To Create Magic

~by Hibiscus Dental President, Josh Gunnell, D.M.D.

While creating and running our dentistry business, I am often asked-“What do you want to achieve”? My answer-is very simple. I want to create something magical. I want to create experiences for our patients; experiences that they will go and tell their families, their friends, colleagues, and neighbors about. I want them to tell people that Hibiscus Dental is where they need to go for dental care because at Hibiscus Dental, patients are treated the right way, every time. And,that patients know and feel that we strive to do that with every visit.

As I look at other companies that I admire to see what they do to show customers how important they are, I repeatedly come back to the same one. This company simply stands head and shoulders above all in customer service; the Walt Disney Company. As a frequent Disney guest and an avid Disney admirer, I am continuously impressed with the way Disney delivers the guest experience. Regardless of the number of visits I make to Walt Disney World, very single visit creates some new magic.

I ask myself, how? It’s not just the attractions, rides, and characters. Those certainly play a role. However, they alone cannot be what sets Disney so far apart from the competition. Other theme parks and companies have fabulous, unique rides and attractions as well. Yet none create the magic that is Disney. So what is so different with the Walt Disney World company?

My answer to this question has been found! This unique quality that the Walt Disney Company possesses, is actually very simple. It is their people, their employees, everyone who works there. The cast members, as they call them. Each and every cast member is empowered with the tools to provide an optimum guest experience. It’s how the cast members make the guests feel that is what makes a trip to Walt Disney World stand out.

I want to share some thoughts from Tom Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts:

“While we may be known for our castles, mountains, cruise ships, and hotels, I believe that the one thing that most sets Disney apart is our cast- and it’s their special, individualized, and unscripted interactions with guests that create the most memorable Disney moments.

Big or small, those interactions are often captured in the letters we receive from our guests every day. In fact, reading those letters is one of the most enjoyable parts of my job. They don’t always mention their favorite attraction, show, or meal, but they almost always tell us about a cast member who made their experience unforgettable.

This is true for guests I run into in the parks as well. They love telling me all about the cast members who have made a difference in their visit. But they also seem to have one inevitable question for me.

“How does Disney do it?”

Of course, my first answer is always, “It’s magic.” This gets mixed reactions. Some accept this answer with a smile and give me a look that says, “I knew you were going to say that.”

Others, however, press harder for concrete answers, as they genuinely want to know the secrets to how to create that magic. Some of them have businesses of their own, with a workforce to motivate, customers they need to please, and products they want to be valuable and relevant.

They want to know exactly, step by step, what we do to make each person feel special throughout a Disney vacation. They want to know why our cast members are always smiling- how they maintain the enthusiasm, creativity, and ability to transport guests to a place of fantasy and adventure while simultaneously making them feel right at home.

Most are quite shocked when I tell them that it isn’t a secret at all. Our magic is both an art and a science. We start with a great story and design ideas to create an experience. We implement training and processes like any well-run company to make sure that we operate safely and efficiently. And we rely on the intuitive hospitality and friendliness of our outstanding cast to make each guest feel like we have designed the place just for them. As a result, after several decades of practice, we have combined this art and this science to build a culture of world-class storytelling and legendary guest service.

Creating the best possible experience for our guests to share with family, friends, loved ones, and colleagues is the essence of what we do, and it defines who we are.

Individual stories, attractions, and experiences may change over time, but the expectation to deliver a magical guest experience is timeless. It is our dream and our mission to keep that magic alive, to exceed those expectations, and to welcome people from around the world to be our guests for years to come.”

While I realize that providing an outstanding guest experience for dental patients is quite different than a theme park vacation, many of the principles that the Walt Disney Company employs translate directly into what we dream to accomplish at Hibiscus Dental.

Join me in creating magic for our patients.


Josh Gunnell D.M.D.
Hibiscus Dental