Disney Imagineer Marty Sklar, who retired in 2009 as the only Disney cast member to have participated in the opening of all eleven theme parks around the world, is noted for many things, but one of the most cherished has to be his creation of “Mickey’s Ten Commandments.”
During his 54-year career, Sklar was involved in all facets of the theme parks – from concepts to design to operations. Along the way, he developed, refined and practiced key principles of leadership based on what he learned from Walt Disney and other Disney Legends, especially designer John Hench. He crystallized these “learnings” into the first of what he called Mickey’s Ten Commandments.
On the tenth day of Christmas Guest Experiences, your Guest Experience peers give to you:
Mickey’s Ten Commandments
- Know your audience – Identify the prime audience for your attraction or show before you begin design
- Wear your Guests’ shoes – Insist that your team members experience your creation just the way Guests do
- Organize the flow of people and ideas – Make sure there is a logic and sequence in our stories and the way Guests experience them
- Create a wienie (visual magnet) – Create visual “targets” that will lead Guests clearly and logically through your facility
- Communicate with visual literacy – Make good use of color, shape form, texture – all the nonverbal ways of communication
- Avoid overload – create turn-ons – Resist the temptation to overload your audience with too much information and too many objects
- Tell one story at a time – Stick to the story line; good stories are clear, logical, and consistent
- Avoid contradictions – maintain identity – Details in design or content that contradict one another confuse an audience about your story or the time period it takes place in
- For every once of treatment, provide a ton of treat – Walt Disney said you can educate people, but don’t tell them you’re doing it. Make it fun!
- Keep it up! (Maintain it) – In a Disney park or resort, everything must work. Poor maintenance is poor show!
Exceeding Guests’ expectations is Disney’s Guest Service strategy, and paying attention to every detail is the tactic by which it is accomplished.
inspired by and adapted from Dream It, Do It: My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms, by Marty Sklar