Disney Parks wants the customer experience to be magical. And because of the large number of touch points that a person may encounter, it is important for the brand to be on top of its customer journey mapping, to understand the process that a visitor might go through, and what their emotional responses may be. For Disney Parks, if its visitors are not enjoying a captivating ‘wow’ experience with the brand, then it is failing in its customer purpose.

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.”

This is something that Walt Disney was keen to instil in his employees. He had a customer experience vision that was focused almost exclusively on the parks’ visitors, leading to an expertise in the pillar of Personalisation that is still visible to this day, with the brand’s score standing at an impressive 14 per cent ahead of the US study average. Disney wanted his employees to be ‘up close and personal’ with his customers, and insisted that they stayed on-site whilst taking their lunch breaks so that they could dine with his guests. He also put together a list of rules inspired by the characters from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, instructing workers to, “Be Happy… make eye contact and smile!” and “Be like Sleepy… create dreams and preserve the magical guest experience.”

“Even miracles take a little time.”

As such, customer journey mapping is important to Disney Parks as it ensures that these aims are met at each and every touch point. One of these is at the entrance to park attractions, where there is the potential for visitors to stand around in long queues as they wait to board the rides, leading to a negative emotional response. The brand identified this as a key touch point on the journey map and addressed it, by making the queuing process a magical part of the overall experience, rather than a painful test of physical and mental endurance.

For example, the queue for the Indiana Jones Adventure ride at Disneyland, California, takes the visitors on a meandering route which starts in a jungle and winds through an ‘underground’ complex of caves, mineshafts and temple ruins. There are also carefully-integrated videos on the walls which tell customers to ‘take heed,’ as well as footage of other people enjoying the ride, whetting the visitors’ appetites for what’s to come.

“When there’s too much to do, don’t let it bother you. Forget your troubles…”

That said, Disney Parks is also keen for the customer journey to be seamless and efficient, whilst maintaining a sense of magic and wonder. For this reason, it has created the Disney MagicBand, which the organisation describes as an all-in-one device that effortlessly connects customers to the vacation choices they’ve made with the My Disney Experience. Essentially, it enables visitors to enter the parks, unlock their hotel rooms, and purchase food and merchandise, as well as granting FastPass+ access to the attractions that the customer has pre-selected online, so that they can avoid the queues if they do not wish to wait. It’s powered by Radio Frequency Technology – which can transmit more than 40 feet in every direction – and the bands come in a variety of colours, so they’re aesthetically pleasing. Moreover, when the MagicBands reach the customer, they arrive with the individuals’ names etched onto them, along with the words, “I’m yours, try me on.”

In terms of customer journey mapping, though, the MagicBands enhance the touch points because of how effortless, and personalised, they make the customer experience. A visitor arriving at a restaurant, for example, will be greeted by name by one of the cast members, provided they’ve already used the MagicBand to book their table and food ahead of time. As such, the technology helps to make life easier, but it also adds to the ‘mystery’ that surrounds the brand; there is arguably something quite magical about food that can be delivered straight to an individual in a restaurant, without the person having to specify which table they’re sitting at.

Customer journey mapping, therefore, has proven invaluable to Disney Parks. It has given the brand a much deeper understanding of how its visitors respond to each aspect of the customer experience, and it has motivated the company to try harder at making every park visit a magical one. Its success is made clear in its performance across The Six PillarsTM, particularly in the areas of Expectations and Empathy, making Disney Parks one of the most heartfelt and inspirational brands in the US CEE.