Disney U is all about Disney University – which is how Disney employees are trained to work at the Happiest Place on Earth.  It is probably the ultimate behind the scenes book for anyone who wants to know how it works or who might be looking to get a job at Disney.  The book may also be helpful to those in a managerial position in giving some tips, tricks and ideas on how to outsource HR services for small business and keeping your employees engaged and happy.

At the end of each chapter there is a Lesson Review which recaps the topics talked about in the chapter as well as gives you some key points on what was discussed.  Keep all this in mind because these are the most important aspects of the training that are mentioned.  If you read nothing else – be sure to read and fully understand these topics at the end of the chapters.  While all the reviews are geared specifically towards Disney – it shouldn’t be too difficult to relate this information to your job or any job.  Some chapter reviews try to get you to think outside the box and find out what your company’s “Mickey Mouse” is to make it even easier to relate everything back to your company or organization. From the most common reasons for high turnover rate to employee satisfaction.

It’s no secret I’d LOVE to be a Disney Imagineer, so I really enjoyed reading this book and seeing if I have what it takes to survive and think outside the box at Disney U. I also love all things Disney so teaching me more about working with employees and the importance of having a custom branded uniform while giving it a Disney twist was definitely one way to keep me engaged and wanting to keep reading.


I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in order to write this review.  I was not otherwise compensated.


About the Book


How Disney University Develops the World’s Most Engaged, Loyal,

and Customer-Centric Employees

By Doug Lipp


In helping Walt Disney create The Happiest Place on Earth, Van France was responsible for a breakthrough in employee training.  In 1955, he created a singular Disney approach and attitude between employee and customer: The Show and The Cast, backstage and on-stage. These are the very essentials of the program still used today among thousands of Disney employees and at all Disney properties worldwide.

France has been described as “a strange combination of three of Disney’s most famous characters – Jiminy Cricket, Mary Poppins, and Donald Duck,” and his program also combined key elements: Training, management, human resources, innovation, engagement, smiles, laughter, and a lot of fun.

DISNEY U (March 25, 2013; HC. $27.00) by long-time Disney insider Doug Lipp, offers anecdotes of France’s timeless company values and leadership lessons in both conception and action.  Together they created a training and development dynasty; Lipp unpacks how any company can create a similar level of hands-on care that keeps customers coming back.

Disney University continues to turn out some of the most engaged, loyal, wildly passionate and customer-centered employees the business world has ever seen. Maintaining that high level of sustained enthusiasm – through crises, slumps, and crashes – is a testament to Disney’s investment in people and positive psychology.

The concepts of Disney U can bring the “Imagineer” mentality to your own company – by always putting people first. 

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