In front of Cinderella Castle in WDW

This photo is directly in front of Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World. It is in millions of photos. Did you know that it is actually a compass?

Attention to detail.

Also did you know it is Cinderella Castle and not Cinderella’s Castle?

Just a little trivia.

Have a Flan-Tastic Day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me: Flustered right now. Need to shake that off before I start this beautiful day.

Attention to Detail

It will come as no surprise to most of you that I am a Disney fan.

One of the things I enjoy most on my trip is studying Disney’s attention to detail.

On my recent trip we stayed at the Boardwalk for the first time. On the first morning while sipping coffee on my balcony I noticed an employee leaf blowing the sidewalk. I also noticed that there were not that many leaves on the walk and wondered if Disney does this at all resorts. Staggering miles of walks to maintain.


On day two I again noticed an employee leaf blowing, but this time I noticed something special. As two guests approached, the employee turned off the blower, stepped aside to let the guests pass and then resumed her duties.


On day three I was greeted with a truck, generator and two employees. Now I have to admit that it was quite noisy but this one blew my mind. This day they were scrubbing the walks with a hand-operated floor type scrubber. As you can see in the picture, it was clearly making a difference.


Disney’s attention to detail is astounding.

Have a Flan-tastic Day and pay attention to detail around you. It can change your perspective.

Donna Flanagin

Random me: I am the Fairy GladMother in the Popcorn Parade. Shhhh…don’t tell the children.

Disney Inspired – Main Street


Have you ever had a construction project that seemed to take on a life of it’s own? You know, the small easy little project that blossoms into a major overhaul and all of a sudden there is no turning back.

After attending a Disney Institute workshop, one of my “take aways” was that it would be a good idea to separate our reception area from our production area. A place to greet our customers that was clean, quiet and inviting.  Before I take you on a tour,  I want to give you just a little background about our business.  We are a small bulk mail business in Valparaiso Indiana. Although we had a very nice place, our space was limited and so was our budget.

The goal was to build one wall with two windows.  How hard could that be?

one wall - two windows - done

Well, that was easy!  One wall, two windows, project done.

Not so fast…the window awnings gave it an unexpected outdoor feel, so now wouldn’t a lamppost be perfect to complete the whole outdoor thing?  Oh, now wouldn’t a park bench be cute too.  And so the saga begins…..

A lamppost and park bench - done!

Next came the 1890’s post office complete with the ink well and fountain pens.  How fitting , a post office inside a bulk mail business!

First - the 1890's post office

With the help of my very talented daughter and carpenter extraordinaire, Erica George… Flanagin’s  Main Street USA was born.

Erica George - carpenter extraordinaire

Then came the Swedish Bakery.

The Swedish Bakery

Then the Barber Shop

The Barber Shop.

Next the Seamstress Shop.

The General Store

The Confectionery

The Railway Station

and the Cinema.

Bye 😉 Come back soon.

From the bakery smells and ragtime music to the cinema lights and hidden bird’s nest, we have had so much fun thinking and creating  “outside the (bulk mail) box.”

Thanks for visiting and have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  I am learning more about life every day. What an awesome journey.

Employee Appreciation Contest

W.A.Y. = We Appreciate You


We were looking for something fun for the employees that would also benefit the company and be fair to everyone.  We designed a contest called the “W.A.Y. To Go” contest.  (W.A.Y. = We Appreciate You).

This contest was inspired by Disney’s “Great Service Fanatic” card.

There were 12 items on the list.  If an employee did any one of these they could enter their name in the drawing.  In fact, they could enter as many times as they actually completed that item.  They also could enter a co-workers name for them, if they felt they deserved it.

There were two ways to win.  The person that had the most entries won a prize and then there was a random drawing of all the rest of the entries for the second prize.  Both prizes had the same value, so everyone had a fair chance.

It was a huge success.

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  Sometimes I have so many creative ideas floating in my head that I get frustrated because I want to do them all.

Disney Institute – Transforming a Small Business

The Notebook

I never envisioned that the Disney Institute (D.I.) would transform my business,  but I must confess,  it did.  Don’t get me wrong,  it didn’t happen overnight.  In fact, it has been an ongoing process ever since my first Back Stage Magic tour in 2005.  That tour led to a full 5-day workshop Disney’s Value Chain Unlocking the Magic in your Business in 2008 in Orlando Florida and subsequently a Keys to Excellence workshop later in 2008 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

In the coming days, I plan to blog about my D.I. experiences and how they affected a small Bulk Mail business in Valparaiso, Indiana.  I will give you my perspective, details and photos on what I have learned and how I have implemented it into my business.  I have no affiliation with D.I., I just want to share my thoughts.

I began with the misconception that the D.I. workshops were geared only towards large wealthy corporations with CEO’s, COO’s, CFO’s or any other “O’s” you can think of.  The truth is the workshops are beneficial to any business, large or small it doesn’t matter.  What does matter, is what you do with the information after you leave the excitement of the facilitators and the workshops.

I now realize that I too am the C.E.O. of my small business, Chief Excitement Officer.  Who knew?

I will confess right here and now that I was scared to death to put myself in the same room with these huge corporations, but I am so glad I did and I have no regrets.

Thanks for reading and have a wonder-filled day.

Donna Flanagin

Random Me: I like summer rain storms.

%d bloggers like this: