9 Skills Gained While Working At A Walt Disney World Park

9. Understanding thick accents and some phrases in other languages:

Walt Disney World is visited by people from every corner of the globe. There are some who understand English very well but still have very thick accents. After you have heard these over a period of time, it is easier to understand what they are asking. Cast Members also pick up phrases or expressions from non-English speaking guests as well. If you are trying to learn a language, this is helpful.

8. A different stride:

Some Cast Members have to walk backwards as they load guests onto their attraction. Some performers have to use a Segway under their costumes in the parade in order to freely spin down the parade route; others are on giant stilts.

7. How many will fit:

Just as Cast Members are very good at judging the height of a child, they are also very good at judging the size of the party and how many can fit on a row in the ride vehicle. They see the sizes of people and know how many of them can safely ride in a row on their ride vehicles. Trust them. If you do not think four of you will fit, try it first, and if you are right nicely ask the Cast Member to change it.

6. Keep your party together:

When in the queue, keep your party together and tell the Cast Member the total number in your party when about to board a ride vehicle. They know if you and the 2 family members behind you are really together, even if you say “2” so in your thinking the 2 of you will get your own row and the two behind you will also. If you insist you are a party of 2 you may wind up with two strangers sitting with you rather than the rest of your party, or be on completely different vehicles. When the attraction is not very busy, the Cast Members will give you more space to spread out, but usually that should not be expected. Tell them the true number of your party always, in order to experience the attraction together. Another reason to tell them your whole party number is so you can be in the same ride photo if one is offered on the ride.

5. Judging the heights of younger guests:

This is something Cast Members who have been working an attraction for at least a few months can do correctly. The Height Bars are there for the parent to be reassured that their child’s height does/does not meet the requirement for the attraction, and for the Cast Member who has not been there as long.

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4. Math skills are sharpened:

You may think that is true only for merchandising Cast Members, but actually, it is very true with attractions Cast Members. They need to count ratios of people entering in both the Standby and the FastPass+ lines to correctly distribute the groups. They have to remember which rows and who they put into that row to keep the boats fully loaded, which oftentimes means going back to guests who split themselves up as they wished rather than going where they were asked to go. They group people to get on ride vehicles and they know how much time it should take people to get into the ride vehicle to get the number of riders per hour that they aim for. There is a lot of multitasking going on at Disney attractions.

3. How to hold your tongue:

This is a skill needed by anyone in the service industry. It is true that being treated like special guests is one of the things we all enjoy when visiting Walt Disney World. It keeps us coming back. There is sometimes an air of entitlement on the part of some guests at Disney that make it especially challenging. As a guest, I am very grateful for the Cast Members and think they do a terrific job at making me and my family feel welcome. I also see how they are addressed sometimes in ways that are shocking. They respond respectfully, even when facing an unhappy guest. I have seen them return rudeness with a genuine smile.

2. Recognizing unsafe actions and circumstances:

Safety is the number one thing stressed with Cast Members all the time. They also see actions that have led to guests hurting themselves or others. They see the results of poor and unsafe choices made by guests who did not listen to or did not want to comply with the safety signs, and messages spoken to them, about the attractions. Putting a child up on a wall may seem like nothing to a parent whose arms are very tired of holding the child. But do they see what lies behind that wall? The Cast Member knows what danger there is and quickly alerts the parent not to place his child on the wall, to only then be accused of being “nasty”. No, safety first.

1. Taking the small happy moments that happen and making them bigger than the low ones:

Disney Cast Members are really great people. Many of them came from great distances to be a part of a place they visited often with family. It would be easy to get discouraged from unhappy guests so when someone takes the time to say “Thank you!” or “Merry Christmas” to a Cast Member working the Holiday, it means something special to them. Some of the best highlights are when a child recognizes them. It comes unexpected, making it more delightful. It is like a magical moment for a Cast Member. Hanging onto those nice moments can make up for a lot of not-so-nice ones.

About Cassie

Cassie L. I am a lifelong Disney fan. I attended Walt Disney World in 1971, and was there during the opening week of EPCOT, and have visited the Disney Parks for than 30 times. I have had the privilege of visiting Disneyland as a child, and then again with my children. My family recently moved from the northeastern United States to the Walt Disney World area. I now have cast members in my family and enjoy hearing the magical stories at the end of a shift. I love visiting all of the parks and getting to try more Disney food and being able to share it with you to help you plan your own magical day at Disney.