Cast Member’s Corner: How Do We Do It?

A week ago I asked what some people wanted to know from a Cast Member.  I’m going to work on answering everyone’s questions to the best of my ability and the first one that really struck me was when someone wanted to know how Cast Members seem to keep their kind and cheerful demeanor when some guests can be difficult.  If you think about the trips you’ve taken to Disney or any Disney experience you may have had the Cast Members do all seem to have a very cheerful and magical outlook, don’t they?  No matter the circumstance you never really have seen a Cast Member yell, curse, or get angry.  It’s very unlikely you will ever see a Cast Member get angry at all.  I can’t speak for all Cast Members but I can speak for myself and pass on what some others I worked with have told me. 

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, Cast Members come in a wide variety.  There are young and old, male and female, tall and short, and even Cast Members with different nationalities.  With speaking to some of the Cast Members I worked with that were retired I got some insight.  The Cast Members that were retired and came to work at Disney did that by choice.  They wanted to work for Disney, they didn’t mind the early mornings and occasional grumpy guests.  They chose this job because they loved working with kids.  They loved the idea of Disney and bringing magic to the whole family.  They didn’t let that one guest get to them, because there were plenty of other guests waiting that were excited.  Their attraction, show, event, or character is what they love.  You’ll notice it with their demeanor and the vocabulary they use.  They did not do it for the money; they did it for the fun of the job and the smiles on the guests faces.

Between the heat, lines, crowds, and unscheduled ride closer it’s no wonder some guests may get aggravated.  We’re all human and I’m sure every last one of us is guilty of taking it out on the wrong person at least one time or another.  While I was working one time I kindly asked a guest to please fasten their seatbelt.  The guest then proceeded to tell me that they refused to listen to a sixteen year old tell them what to do.  Now I was twenty when I worked at Disney.  Anywhere other than Disney people may have gotten very annoyed or upset.  Instead, in true Disney fashion, I smiled asked kindly if they could strap on their seatbelt so that they could “take flight” and then continued on my way.  My fellow Cast Member, who was older than myself, made sure to check on those guests a final time before Dumbo was all clear for take off.  It was because I knew I had the support of my fellow Cast Member as well as the support of several other guests that I did not let this get to me.  An important thing to remember as a Cast Member is, that those guests that let the heat get to them will forget you as soon as they get onto the next ride.  It is those guests that you change a bad day into a good day and really enhance their experience that will remember you.  It’s the extra bit you add, such as acting your part, the vocabulary you use, and the magic you bring.

Unlike some other jobs, Cast Members really don’t get that much recognition, but they’re not working for that.  Though if you have a truly wonderful experience and want to tell everyone about that one Cast Member that really made your trip you absolutely can.  You can write to Disney and tell them how much you enjoyed that Cast Member and what they did to make your vacation truly magical.  You could email them this letter or you can send it in that old fashion snail mail!  If you can’t wait until you get home to tell Disney about it you can go to the front desk of your hotel, or you can even stop at any of the Guest Services at the parks.  This will eventually get back to the Cast Member and let me tell you, it really does make their day and make them feel like they’re doing something right.

Cast Members get the privilege of meeting all kinds of guests, for good or for grumpy.  Guests get the privilege of meeting Cast Members goofy, funny, and magical.  No matter what kind of guest a Cast Member gets they know that it is their job to be happy, cheerful, and smile.  It is about turning a guest’s bad day into a magical one and giving each guest that Disney experience.  We don’t do it for the recognition, for the money, or for the hours.  Cast Members do it because it is what they honestly love doing.  Making guests experience truly magical days, seeing those smiling faces, and watching families truly enjoy themselves it what makes everything worth it.  So both guests and Cast Members have some faith and trust and believe in the magic of Disney’s pixie dust!

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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!

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