The Disney Effect

By Alexis McLain

The Magic Kingdom

The Magic Kingdom is the most well known part of DisneyWorld for its beautiful castle, firework show, and the cast members around the park greeting guests. The park was opened on October first of 1971, and has been open since. Thousands of guests arrive everyday and are all accommodated by "the Disney way" and are left with a positive, lasting memory of their experience at Disney. To achieve this reputation, there are certain guidelines and 'chores' that must be carried out.

Not employees, but cast members

No one who works at Disney is seen as a employee, everyone is a cast member. There is also no "small jobs" at Disney, every one is important, wether they are a sweeper or Cinderella. Every one interacts with guests on a daily basis, but in a different way to make guests feel more welcomed. They use their name in conversation and bend down to talk to the children, take pictures, and send gifts to ill children. All cast members are given a costume to wear and a name tag with their first name on it, a tradition began by Walt Disney. With that, being a cast member at Disney is a very strict job, you are given strict rules that are crucial to achieving the "Disney Effect".For example, cast members are not to point with a single finger, but with an open palm or two fingers. If any member notices trash, they are to 'scoop' it up gracefully. For male cast members, they aren't allowed to have any unkept facial hair or a mustache past the corners of their mouth, Nor are any visible tattoos or piercings allowed for men or women other than the tradition ear piercing on girls. Cast members cannot chew gum, frown, smoke, eat, be on their cell phone, or have bad posture while creating the Disney experience. While these few rules seem strict, cast members understand their importance to the effect Walt Disney wanted to create. If they do not carry out these rules they risk the chance of getting fired.


Disney's service standards are highly looked upon by other businesses such as restaurants,hotels, theme parks, cruises, and more. They are known for the customer care, cleanliness, and creativity. At Disney, they look at business from the guest perspective, giving them more knowledge about what they should change about their service and hospitality standards, as well as make them more attracting to potential guests. Disney has created a list of things to remind cast members what is important when with or handling guests, this way everyone is happy and requests are fulfilled. To further guest satisfaction, Disney has learned to make sure that no question goes unanswered by teaching the cast members to never reply "i don't know" to a guest, but to offer to call a member who does.

The Disney Service Model

  • Smile
  • Eye contact & body language
  • Respect and welcome all guests
  • Value the Magic
  • Initiate guest contact
  • Creative service solutions
  • End with "thank you"

A few of the common Disney Characters-

Disney World

How Disney Has Affected Me

Growing up, i remember coming home from school and watching Disney movies and just getting lost in the fantasy world they created. The stories inspired me as little kid to 'act like a princess' in that you should be kind and loving to everyone you meet. Later in life, I watched some of the less popular ones like Mulan and Pocahontas. These stories have two independent, strong, and courageous women that aren't dependent on anyone to do their work for them. They fought for what they believed in even if no one was with them, being young it can be hard to find your voice and speak up, but watching these movies time and time again it made it to were i realized that its something that you have to do in life to be successful. Disney movies mad it known to me that a princess isn't someone who just stands around, it someone who is independent, strong-minded, brave, and who isn't afraid to fight against unjustness. Being a princess isn't something that you have to be born for, its something that you have to create within yourself.