Stay Open After You Close

Disney Guest Service Idea: Stay Open After You Close

Let’s look at how great organizations stay open after you close.

In our previous blog, we spoke about the idea that organizations should open a few minutes before the stated opening time, so that people aren’t waiting for the doors to open. Today we head to the other end of the work day–when the doors closed.

At Disney, the park does close at the stated time, but that doesn’t mean that everything comes to an end. If the closing time is 10 pm at Disney California Adventure, that doesn’t mean Radiator Springs Racers stops working. Everyone who is in line to ride the attraction at that time gets to stay in line until they have had a chance to ride. That’s significant, as lines may be as long as 75, 90, even 120 minutes in length.

Stay Open After You Close
Radiator Springs and the surrounding canyon are so beautiful at night, it’s hard not to take advantage of going on Radiator Springs Racers one more time–even if the wait is 100 minutes in length. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Diners may not be able to get a table at Tutto Italia once the park hours end at Epcot. But that doesn’t mean diners inside are required to leave the premises. I remember being halfway through my Fettucini Alfredo when Illuminations started. The wait staff not only graciously allowed us to step out and enjoy the fireworks, but upon returning to our re-folded napkins, they also reheated our dish so we could casually conclude the meal.

Stay Open After You Close
Choosing between finishing your Fettucini Alfredo and seeing Illuminations is a tough decision. Fortunately, they let you have your pasta, and eat it too–after the fireworks. Photo by J. Jeff Kober

It’s closing time on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland Paris. The shops in Fantasyland and Frontierland have closed, but there’s still plenty of shopping opportunities on Main Street. It’s a tradition that has occurred on not only every Disney Main Street around the world, but in shops on Hollywood Boulevard, Buena Vista Street, Discovery Island, Future World, Porto Paradiso, and Studio One. And it’s not just a courtesy to the guests. It’s an intelligent business decision that results in more sales during the last couple of hours of the day, than in the rest of the day combined.

Stay Open After You Close
Even when closing is early, it’s still quite late by the time the very last shoppers leave Disneyland Paris. Photo by J. Jeff Kober

It’s an idea that simply seems to make sense. And yet many organizations fail sometimes forget. Click here to see other examples of how Disney has done this. Click here to see an instance where even Disney failed to make magic to the very end. And if you want to see a really great story about how that magic really comes alive after closing, be certain to read my book, The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney.

Stay Open After You Close
Old fashioned ideas in great customer service come to life in one of Fortune 100’s best companies. Check it out!

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