. Well, okay. You bought this thing off of Etsy and you’re waiting for it because it’s pre-ordered. So you’re going to have to wait a couple of weeks until it comes to you. How do you enhance the customer experience at that point? Well, one thing that I love that she does is on Instagram. She actually shows a lot of like behind the scenes photos of her actually like, you know, putting the gems on the pop sockets and the new styles that she’s coming up with. And by seeing sort of the behind the scenes of how things work, or like in your case, if you have like a studio sharing with the behind the scenes of your studio, you’re not necessarily showcasing to the customer that you’re working on their product, but you’re showing progress and you’re showing new things and you’re giving them insight into like why it takes so long to create such a gorgeous custom product, which helps manage their expectations first and foremost, but also really enhances the anticipation.
And as a bonus, it works as a marketing tool because it sort of creates a bit of FOMO, a non Disney example of like literally the exact same thing. As Nicole knows, one of my vices other than Disney is makeup. I like putting sparkly colored powders on my face. It’s super fun for me. It’s my creative outlet. And I like to support a lot of independent designers and there’s one company in Toronto called Cleona cosmetics. And they create these like gorgeous, like multi Chrome shadows. And they have like a 20 day turnaround. Every time they open up, like their sales period thinks up like a couple hours and then you kind of have to wait and they do really great job of like showing themselves, like mixing the shadows and sharing swatches and sharing like customer reviews and stuff. And like, I get excited cause I’m just like, Oh, they might be working on with the batch of eyeshadows that minor are going to be in. And it’s really, really interesting. Just getting insight into the process that goes into artists and goods, because I think it’s easy to like see something in a store and see it ready made and to get that instant gratification. But when you’re supporting an independent designer, it takes time. And once I can, as a customer, understand what goes into it, I can be a little bit more patient understanding of that 20 days
Turn around time. Right. You know, where your money is going and exactly like the level of quality that you’re getting and the care that you’re getting versus, you know, buying something that’s mass designed perfectly off the shelf. So on a service based example for a Disney example, when you book a trip with Disney, you’re probably booking that 10 months before you go, if not before that most people don’t book last minute trips to Disney because they’re just sold out. So there isn’t even any rooms available, but they email you throughout. They’re reminding you about FastPasses, they’re reminding you about new attractions. You guys don’t mention mail. Yeah. You get something in the mail that specifically, you know, the book has kind of preprinted, but the last page says your name, your dates, where you’re staying experiences. They think that will work for you.
It is a little bit of a custom booklet because you know, pages are predesigned, but they know that I’m coming with a five-year-old. They ask how a home, the people in the party are. And so they make suggestions of rides that reflect the people that are coming. And so that’s kind of building anticipation, even though there’s nothing really going on at that point. So if you think about this in terms of like, if you’re a graphic designer or a web designer, and you’re booking custom clients who you might not start working with them for another two months, because of the way your schedule works, like what could you be giving to them in the meantime, to be an experience outside of the work and you can be giving them some things that kind of show them a before and after of other websites you’ve done.
You can give them your intake surveys that will help you start the project better. You can get them started on making like inspiration boards and kind of giving them resources to get them on that path. So that way, when your project officially launches, you’ve already got like a good, solid footing. They already know what the process is. They know that month one is going to be the design discovery phase. And that month two is going to be the development phase. And so doing some of that pre-work ahead of time when you’re not even directly working with them, can help make the experience even better when they do work with you.
So if you’re selling like a program or a course, and you have like a wait list, well, you know, people are, you want to build excitement for the next round ways that you can sort of do that is again, sharing behind the scenes images stories of like what’s going on in the program, your interactions with your students and really building again that anticipation. So by the time the next round does open up, like, yes, we’ll be buying it like right away and then getting access to it. But if they already have made their mind about being on a waitlist and joining your program, you kind want to remain top of mind and build that excitement and create an experience for them. So by the time they are in the program, like they are right to hit the ground running.
All right. So we hope that this deep dive into a couple of experiences outside of the main attraction have been helpful for you to one learn about all the fun things Disney has outside of the rides. And to help you think about how you can kind of bridge that gap between purchase and receipt of product. And so thank you for joining us for Pixie Dust & Profits. This week, we’ll have another episode soon. And if you want to meet us in person, make sure to join us in February for Pixie Dust & Profits Live, where we’re going to have a three day business intensive to help you make a strategic business plan for your business in 2020. So we hope to see you there. And if you want more information, just follow us on Instagram @pixiedustandprofits
Speaker 5 (24:41):