What comes to mind when you hear the word “Disney?” For some, the word brings back childhood memories of watching animated movies and singing along to the catchy songs. A few may think about Walt, the trailblazing man behind it all. Others may look at it as an entertainment business behemoth with numerous properties and a track record of success. And some may think about magical moments in the “Happiest Place on Earth.”
But what makes Disney parks the “Happiest Place on Earth?” The character experiences are a big part, the classic rides are a huge draw, and the food cannot be understated. But for me, the biggest part is the Cast Members; the unsung heroes that make each day at Disney a magical one.
Every employee at Disney parks is called a Cast Member. This is because Walt wanted Disneyland to feel like a big show and the guests are not only the audience, but also the main character. Hence, all of the employees you encounter in the parks are part of that show and therefore called Cast Members. Each Cast Member receives thorough training when they’re hired. The main part of this training is what they call “The Four Keys.”
The Four Keys were developed by Walt himself and they are: Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency. These are the primary objectives to ensure guests have a magical day in the parks. Now, what do these Four Keys have to do with business? In my opinion, the Four Keys translate pretty well into the workplace, whether you’re running events like myself, or meeting with clients and customers.
Safety. Safety is of the utmost importance. For the record, Cast Members aren’t being mean when they tell you your kids aren’t tall enough to ride a specific ride — it’s all for their safety. It’s also something we often take for granted. It doesn’t hurt to be aware of the nearest emergency exits, the nearest fire extinguisher, etc. It’s also helpful to have emergency action plans in place with your staff so everyone knows exactly what to do in the case of an emergency.
Courtesy. Translation: don’t be a jerk. This one should be self-explanatory. We all have bad days and we all have to deal with difficult people at times. But courtesy goes a long way. As the old saying goes, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”
Show. This one may not seem as obvious as the others, but we all have roles to play. Whether you’re in management or a customer-facing position, we all have to “perform.” Show translates to the workplace as professionalism. We can be casual in our free time, but when we get to work, it’s like the lights go up on the stage and we seamlessly fall into our role. Some of us aren’t even aware of this change, but it definitely happens!
Efficiency. This goes without saying, but without efficiency, everything would fall apart. Efficiency is what makes everything go smoothly. And if things aren’t going smoothly, we need to reevaluate and try to improve our efficiency. Focusing on this will help you, your team, and your workflow feel more effective.
So there you have it; the key to making each day a magical one. Of course, the office won’t always feel quite as magical as a day at a Disney park, but The Four Keys will at least help you bring a bit of pixie dust to each day and make your workplace feel just a bit more enchanting. Whether you’re in sales or a solitary role, we can all benefit from remembering The Four Keys and how they create a more welcoming and magical workplace.
Have a Magical Day!
About Kat Kaddas
Katrina (Kat) Kaddas is the Program & Events Coordinator at the Salt Lake Chamber. She has been with the Chamber since 2018. Prior to her time with the Salt Lake Chamber, Kat worked at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL where she helped make magic happen at the Jedi Training Academy and Test Track. Kat graduated from Westminster College in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Documentary Film Production.