Have you ever wondered how Disney does it? What they could possibly say to their cast members to make them so kind, and guest-experience centered? Well, if you would like to know, you may want to crack the binding of Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World’s Most Engaged, Loyal, and Customer-Centric Employees. The title tells it all, the book is a business guide to those in charge of training employees. It unlocks the secrets to what makes Disney cast members tick, what they are taught in training. No, it’s not brainwashing or abuse of pixie dust. Disney has a tendency to attract a certain type of people to work for them; from the very beginning, it started with Walt, of course. He employed a certain type of people to work at his theme parks and for his company and those people created amazing memories for children of all ages in the theme parks and in turn those people want to create those type of memories for children of the next generation and so on, as a domino effect. Of course, the love of Disney movies and park memories created by other cast members cannot possibly be the only thing that makes the cast members of the Disney Company tick, and as Disney U points out, it’s not. It explains the core of training that the cast members go through at an actual location called Disney University from the Traditions Class to the rest of their training as they are “Earning Their Ears” and not only what makes them great in the beginning but what keeps them motivated and what keeps them with the company for years to come.
The author, Doug Lipp was one of the people who was integral in creating the first international version of Disney University and its training core. This program was developed for the Tokyo Disneyland park. He then became the head of Disney University training at the Walt Disney Studios. He serves as a consultant to many large companies, all of whom want their employees to be as motivated and loyal as Disney’s.
The book is formatted in “Lessons”, short breakdowns of what it takes to make people work hard and stay working hard. These lessons are not specific to Disney, they are meant to be shared with many other companies and to be appropriately applied to their training curriculum. No one trains employees the way Disney does, every CEO and head of training wants to crack the code and learn the secret. With his book, Lipp proves that it’s no secret, it’s balance, and easy to remember key principles. The training has to be up to date and the employees need to be kept up to date on the latest training. Lipp does an amazing job of making sure that the book does not read like a boring training manual. It flows and reviews as the reader flips through the pages. It appeals to those who have a strong business background and serves as an amazing tool to those who eventually want to be Disney cast members and what it takes to be part of such a high profile team of people. It’s an incredible read for people who are interested in the behind the scenes of the park and for those who want to know what makes the cast members so magical!