Well friends, another Cohen Family Adventure is in the bag.  The wedding went off without a hitch (who knew that champagne won’t stain a wedding dress?) and then it was to the magical lands of Disney World.  Four separate theme parks with four distinct identities.  The Magic Kingdom for the purists with Small World and Dumbo, Epcot Center for the futuristic and adventurous, Animal Kingdom for the zoologically inclined, and Hollywood Studios for those who can’t get close enough to Hollywood, California to see “real” stars.

 But, despite the differences of the four parks, one constant amongst them all, something that sets them apart from virtually every other amusement park:  attention to detail.  Because Disney is not catering to the thrill-seekers and the daredevils, they are catering to those who are looking for an experience.

 For example, take the World Showcase at Epcot Center.  The World Showcase is basically a large shopping mall, but instead of going store to store, you go country to country, and in each country you can enjoy that country’s food, drink, architecture, and culture.  It is not uncommon to see the risk-takers attempt to drink their way through the World Showcase, sampling the variety of cocktails that each county has to offer.  (It is a heavy task, and I only got as far as Japan before I had to quit for fear of tripping over the Eiffel Tower.)  But check this out:  Disney ensures that only residents of that country are working in the pavilion.  So, if you go to Norway, only Norwegians are serving food or working in the stores.  The same is true for France, China, Canada (eh!) and Morocco, just to name a few.  See, Disney understands that their patrons may not actually get to all of the countries in the World Showcase, so they bring the countries to their patrons.  It is all about the experience.

 And the kids fall all over themselves to have their pictures taken with their heroes, Mickey and Minnie and Tigger and Pooh.  These people in costumes are real to them and why shouldn’t they be?  When my daughter talked to The Little Mermaid, it was actually her, not some hot red head with a clamshell bra.

 ROB, GET TO THE POINT!  Is there any tie-in here to the real world instead of Fantasyland?  Of course… there always is, right? 

 People continue to visit Disneyland and its parks because of the experience, because of the attention to detail, and because of the concerted effort to maintain a focus on the experience of the patrons.  Aren’t we, as professionals, seeking the same things?  To have our clients stay with us, return to us, and recommend us.  And they will do that because of the experience they have working with us, our authenticity, our attention to detail, and our focus on their needs and wants.  The same reason why millions of families make the pilgrimage to Disney Parks every year.  They could go to Hawaii or Europe or on a cruise, and they do.  But based on what I saw this past week, they still flock in droves to those magical lands… Oh yeah, and by the way, they still spend money like it is going out of style.

 So, my mission for 2010 is to Disney-fy myself.  When many of my clients come to me, this is the first time they are seeing a lawyer.  I want to make it an experience they won’t forget, that they will appreciate, and that they will remember when it comes time to either re-engage a lawyer or refer their friends.  It starts with attention to detail…  

 A preview for next week: New Year’s Resolutions… or not, depends on what happens this week.  🙂