I have a great fondness for Disney Cast Members and not just because I live with a couple of them. The Cast Members always made my Walt Disney World vacation more magical and I am grateful for that. I did not expect them to do anything above their duties in any position, but sometimes they just did, and it was so special. I am ok if that doesn’t happen every time I go to the parks, because that is what makes it even more special when it does happen. Something that the vast majority of Cast Members show every day is kind-heartedness. Yes, there are also a few that come to work in a bad mood and act Grumpy’s part, which is human nature, and not a deliberate plot to ruin my personal vacation. We don’t know what else is going on in their lives outside of Disney and sometimes it can affect their outlook that day. Be kind any way. Next time you are at Walt Disney World, take a few minutes while you are in the queue and really observe how the Cast Members perform their duties and compliment them or thank them if it is appropriate.
7. Humble-many Cast Members exhibit this quality daily as they perform their Cast Member duties, following the training they have had, doing the same tasks daily, answering the same Guest questions several hundred times a day, and responding with respect to each Guest. They enjoy interacting with Guests when time allows. By Humble I mean they do not respond with arrogance, or believing they are better than everyone else. They show respect to Guests while they are “on stage”. I think this Disney idea that everyone is part of the “Cast” of the “Show” enables people to go beyond what they feel like saying, or react to, to doing it in the ways they were trained to.
6. Patient-it takes great patience as a Mom to hear the same questions repeatedly, so imagine multiplying that by about a hundred? Cast Members often get the same questions day after day and respectfully answer them each time (even though there might be a sign right next to them addressing the same issue the question was raised about). They know that each guest has a different story about how they got there and that they may be talking to a Guest who is there for the first time and honestly is overwhelmed after arriving at Walt Disney World at how big it really is. They may have saved for years to get here, and they may never be coming back. This may be their only encounter with Disney and they want it to be a good one. They may see a Guest drop trash in their queue, rather than stepping a few feet and deposit it in a trash can, and the Cast Member will pick up any trash they see and dispose of it properly. They are constantly moving strollers from the front of their attraction to the correct stroller parking area, since leaving them in the way of the entrance is a fire hazard. They don’t argue with a Guest but rather ask them kindly to take their child down off the wall. They take a lot of blowback sometimes when a Guest confronts them demanding something they think they are “entitled” to since they spent “fill-in-the-blank- number of dollars on this vacation” and completely disrespect the Cast Member in the process. It may surprise you the stories of some of the people working at Walt Disney World. Some are retired business owners, some retired Fortune 500 company corporate staff, some Cast Members that have been working there since the park opening, and of course students working their first job or earning college credit while working there. There is a variety of backgrounds in the Cast Members working at Walt Disney World so don’t assume you are speaking to someone who is less intelligent than you.
5. Good listeners-Cast Members are good at listening to what you are telling them about your situation and quick to respond as best they can. If you are having a health issue and need medical care they are quick to make the call for you. Maybe you just want to know where they sell corndogs in the park, ask a Cast Member and they will be able to answer that for you. I know there will be comments about a CM who did not listen well, and I have had one experience with that myself, but only once for me. I have been in the parks hundreds of times and for the most part, Cast Members really do listen to the questions posed to them. Trying to understand English with accents from all over the world can be challenging as well so listening closely helps with that too.
4. Compassionate-Cast Members exhibit this trait when responding to frustrated Guests, Guests with Disabilities, etc. For the most part I have found them to be kind-hearted and willing to help anyone in need. Don’t expect them to create a magical moment for you at every attraction, or every trip. They are not robots, remember they are people too and speak to them kindly, not looking down on them or behave as though they are somehow below you. These Cast Members work long hours, for low pay, and really want to make your day and your vacation as great as they possibly can. If you attack them and demand they do things for you, don’t expect Magical things to happen. The more you demand or the louder you get, will only make it less likely you will get what you are demanding. Be fair. Everyone has spent a lot of money to be a Guest at Walt Disney World and should be treated equally well.
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3. Knowledgeable-there are many hours of training that each Cast Member must go through, successfully, before they can be placed “on stage”. There is extensive safety training for the attractions and the Cast Members are taught and tested on their knowledge of the attraction before they are able to work it. They really do know the parameters of the ride, how many people and of what size can fit comfortably and safely in the ride vehicle so when you reach the CM grouping people into the ride vehicle tell them the total number in your party. They cannot sit two people in a row meant for six and get everyone on the ride in a reasonable period of time. They are trying to respond to you, load the ride efficiently, and get everyone on the ride as quickly as they can. (So they are also good multi-taskers!) Everyone wants the wait times reduced and if all the people that think they should have their own row had their way it would result in unnecessary extended wait times. They are sensitive to the Guest’s experience and will not pack you in tight, unless the lines are hours long. Otherwise they may just put a couple more people in your row for six, in this example.
2. Good Team Players-you may observe the Cast Members helping each other out frequently. I have seen it when I was paying attention. For years I honestly never noticed the Guests who behaved unseemly toward a CM but I unfortunately notice it now. If a CM is approached by a Guest with a complaint usually there is another CM in the immediate area that will come in and offer aid to the situation. If they have to empty the queue for some reason they will help each other perform the task and answer any questions that come up. They know they can rely on each other and they work well together with the combined goal to bring you an enjoyable Disney World vacation. There is a chain of command that is respected there among the CM’s and they know who to communicate with to get the job done. They are more efficient because they are team players.
1. Positive Outlook-it may be because they understand that they are stepping “on stage” and to fulfill their roles as “Cast Members” they put on that positive outlook, or it may be something deeper inside the kind of people that enjoy working to make someone else’s vacation magical. Either way, I find the Cast Members have a pretty good outlook and a cheerful disposition. They have always played a big part in making my family’s vacations enjoyable. We have had extra-special trips that hinged on Cast Member’s interactions with us and I think they are an integral part of a truly Magical Walt Disney World vacation!
Has a Cast Member made your WDW vacation more special? Don’t you wish your family, friends and co-workers all had these amazing traits?