Disney – Underselling a Great Experience

It is September 4th of 2003. (I wrote blog posts on paper then). My wife and I were checking into a Disney resort in Florida with my 3 year old daughter and 1 year old son. I was scared of a tiny room that I had reserved and asked about an upgrade. It was going to be a $250 per night upgrade and I asked what was included. I was told “it is a little larger” with a small bedroom and an attached couch bed. I was having a hard time swallowing the $250.00 per night extra and mentioned this. Within a few seconds, the price dropped to $175.00 and I reluctantly said yes as I was told I could get the smaller cheaper room if I did not like it. I really wanted this to be fun, special and relaxing, right?

We get to the room to see what we got for the extra $175.00 and we had been completely undersold. We had a full suite with a fridge, kitchen, 2 full bathrooms and a full living room. It was 2.5 times the size.  The room had a porch which overlooked views of the giraffes and gazelles. I am pretty happy at this point and the family was too as we had friends coming in to visit us for the day and now had plenty of space.  But, there is more. The floor we were on had a giant living area, kitchen, bar, and two people at a desk who turned out to be concierges. I found that because we had the suite, we also had free dinner, drinks, South African wines, desserts, breakfast, snacks, lunch, French water, cokes, free tickets to events, free transportation and a person to take care of all of our needs as part of the suite.

I almost said no to the $175.00 as it provided only “a little larger room” and the real overt benefits were never mentioned. I wonder how many upgrades don’t get sold because of what comes with the room. Later, I went to thank the lady who booked the room. She had never seen it and others had not either, yet there was a whole floor of suites. They did not know what they were selling but viewed it as a tiny benefit. If you ever go to a Disney resort, ask about the upgrade, it may just be the best money spent.

Is there anything you are marketing, selling, advertising that you are not articulating the real value, the real experience. Real matters and your customers should not have to dig to find it.

photo by DJ Riel

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