Monday, May 02, 2005

Inside the Magic Kingdom: Disney's Seven Secrets To Success, by Tom Connellan

Inside the Magic Kingdom, by Tom Connellan

Interesting book. I picked it up because I have a friend who is really into all things Disney; he has some great stories about how the park operates and so I thought I’d try this. It was a bit self-helppy for my tastes (populated with lots of shiny happy people) but it was short enough that I didn’t get too tired of it.

The message of the book is similar to Love Is the Killer App—mean people suck. The book argues that every company competes with every other company because everyone deals with customers. If FedEx gives top-shelf phone support to somebody, when that same person calls Time-Warner they are going to expect/desire a similar experience even though they aren’t direct competitors. If you have the best customer support organization on the planet, you’ll be a very successful company. Overstated a bit, but an intriguing thought. I don’t believe that good support makes up for a bad product, but I can certainly see where it will give you time to improve.

The stories about the park I found fascinating: hidden Mickey’s, period clothing (right down to the types of stitches used) on each figure in the Hall of Presidents, the people the tombstones in the Haunted Mansion represent, and so on. The underground areas and mechanics of running the resort are touched on too; I’m told that the behind-the-scenes tours are some of the best the park has to offer. My wife has been bugging me to take the family to Orlando; while I’m still not at all excited about seeing life-sized mute mice again, there clearly is a side to the park I haven’t considered.

First Sentence:
Bill Greenfield stopped at the magazine kiosk outside his building and asked for a copy of Black Enterprise.

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