We are Disney freaks. We'd had a few very successful and enjoyable trips to Disney World, both with and without kids. We had bought some Disney stock (DIS). I had bought some Marvel Entertainment (MVL) stock a long time ago and last year Disney decided to buy the whole company, giving me a nice ten-fold increase on my original investment. We now own a bigger buttload (relative term ...) of Disney stock. We have some friends who are even more avid Disney freaks than we are, and at their urging/hounding/incessant suggestions, we joined the Disney Vacation Club, just like them. It ain't cheap, but we get top notch somewhat pre-paid vacations in incredible lodgings and second-to-none customer service for the next 50 years.
We just went to WDW last week for our second annual family trip. We stayed at Kidani Village at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. Our two bedroom suite had three full bathrooms. When we opened the curtains and went out on our deck we saw (mostly) a very nice replica of African wilderness. Between our room view and those of the surrounding hallways and such, we saw zebras, giraffes, wildebeest, warthogs, okapi (looks like a Dr. Seuss rendition of a combination of a donkey, horse and zebra), nyala (look sort of like striped deer), storks, cranes, vultures, and numerous other birds. It was wonderful.
We had five days in the parks, tiring us out significantly but providing tons o' fun. Everything at Disney is wonderful (once you get past everyone else's crying kids, that is).
But there was one incident in particular that really made the trip. Laura and Li'l A were tired, so they left to go back to the hotel room, while Li'l D and the two grandparents and I stayed at Disney's Hollywood Studios to watch the super-cool Lights, Motors, Action! stunt car show. On the way back to the busses, evidently Li'l A had dropped the new Mickey Mouse snow globe which was a gift of just a few minutes ago from the grandparents. It had shattered all over the ground and knowing that she wasn't going to get a replacement she was a wreck, tears and shrieks like crazy. At this moment, two Disney employees ("cast members") came over to see what was wrong. They then said, "Wait one minute". They came back a minute later with the exact same snow globe and sent the two of them on their merry way back to our hotel room.
This goes beyond just customer service. Regular customer service dictates that the company's employees are polite and helpful, and will get you what you need. Regular customer service does not mandate that the employees will go out of their way to make you happy, especially when it is your own fault that the product broke, as in this case.
Laura's only regret was in not getting the two cast members' names. But she was so touched by this that she e-mailed WDW when we got home. Two days later WDW called her to ask her if she could identify them. She did her best, and they called back yet again yesterday to verify and to say that they are (somehow) going to laud these two employees. It just makes us feel good that we are in with a company that cares so much not only for its customers, but also for its employees. And that we were able to do at least a small thing to give some kudos to these two people.