There is no place like a Disney theme park during the holidays. If you have ever been there you realize that the lights, the decorations, and the atmosphere make these amazing places even more magical than usual… as hard as that is to believe.

During the early years of Disneyland, Walt Disney decided that they needed to create and add a special Christmas parade to the park for the holidays.

Disney always referred to his accountants as “bean counters.” And as you might imagine any idea Walt had always caused the bean counters a bit of stress. This Christmas parade was no exception.

Once the cost of the parade was totaled up it was going to be a $350,000 extravaganza. According to Disney historian Les Perkins, the bean counters approached Walt and said, “Why spend money on a Christmas parade? It won’t draw people to the park. The people will already be here, so it is an expense we can do without. No one will complain if we don’t have a Christmas parade because no one is expecting it.”

Walt said, “That is the point! We should do the parade precisely because no one’s expecting it. Our goal at Disneyland is to always give the people more than they expect. As long as we keep surprising them, they’ll keep coming back. But if they ever stop coming, it’ll cost us ten times that much to get them to come back.”

He understood that surprising people, giving them more than they bargained for, taking the time and going the extra mile was worth it in many ways.

We all realize how much it means to us when someone puts for extra effort, goes the extra mile, adds just a bit more detail and the end result is something that gives us more quality, a better experience, and enhances our life. I wonder if there are times that each of us need to take an extra moment and ask ourselves, “is there something a little extra I could do that might surprise and do something so unexpected that I might just make another person’s day?”

Walt Disney was always trying to “plus” the guest experience and he wasn’t afraid to go to the extra effort or expense.

Today…take a moment and try to “plus” the day for someone else.

It makes a difference.

You make a difference!