Orlando? Not so bad.

I have a confession to make.  Over the years, I developed an antipathy to Disney.  When a friend would tell me they were going to Disney – most often with the wife and kids – I’d fein excitement for them, but we both knew I was insincere.  Disney – as middle of the road as one could imagine.  One giant Cracker Barrel.  A huge, overly-hyped mall.  Vegas without the slots.

Well, I’m happy to report that Disney – at least so far – is bringing me surprises.  Yes, the resort we’re staying in has screaming kids at times, but also some charming scenes like the woman at the Boardwalk this evening who said to her two daughters (with all three dressed in matching Micky t-shirts), “Ya wanna go see the enterTAINer?!”

“Yeah,” they screamed in unison, breaking into a trot!  I almost cried.

It was 39 years ago when my family first came to the new Disney World with my grandfather who shuffled his feet.  We enjoyed the ‘rides’ that were more like events: the Haunted House, Space Mountain (no ordinary roller coaster), Swiss Family Robinson and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas…  imagineering.  What a concept.  I remember being amazed then at the stories of how they’d lowered the trees in with helicopters, created all of THIS from swamp land.

Our Director of Photography asked me today, “I heard today Walt Disney had something like 50 square miles and he had a plan for it.  Can you imagine having a plan for 50 square miles?”

I had to confess I couldn’t.   Walt Disney created a legacy that would be very tough to match, but it’s fun to think about how one might try. What would one do with fifty square miles?

Everything in our complex is larger than anything in Texas.  The massive swans, dolphins and clam shells… the fountains, the fireworks at night, the water taxis that can take you through surrounding water areas to destinations unknown…. a realistic looking ‘beach’.  And I haven’t even seen the pool yet.

The service in this place has been fantastic.  No one lets you want for anything.   Service people work as teams.  Everyone is customer-focused. They put enthusiastic inflection into their voices to make one feel extra special.  Each has been well trained.  Disney is to service what France is to food.

It’s (as I remember) spotless.

And, here at the conference, I’ve had a chance to interview some amazing business minds, helping them to share their unique perspectives on how they’re applying advanced technologies.

A man from Norwegian Cruise Lines is helping his company tear down silos to create new outcomes, because his social media -enabled customers demand nothing less.  He even made me want to take a cruise.  OK.  One step at a time.  Disney was tough enough.  But if I were to take a long cruise, I’d want to do it the Norwegian Cruise way.  Free form cruises.  ‘Cruise like a Norwegian!’  I like the concept.

I heard a cool client with an articulate author talk about venturing into social media as a C-level exec.  If you check back here in a couple weeks, I’ll have the link to that video posted.  Let’s just say that was an amazing conversation.  I learned that, as bloggers, we should talk to our friends and we’ll make more friends.

One petro giant is using automation to help optimize its supply chain to deliver more cost efficient ways of delivering liquid fuels.  The fastest growing PC maker is using the same software to free its procurement people up to yes, quantify the bids, but to think more creatively on what is bid out and how.

Our hybrid imported-domestic crew merged and gelled, with an audio guy named Tom showing me that you can say no to the cookies and lose 50 pounds in four months.  I talked to a prospective client about a conference in DC in October.  And, oh, I might be going to Malaysia and/or Shanghai later this month…  yeah, it’s tough being me.

A ‘bar and grill’ dinner with talented colleagues and a chance meeting with a dear former client…  A day in the life…  And all in Orlando.  Who’d have thought?

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2 thoughts on “Orlando? Not so bad.

    • Thanks for the comment! It’s great to now see Disney as the epicenter of customer service in the US. We were further impressed with Shula’s at The Dolphin where the manager assumed we’d be upset with a wait for our table (we weren’t) that he bought us a round of drinks. I’ll look FORWARD to future visits to Orlando!

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