The Happiest Wedding Celebrations On Earth! Lessons From Disney: By Ron Ruth

The Happiest Wedding Celebrations On Earth!

Ron Ruth
Ron Ruth

Most everyone that knows me also knows that I am a Disney geek. My wife, Debbie, and I honeymooned at Epcot in Walt Disney World, Florida a little more than 18 years ago. That one visit has led to 36 subsequent trips.
WDW is not only the #1 vacation destination in the world; we’ve also made it our unique, exclusive, annual vacation destination. There’s no place we’d rather be than at the “Happiest Place On Earth!” And, we’re not alone.
Over 45 million visitors make their way to Walt Disney World every year. More than 70% of those guests (Disney’s term for their customers) are return visitors. Those folks have something in common with my wife and me. We love the attractions, the ease of moving about the vast property, the Broadway-caliber shows, the nightly special effects, the world-class dining, and, of course, the weather. But, above all, we love the way we’re treated. That should come as no surprise. After all, Disney’s primary commodity is “happiness,” and the purpose of every cast member (Disney’s term for their employees) is to make sure that every guest has the most fabulous time of their life. This brings me to the topic of this article.
Over the next few months, I’ll share my passion for Disney with you and a few stories about how Disney has become one of the most well-known brands in the world. First, I’ll give you insights into what they do and how they do it to meet and exceed the expectations of their guests consistently. Next, we’ll explore Disney’s four keys to success and imagine what measures Walt Disney would take if he were a wedding DJ today. His focus would be to build an entertainment company that could boast the same achievements and popularity as his beloved Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Finally, I’ll offer you a couple of ideas that you can quickly and inexpensively implement into your events and performances that will have you creating some “unexpected magic” for your clients and their friends and families.
“You don’t build it for yourself. You know what people want, and you build it for them.”
Walt Disney
Before Walt Disney built Disneyland in 1955, he took his daughters to amusement parks but found that they were unkempt, often disrepair, and lacked atmosphere. Just as important, he noticed that he was not the only parent sitting on the bench, waiting for children to conclude their rides. His nature made him wonder how the customer experience could be improved.
Even in the mid-1950s, Walt Disney knew that the focus would need to be centered on customer service to succeed with his grand idea of a new type of amusement park. He had already proven himself to be a perfectionist when it came to his movies, and he looked upon the operation of Disneyland as a vast sound stage as the catalyst for an epic film in which every guest would be treated like a star. Disney refused to settle for anything less, and with the help of a bit of imagination and a whole lot of innovation, Disneyland soon became the standard-bearer of excellence.
Disney never rested on his laurels, however. He would often disguise himself and wander through his park during operating hours and observe the reactions and emotions of the guests. He would ride the rides and consider how these attractions could be improved. He would insist that supervisors correct cast members who behaved in a manner that did not reinforce the company’s idea of creating the ideal customer experience or detracted from their strictly enforced “on-stage” performance.
But, as a wise businessman, Disney also appreciated the value of his front-line employees. Even today, the Disney Company encourages and welcomes the input of cast members on every level to make its operations safer, more efficient, courteous, and entertaining. Cast members have also been given the autonomy to do whatever they can to make a guest’s visit more enjoyable. And every cast member must complete a rigorous training process before they are allowed on stage in the parks beginning with a course study that familiarizes them with the history and traditions of Disney’s dedication to quality and showmanship in every facet of its operations.
As mobile DJs, we have much in common with Disney. We, too, sell happiness. At every celebration, we strive to create an environment where guests of honor and their guests are allowed to be the stars of their own imaginative show.
We often fall short in comparison in stepping back to objectively evaluate our presentation, looking for innovative and imaginative ways to improve our performance and better connect with those that rely heavily on us to deliver a product that will exceed their expectations. Do you actively look for ways to heighten your client’s happiness by giving “unexpected magic?”
Suppose Walt Disney was a wedding DJ today. In that case, I see him devoting an extraordinary amount of time towards understanding his clients’ general wants and needs, discovering their passions and shared interests, and connecting with them as people, genuinely sharing their emotions and life experiences. He would take everything that he has learned about a bride and groom and use that knowledge to explore the unlimited possibilities that could create at least one imaginative moment of unexpected magic, exceeding expectations and providing happiness not found anywhere else.
Your imagination is a free tool and a ton of fun to use. It can also spark the innovator in you. With a bit of creative thought, you could be known for providing your brand of unexpected magic and delivering “The Happiest Wedding Celebrations On Earth!”
Ron Ruth can be reached at [email protected]

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