A walk through your favorite Disney theme parks might remind you of another time, when filling your gas tank was an interaction and an experience, not simply just a passing transaction that emptied your wallet.
Oscars, home of the ‘Super Service’ in Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Step into Disney’s Hollywood Studios and you’ll find that you can get ‘Super Service’ at Oscars. It has to be super service, because the old tow truck advertised towing for the stars. That meant everything had to be squeaky clean – for a service station. Even attendants dressed in spotless white uniforms would meet you with a smile as you drove in to fill up your car, while providing you with a cold beverage to go.
An Oscar’s attendant ready to provide Super Service
Out in the high desert of Condor Flats at Disney California Adventure, you find Fly and Buy. You’re fortunate. Back in the late forties to the early sixties, it wasn’t always easy to find a place to get gas. And back then, people drove cars that needed refueling more often than today. Availability was very important. Fly and Buy was there for you.
Fly and Buy in Condor Flats at Disney California Adventure
Goofy’s Gas in Toontown at Disneyland offers free gas and water. That harkens back to a time when many services were free. Free inspections of your tires, battery, oil, cables, and radiator. If you needed air, it was handled free of charge. The same was true of cleaning your windows. Very few stations take that approach any more, which suggested that it was about the entire experience, not just the commoditization of buying gas.
Service stations often came with a repair garage. Goofy’s Gas also had a motto: “If we can’t fix it, we won’t!” My guess is that if Goofy truly lived up to that motto, he probably didn’t do too many repairs at his station.
Goofy’s Gas in Disneyland’s Toontown
Another such motto could be found at Pete’s Garage at Mickey’s Toontown Fair. The suspicious motto here was “Trust Me With Your Car.” In the old days, service stations like Texaco would have slogans such as “You can Trust Your Car to the Man Who Wears the Stars”. It’s hard to associate the words Trust and Gas together any more. But there was a time when you could trust the service at your local gas station.
Pete’s Service Station, formerly of Mickey’s Toontown Fair
Unfortunately, like the demise of Mickey’s Toontown Fair at the Magic Kingdom, there is also a demise of service stations like those of the old days. But all of these stations still embody some important points around service – points that are valuable even if you aren’t running a gas station.
- Treat everyone like a star
- Keep it clean and shiny
- Offer friendly service
- Be accessible and available
- Provide for the total experience
- Build and maintain trust
…are still good points in customer service today.
It’s enough for any customer to say, “Fill ‘er Up!”