Manchester University
Oak Leaves

March 10, 2017

Mickey Mouse Ears

January Session Evaluates Standards at Disney World

Tanner Edge

Dr. Rusty Coulter Kern and 10 students in his psychology class visited Disney World for six days during January Session 2017. The class focused on forming a model that revolved around the four standards that Disney World tries to uphold before visiting. Those standards are safety, courtesy, show/appearance and efficiency.  The class then applied these standards to hotels, restaurants, attractions and retail while on their visit.
Coulter-Kern wanted to be sure the students were well prepared before leaving. “We wanted to master the material before we left,” he said. It was critical that the students had a firm grasp on industrial organization psychology, so that they could successfully test their model while on the trip. Students tested their “matrix” model, as Coulter-Kern described it, while still at Manchester University, at various locations on campus, then did some touch-ups to the model before departing on their journey.

Disney World’s motto is “be our guest” with the thought that visitors are not customers, but are instead guests. “Quality service is their language,” Coulter-Kern said. “Every employee on the park strives to meet your needs.” The class used the four standards and observed employees at Disney World and found that they do uphold their standards and motto. They also found that safety was Disney World’s top priority. 

The class found that Disney exemplified a positive working environment. “The biggest thing that I wanted the students to learn is that being kind and treating others like guests really does make a difference in their success, whether it is in a working environment or when they are around people in general,” Coulter-Kern explained. 

The whole idea behind “be our guest” is to make visitors feel welcomed and not like they are in a giant consumer trap while at Disney World. They treat visitors with hospitality and respect. “Respect is a big deal,” Coulter-Kern said. “Respecting others along with being kind to others builds solid relationships.”