On our first full day vacationing at Disney World, we went for lunch at the Crystal Palace. While we were there, our server presented my daughter Kaylie with a cupcake (complete with lighted candle) and a card signed by the characters she had met that day (Winnie the Pooh and friends).

Now, of course, Kaylie thought this was pretty neat. Lisa and I were even more impressed though, as we hadn’t told anyone at the restaurant that we were celebrating Kaylie’s birthday.

How did they do it?

From the reading I’ve done, I realized that Disney does an amazing job of developing systems to pay attention to such details and it’s from these details that lifelong fans are born. What I suspect happened was that morning when we activated our tickets, the gentleman behind the counter asked if we were celebrating anything. When we told him of Kaylie’s birthday, he did two things:

  1. He gave her a badge with her name on it saying that it was her birthday. From that point on a number of the cast members made a point to wish her a happy birthday.
  2. He entered the information into the Disney information system. Then when we showed up for lunch (with a reservation under our name), we were flagged for special attention.

From that point on it was one vanilla cupcake and a signed pre-printed card (probably costing less than a dollar total) and we were hooked.

From this episode we can see that it isn’t the actual monetary value of the gesture that’s important. It’s just the fact that we (through Kaylie) got that recognition.

And the only way that happened was that Disney had systems in place to support these magical moments.

What systems do you have in place to create moments of magic for those in your network? Do you know birthdays, anniversaries, recent travel? Do you make use of it to make them feel special?

This is how we travel from Awareness to Trust

… we develop those Relationships.