As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
It’s been a while since I have reviewed a book by Theme Park Press, but that’s entirely MY fault. Theme Park Press has TONS of new books that I could be reading, but I’ve been so busy this summer and barely had time to read. I wanted to dig out a Disney-themed book to read to gear me up for my upcoming trip, and I chose Window on Main Street because I love stories about the early days of Disney.
About Window on Main Street
Lessons from the Man Who Created Disney University
Van Arsdale France, the founder of Disney University and author of its world-class “cast member” training programs, takes you inside the “berm” for a first-hand look at how Disney makes the magic that keeps its guests coming back for more.
Hired in 1955, several months before Disneyland opened its front gate, Van worked with Walt Disney, C.V. Wood, Dick Nunis (hired as Van’s “gofer” who went on to become the chairman of Walt Disney Attractions), and other notables to create not only the best-trained workforce in America, but also enlightened principles of customer service envied and imitated worldwide.
Van’s many, many stories include:
- The construction of Disneyland, as seen from the office he shared with Dick Nunis on-site
- The first Disneyland training programs, designed and conducted by Van himself
- The evolution of those training programs into Disney University and its “Traditions” curriculum
- The politics behind the scenes, and Walt Disney’s surprisingly tough managerial style
- The lessons learned at Disneyland brought east to Walt Disney World
LEARN THE “DISNEY WAY” FROM THE MAN WHO CREATED IT!
Heidi Says . . .
I enjoyed every minute of this book. Van was there – at Disneyland – before the gates were open to the public. I very much enjoyed reading about the plans for Disneyland and what it was like in those early days.
Each chapter was broken up into small sections with headings, making it really easy to read.
Van had a long, lucrative career with the Disney company, but I found it interesting that he actually started at Disney after serving in many different capacities at other companies. He wasn’t a spring chicken when he started there, so often those in authority over him were younger than him. It was nice to hear him speaking so respectfully about them.
Any man who created the Disney University and came up with the strategies with which Cast Members are taught to interact with Guests in a guy that I have great respect for.
I was so glad that the book ended with Van’s surprise of having a window on Main Street USA (in Disneyland) named for him – he was very deserving!
If you’re looking for a good, classic Disneyland tale, this one will probably fill that need. It did for me!
Check out the book over at the Theme Park Press website, where you can read an excerpt, and learn more. You’ll also find plenty of other Disney-related books to choose from (as well as some other great goodies as well).
***This post made possible by Theme Park Press. ***