A visit to Disney is great anytime of the year, but the experience is enhanced when you realize that it’s not for you. It’s for guest and kids, those that are on the adventure with the family and friends. Disney is special because it’s known as the Happiest Place on Earth. Nothing bad ever happens in the Magic Kingdom.
Any vacation at Disneyland is special, as long as the adults remember one thing: It’s not about you. It’s about your kids or grandchildren. It’s about family. Sharing a moment of pure joy at Disney is a once-in-a-lifetime event for some. It’s an escape from reality for a few hours, or a few days (if you’re lucky).
Experiencing it through the eyes of someone you love makes for a much better experience. There’s joy in seeing others enjoy themselves. And that’s how it is in radio, too. Or how it should be, if you’re taking listeners to an an-air Disneyland every day.
Radio Shows Should Be Like Disneyland
Here’s a different way to look at a radio station and show. Think of it as Disneyland, and listeners are children. In a way, air personalities are responsible for engaging, indulging and spoiling them to insure they have a great time.
Hosts and cohosts should make it a goal to give them a Disneyland experience every day,
Here’s how to do it:
Disneyland Key #1: Be Fully Engaged
It’s fine for mom and dad to take the kids to the park, but if they spend the day on the phone, texting or checking Facebook, the kids feel they’re disconnected. They deserve undivided attention. It’s hard work making sure kids get the most out of Disney. Invest in it.
It’s true that most personalities probably can multi-task and check email or texts during commercial breaks or while a song is playing, just as a parent can sneak in an email or quick conference call to a colleague. Or check a score on a mobile device.
But you shouldn’t. It affects the experience. It takes attention away from what’s most important: Making sure guests have the time of their lives. When you’re distracted, it affects performance.
Focus. Stay engaged. The kids can feel it at Disneyland, and listeners can feel it on the air.
Enhance the Experience
Build excitement for each attraction, ride and event. Disney is an organized, cohesive collection of separate attractions. Exiting one attraction leads into another nearby. To get the most of the experience, you probably build it up to the kids before they even set foot in the park. You tell stories about it, and each story builds anticipation.
The expectation that something amazing is going to happen makes the experience richer.
And no matter how many times they’ve been on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, they look forward to it more and more each time, because there’s a familiarity to it. So celebrate those moments.
If you didn’t get into the experience and communicate that excitement, the kids’ experience wouldn’t be the same. Enthusiasm is contagious.
“That was a great ride. I loved it when the log splashed down and we got soaked”.
Then move on to the next ride to build momentum and pre-promote how great it’s going to be.
On the air, the music, promos, service information and contests are all attractions. So are daily features that may seem routine over time. But those are part of the experience, and every air talent’s primary job is to make each more exciting to the “kids”.
The Downside of Disney
Standing in line is a drag, and it seems that most of the day is spent in endless lines. But if five minutes spent in the Indiana Jones ride is awesome, it’s totally worth the 90 minutes waiting to get in.
Commercials suck, but they’re not going away. They’re a necessary part of the entertainment experience. The key question is whether the content makes waiting through them worthwhile.
Planning The Trip
Disney trips can be overwhelming. There’s too much to do, too much to see and it’s impossible to get it all done in a day. So invest in a three-day pass, or you have to make choices and plan ahead for the best possible experience.
It gets complicated to figure out the best use of time for each visit. You don’t want to miss anything, but know that if you try to do everything, you’ll probably miss some of the best moments.
You have to make choices.
On the air, there are dozens of topics each day to talk about. They may all be strong topics, but there’s not time to do everything.
Be selective. Plan it. Prepare. Mine each topic so every break is truly “A” material. Make sure each moment is maximized to create memorable experiences for your guests.
And there’s nothing wrong with going on the best rides more than once. Recycle the best content. Sometimes it’s even better the second and third times.
When leaving Disneyland, kids will probably ask how soon they can come back and do it again. Isn’t that amazing? They can’t wait to come back. But that next visit to Disney isn’t like the first. Now there’s an expectation. The bar has been raised for the next visit.
On the air, the goal should be for listeners to eagerly look forward to the next show. And like a trip to Disneyland, listeners will demand more.
They expect their favorite attractions to be there, and they expect something fresh and new to surprise them. In other words, they expect you to be better, and it’s your responsibility to deliver that expectation every single day.
Are you making each show a memorable moment? How will you thrill your “kids” tomorrow?
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