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Disney's Hollywood Studios: From Show Biz to Your Biz Paperback – April 27, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Theme Park Press (April 27, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1941500021
  • ISBN-13: 978-1941500026
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #933,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DrTKC on June 1, 2014
Format: Paperback
This book will make you want to relive every visit you’ve ever had to Hollywood Studios over again—but this time carrying a copy of Jeff's book! I am already checking my calendar to see when I can schedule my next visit. Not only is this book thoroughly entertaining—it is Jeff’s engaging style of writing—it brings Hollywood Studios home to you and me: or rather to your business and my business. Each of the five parts of the book explore the different sections of Hollywood Studios as we would walk through the park. Jeff gives us the back-story; he dishes what we always wanted to know about how everything got to be the way it is. [I must admit I like the parking lot story the best in Part One.] Then Jeff brings us back to our own backyard with “Ask Yourself” questions at the end of each section to help us follow two themes for our own businesses: Leading Like A Star and Making Your Customer A Star (the theme for the parking lot story). The questions help us think like The Disney Organization—and that isn’t a bad thing at all.
Jeff doesn’t only tell of glowing successes, back-stories always have a few winding turns, but that makes the success all the more sweet. In Part Two: Echo Lake, talks about the risks Walt Disney took by embracing television. The “Ask Yourself” questions get right to the point: “What’s the last new idea I enacted?” is the first. They then move on to looking outward for fresh ideas, questioning the status quo, creating synergy with others, and wondering which opportunities are passing me by.
You don’t need to be in the center of Hollywood Studios to benefit from this book. You may never have been to anything Disney in your life. Jeff’s descriptions of the situations and strategies leading to the development will make perfect sense to you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Caedmon's Fan in IL on May 26, 2014
Format: Paperback
In my opinion, one of the best books you can buy to gain a better insight into the customer service culture of Walt Disney World is Kober’s first book, “The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney.” I have used that book to teach smaller organizations and groups about the ‘ins and outs’ of how the parks, resorts and restaurants in Orlando continually deliver an excellent guest experience. I was thrilled when I saw he decided to delve deeper into just one theme park for this new book, and ordered one as soon as Amazon made them available. Kober’s writing style is the perfect formula for storytelling: examples meshed with application. Knowing WHAT things happen/happened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is not all that’s in this book. Instead, Kober shares a story about the history of the park, specifics of an attraction, or behind-the-scenes story, and then asks his readers to focus on what lessons we can learn from them. One can truly ‘hear’ the practical experience running through every chapter of this book. I hope Kober decides to, one day, release books focused on the other three Orlando parks so that we can get a focused look on them as well.

There are plenty of books out there about Walt Disney World’s customer service practices that are interesting reads, but many of them are written by people with little experience inside the company. In some instances, that ‘outside looking in’ perspective can be very valuable. However, what I feel is more valuable is when they come from someone like Kober (who used to lead programs for the Disney Institute and pens the “Disney at Work” blog) or Lee Cockerell (who actually wrote the forward to one of Kober’s other books).
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Luke G. on May 9, 2014
Format: Paperback
As an avid (and I mean AVID) reader and student of all things 'Disney', I wasn't sure how Jeff could make something too remarkably spectacular on a book of this subject matter. However, being the Disney fan that I am, there was no way I wasn't going to read it! From the onset I expected more of a timeline/history on the development and operations of the park itself. Though those aspects were certainly present, Jeff brought on many leadership and business applicable items that made it much more than a simple history book.

Here's a breakdown of the general components that made this such the enjoyable read:
1) Chapter Lengths -- The reader isn't being asked to absorb page after page after page of any given chapter. Most chapters are high energy bursts of information that can be read within minutes. Awesome!
2) "Ask Yourself" -- Each chapter ends with 4-6 questions related to the content just read that challenges the reader to evaluate how he/she can best utilize these given Disney principles within his/her own workplace environment.
3) "Extra Details" -- Within the body of the chapters are 1-2 little "bonus" content sections which share trivia and other possible unknown type information akin to the given subject. Great little nuggets of info all throughout!

Jeff has been on the cusp of Disney leadership and management principles for some years now. His expertise should not be overlooked, and this new book is a prime example of his corporate history and desire to help us all become better at whatever we may do.

If I could pinpoint a statement that sums up this book it would actually be a statement made by Jeff himself: "If this book had any purpose, it was to restore Hope. And Imagination. And Courage. And Possibilities. Again and again and again. Perhaps it seems like a fantasy world, but the messages are not. These are the ingredients of the dreamer." ~Jeff Kober (pg. 188)
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