This last week my family and I had the opportunity to go to Disneyland and we had an absolute blast. In todays’ show we are going to dive deep into what the happiest place on earth can teach the happiest podcast on earth about the skill of happiness and playing the game of life right!
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📍 What you just heard was Walt Disney's voice on opening day of Disneyland in California. This last week, my family and I had the opportunity to go to Disneyland and we had an absolute blast. And today's show we're going to dive deep into what the happiest place on earth can teach the happiest podcast on earth and its listeners about the skill of happiness.
And playing the game of life, right? This is a jam-packed episode. And a very magical one at that. So let's get to it. 📍
Well for today's highlight reel. I actually have a ton of highlights to pick from, because at Disneyland, there were so many happiness plays going on, but I just want to share one happiness play and one highlight real. That was potentially.
Noteworthy. So we were actually for the first two days, a huge group, there were 18 of us. And of those 18 over half were tiny kids. So, you know, anywhere from eight to, less than one year old. And so. Pretty big group, lots of kids. And by the end of the first day, we were in adventure land.
And we were wanting to get on the jungle cruise ride before we left the park
everybody was tired. The kids were exhausted, but we wanted to get in this last ride. And so we went and saw that the line was very long. And my amazing brother-in-law guy approached the cast member
And asked, how does one board the ship jungle cruise. And they responded well, you have to go over to that line and go up the stairs and around the corner. And he simply asked, is there any way we could not do that?
Well, the cast member simply looked back at him and asked how many people are in your group. And he counted us all out. And. After one, look, she said. Come this way and she let us onto the boat, like right there at the front, didn't even have to go in line, just let us on. And it was so fun to see how they're trained to delight people. We're going to talk a lot more about that in a minute, but this was definitely the highlight reel for a lot of reasons, but this individual just went the extra mile to delight us and accepted and build on the situation and majorly looked outward. So thank you. Random cast member at the jungle cruise for being our highlight reel. You may never hear this, but we're grateful for you. Thank you.
Last week you heard the interview with Laurie and Claire. What did you learn? Wasn't that an awesome conversation.
How can we learn from Claire's example of seeing a need and just boldly taking action to spread happiness, think of a time where you saw negativity and felt the fear of speaking up or doing something we've all been there. We've all felt that. What can you do next time to move the needle forward on the happiness scale? That's the question.
Great episode. If you didn't listen to it, go back and give it a listen. It will be worth your time.
All right. Team happiness, for today's team huddle and wanted to share some comments dripping with happiness from Ashley Huckins. She said discovering play theory at a young age has changed my life's course for the better in every way. I know for a fact that I would not have had as many incredible opportunities or experiences, if I had never learned those magical four principles, play theory has taken root in my mindset and actions.
It is now become such a habit for me to utilize the principles that I often don't realize they are the motivators behind my actions. But once I do. I am always overwhelmed with gratitude and amazed at how a handful of words and phrases. Could positively alter my outlook on life
wow. Well, we are overwhelmed with gratitude and amazement at your kind words. This is why we do this podcast. This is why we share and promote these principles of play theory. Because of these outcomes.
Thank you for sharing your kind words, Ashley. Way to go. Thank you for being on team happiness.
Okay. So I got to admit this episode was a little overwhelming because disney is the epitome. Of magic and happiness and there's arguably no other company on the planet that is mastered the process and the culture of creating magic and happiness. Quite as well as Disney has. And so there were so many angles to take and to look from, and I've, I hope I've boiled it down for you so I'm just going to hit on a few key topics here and do a little deep dive into the Disney magic and how we can learn from the masters of magic and happiness. So, First off, we've got to talk about Disney's customer service. We were there for four days straight, which I will just come out right.
At the gate and say that's pretty ambitious to do four days straight with three children, ages five, three, and one. But we're so glad we did. And it was so magical. Their customer service is so on-point and Disney has mastered customer service.
They are all about exceeding expectations and not just simply satisfying them, like so many other companies. That principle is the cornerstone of the Disney approach to customer service and you feel it. And there are so many examples of this where it's just baked in to their training and their culture. And I shared the jungle cruise experience we had where we showed up an exhausted huge group with a bunch of kids and they just let us on, obviously that was not something we were expecting, but they just went above and beyond and they do that at every turn.
Another example is where a group. I went onto star tours. And if you're familiar with the ride, it's a simulation. It's really cool. The seat moves and it's like, you're flying through space, but there's actually a lot of different versions of the ride. And so you never know which one you're going to get. And so what somebody in the group actually went for a second time, like immediately got off in line with shorts. So they went back on and they just asked, they said, Hey. Is it okay if we do a different movie, this is the one I saw and they said, oh yeah, you go in this line and it will be a different one than that one. it was just so cool, like going above and beyond. And then another time somebody wanted to sit in the front row and they just, without even questioning said, oh yeah, absolutely come in the front row. They're also trained.
If someone is lost, they have to help that person. Like it doesn't matter who you are. If you're a janitor, if you're a cook, whatever is somebody is lost and needs directions. They are obligated. In their training to help the individual. And not only are they obligated to help, but they know. The answers to all the questions that people ask.
They are so good at look outward at Disneyland. And that is their whole purpose. And you can just feel that as a guest there, you can just feel, people are constantly looking for ways to, to look outward and to serve you. And they're always asking that question is always in the back of their mind and it's part of their training, what is needed, right.
That is a key element of look outward. And they're so good at that at Disneyland.
If we dive a little deeper into the employee training and engagement, it's really clear that this is all intentional. It's not just happening. You know, you could argue at this point in Disney's existence, that they are attracting people who agree with their vision, but Disney knows the importance of their employees or cast members as they call them.
In making the magic in happiness happens. So they take management philosophy and employee engagement. Seriously.
This is what Jeff James who's the vice president and general manager of Disney Institute. Which if you're not familiar, Disney Institute is the professional development and business advisory arm of Walt Disney parks and resorts. So they do all the trainings and the customer service. Seminars and stuff.
Jeff James enlightens us about onboarding a new hire into Disney by sharing. A new hire will make many judgements about an organization based on their first few days. Therefore onboarding training is crucial for both the employee and the company. This training should go beyond how to training. And into the why of an organization by sharing the organization's history and values, new hires will be more empowered to embody this spirit of the company and feel more fulfilled.
At Disney, their new hire orientation is called traditions and they actually introduced the cast members to not only the important information they need to know about their new role, but also the legacy and the history. That remains at the heart of the Walt Disney company. And you can feel this oneness of purpose, wherever you go at Disneyland. There's this sort of cohesion.
Behind the whole experience that contributes to the magic. By accepting and building upon the commitment of their employees and letting go of the obsession with day-to-day operations. That is so prevalent in corporate America. They instead focus on the mission and purpose of Disney, and they're able to get people to really commit to the organization and willingly go above and beyond and exceed the expectations of their customers.
Now, how do we apply this to ourselves? Well, Whether you realize it or not, you lead people. People are watching you every moment. And the question that we got to ask ourselves is how can we get better at letting go of our obsession with the, how, when we are in a position of influence and instead focus on the why of our direction.
I know in any leadership position or management position sharing the why behind a task project or role is the best way to ensure commitment and engagement. As parents, it's very tempting to simply make commands to your kids and not be present with the child's emotional state or buy in of whatever task it is.
But it's crucial that we follow Disney's lead here and share the longterm vision and purpose behind our asks.
Something else that no one can deny is just overall the look outward culture. That is so prevalent and Disneyland. An attraction follows a theme. So if you're in pirates of the Caribbean, the look of the pavement, the railings, the uniforms, the staff are wearing the signage, the music, everything.
Is all consistent to create a unique experience. They're always thinking of the experience of the customer. And looking outward in that way. And I got to tell you I'm a huge star wars fan. And when we went to Axes edge. This was the first time I saw any of their star wars stuff over in Galaxy's edge.
And I was absolutely blown away. The rise of the resistance ride was literally like, I don't want to sound dramatic here, but it was just like, life-changing like you experienced star wars. It's so crazy. But they were so intentional from the ground up when they built Galaxy's edge,
but they do this with every part of the park is they think, how can we make this as immersive as possible? And they're thinking about the guests they're thinking about you and what you're going to feel. I smell see, and there they're tapping into all your senses and it's just really cool. And how much more influence could we have for better? How much better at the skill of happiness would we be?
If we adopted that perspective, that powerful look, outward mentality that they have so profoundly embedded in their culture and organization. And how can we make the experience of those around us? That much better. How can we exceed expectations?
Look, outward is a very obvious example of how Disney. Applies the skill of happiness. And I think we have a lot to learn there.
What's really neat to do though, is when you look at the history of Disney. And Walt Disney himself was the master of play theory of letting go and playing of accepting and building and, you know, going outside of his comfort zone, but also of look outward. And it's really cool because when Disney land first opened.
Walt Disney himself used to wander the grounds and get feedback from guests to understand what could be improved. He would go straight to the guests themselves and ask them. And Walt Disney is such an iconic character. He is, he accomplished way more and left a legacy
that people could only dream of leaving. But he was one man with a vision. But he was able to get others to coalesce around the vision. And make it happen and make the magic a reality. There's lots of creative people and they're all amazing. You know, you have lots of directors and artists that, that produce beautiful art and amazing things.
But the unique thing about Walt Disney. Was, he was able to really communicate the vision. And make the magic happen. Everyone contributes to the magic at Disneyland, whether it's the cook.
Or even the janitor sweeping up the dust in the shape of Mickey ears. Before putting it in the dustbin and throwing it in the trash. Everyone is a part of the culture he created, and that is still being perpetuated.
When you look at the mission of the Disney theme parks, it's actually we create happiness. By providing the best in entertainment for people of all ages everywhere. And that is so clear that creating happiness is their goal.
For the play of the week. I want you to work out your happy muscles by thinking of a person that you interact with regularly, and then come up with just one way to exceed their expectations. By powerfully accepting and building in this way, you will delight the individual and inevitably create more magic and happiness for both of you. Whether it's bringing flowers home to a significant other, doing more than you're told to at work, or even setting aside five minutes of uninterrupted technology, free time for a kid.
Go above and beyond this week and exceed the expectations of the most important customers in your life.
There are so many examples of play theory and happiness happening at Disneyland. I just touched on a few of them. I would love to hear from you. What are some other examples of from Disneyland, if you've gone to the parks I want to know what other thoughts you have about what we can learn from Disney and the skill of happiness.
You know, I got to share as well that applying play theory in the parks definitely helps you have a better experience and going for four days straight with three small kids. There were many opportunities for me to to apply play theory and for that to enhance the experience. Whatever comes your way, you just accept and build. And there is a lot of rolling with the punches at Disneyland. You know, you get hot, you're waiting in line. You're eating a bunch of junk food. You're not in the best emotional state, but being able to just be present, let, go and play, accept, and build, and just think of others really made the experience a lot better. And I got to say, as a parent play theory is absolutely crucial to getting the most out of your experience.
Whether it's a Disneyland or any traveling you're doing. So make sure that you are applying play theory to avoid the unnecessary stress.
Be present. Let go and play, accept and build, look outward. These things seem effortless. To the people at Disney. And I'm so grateful that we got to experience the magic. 📍
So remember this week to exceed the expectations of those around you go above and beyond.
Let go of the how and the mundane and focus on the why behind what you're doing.
Make sure to roll with the punches except, and build with whatever comes your way and know there's something amazing just around the river bend,
but most of all, remember that happiness is a skill and life is a team sport, and we are so glad to have you on the team. Catch you next week.