Disney's Hollywood Studios may appear to be somewhat underwhelming to some Guests visiting the park today, but we cannot deny that the place still offers some great attractions and has a quite bright past, exceeding all expectations when it first debuted in 1989. A book that was published just a few months ago by J. Jeff Kober, called "Disney's Hollywood Studios: From Show Biz to Your Biz," highlights all that the positive aspects of this theme park. Here's our review of this book:


This has to be one of the most out-of-the-ordinary, theme park-based books we have reviewed until today. In the past, we read quite a few interesting books talking about the parks and the attractions they offer, but they were always catering to tourists, which would benefit from reading them and would be better prepared prior to visiting the theme parks. There's nothing wrong with that, as most of our Readers are (or will soon be) tourists.

That being said, this book does NOT necessarily cater to vacationing Guests. In fact, we really think this particular book would be appreciated especially by theme park fans and... businesspeople.


That's right. If you carefully read the title, you will notice that it includes the catchphrase "from Show Biz to YOUR Biz." In fact, this very clever book takes a very close look at some of the practices and services offered around Disney's Hollywood Studios (and, by extension, around the other theme parks and attractions located within the Walt Disney World Resort) that are very effective and that could therefore be applied to other businesses as well (on a smaller scale, of course).

THE BOOK

"Disney's Hollywood Studios: From Show Biz to Your Biz" is divided into five different park, all of which include multiple (but brief) chapters that cover different areas of the park. Two themes are carried throughout the entire book:
  • Leading Like a Star (or: How to be a good leader/manager in your own workplace);
  • Making Your Customer a Star (or: How to offer your Guests the best possible experience).
Each of the chapters focuses on one of these two themes by discussing how Disney does it, and then by giving some real-life example and questions that can help in the real world. The thought-provoking questions found at the end of each chapter are great, and really make the readers think about how certain things that we usually give for granted while visiting the parks are actually fundamental to offer a great experience. If any of those points were missing, the Walt Disney Parks & Resorts would not be leading in the entertainment industry. We are talking about some serious... business (pun intended).

Most Readers will surely find the brief fun facts included in most chapters very interesting. For example, did you know that Lucille Ball (from "I Love Lucy) passed away just a few days before Disney-MGM Studios officially opened, so she never got to see an attraction that included a re-enactment of one of her movie scenes? This and many other facts will definitely arouse your interest, especially if you also appreciate older movies.

Some of the chapters also show us that we can learn something from lesser-known attractions and dining locales, like Gertie the Dinosaur."What could we possibly learn from that?" you might ask. Well, you need to read the book. If we told you that, it wouldn't be the same. The book really goes deep into these subjects.

THE AUTHOR (from Jeff's website, Disney at Work)

For over twenty-five years Jeff has delivered development and training solutions for the private and public sector. He has facilitated hundreds of programs and delivered keynote addresses to scores of clients as diverse as General Electric, the U.S. Postal System, Federal Express and the City of New York. Topics have ranged from leadership to performance accountability, from customer service/loyalty to team building.

Many of Jeff’s consultant activities were associated with The Disney Institute, a best-practices institution modeled on America’s first corporate university.  While there, Jeff was responsible for designing The Disney Approach to Quality Service and Service, Disney Style programs. The models, concepts, and examples of that program were later introduced to corporate America in Be Our Guest, a popular benchmarking title published by The Disney Institute, with a forward by Michael Eisner.

In addition to the private and non-profit sector, Jeff has been focused on leadership and management transformation for federal, state and local entities,  He is the Chief Learning Architect for The Public Strategies Group (PSG) creating training and development solutions for large and small government entities alike.

Today Jeff travels widely providing keynotes, workshops, seminars, consulting and coaching. Jeff, his wife and family live in Orlando, Florida.

THE VERDICT:

In conclusion, if you are a real theme park fan (or even if you are not, but you have a business that you own), we definitely recommend this great book to you. It will not only provide some great business tips that you can use in your own workplace; it will also increase your appreciation for one of the world's most visited theme parks that has a great - and amazingly rich - past.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Price: $19.59
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: Theme Park Press (April 27, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1941500021
ISBN-13: 978-1941500026
Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

A big thank you to Jeff for providing us a review copy of this book. To buy one now, head to Amazon.com.

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