5 Characteristics of the Disney Desktop

By Ken Phelan
Posted in Virtualization
On August 14, 2012

I was at Disney World last week with my family. Unlike normal people who simply have a good time, I spend a lot of time at Disney just sitting on various benches marveling at what a terrific job they do at crafting the Disney experience. Frankly, just the presence of a bench to sit on puts Disney in a class by itself. Over at Harry Potter world, there are so few benches that people were forced to hover over them and compete for a place to sit. True story.

So, anyway, I got to thinking about how to apply some of the things I was seeing at Disney to crafting an enterprise desktop experience. Here’s my Top Five. (And yes, I’m aware that anybody who spends time in a Disney park thinking about stuff like this probably needs a hobby.)

  1. Disney owns the experience. Everybody from the top manager to the guy picking up papers knows that they’re there to make you happy. They don’t just fill a park with things that could theoretically make you happy and leave the rest to you. Every employee and aspect of the park shows intent towards a positive experience.
  2. Disney pays attention to the details. There are no insignificant components to the experience. Benches are just as important as roller coasters.
  3. Disney makes the best of bad situations. Based on the product they’re selling and the volume of customers they serve there are some fundamental difficulties. There are going to be lines for food and rides. There are going to be challenges parking people and moving them into the park. Disney spends a lot of time and energy making these things work as smoothly and effectively as possible.
  4. Disney communicates. Disney knows that people will feel better about wait times if they are communicated to them.
  5. Disney doesn’t judge. Maybe there’s somebody over at Universal Studios who thinks that it’s stupid to come to a park like that and just want to sit on a bench. Disney puts up benches. They offer a spectrum of dining choices. There are tons of rides, shows, whatever. Disney isn’t trying to make a standard happiness experience; they’re trying to make people happy.

In the end I think it’s their ability to show intent that’s the most powerful part of it. I don’t like crowds. I hate waiting on lines. I’m not a big fan of park food. But, for me, just give me a decent place to sit in the shade and you’ve convinced me that you’re on my side.

Ken Phelan

Ken Phelan

Ken is one of Gotham’s founders and its Chief Technology Officer, responsible for all internal and external technology and consulting operations for the firm. A recognized authority on technology and operations, Ken has been widely quoted in the technical press, and is a frequent presenter at various technology conferences. Ken is the Chairman of the Wall Street Thin Client Advisory Council.