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What your church can learn from how Disney creates experiences with a 70% return rate

Yes. You read that right the first time. 70% of first time guests at Disney return to experience the magic all over again. We’d all love to see that kind of return rate in our churches, right?

So what can your church do to create raving fans who can’t wait to return and maybe even bring a friend?

The team you build is the organisation you build

If you worked as a new animator for Disney in the 1930’s Walt himself would pay for you (and even personally chauffeur you) to art classes at the local art institute. To him this wasn’t an expense but an investment. A great team of staff & volunteers are what make a truly great experience for your guests.

  • How do you train & invest in your ‘dream team’ of staff & volunteers?

  • How do you systematically value their commitment?

  • How do you make your volunteers feel connected and successful?

Always ask: How can we make it better?

Walt himself would dress in old clothes, wear a straw hat and walk unnoticed around the park. He was obsessed with getting Disney right. He saw the experience as ‘always incomplete’ and therefore could ‘always be improved’.

  • Do you have a robust feedback system for your leaders?

  • What are you doing personally to help improve things organisationally?

  • What is one thing your church should consider ‘making better’?

Create immersive experiences

Walk into Disney and you walk into another world. Every small detail is designed to thrill. From Mickey logo’s on the manhole covers to the smell of fresh popcorn pumped through air vents down Main Street.

  • Does your church environment have an appealing thrill to a first time guest?

  • Is your Sunday engaging enough for a first time guest to want to return?

  • Is the message content helpful to a first time guest?

Make it personal

Whether its your first visit or your fiftieth, Disney treats everyone like a VIP. The Disney team are trained and encouraged to create one-of-a-kind interactions and personalised experiences to meet guests needs. At Disney, one size doesn’t fit all. They value each visitor by ensuring their experience is as memorable as it can be.

  • What is the ‘Street to Seat’ guest experience like at your church?

  • How can you anticipate what someone needs before they arrive?

  • How can you turn an acquaintance at the door into a personal guest connection?

All 67,000 Disney employees own this mission of creating a happy experience for their guests. They all think like an owner and pick up the rubbish. The value of keeping Disneyland clean is so contagious, even guests will pick up rubbish if they see it lying on the ground. That’s the kind of contagious mission and value system your church needs, right?

If I can do anything to help your church create some Sunday magic that exceeds your guests expectations, then please hit me up. I’d love to hang out with you and your team and help you grow your church by reaching unchurched people.

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