The Disney Treatment: Ensure your Web Design and Digital Marketing is a magical user experience

May 09, 2016 by



So much can be said about a company that has managed to make every user experience feel like it’s your birthday. The Walt Disney Company has mastered the art of creating truly magical experiences. In an environment where some say we are experiencing a decline in customer satisfaction, leaving your website visitors and anyone who engages with your brand in the digital space with a great user experience is an easy way to stand out. We’ve taken a quick look at how Walt Disney Company does it and came up with how you can create a magical user experience in your web design and digital marketing efforts.



There is a reason the devil is in the details. Solving those seemingly small problems and improving those systematic processes can have the most measurable impact on the user experience.

Disney Company and Walt Disney himself were known for perfecting small mundane details. When you visit the park you will notice how incredibly clean it is. That’s because the most magical place on Earth understands their customer so well they’ve strategically placed trash bins in a way that discourages littering. They know how many steps a person takes before they are tempted to chuck that Mickey Mouse popsicle stick on the ground.

Small details that can make a happier site visitor:

1.       404 Error pages: They are bound to happen but turn that bad experience into a good one. Disney’s goal is to make people happy and does this not make you smile?

2.       Bounce Rate: What website pages have the highest bounce rates? Start with the top five and begin working on why visitors believe they haven’t come to the right place and fix it.

3.       Bread Crumbs and other site navigational structures: Test and see what works best for your website design. Being lost at a theme part without a way to easily navigate is a nightmare. Most of the time if visitors are lost on your website they simply leave.

There is always room for improvement

The visitor experience can always be better and you should never stop improving. Disney has developed a world class training system to teach “cast members” how to deliver the best show and customer service possible.

Keep improving by developing QA processes. Watch as visitors use your website. Pay close attention to any nuances or struggles they have. This will give you the information you need to give them a better experience. Improving your web design and development is an ongoing task that’s never really complete.

This is the same approach taken at Disney. Read this story of how Walt Disney was obsessed with riding rides with the children and watching their reaction. He wanted to make sure they were having so much fun they wanted to ride a 2nd or 3rd time and sing along with the songs. A QA process can help development design and UX that ensure visitors return to a site and take the desired action.


Listening, really Listening

Many times, top level management handoff social media to the digital marketing team or an intern. It’s okay to have another party manage it but never checking in, retweeting and posting at the C-suite level, you miss out on an ears-to-the-ground opportunity. Participating in social media and watching how people engage with your brand can allow you to deliver exceptional customer service and products because you see first-hand people’s wants, needs, and experiences.

Walt was notorious for opposing an administration building that would separate management from Disneyland guests.

“--Stand in line with the people…don’t go off the lot to eat like you guys have been doing. You eat at the park and listen to the people!” -Walt Disney


Disney World does an incredible job of communicating with their park visitors. It’s more than a flyer or site map. Information is also passed directly from cast members to guests with ease. Many times they anticipate the information you are going ask for. Their well-established communication process allows important visitor information to travel to its intended destination like a well-oiled machine. The My Disney Experience App will let you know where and when you can dine with your favorite characters, ride wait times, when the parade will arrive at your location and so much more. The park also has their own internal system that keeps cast members up-to-date. You would be hard pressed to find a question anyone including janitorial staff couldn’t answer.


If you are developing a web app that makes it easy for users to obtain information don’t forget the key elements of defining your product and service. Other web design features that can make communication a breeze is ensuring text, images and Call to Actions make sense to the user. Don’t over design.


Have you recently visited any of The Walt Disney Company parks?  Did you notice any amazing customer experience details that left you amazed? We’d love to hear about them and anything you are doing to improve your engagers’ user experience.


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