Leave it to Disney to lead the way.

Fact:  Times Square would not look the way it does today without Disney.

When I first moved to the city in the early 90s, 42nd Street was still a disaster of crack addicts and run down movie theaters, and this weird corner hot dog stand.

And then Disney was the first corporation to commit to a presence on the seedy block with the New Amsterdam Theatre.  And with that, they became the cornerstone of the redevelopment of 42nd Street, which blossomed into the redevelopment of Times Square, which is one of the reasons NYC has more tourists than ever and another reason why Broadway business boomed in the last couple of decades.

So, regardless of what some of you may think of the ‘corporatization’ of The Great White Way, The Mouse has done a massive amount of good.

And they continue to lead the way in a variety of areas, especially in customer service.

Last week I published a blog about Broadway’s return policy (or lack thereof), and not too long after I received an email from a big Muckety Muck over at the Mouse House making sure I knew about their new public ticketing policy for Aladdin.  

What’s that policy?  Well, it’s basically what I described in that blog.

You can exchange your tickets – for a $12 fee (that is waived if you do it where you bought the tickets within a 24 hour period.)  You can read the full policy here.

I’ve always heard that Disney was pretty liberal with exchanges (and even refunds (!)) since customer loyalty is so important to them since their brand crosses over so many different mediums, from theme parks to movies and more.  And, let’s face it, they can afford to be more liberal, since they have a market cap of 134.26 billion dollars.

But what’s awesome about their new advertised policy is that customers will win when they need to exchange, and Disney will win, because they’ll make a few extra bucks in the process (that market cap may just go up a bit).

So the question is . . . now that Disney has led the way, and since they recently left their outlier status behind and became full members of the Broadway League, how long until all the other Broadway Producers (and theater owners – since that’s what it’s really going to take to change ticketing policy) follow suit?

I give it 18 months.  In 18 months, all of Broadway will be offering for-a-small-price exchanges.

Your prediction?

(If you want a great read on Disney and their customer service policies, check out this book.  Implement just one of their practices and your theatergoers will be oodles happier.)


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.