Pixie Dust & Profits | Small Business Podcast for Disney Lovers

Episode 56: Take Advantage of Your Existing Technology

Jan 18, 2022

If you are thinking about starting something brand-spankin’ new in your business, listen now to hear how you can use things you already have in your business instead. This way, you can stop chasing the “new and shiny,” and instead get results for your audience and your bottom line.

Download Episode 56 transcript right here

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Episode 55: Making Your Offers Fool-Proof (Transcript)

Jan 4, 2022

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 business.

Nicole (00:26):
Hey everyone, happy new year and welcome to this week’s episode of pixie dust and profits. Today, we’re talking a little bit about the steep learning curve that it is to go on a Disney vacation. So we recently had on our pixie dust and profits live event where we hosted six women and masterminded with them while we were waiting in line for rides and just had an overall really good time when we talked about our business, but also had a little bit of pixie dust on the personal side too. So one thing about that is that we have a whole variety of women on this trip. We had a couple women who had ever been to Disney world before, and we had women who had annual passes to Disney world. So we had every type of Disney fan with us and it really made for a unique experience because we wanted them to have a really awesome time.

Nicole (01:14):
So my personal highlight is that we went to Hollywood studios and we got on rise of the resistance, millennium, Falcon toy story, mania, slinky, dog, tower of tower rock and roller coaster. We, we did almost every headliner and I think we still ended up back at our room by two 30 in the afternoon. It was in all of my wildest dreams of knowing how to plan a Disney trip. I wouldn’t have anticipated that. We actually nailed what we really wanted to do. So a lot of that has to do with ya. So I’m just gonna like send it over to ya because she was the master planner of making sure that we had every time we needed for everything. So ya, can you to share some of the really long hold times and other things that you went through to make this magic happen? Of

Yasmine (02:02):
Course, of course. So that, that’s an interesting thing about a Disney trip. It doesn’t come together magically, and if you use a Disney vacation planner, you gotta appreciate those women and men because they will spend hours on the phone trying to create that magic for you. Like Nicole said and I put on my Disney vacation planner hat for this trip. So it, it part a couple things. One was we ended up gang tickets to boob Ash, which was

Nicole (02:29):
It wasn’t originally planned when we planned this event. It wasn’t something that was happening.

Yasmine (02:34):
No, it was just that Disney announced it. And we realized the dates overlapped with our trip. And it’s an after hours party, which means that there’s limited access. You pay a premium for it, which we talked about in previous episodes, but the park is pretty empty. Like I unfortunately ended up bailing a little bit early cuz I had the worst blisters known to man and just couldn’t walk anymore. But I know Nicole and the rest of the ladies stayed and they pretty much hit up like every ride and some of like the headliner rides twice. Like how many times did you guys go on mine train?

Nicole (03:04):
I think we only went on mine train once because we did have to wait a whole 10 minutes for that, but space. It was just, it took longer to walk from the entrance to space mountain, to the seat that it took to get on because it was just walk on, which is amazing. And we really appreciated that. We went on rides that we had waited for the day before. So after our events pricey, but if you wanna ride rides, it’s a great time to get around.

Yasmine (03:32):
especially if you have like older kids because they do start late and run until midnight. So I think official hours were nine to midnight, but you could get in at seven. But everyone else is still in the park. So that was one of the reasons why we had such a great time with you know, crossing off all of the headliners at magic kingdom. Then the other thing that happened was genie came out and Disney genie plus specific came out. So we knew that this was coming, we knew it was gonna happen the fall. And it just so happened to start on the very first day that we were there. So Nicole and I flew in a day early. And if you’re planning some sort of like Disney event or even just going, like give yourself some time to settle before you really start day because Disney trips are intense and being able to sort of ease into things was super helpful for us. So we got there the day before and we got to like test it out and, you know, came across some little glitches because they had just launched it. We had actually like gotten, oh, sorry, what was it? Not lightning past virtual queue. I,

Nicole (04:40):
I think there was a virtual pass for rat.

Yasmine (04:42):
Yeah. Yeah. So we got a free like virtual pass for rati. I was gonna try to buy the lightning password, but then I realized, oh, Hey, it’s like the virtual pass just released at the same time. So I got that for Nicole and I, and it somehow disappeared from our, my Disney experience app. Thankfully the cat members got assorted, they have access to everything. It got deleted somehow. So the next day before everyone came to join us, Nicole and I went to animal kingdom for just the morning. We were only there for a few hours, but it really let us try out the lightning lane feature, which is Disney’s paid fast pass edition. It applies to two rides in each park and at animal kingdom, avatar was one of them and we thought it was worth paying the $15 or so to you know, jump in front of the line and get access. So Nicole thankfully got us the passes because my Disney experience app was just like not working the entire,

Nicole (05:38):
Your phone just didn’t

Yasmine (05:40):
Yeah, I could upgrade anything. Yeah. I couldn’t upgrade to anything. So Nicole ended up taking over that piece, but we were able to, you know, cross off a few of our favorite rides in animal kingdom pretty quickly. And then when it came to the ladies who joined us on the retreat arriving, we were able to basically secure the key rides that we wanted to every day. So for magic kingdom, we decided not to invest in lightning lane. We just got genie plus because we knew we were gonna come back for Boash and we would get access to all of those rides anyway. But for a Hollywood studios, we ended up getting lightning passes for both rise of the resistance and Mickey and mini’s runaway railway and so worth it. We didn’t have to wait super long in line. It allowed us to

Nicole (06:31):
It made us plan to the rest of our day, right? Because so in testing everything earlier, we discovered you have to sign up for it at midnight mm-hmm and at 7:00 AM, you need to do the purchase thing. So there was a whole strategy to this, right? We were standing in the kitchen making tea or something at 7:00 AM. I said, okay, I have to buy rise of the resistance first for everybody and then buy Mickey and minis because one of these is gonna go before the other. And so the nice thing about it was that we had a time slot. Once we had a time slot for those two rides, we knew what path we needed to run to get to the other rides. Now Yamen and I have a lot of experience with Disney world. And I have been very often in the last few years. I know while the border was closed, Yasin couldn’t come quite as often to see some of the new Hollywood studio stuff, but we keep up to date on it. We’re reading articles all the time. We’re messaging each other saying, Hey, did you hear about this? And into this trip, we were like, okay, we have a group of eight. So how do we make sure we get on everything we wanna get on with a large party where, you know, people have different walking speeds, we, which is important at Disney world to know ,

Yasmine (07:41):
I’m a slow Walker. Nicole’s fast,

Nicole (07:43):
I’m a super fast Walker. And I tried really, really hard to stay behind. And I’m sorry if I stepped on anyone’s feet doing that.

Yasmine (07:50):
No, no, not at all. I had terrible blisters though. So that added to my slowness

Yasmine (07:56):
Be careful shoes. Yeah, go ahead.

Nicole (07:58):
Sorry. The thing is we know all of those things going in because we have a learned history of it, right? Mm-Hmm we have experience with Disney world. We knew going in that we were going to have to have a park strategy side note. If you do not know these things and do not wanna spend hours and hours at rating websites and blogs and all of that, go see wish upon a planner.com. They have everything that you need to learn all of these things. So that plug aside, basically what we’re getting at here is that the learning curve from someone who has not been to Disney, I’d say in the last four years, because I mean, in the last two years, a lot has changed. And someone who doesn’t even know about the fast pass system that used exist is going to have a really different experience at the parks than someone who does have that research done.

Nicole (08:47):
Because if you don’t know you’re gonna come into the park and you’re going to act like it’s like six flags or Cedar point or something like that, where you walk in, you’re like, okay, which rollercoaster are we going on first? And then you kind of just decide based on the one that’s tallest in your area or your field of view or what you’re closest to you can’t do that at Disney world, the very popular rides, the low capacity rides, they fill up really fast. There’s a whole strategy around getting to the, a park before it opens. And we’re not talking about like 10 minutes before it opens. I went to magic kingdom alone a few weeks ago. And the posted opening time was nine o’clock, but eight 30 was the time if you’re staying at the resort. So I got there at 7 45. I was in the first like five rides of the mine train because I had got on there so early. And I was ahead of the whole pack. That is not something that someone who has never been to Disney before is going to know that the park actually starts walking guests through it before the official opening time. So how, you know,

Yasmine (09:47):
That’s the thing, Nicole, like, there’s so much about planning a Disney vacation that you have to actually seek out yourself. Like we had another, I don’t wanna say it was an issue, but something that we discovered, which was a good thing, which was our room reservation. So when we had planned out the trip, obviously like we booked the rooms months and months in advance before we even knew who was coming. So I had everything in my name. I had a, I had a call with someone from member services, from Disney vacation clubs, our service team. And they were like, oh, like you’re on all these retreats or you’re on all these reservations. You know, it’s a good thing that we’re chatting because it, our system will occasionally go through and delete duplicate reservations if you have them for the same time and same date, basically, and the same person on the lead reservations.

Yasmine (10:35):
So they, thankfully at that point we knew who was coming and I was planning on updating the reservations anyway. So I did it at that time, but we could have potentially lost our reservations. And I would’ve had no idea because I was just holding rooms for an upcoming trip. So there’s like so many things that like aren’t published and out there, which can create like a frustrating customer service experience. It doesn’t really does try to onboard you with, I would say the basics, like they start using their language. As soon as you sign up for a vacation, they send you emails and stuff. But if you want to Disney, like we Disney or like most, you know, diehard, Disney fans of Disney, you gotta do a lot of digging on your own.

Nicole (11:14):
We actually ran into that situation with canceled two rooms in the same name issue. We thought we ran into it with the group event I went to in November where room just disappeared and we couldn’t find it. And my client was on one room and they thought maybe she canceled the other one because her name was on two rooms and ended up being fine. But if we hadn’t have had that situation earlier, I wouldn’t have known that I should add my name to it immediately to have a second name on the reservation. And I’m glad I did because they might have canceled. So really what we’re getting at is when you book a Disney vacation, you get your order confirmation email, maybe like, I wanna say, two, three weeks later, you might get something in the mail that kind of walks you through like, oh, here’s all the pretty like Disney pixie dust things.

Nicole (12:04):
But in that guide, it’s more about like, here are things you can do. And it te it tells you about certain rides and it is customized to the ages of people, your group. So it, it does show different things in the book based on who you’re traveling with, but it doesn’t give you this information about parks open a little bit early. Here are the rides you should run to first. It doesn’t give you that. And so the difference in customer experience between someone who’s getting the marketing materials from Disney who say, buy this to upgrade your trip. That’s what a lot of the, an emails come to be versus someone who’s like, Hey, if you really wanna make this vacation magical, you need to think about, you know, make a plan for your favorite rides. Like they don’t need to come out and advertise things that they do for crowd control, like the parks opening earlier or anything, but they could suggest for people who plan their days, right?

Nicole (12:55):
Which part of the park do you wanna go in first, if you’re an adventurer, you might wanna go do these things. And so what we’re really getting at is that you, as a business owner, as a digital business owner, as a service provider, as a product seller, when someone purchases from you the most open email is their order confirmation. In that order confirmation, you should have something that helps them use the thing they just bought. It helps reduce buyers remorse. It helps them get right into using whatever it is. If it’s a product, maybe it’s a, Hey, we know you don’t have this in your hands yet, but you know, here’s a video of how to use it when you do have it in your hand. So just thinking about these things, because the better the experience is the less likely they will be unhappy with their purchase. The more likely they’ll know how to use it when they get it. And the more likely they are to share it with somebody else, like, Hey, this was actually really useful because they know how to use that thing. And you can’t make assumptions about how, how much people know.

Yasmine (13:56):
Yes. And I have great examples of that. So I have one client whose audience tends to like, err on like a little older side. And, you know, when we set up a lot of her programs, I made sure to pick, you know, the most user friendly layouts for things made sure that everything was re really easy to follow yet. Early on, I still got questions about, you know, where to find downloads or where to find certain things. And it made me realize that just because like, I can look at this, someone who grew up with the internet and technology, like I was, I was coding websites and HTML when I was 17, I thought it was so cool. Those days, my back year boys

Nicole (14:36):
For and pages on, oh my gosh,

Yasmine (14:37):
I did end sync I did sync. Yeah. Are you tired of throwing spaghetti at the wall or chasing every shiny new trend in the business world because you think it’s gonna completely overhaul your business, but ends up going

Nicole (14:55):
If you are, or if you’re trying to be more focused in 2022 as one of your goals this year, and you wanna stop squirrel syndrome from good then and go to pixiedustinandprofits.com/squirrel, where we’ll teach you all about how you can get more focused in your business, but focusing on six areas that are all completely different and you can focus on them one at a time, we walk you through what they are, how to check in with where you are right now, how to brainstorm the things that you should be working on. And also we hold you accountable to it with a little Hmm. Pledge . And so if that sounds good to you go download our squirrel syndrome workbook at pixiedustinandprofits.com/squirrel

Yasmine (15:38):
Yeah. So like we had we had like, I have the skillset and it’s really dumb. And frankly, ignorant to me to assume that like everyone else views, you know, the internet the same way that I do. So what we ended doing was creating a little like welcome video. And it’s me like Yasin because I’m the person who you know, is in the inbox, answering all the emails and helping them out, walking them through how to use their program. And we’ve gotten few requests in the inbox. In fact, I think like the last time I got a request was like one, a couple months ago, but people are just able to navigate it. You, cause I just created a two minute, little tutorial video about where they can find everything and those little things help people use a product more. And the more that they use it, a the more satisfied they’re gonna be and B the more likely that they’re gonna purchase more from you. So the things that you can do to help facilitate use of your product with your customer are definitely backend business operation items that you should invest time in.

Nicole (16:39):
Yeah. The difference between someone who arrives at Disney world with a magic band already on their arm, able to get right into their room without having to navigate the app, to figure out how to open the door and the person who’s at the front desk saying, I got a text that my room is pretty, but I don’t know how this works. Mm-Hmm, completely different experiences. Someone who walks into the park and knows to hit that magic band on the turn style mm-hmm versus the one who, you know, has a carded ticket or has to go to the guest experience building to turn in their piece of paper, to convert their tickets into things they can use. Time is experience at Disney. If you are waiting in line for customer service, you are not on a ride. So just thinking about that in terms of your products, your purchase sequence, your welcome sequence, how can you help people use your things easier?

Nicole (17:37):
Can you look at maybe your lead magnets and think reread them? How long ago did you put them up and set them up, reread them, see if they make sense, see if someone can actually put pen to paper and do the thing you’ve explained to them. I can give an example of, I think the best way to do this when you have a really complicated product or a very expensive product is to have a whole sequence of emails that go to them after purchase. So the, and my goal is always in every email you teach one thing, don’t put everything in one email, or it’s a super long chain. Yes. You can do that at the end. After you have explained each individual piece, and you can say, Hey, here’s a recap of all four things we’ve already taught. You just keep this one email.

Nicole (18:20):
So you have them all handy. You can do that, that at the end, but don’t do it at the beginning because you’re gonna completely overwhelm them one thing at a time. The first thing it’s just like, think about it in kindergarten when you’re teaching kids how to do their papers, right? What’s the first thing. Write your name at the top. That’s one email. The next one is, oh, you need to draw a picture that you want to just share in your story. We’re just drawing the picture. We’re not writing the words. That’s the second email. Draw your picture. 30 email. Okay. Let’s think about what we wanna write. Fourth email, write it. Fifth, email typo, edit it. You know, so think about breaking things down in that kindergarten level. And it’s not because your audience is just doesn’t understand or they’re stupid or anything like that.

Nicole (19:07):
They’re encountering a new product. They’re in a different brain space. They just spent money. There’s different parts of our brains working when we’re in these transaction modes. So talk to them one thing at a time, teach someone one thing. Don’t try to throw everything at them at once. And you’ll see like Yasmine said, the customers inboxing for you start going down. We actually get emails saying, wow, I thought I was just buying this. And you guys taught me so much more. Your onboarding experience is amazing. I’ve recommended you to my friend because now they know how to do, like, I know how to do this. I can help them with it. And I know that I don’t even have to because you’ve already done the work for me. So those things matter. They’re not things that are sexy. They are not Instagram posts. They’re not, you know, another sale coming in. People don’t buy something. And then sometimes they do go buy something else immediately after if you have like a coupon code in your order confirmation. But you know, those things matter. They build brand loyalty. They build confidence. You want someone feel confident after they buy your product from you, right? Because that confidence, they feel internally translates into how they feel about your product. So this is a no-brainer to us. Make sure that you walk your people through the experience of using your service or your product. Well,

Yasmine (20:27):
We hope you learn from our sort of crazy experience with planning a Disney vacation and about what you can do with your business to really ease the onboarding experience for your customer and really create a positive impact. So they keep coming back. If you don’t follow us on Instagram, we’re @pixiedustandprofits and send us a DM and let us know what you thought about today’s episode. We’d love to hear your feedback, and we’d just love to know what you are doing in your business to improve your onboarding experience.

Nicole (20:59):
And if you want even more insightful tips, or even maybe an outline of what your onboard experience should be like, you should join us on Patreon. You can join us for as little as $5 a month and you get some stickers that are really, really cool. So like that is pixiedustandprofits.com/patreon we’ll link to it on our website. So you should be able to get there. No problem. Thanks so much for joining us and we’ll see you real soon.

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Episode 55: Making Your Offers Fool-Proof

Jan 4, 2022

First-time visitors to Disney World are faced with unfamiliar lingo, important (and unknown) deadlines, and ever-changing rules. Listen now to hear why it’s so important to make your products easy to understand *and* use.

Download Episode 55 transcript right here

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Text us! 207-203-6769 🪄

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Episode 54: Disney+ & Expanding Your Revenue Potential (Transcript)

Dec 21, 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 business. And I’m Nicole.

Yasmine (00:28):
And today we are here to talk to you about how Disney plus leverage home viewings to distribute their theatrical releases and what you can learn from it. So this topic comes up because as of our recording day Scarlett Johannson has actually settled the lawsuit that she had with Disney back in July. If you’re not familiar, let me fill you in on the T so to speak. So Scarlett Johannson sued Disney because Black Widow didn’t actually stay in theaters. As long as I think they initially planned it to pre-pandemic when they shot everything. And as a result, her royalties that would have come from the theatrical release were reduced. So she sued Disney because basically, you know, she didn’t make like the revenue that she was expecting because they distributed it through Disney plus. And she said that that cannibalize, what you could have made from the theater now Disney shot back and essentially said, you know, that’s really uncool because we had to do this to distribute the film because of the pandemic and it wasn’t safe for people to go into theater.

Yasmine (01:30):
So the fact that she’s not taking this into consideration is really sad, which, you know, she came back and said, or her people came back and said like, you know, you’re, you’re twisting this. It’s not about the pandemic, but it’s about you not sticking to the deal. Well, it turns out that they came to a settlement and everything is hunky Dory. She’s still gonna be Black Widow. She’s still going to be working with Disney on upcoming features. And we don’t know what the terms of the settlement are. And we’re not here to speculate about that right now. But what we do want to talk about is how Disney essentially, you know, had all of these movies that were coming up in theaters and the pandemic happened and you know, you couldn’t actually go out and see these movies. They tried postponing them. But when it turned out that, you know, coronavirus was kind of like here to stay back in like 20, 20, 20, 21, they really needed to change something up because their parks were closed.

Yasmine (02:24):
They weren’t bringing in revenue there. Now their fear division and or their movie division is like bringing in like basically $0 from all these blockbusters that were due to come out and they needed to pivot. So they did that with Milan. And we actually talked about this a while back about how, you know, Disney had really great success with offering Mulan on Disney plus as a home premiere. And it, for those of you who don’t have Disney plus, and who’ve not invested in the home premiere, basically you pay Nicole, let me know how much it is in the states, but in Canada it’s like 30 bucks and you get to, Yeah. So it’s about the same. And so you get to watch the movie in the comfort of your own home, which has some benefits. Nicole, why don’t we talk about some of the benefits that came from?

Nicole (03:10):
Yeah. I mean, there’s so many angles to this, between the lawsuit, the pandemic, the whole existence of Disney plus, I mean, come on. I mean, Disney was working on this for years, obviously because they were acquiring things like star wars and Marvel and Nat geo, and they were kind of leading up to this Disney plus, you know, streaming software and how fortuitous of them to have launched it two, three months before the pandemic. So they even had this option. So there’s just so many different facets. We can take this from. So, you know, the lawsuit, she lost revenue because her agreement, it sounds like from what we can get from reports is that she had, you know, a set fee that they paid and then she would get royalties off of the box office numbers in theaters. And because of the way contracts were written, it didn’t include box office releases as the Disney plus release.

Nicole (04:08):
So everyone’s spending $30 to watch Black Widow through Disney plus didn’t necessarily get in her hands. And, you know, there are definitely people who were concerned about the pandemic, or maybe we didn’t have vaccines yet. I don’t know quite the timeframe of when Black Widow came out. I think it was just after people were starting to get vaccinated, at least in the US and state chose to stay home, instead of going to the movies to see this. And she didn’t get a cut that she might’ve gotten have they gone. So that’s, you know, one argument, but on the other side of the table, as someone who doesn’t go to the movies very often, even before COVID because it’s $20 a person and you’ve got to eat a meal beforehand. And if it’s something like Marvel that you can’t bring your kids to, you have to hire a babysitter.

Nicole (04:52):
And it just turns out to be so expensive that I don’t watch the movies until they come out in some other fashion to be able to be rented from Redbox or anything like that. And so there’s revenue coming in from people who wouldn’t have gone to the movies too. So there’s all sorts of ways to look at this. And I think what’s important from a business perspective is making sure your contracts have some wiggle room for how things need to be applied later, but also to not be afraid that if you do break your contract, that that means it’s the end of the world. Clearly they’ve come to a settlement together. They’ve recognized that there were issues on both sides of the table with this, and it’s amicable enough that they’re going to continue working together. I mean, they even mentioned a project for the haunted mansion movie. So they’re, don’t be afraid of contracts. Don’t be afraid of having to change your contracts. They exist. So terms are clear and then there’s mediation when something has to happen. So I think there’s some something to be learned about, like taking a few risks to outside of the comfort zone,

Yasmine (05:59):
For sure. And then the other angle that we want to talk about is you know, a lot of us had to pivot in our businesses. Over the past two years, I can speak to like our experience with pixie dust and profits. I mean, we had our first live scheduled in August actually, no, we had it scheduled in February, but we had to postpone it. And like, frankly it’s because I was a dumb person and thought that, you know, three months after having a baby, I’d be okay to travel and isolate needed to recover from my C-section and everything that went on. So we ended up postponing it to August and that was right smack dab in the middle of the pandemic. And we just, in March, we called them, we didn’t feel safe. We were concerned and sure enough, Disney ended up closing and by August they would have opened up, but it wouldn’t have been the experience. So you want to deliver nor do we necessarily feel comfortable, you know, making everyone come out in the middle of a pandemic, to a house where we all would’ve stayed together

Nicole (06:58):
At that point, vaccines were not even like that. It wasn’t on the horizon. No one knew how long anything would take. I mean, hindsight, maybe I would’ve gone. And if we had masks and we knew how to handle it, but there’s definitely a certain level of comfort that came with hosting an event like this after vaccination happened. And so you have that first, that first pixie dust live, we had to immediately pivot and figure out a new way of,

Yasmine (07:26):
Yeah. And not only did it end up resulting in a different product and a new product, it changed how we ended up doing future pixie dust and profit lives, including the one that’s happening in October will have happened by the time you hear this. So first thing we did was we took the curriculum online. The first retreat was really focused on walking you through a set curriculum that Nicole and I designed, it’s the exact same one that we go through with, you know, our six and seven figure clients. When we have these like focus VIP sessions with them. And it’s really intended to help you work through the current, you know, blocks in your business, get focused and then come up with a plan to actually action, the things that you want to achieve upon. Right? So we delivered that online and ended up being a four week experience instead of like, you know, a three or four day experience.

Yasmine (08:16):
And when it came to actually doing the next VC that’s in profits live, you know, we realized that that was a lot of material to go through short period of time. And you know, it works well maybe when there’s like two of us and one person over a weekend, and we have a ton of follow-up afterwards because part of our existing relationship with our clients. But when, you know, you’re there for like a three or four day period, you’re going to want some support afterwards. So we actually turn that content into a program and pixels and profits live is now focused on community connection and masterminding. So we don’t necessarily follow a set curriculum because in fact, a lot of the ladies attending have already gone through the program. And this way we’re able to really customize what we’re talking about to the challenges are facing in their business right then and there, and work through it together with like Nicole and I, but also as a group. And we get to take advantage of all the fun there is to have the parks and basically have Nicole and IB or tour guides dropping all this Disney knowledge as we walk about magic kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood studios, and animal kingdom. Yeah.

Nicole (09:21):
Yeah. I would say that the first pixie dust lab that we had planned was very curriculum-based and we had it loose. So that way, you know, if it took longer to go over the first few sections, fine, the last sections could be distributed later. But I would say that the pixie dust experience part of that was in the after hours, it wasn’t necessarily incorporated in, it was very much envisioned that we would be together and working together during the day and we’d go have fun at night. And what this has done is it’s brought the program online. And so we can give out pieces of it as needed to these mastermind clients. If they’re in a spot that they need those resources and materials, but the real focus of pixie dust live now has shifted. And it’s the magic is throughout the entire event.

Nicole (10:09):
It’s not just like on the fringes of the event and it’s going to be amazing by the time this ears we’ll have done it. And you’ll probably have a recap episode and you’ll probably have followed along with us on Instagram at pixie Destin profits. But I also want to share a little bit about behind the scenes, just talking about like the contract stuff we talked about earlier. So when we initially sold pixie dust live the pen demic didn’t exist as we knew it when those tickets were sold. And so our terms and conditions stated that we in the event that the event cannot be held to like a similar or related level product would be offered. And so it was already built into the terms and conditions to cover us for a similar level of service. And, you know, three or four days with us with the curriculum we had planned, we did four weeks, lots of coaching.

Nicole (11:00):
We even had one-on-ones with a couple people which weren’t all things that were originally planned, but we really wanted to make sure we brought a magical event to everyone, even though it had to be digital. So we had gifts sent like every other week there was something sent in the mail to everybody because they would’ve gotten gifts in person. And we already had a lot of things ordered at that point. And so, you know, we shifted, even though the contract was in place and something different was the original intent. Everyone was very understanding. And it’s just the lesson that like things can shift and sometimes they have to, and you just get creative and magical.

Yasmine (11:40):
So one other thing that I want to talk about is, as you’re looking at your business and these changes that you made, what’s going to stick around in the future. So I’m gonna pull up an example. That’s very like, [inaudible], I think

Nicole (11:52):
It’s a little related, you’ve got to take an

Yasmine (11:53):
Airplane to get to. Yeah. So back in 2008, when we had the recession, a lot of airlines were underwater because people weren’t traveling as much. And in order to sort of like make back their money, once things picked up, they started like upcharging for everything. And, you know, we’ve actually talked about this in a previous episode, there’s been a bit of nickel and diming at Disney too. So maybe it is a little Disney ish, but essentially what these airports did is like, you know, the extra fees that you pay on some airlines to check your luggage for seat, selection, food, all these things that used to be included in the cost of your fare. Well, it’s all that they are still struggling for profits. When they’re charging you, she stopped people got used to paying for them. So they’re like, well, okay, let’s just continue charging.

Yasmine (12:37):
So, you know, they’re in a position where they needed the money back then and people just stopped objecting and complaining, so they never stopped charging for it. So we don’t necessarily want to be like airlines and like take advantage of our customers. But as you pivot, if you see like the value in an adopted service offering or product, because of the changes you have to make during the pandemic, like taking something virtual you know, even maybe changing up like how you produce your product, because you had issue with sourcing like your goods, because of all the shipping delays and stuff that were happening all over the world, or like closures of factories, w let’s focus on the good that sort of came with it and how we were able to repackage that value to our customers and see how we can implement it in our businesses on an ongoing basis to provide an alternate offer.

Yasmine (13:26):
So example, Disney’s going to continue doing home premiers. Like it’s a no brainer for them. It serves an audience and a market that they probably wouldn’t have reached with theatrical releases in the like historically. And, you know, like Nicole said, parents, for example, being able to like watch it at home and not have to stress about babysitters, my kid crying, or having to go to the stars and strollers showing in the middle of the day where I have to like block off time for work, because that’s the only sort of like social acceptable time to take your baby to a theater because all the kids are crying there. It’s exclusively for parents and small kids. Like that’s a game changer for us. We can just like, watch it at home. And once we have it, we can watch it as many times as we want.

Yasmine (14:06):
And Disney plus, as long as their subscription is still active, but it just, it’s a different offering and they’re tapping into new markets. So what market are you tapping into by bringing your services to a virtual experience or by, you know, changing up how you’re producing things because of having to go through alternate suppliers, let’s investigate that and see what we can stick with moving forward, because, you know, you might be able to bring back like the in-person experience or how you originally delivered your service in the future. Maybe you’re doing it now, but there’s probably going to be an audience for that virtual experience moving forward, because we just got so used to doing everything online.

Nicole (14:45):
I think we can all think of something that we hope doesn’t go away. You know, for me there there’s big things. My child’s getting more outdoor time during the school day that I don’t ever want to see going away. But then there’s also little things like curbside pickup. And not necessarily I don’t use the curbside pickup as much, but I think that just like order ahead for even like mom and pop restaurants and stuff like that, I love it. It also forces me to leave the house to go get my food, but I think it’s really important to keep everything Yasmine set in mind while you’re thinking about the strategies of your product placement of your product development, how you’re going to market these things going forward, because you might, you might keep this in the back of your head while you’re developing products.

Nicole (15:30):
So I’m sure Disney, at some point when things are more back to normal than they already are, they’re probably not going to early release the, you know, rated R or on the borderline titles for the Disney plus early viewing, right? They’re not going to make these choices in a vacuum. They’re going to know in the back of the head hula audiences that ops into the $30 Alexis pass and who the audiences that goes to the movie theater. And so kids titles, I fully anticipate that those are going to be the ones that come out early on Disney plus rather than the theater, right. Families just are a different audience entirely. And maybe they started charging more. I mean, $30 is the price point where it’s about a family of three, right? That’s how much it’ll cost all three of us to go to a matinee showing of the kids’ movie.

Nicole (16:17):
So it’s kind of a postcard, no popcorn, no snacks sneak it in or whatever you need to do. Personally speaking, I love the at-home option because my child gets really anxious about movies. And if I don’t know the movie going in, I can’t really give him a heads up of what might happen, or we can’t really have those discussions until after the movie because something might happen and we can pause it at home and immediately discuss how he’s feeling or anything like that. And at the movie theater, we just don’t have that option. And I think we’ve probably only seen a handful of movies at the theater with him. And so there’s an audience for it and they are going to keep it in mind for every single title. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a line item now that’s like, well, this be an early release. Yes. Now, and they’ll have that discussion early on. And so take the things you’ve learned over the last two years. I can’t believe I’m saying that over the last almost two years, I keep the things that work and keep the things in the back of your head while you were making strategies for your 2022 plans.

Yasmine (17:20):
Well, thanks again for joining us for another episode. You know, we’d love to hear what you change during the pandemic and what you’re keeping in your business as we move forward into 2022. So you can tag us on Instagram, we’re at pixie dust and profits. You can also send us an email, hello at big sales and profits. If you just want to share, or you can send us a text message at 207-203-6769. Yes, it is us your fairy business godmothers on the other line answering any business question, you have a great way to, you know, pick her brains. Even though I kind of hate that phrase. So lastly, if you liked this episode and you want to support us, check out our Patreon, it’s https://pixiedustandprofits.com/patreon. There are multiple ways that you can show your support and even some ways where you can get access to, you know, live Q and A’s with us. So if you want to dig into a topic and a little bit more detail, that’s the best way to do it. Thanks again. And we’ll see you real soon.

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Episode 54: Disney+ & Expanding Your Revenue Potential

Dec 21, 2021

In this episode, we’re discussing how Disney+ is leveraging home viewings to distribute their theatrical releases. Listen now to hear how you can appeal to different audiences by expanding your current offerings.

Download Episode 54 transcript right here

Check us out on Patreon!

Text us! 207-203-6769 🪄

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Episode 53: Disney Rule-Breakers and Business Boundaries (Transcript)

Dec 8, 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 (00:25):
Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of pixie dust in profits. I’m Nicole and I’m joined by Yasmine. Hi, and today we’re going to be talking about bad situations and people who break the rules, so, and ruin it for everyone else. Yeah, we might get a little ranty. So here’s the, here’s the situation, the DL or the T I don’t know. I feel really old when I go on Tik TOK and Instagram and you know, anytime now, so I don’t know what we’re calling it now, but basically Disney has policies in place to help people with disabilities to help parents who have young kids and to be able to get on rides. So each person can get on the ride and where there’s a will. There’s a way, and people will abuse some of these policies that are put in place really to protect the company and also to protect the experience for customers.

Nicole (01:17):
So one of the ones, I mean, I’ve used both of these extensively, so I might talk a bit about both of them, but Ryder swab is a program that’s available for people who are traveling with children, usually young children, but it doesn’t have to necessarily be young children who you know, there are long lines at Disney World. So I’ve used, writer’s swap a handful of times. And basically what it is is one person waits in line, and you’re all kind of connected together through your magic bands. And after they ride the ride, while the other parent stays with the child, you can then swap. And the parent who had stayed with the child while the other was waiting in line, can then go on the ride by using the fast pass land, which is now lightning lane. So hopefully rider swap is still the same, but the system is great because we’re a family of three.

Nicole (02:08):
We have a child who doesn’t really want to go on big rides and we still want to do some of the headliners like flights of passage or the seven doors mind train. And so we just kind of do this, this swap, and it even worked for Rise of the Resistance, which was amazing because we were really worried. We, we did get our boarding group and we weren’t sure if we’d both be able to ride and or if we both have to wait that hour, wait, when you get in. And it was really nice. I let him come in through like the lightning lane, because I mean, we could have been waiting two hours between the two of us trying to get on one ride. So it’s a great program. And then there are people who abuse it because the way the program is set up, you can have a certain amount of people.

Nicole (02:46):
So let’s say you have a teenager and a young child and the young child doesn’t want to go on. Dad goes on with the teenager and then mom or other dad goes on with the teenager again, when they get to go on, because someone had to stay with the younger child and you could have, I think it was up to four people that you could do that with. And so that sounds great until people start abusing it and making paid systems, you know, going into probably Facebook groups or any other sort of like underground knowledge network of finding people to connect with. So they could like kind of skip through all the lions by, you know, being this group together. And so, because it was getting so abused, Disney has now brought it down to, I think, two or three people max allowed on the rider swap program and, you know, necessary evils that, you know, hurt families that do have, you know, 5%, 6% families all because some people were abusing the system. So

Yasmine (03:45):
Another offering of Disney that gets abused quite often is the Disney accessibility service, which is essentially a pass that you get. If you have some sort of like neuro disorder or you know, disability that inhibits you from waiting in line for a really long time. So in the past, it was frequently offered to people who are in wheelchairs before things were a little bit more wheelchair accessible and what ended up happening where these, you know people in wheelchairs would basically hire themselves out to families who just didn’t want to wait. So they would join their party. The family would pay a fee and they would just then get FastPass access to every line. Essentially. In fact, I think that there’s even like a separate there’s a separate line for people who were in wheelchairs.

Nicole (04:38):
So again, I have experience with this. I have, I’m a disabled mom who has come with me on many trips and I do want to profess and say that Disney, can’t ask you what your disability is when you’re asking for this. So the people who were abusing this, maybe they were in a wheelchair maybe they didn’t actually need a wheelchair. Maybe they were, you know, I don’t want to say this is like hugely prevalent, but there was enough of a problem that Disney had to do something. It’s also for people who aren’t in a wheelchair. So in my mom’s case, in particular, she has usher syndrome, which is reduced hearing and vision. And especially the bigger problem for us when we’re at Disney World, is that she can not see in dim lighting. And if you’ve ever been to Disney, most of the lines are in the dark or inside to keep you cool because it’s Florida and dimly lit.

Nicole (05:30):
So she can’t actually see in the lines. And then when you add that to crowds and cue lines that are snaked around, zig-zaggy, it can just get really difficult for her to navigate. And then of course, people behind you get frustrated that you’re taking a while. And so that’s why in our case, we, we get the disability pass and they can’t ask you what is wrong with you? So she wouldn’t say I have usher syndrome them. We basically just have to tell them what kind of accommodations we need and why we need it. So it’s not necessarily why we need it, but we have to tell them like, well, we can’t navigate dark lines or dark situations that are dark. So, you know, the fantastic show for example, happens in the dark. We need to be able to use the disability line to be able to safely get to a seat. So she’s not tripping over things. Or, I mean, there have been times where we’ve bumped into people and small children are everywhere at Disney world. So it’s her biggest fear that she’s going to end up hurting somebody because she can’t see them. And so that’s why we need that pass. So people, whether they actually had disabilities or not were, you know, offering these services for up to, you know, eight people to be able to go through the disability line of the rides. So they changed the system entirely.

Yasmine (06:49):
Yeah. So it, first of all, they made sure that more rides were accessible via like wheelchairs and stuff. So by default being in a wheelchair no longer makes you eligible for the Disney access pass. Unless there are other things at play, but now it’s actually incorporated into the Disney genie service. So you no longer have to go wait in line, talk to a cast member and get a pass. There’s actually you know, it’s incorporated into the app right now. We’re still not a hundred percent clear on like what the process is because they haven’t launched it yet, but you will be able to request your Disney accessibility service through the genie app in the future, which probably streamlined things for a lot of families, because you’ll know in advance, if everything is like sorted and ready to go, and you can just go in and enjoy the parks,

Nicole (07:46):
I’m sure because the way that it was for a while after they made the first changes to the program where that you would have to go to guest services before you enter the park on your first day. And so you’re, you know, arriving at the park and then waiting at guest services, which isn’t a very fun experience and your entire party needed to be there. So that way they could link your magic bands together to be able to use the service. And so you know, at the end of the day, it really helps. So we are willing to wait the hour in line at guest services to make sure that this happens, but it does like put a damper on your first day, especially if you’re a rope drop person, but it also utilize the fast pass system previously. So what they would do is you’d have to go walk up to the fast past cast member and say, you know, I have the access pass and here are the two people that are, you know, gonna wait with me.

Nicole (08:39):
And so they would give you a return time and you could only have one access pass at a time. So what that did was really cut down the people who were, you know, jumping from one ride to the next ride, to the next ride, to the next ride and getting past this for everything kind of, you know, walking right on. And I won’t say that it is walking right on. There are, there’s a different queue sometimes, and you do have to wait and sometimes you have to ride in a certain car. So you have to wait for the cars to come around or the last scooter to get out. But basically they gave you a return time. So if you wanted to go on slinky dog, you still had to wait 45 minutes to an hour. You just, weren’t waiting in the line, you were waiting in the area or getting something to eat or something like that, which is still a convenience.

Nicole (09:22):
Being the daughter of two disabled parents, it, I know how much longer it can take to navigate a park when you have someone in a scooter and so on with a walking cane. And so there are trade-offs yes, we can sit and eat while we wait for our access paths to come up. But it also takes us a lot longer to get from the resort to the ride than an able-bodied person. And so I just like to say that just for awareness, for others who may look at someone in a scooter and think, oh, it must be nice that you just didn’t get to walk into the line. There’s a lot of work that goes into the other stages of it.

Yasmine (10:01):
So what can we take away from this, for our own businesses and even business? Well, it looks like the key thing that Disney did was they put rules or in other words, boundaries around how their offerings can be used. So one thing we want to ensure is with every service that you’re putting out, or even expectations around customer service with product based businesses, do you have boundaries and are you managing expectations upfront? The thing is, is not, everyone’s going to be super happy about it, but people can get mad at you over having boundaries if you state them upfront. You know what I mean? Like, cause if you save these boundaries and rules upfront, so might not be happy with it, but they can’t fault you for it because you’ve warned them, how things are going to go. So doing things like setting boundaries on when you’ll respond to emails, when you’ll be available in office you know, how long people have access to certain programs, services, and offerings with your products, setting expectations around how many of a certain thing they can order.

Yasmine (11:02):
You know, if you’re worried about people buying things up and reselling it, there’s many ways that you can put these like rules and boundaries in place. Another way that you can put some rules and boundaries in place is with respect to like refunds and your policies around that. You know, it’s with digital product sellers or people who sell info products in particular, you know, the concept of refunds can be a little bit challenging. Cause like once someone has that knowledge, it’s not like a product that they’re returning that you can take back. Like they can read through something and then come to you and request a refund. And well, that kind of sucks because they took that knowledge probably to do something about it, but you’re not being compensated for it. Oh,

Nicole (11:42):
We’ve actually worked with someone who has a digital download product shop. It’s the contract shop. We’ve mentioned Christina before she was a guest on the podcast. And if you listened closely is also the intro audio for the podcast. So she sells digital templates and has a 14 day, any reason refund policy, which means if you download a legal template and you feel like, oh, this just doesn’t fit my business, no questions asked, just fill out the refund form and they’ll work with you to make sure you get refunded, but then 14 days. And you know, that’s kind of unheard of with digital products. Most people are like, no refunds. You’ve, you’ve downloaded it, that’s it you’re done. I’d really encourage you if you have that mindset to think about it in terms of it’s about your customers and what makes them feel more comfortable and telling them upfront, we have this 14 day, any reason refund policy actually makes me more comfortable with you and more trustworthy of you and knowing that, okay, if I download this, it’ll be okay is a really powerful motivator for a sale.

Nicole (12:47):
And also if they buy the wrong thing, they’re not worried about it. Cause they can just say, I think that this was the wrong one. Can you point me to the right one? And there’s some great conversations that come out of that. So if you are a digital product seller, that could be courses that could be templates that could be info products or anything like that. I highly encourage you to go to go to refund recogn.com that is Christina and the contract shops product helping you set up your own type of 14 day. Any reason refund policy in a way that protects you as the business owner, but also sets things up really well for your customers as well. So refund policies are a huge area to put boundaries in place, but there are also other things you can do. Well,

Yasmine (13:32):
One thing we didn’t mention Nicole is how Christina still protects her business while offering such a great refund policy. And that is that she requests that anyone who wants a refund signs, an affidavit saying that they won’t use the product. So once they get, before they get their money back, they have to send back a form stating that they will not use the contract in question. And the team does run audits to ensure that people are, you know, are adhering to their affidavits. And then they refund their money. So the other way you can also go about things is if you are hesitant to offer refunds as sometimes like a product, just like isn’t a fit for someone it’s not what they expected or it’s not what they necessarily needed and that’s not necessarily a reflection of what you’re offering.

Yasmine (14:18):
It’s just, sometimes there’s a disconnect there I’ve seen, like where refund policies do exist is, you know, you require someone to at least do some work and show some work. In order to show that they attempted to implement at least like a module or something and it just didn’t work out for them. And at least that point, you know, they’ve given it the good old college try and it’s just not working out for them and Elise, you know that they’re not just like signing up for the course for the sake of like taking everything and then like walking away just wasn’t a fit. That’s another way that you can offer a refund. And one or two of my clients actually do implement that for their courses will give the 21 day refund guarantee. They just need to show that they attempted to do the work and it just wasn’t a fit for them.

Nicole (15:06):
The other thing you can do for putting boundaries in places, especially with like service providers, is to see your hours, your working hours and your open office hours, because as a service provider or coach or anything like that, you may work outside of your stated working hours or your office hours. But that does not mean you are available to notifications and emails and responding to clients and all of that noise, right? So you can have working hours and you can have office hours and they are different. They’re as simple as in Gmail, you can schedule your emails in Gmail. So if you are working on the weekend, schedule that email to go out Monday morning. So that way you’re not sending the message that, Hey, I work weekends and it’s okay to contact me on the weekend because you know, you know, I’m here.

Nicole (16:00):
So there are things you can do to put better boundaries in place for your own mental health, but also to train clients because you know, as service providers, we can often teach your clients bad habits by, you know, responding immediately to their needs and concerns and you know, not giving them enough time to think through what their request was or to find a solution on their own. And also to help them run businesses that are meant to be long-term businesses. Hopefully at some point grow with employees because you’re not available 24 7. And that’s what happens when you scale it. You need to build systems that, you know, take care of things when people aren’t available. So these are a couple ways that you can put boundaries in your business.

Yasmine (16:43):
And just to add to that, like legally as a contractor, you get to set your own hours. A client can not tell you when to work. If they do that, tactically makes you an employee. And there is a whole bunch of like IRS paperwork that comes with that. So if that helps and like gives you the permission to set boundaries and places you set your hours. And the thing is, is I think we tend to stress about the fact that like, oh, if they don’t think I’m available, they don’t think I’m committed. But I would say like, I don’t want to say all, but most clients are pretty reasonable people. You tell them like, Hey, this is what I’m available. You can’t get to this because you know, I have to pick up my kid or I have this other commitment or an existing meeting. They’re going to understand, because again, they understand they hired a contractor, not employee, and there is a limit to like what they’re paying you for.

Nicole (17:36):
Yeah. And I would say in this industry, especially women owned businesses, more understanding than other in, because I’ve been a contractor for corporations before and for nonprofits. And while they’re understanding, they definitely have their working hours. So they kind of expect consultants to be available during those working hours too. But for this women owned industry of small businesses I feel totally comfortable on an intro call or in the middle of the day, just saying to a client, thanks, read your message. I will be able to get to that later this week, as a reminder, I pick up my child at X time and then we spend two hours together before I come back to my computer, you know? And for the most part, people are really understanding of it because that’s why they built their business for flexibility and to live by their own schedule.

Nicole (18:26):
So, you know, if they’re too rigid and don’t want their contractors to also live by the same lifestyle, then maybe it’s not a value of their business, or maybe they need employees, you know, and that’s perfectly understandable too. We’re not trying to say that if you don’t honor that people have different working times that, you know, you have an inflexible business or anything, it just might mean you need more employees. And also I want to say like, yes, as an independent contractor, you should be able to choose your own hours. There’s a variety of things that the IRS looks at to see if someone is technically an employee or not. And that is one of the factors and it is, you know, autonomy over a schedule is a really big factor of it. So having like you must answer the inbox between nine and 3:00 PM.

Nicole (19:12):
Doesn’t mean, you’re saying you must be at your inbox at nine to 3:00 PM working specifically only for me, there, there are different layers to that. So I don’t want you to think, oh no, I have someone on my team that, you know, I expect them to be available between these hours. So are they an employee? Am I going to get in trouble, please? Don’t think that there’s a whole list of questions that you need to go through to see if someone, if the IRS would consider someone possibly an employee. So just want to not make you worry about it. If you, if you heard that in, you were worried. Yeah. So we’d love to hear from you send us a message on Instagram, pixie, dust, and profits. How do you put boundaries in your business? Have you had trouble enforcing those boundaries either because of yourself or because you’ve had some pushy clients cause it happens and yeah, just let us know how our boundaries working for you.

Yasmine (20:03):
So thanks again for joining us for another episode. I’m like Nicole said, in DMs, we’re @pixiedustandprofits, or just check out our Instagram. If you haven’t already to follow us, we share a lot of interesting tips. And a lot of like fun Disney facts. So you don’t want to miss out. You can also join our mailing list, where if you love Disney gifts, we have them in spades. And that’s magic.pixiedustandprofits.com. And lastly, if you enjoyed this episode and you’d want to support us, please check out our Patreon. We have a few to show surprises and behind the scenes bonuses there for our loyal listeners and we’re at pixiedustandprofits.com/patreon, All these links will be in the show notes below. Thank you again. And we’ll see real soon.

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Episode 53: Disney Rule-Breakers and Business Boundaries

Dec 7, 2021

If you have pushy customers that don’t respect your policies, listen now to hear how you can place strong boundaries in your own small business so that you aren’t being taken advantage of. 

Download Episode 53 transcript right here

Refund Recon

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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 pixiedustandprofits.com/shop 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 magic.pixiedustandprofits.com. 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 pixiedustandprofits.com/patreon. 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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Episode 52: Jungle Cruise & The Quest for Continuous Improvement

Nov 23, 2021

Continuous improvement is a hallmark of the DisneyParks brand. We’ll cover what changes have been made and why. Skip(per) on over to hear why it’s important to always be thinking about small tweaks and changes you can make in your own small business.

Download Episode 52 transcript right here

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Episode 51: Galactic Starcruiser: Pricing Out Your Audience (Transcript)

Nov 9, 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):
Welcome to this week’s episode of pixie dust and profits. Last week, we talked about pricing, pricing, audiences out nickel and diming what the new annual pass changes. And we’re going to continue that conversation a little bit right now with the galactic star cruiser, which is Disney’s latest hotel. It’s opening this spring, cross your fingers. And who knows if that timeline will stay intact, but it is a Star Wars-themed hotel where you arrive. It’s kind of like a cruise ship. It’s like a two-night excursion. Everyone arrives at the same time you get on the star cruiser together. And when you’re in the star cruiser, you were in a composed elite experience. You are a part of a star wars mission. There are rebel spies. There are you look out the windows and you’re actually looking into space because they have the windows framed with technology.

Nicole (01:24):
It sounds really, really cool. They’ve also teased stuff like lightsabers that actually open like the lightsabers in the movies. It sounds amazing. We knew that this would be a pretty penny, right? We’ll get to the pennies in a few minutes, but man, this is something that we wanted to do, but us both being introverts. I think we were kind of along the lines of, we would do this together. We’d get our spouses and we would come together. Like this sounds like something that would be really fun to do as a group. I don’t know that this is something I would do solo. My husband really wants to do this cause he’s into anything star wars. It includes experiences like landing and going into Galaxy’s edge and getting rides on rise. The resistance in the millennium Falcon also like building your own drawings and things like that.

Nicole (02:19):
So I’m going to come to that in a little bit, but let me reveal the price and remind you, this is two nights. This is like half a day at night, a full day, a half a day. And then get out on your way because we have another galactic star crew that needs to take off $5,000 starting. So for two people in a cabin it’s price like a cruise, right? Two people in a cabin, it is like $4,800, which comes to like $1,200 a night per person. If you’re going, you know, just you and your spouse, if you have, you know, three guests, it’s like $5,300. So the price goes up, but it goes up a little bit less with more people because you’re essentially only adding food, but you know, just for simplicity sake, once you add in the tax, the cheapest, this is going to be as $5,000 for two nights, no Yasmin and I both own Disney vacation club.

Nicole (03:18):
And I will say that I started with the vacation club contract. We sold that we bought a bigger contract so we could stay in bigger rooms and for longer stays, there’s all sorts of strategies when it comes to Disney vacation club and $5,000 for two nights is insane to me. When I bought into a program that, you know, my first contract, I think we spent about $12,000 for a hundred points that let us stay at a deluxe resort for, you know, five, six nights a year or so. And for 50 years, you know? So it’s like, I can’t even wrap my mind around two nights for $5,000. Even if every single drink and meal is included. And if you don’t drink that, when they say like, oh, drugs included, like that really just makes me feel like I’m paying for something I’m not getting, but wow. I’m just going to let $5,000 sit in your head. What could you do with $5,000 over two days

Yasmine (04:19):
Just to speaking about drinks, like it’s only one alcoholic beverage per meal that’s included where available. So it’s not even like unlimited

Nicole (04:27):
And then like a cruise ship that it’s just like, you get some

Yasmine (04:30):
That’s how Disney rolls. Yeah. Like if you want additional drinks, you could allow us that’s like extra, but yeah,

Nicole (04:36):
My seven-year-old says you get what you get and you don’t get upset.

Yasmine (04:41):
I love that. I’m going to steal that. Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s kind of like we knew it would be this expensive, but it didn’t really sink in until they announced the pricing. And again, keep in mind, this is during the low season, so it’s going to get even pricier. They say like, this is for voyage departure dates, most weeknights from August 20th, 2022 to September 17th, 2022. So this is,

Nicole (05:04):
That’s such a good catch. I didn’t even see that in the, in the little disclaimer text, because if you know, Orlando at all the off season is August 20th to mid September because kids are in school is hurricane season. Yeah. So it started, there we go. It starts at $5,000. And I think, okay. The thing that I think that made me most frustrated with this is that we had considered it, especially with the huge star wars fan in the house before we saw the pricing. But then when you start looking at the inclusions or like the, basically it’s like a cruise itinerary, but it’s all star wars themed. We started looking at it and it was like, you know, have a meal in the Cantina and all sorts of things, you know, Jedi academy and all that. They’re all things that already existed at Disney parks.

Nicole (05:52):
It felt like they were kind of disjointed a lot of them at Hollywood Studios. Like I can go a droid, I can go build a lightsaber Hollywood Studios. I think the thing that, like, there wasn’t anything that felt new and special in that itinerary because it was just experiences that they’ve already had in the last however many years. And they’ve just kind of mushed them together to happen here. And maybe they won’t happen anymore where they did before. Maybe they’re exclusive to the galactic star cruiser now, but when you’ve gone to Disney long enough that, you know, what a star wars weekend is, it’s like, what did you do? Just take star wars weekend and put it inside the galactic dark cruiser and try to sell it to me again for $5,000. So some of those things really played into how I felt about the pricing, but we know people are gonna buy it.

Yasmine (06:38):
Yeah. And like the things that make this experience unique and a little bit different from a cruise ship is like, you actually get to participate in a story there’s a storyline. So like the cast members that you interact with their actors and characters in the story, you know there are even like baked in story moments in your experience where something’s going to happen. Maybe you have to smuggle something or go on an adventure to retrieves something special. So they’re trying to make it unique and you’re really role-playing during that weekend. So I think to consider as like, if you are going to go with kids, like you kind of want them to be old enough to like really get the most out of the experience. Nicole and I talked about like, you know, going with our husbands and leaving the kiddos at home because you know, your son might be like that old enough age to participate. But like my daughter is like not even two yet, so

Nicole (07:27):
Yeah. Yeah. He would probably be able to participate, but he’s also very like, he just be overwhelmed in that situation. You know, he might be tall enough to go on space mountain, but to get them on the teacups is a challenge in and of itself. So, you know, it definitely plays into the temperament of your family and the age ranges. And for that much money, I’d want to make sure everyone was going to have the best time of their life. Because when you start converting that into two zeros or a couple of nights at the Disney, the Grand Floridian, you know, it’s like, okay, I could spend $5,000 for, I say two nights, but it’s like half a day, day, half a day. You know, it’s, it’s not even like three full days. It’s two nights, two days and you could stay at, you could stay at any resort at Disney for much longer than two days because that’s the other part of this too.

Nicole (08:22):
It’s like, you’re not going just for this. If you were traveling from Canada from New England and you’re trying to come down to Orlando, you are not taking a flight staying for two nights and then taking a flight home, you were staying for at least five days. I’d say to get the most out of like the travel time it takes to get there. So not only is this $5,000 for just one part of your trip, then you’re going to plan the other part. You got to buy the park tickets. So you got to buy the, I don’t know, it’s just, it, it easily turns what was probably like a $5,000 week long trip into something that would be like 12, $13,000. And gosh, that’s a vacation, but you know, we’re, I’m kind of harping on it a little bit, but there are people who will buy this.

Nicole (09:07):
And you know, when you think about your business, you need to think about your value ladder. You know, you start with the low tier offer, usually it’s free or entry-level, our podcast is a great example. You can access this for free. If you want some extra time with us, then you can be one of our Patreon subscribers and you can get a little bit more from us, right? And that’s at a low there’s different price points there. It’s at a low, you know, it’s the first level of the ladder and it goes up and up and up until you reach pixie dust live, where you get unlimited one-on-one time with us for days, and also get some fun Disney experiences out of it. Right? So Disney knows that this is probably going to be in high demand. You know, it’s going to be the dual income. Child-Free, it’s going to be the lifelong star wars fans who have been waiting for this forever. And maybe the price will come down in a few years after demand dies down. But right now they’re going to find people who are up at that top tier level of wanting an offer like this.

Yasmine (10:09):
Yeah. And it’s, it seems like a one and done experience too. Like it’s not something that you probably do more than once, which is probably something else they factor into the price point. But what’s interesting. It looks like it’s just the same story over and over again. So at some point they’re probably going to refresh the story and the experience to get people to come back. So yeah, it’s, it’s an interesting product. Like, are we going to do it? I want to say no, I might have to try to like talk Nicole into it in like a year and say, we need to do it for a research for the podcast. And do like a couples trip or something, but it’s definitely not like something that’s like an easy, yes.

Nicole (10:55):
I’ve never been a person who wanted to do a cruise, but you know, we’ve had a lot of interactions with people who have made me realize, okay, the cruises might be better than they sound like. The idea of being trapped around the water has never been my cup of tea. So I’ve been warming up to the idea of a Disney cruise and this is even more expensive than that. So you might have to really sweet talk me. I don’t know if there’s enough market research, maybe it’s just, I’m not a big enough star wars fan. I enjoy star wars. I, I will, you know, blast for me say, I really liked the new trilogy better than the original trilogy. But yeah, I may, maybe

Yasmine (11:38):
It’s like, it’s sort of like one of those experiences, like in Disneyland you can actually like eat at Baltz apartment above what does the parts of the Caribbean? And it’s like a thousand dollars per person and you need at least like people or something to partake in it. So it’s like, one of those is like once in a lifetime sort of like Disney experiences where you’re probably not going to do that again. But like for the sake of like being able to hang out in this exclusive place that not a lot of people really get to go to and have like an incredible like meal, you know? Yeah. You figure out a way to make it work again. Not for everybody. Definitely not for a lot of families. Like this is, this is like a birthday, Christmas and like a Persian. So Persian new year trip for like three years wrapped into one, you know, and this is huge. So it’ll be interesting to see like what the uptake is like reservations haven’t opened yet. You can’t really book it just now as far as we can tell. And I’m curious to see,

Nicole (12:36):
I don’t know if they’ll have any assets either. They might be anchoring us here in, in this realm. That’s tourist price anchoring us and the most off season off season that can be, maybe they’re just trying to get their feet wet to show us what the real numbers are going to be. If you wanted to say, go in the middle of summer vacation or spring break. I also think, you know, I understand the pricing, we are business people, like you mentioned earlier, this, the cast members need a level of training and acting experience that’s on a different level than the ones that are, you know, helping throughout the parks. I also know crucial. Yeah. And I also know it’s probably quite an expensive operations to turn this over every three days, you know, to, I mean, that’s not a lot of time, so I understand why they like kick you out at 11 o’clock and they need to clean everything to make sure the next group can come in.

Nicole (13:42):
So I do understand like operationally how big of a deal this is, but the pricing is really, really high. It also makes me wonder, like, where are deluxe resorts going? And the pricing schedule little known secret. Maybe if you are staying at the Grand Floridian, the contemporary, any of those big resorts, they do offer discounts all the time call and see if there’s a cash discount. So when you’re on that website and it’s like compared to $600 a night, that is not the price that most people are paying for those rooms. So again like that gets into the promotions here and maybe their pricing anchoring us on these, on these price points, but they’re going to be having some sort of promo once it does release of, you know, book your next trip and get three-day park passes free for, you know, your post trip experience, who knows what they’re going to do.

Nicole (14:37):
I think about that when it comes to pricing your own things, you know if you have something coming soon, getting people ready ahead of time to know what that might be. So they can start planning. I mean, they announced this in like July and the first cruises probably aren’t happening until May, June, possibly, which means, you know, booking, it might not open until February. So you’re telling us in July, we might not be able to book until January or February. You giving us that time to save all this money and to think about it. So if you do have some sort of product or offer that you have coming out soon, or you’re thinking about, and it’s a high ticket offer, leak it as early as possible. So you can get people ready to make that payment to understand what your payment plan system might be. And just go from there.

Yasmine (15:27):
Well, we’re curious to know you go on the Star Wars, Galactic Star Cruiser. If so, you know, hit us up comment at comment on Instagram, we’re @pixiedustandprofits, or if you kind of just want to have a conversation about this text us, I swear, it’s us, your fairy. Godmother’s wait, hold. Is that what it costs your business fairground. Okay. It’s us your business fairy godmothers on the other end. And you can give us a text of 2 0 7-2 0 3-6 7 6 9. And let’s talk about whether this is ridiculous or like absolutely genius. I’m like I’m here for that conversation. You can also sign up at magic.pixiedustandprofits.com to get all of our fun newsletters and emails. Thank you again for joining us for this episode and we’ll see you real soon.

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