Walt Disney World like all of the Disney Parks has been going through a lot of major changes in the recent years. Disney is constantly changing its parks, yearly and monthly things are changing even if they are just small changes. These are to benefit the guests, making lines shorter, park time more enjoyable, and more memorable moments. It is a big thing for everyone when these changes take place. Guests may find their favorite rides temporarily down or Cast Member’s may find themselves learning new procedures or even new rides! People might wonder what generally happens when all of these new changes are unveiled. If you’ve visited Disney before when these changes have taken place you may already know how seamlessly Disney tries to incorporate them. But what about with the Cast Members?
When Disney is going to make some changes it only makes sense that they tell their Cast Members. Often times it starts at the top and trickles down after it has been finalized. As a Cast Member when the New Fantasyland was being planned and the groundbreaking occurring, I got to witness one of these big changes.
As with everything else there were rumors circulating around and the managers would not credit or discredit these rumors. Many kept very tight lipped. When Cast Members that were directly involved were finally told it was after park hours one day. Since I was working in Fantasyland I was one who was going to be affected by the changes. All the Cast Members in Fantasyland who closed that day went into Mickey’s Philharmagic for a meeting. For the first time I didn’t watch the 4D show on the screen but a slide show of pictures of us while working. At the end of the slide show they revealed the blueprints and plans for the New Fantasyland. They discussed with us the plans, the timeline, and what would be changing for us. It was great to know the plans and be told that there would be different attractions that we could be a part of.
Guests witness these changes as well, by looking through the rumors and press releases on the Internet or being in the parks when it’s happening. There are some walls put up blocking your path and view, or there may be a favorite ride of yours temporarily unavailable. What is really a great experience though is when the changes are almost finished and they have soft openings like they did for the New Fantasyland. Select guests will be invited to take a look and go on the new rides. Then they’ll be asked to provide feedback on the changes. This provides the Cast Members practice with the public and seeing how they react rather than just practicing with other Cast Members. If you ever have the privilege to take part in one of the soft openings it is an amazing feeling.
Obviously all changes are different and handled differently depending on what type of change it is and it’s location. That being said though, the changes are being made based on guest feedback and what guests want more of. Cast Members are informed formally when these changes are finalized and the Cast Members directly involved are the ones who most of the time, learn first. Then Cast Members get to hold soft openings in order to get feedback from the guests to see what they can still do better.
Disney always has the guest in mind when it comes to its changes. So even if your favorite ride has been taken out of the park, change can be good because maybe now they’re putting in your new favorite ride. So until next time have faith and trust in Disney’s big and little changes, and let them shower you in pixie dust.
What is your favorite change that Disney has done?
Jess was born and raised on Long Island, New York but once college began so did her adventures. She’s lived in Florida, Wisconsin, and now South Carolina. Her family is part of the Disney Vacation Club and has been visiting since she was a little girl, and continuously goes every year. Besides being a big Disney fan she has also been a Disney Cast Member working in Magic Kingdom, and she counts it as one of the most magical experiences. She worked with everyone’s favorite elephant Dumbo, Cinderella’s Carousel, and Mickey’s Philharmagic. Jess has also visited Disneyland, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, and gone on two Disney Cruises. She has so many great memories from Disney besides running half marathons and 5ks, birthday parties, and family reunions. If asked where she would want to go it is almost always Disney, and when asked why, it is almost always because she can eat awesome gluten free food! And it doesn’t hurt that there is always faith, trust, and pixie dust with magic in the air!