April 21, 2015 @ 1:39 pm
by Vance Morris (Disney Guy)

Disney’s Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto AND You

The long anticipated re-opening of Disney’s Polynesian Resort is scheduled for late April. Observing just one small microcosm of the resort, just 1%of the whole resort is very instructive on why theming is mission critical to your business or practice. Theming being the design, look, architecture, signs, costumes, uniforms, and products all appear to lend authenticity to the area being themed.

As Example…

When you are in “England” (Disney’s version at EPCOT, not the one in Europe) everything from the cast to the food, from the architecture to the to the products being sold; Everything is English. You feel like you have been transported to a London Street Corner. You cannot see France, which is only a mere 3 feet from England in EPCOT, nor can you see the USA. You are IN England.

Dissecting the Polynesian’s Resorts’s New Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is an excellent illustration of all the facets of theming. It is worthy of very detailed study and emulation.

Did you just feel a cool breeze or catch a whiff of gardenia? That’s because they pipe the stuff in to give it an authentic Polynesian Island feel, smell and experience. This is similar to the fans and vents blow the aroma of fresh baked cookies onto Main St. USA in the Magic Kingdom.

From D23’s press release… My comments in italics

Fans have been clamoring for Adventureland’s “head” salesman to bring some of the exotic flavors of his famous Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Resort to the East Coast—and the wait is finally over. Located just off the Great Ceremonial House lobby, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto serves “magical tropical drinks and food” and offers picture-perfect views of both the marina and the Seven Seas Lagoon. But while the Grog Grotto will have some similarities to its California cousin, it also reflects its alluring new location.

Themed mugAccording to chef Lenny DeGeorge, the world-famous Trader Sam cocktails at the Grog Grotto are a delightful mix of old and new: Straight from the Enchanted Tiki Bar, guests can enjoy drinks like the HippopotoMai-Tai, the Shrunken Zombie Head, and the Krakatoa Punch… but new to the Grotto are delicious (and exclusive!) additions like the Polynesian Pearl, the Dark & Tropical Stormy, the Castaway Crush, and the Tahitian Torch. And for those who prefer their refreshments alcohol-free, “Sam’s No-Booze Brews” include the Skipper Sipper and the Schweitzer Falls.  Note: The drinks could have been named Rum and Coke or Shirley Temple, but they smartly and consciously named the drinks so that they could craft a story. Note: J.Peterman does an incredible job of story telling about their clothing line .

What goes great with delicious tropical drinks? “Small bites,” of course—all perfect as a light main course, or something to share with friends. Inspired by the Trader Sam’s California menu are the chicken lettuce cups with tasty hoisin ginger sauce, and the Hawaiian poke with spicy Sriracha aioli and crispy wonton chips. Brand-new dishes toHeadhunter Sushi the Grog Grotto table include pan-fried dumplings with soy-sesame dipping sauce, Vietnamese “bánh mì” sliders with pickled vegetables, savory corn-battered Portuguese sausages with curry ketchup, and even a special “Headhunter” Sushi Roll! Note the Red rice…hmmm… looks bloody?

So the question becomes, how do you do this in YOUR Business?

Disney has virtually eliminated the line between shopping and entertainment. All of EPCOT, England included, is really just a THEMED Shopping Mall with THEMED Restaurants.

At Sam’s Grotto you FEEL Entertained even though you are “just” buying a drink at a bar.

How can you take the lesson of theming and apply it to your business or practice and PROFIT from it? Study this in detail and deploy it in your business.

  • How does the physical environment look and feel?
  • How are the employees costumed?
  • Do you call the mundane but necessary items in your office “Themed names”? For example, if you have a sports themed office, is your waiting are the “bull pen”? You must carry the theming through to every nook and cranny of your business.
  • Do you have proprietary language separating you from your competition?

Look folks… Forget the normal world, life’s too short to be serious and there is no reason you can’t do something. Have some fun with your business and profit from it.

Next week’s topic… What was Walt thinking? Appearances and Mindset do matter.

Vance Morris

NOTE: For those interested in my next “Working Disney” advanced workshop in the Fall of 2015, please fax my office a note of interest to get on the advanced list. 410-697-6072. These workshops are limited to 8 people. This is a hard number cap. This is a FULL 3 days in Orlando at the Walt Disney World Resort and is a combination classroom and parks experience personally led by me.

Vance has limited openings throughout the year where he will work 1:1 with select businesses creating a Customized Systematic MAGIC Service & Marketing Plan.

Request Your White Glove Service Assessment And Diagnosis TODAY!

Send Vance a fax request to 410-697-6072 with the following information:

  • Decision makers name
  • Business name
  • Snail mail address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Project as you envision it (Client Service Strategies, Speaking, Marketing review/analysis, etc)
  • Required completion date, if any

A response can be expected within 72 hours.

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