Cast Members at Walt Disney World are made up of all kinds of people. There are young people in their first jobs. There are older ones who may have had very successful careers in corporate America and chose to work here as a “retirement job”. There are people that represent everything in between. They all work at Walt Disney World, however, with the desire to be part of the MAGIC. Most of them work very long hours, and most, if not all, of the Holidays, and they try to make your vacation as enjoyable as they can. Perhaps you could take a moment to show them some kindness. Here are 10 suggestions in how we can all do that. Ironically, the things Cast Members ask you for each and every day are also the things that make them the happiest in their jobs and they make your vacation more enjoyable too!
10. Please do not get upset with Cast Members because your stroller is somewhere other than where you parked it.
There are stroller parking areas designated for every attraction at Walt Disney World. It is not usually right next to the attraction entrance path, but if you look you will most likely see it as you approach the attraction. If you do not see it please ask the CM at the entrance where it is. CM’s are constantly moving strollers from locations that are left in fire lanes, or other safety critical paths, to the designated stroller parking. When guests come out of the ride and go back to where they left their stroller it may not be there because of these safety issues. Please don’t raise your voice at CM’s demanding to know where your stroller was taken, just ask them where the designated stroller parking is for this attraction. It is much easier if you just park it in the designated spot to begin with. The CM’s are doing their jobs to keep the paths open for possible emergency assistance and avoiding other guests from tripping over your stroller parked in a pathway. Also know that strollers parked within the designated stroller parking area also getting moved when another guest takes their stroller(s) from within the lines. CM’s need to close the gaps left by moving strollers to the side, thus opening space for guests adding strollers to the lines. It is also helpful if you do not lock the wheels so it is easier to move. Wheelchair and ECV owners need to follow this same advice and do not lock your wheeled vehicle or chain it to something. CM’s are just doing their jobs, they have no desire to confuse you or upset you. This kindness is: park your stroller, wheelchair, or ECV where it is supposed to be parked for this attraction; don’t be angry with CM’s about where your vehicle is.
9. Please be careful of where you are going with your ECV or wheelchair and don’t run into Cast Members or over their feet with the wheels.
Unfortunately there have been guests and Cast Members hurt by this happening. It is a higher occurrence with Cast Members because they are in the park working daily and are in areas more susceptible for this to happen. A CM may move into your path area to stop you from moving forward while giving verbal directions to another line next to yours. Watch for how they control the flow of the lines. There have been CM’s with permanent damage from being run over by the wheels on these vehicles. This kindness is: Please don’t run over or into other people with your ECV or wheelchair. Err on the side of caution and wait if you do not think you can negotiate the space.
8. Keep your party together.
This keeps the lines moving more smoothly which enables the Cast Members to board more guests on an attraction which means they are being more productive in their positions. When approaching a FastPass+ entrance have your FP+ cards in each person’s hand and use both sides of touchpoints there. Touch your Mickey head on your Magic Band to the Mickey head on the touchpoint. If we move efficiently the ride works more efficiently and that makes everyone happier. We can see how long we will be in line from the entrance to boarding a ride so there are no surprises there; use it to determine if your party needs to visit the restroom first. Keep in mind there is a possibility your ride may stop moving and your wait may be even longer. Stay together in line and be ready to tell the Cast Member who will board you how many are in your party. Decide who you are riding with but allow the CM to tell you how many rows you need. This kindness is: keep your party together before you get in line and stay together in line.
7. Don’t jump the line.
Yes, this is a kindness. If you jump the line you not only annoy those around you, but you may trip over the rope/chain, as many guests have, doing a faceplant on the concrete. This means you have ruined your day and that of your party, many other guests and Cast Members as well. Along these same lines are parties who constantly come and go through the line. Please make sure your party has all gone to the bathroom prior to boarding a ride or entering a theater so that no one will have to try and find you in the line, being forced to jump several areas of the line, or worse find them on a ride feeling very uncomfortable because they need to visit the restroom. Take care of that before your party gets in line so you can all enjoy the great Disney themed attractions you paid all that money for. If your party is split after entering the line since you were not together, the ones in the front need to go back to the others farther back. Just follow the ropes, they are purposely set up to get you to the ride, don’t jump a line thinking you can get ahead. If other guests complain that you are just cutting in line, the CM will tell you to leave the line. This kindness is: don’t jump the lines.
6. Remember to wish the Cast Members well on Holidays.
The full time CM’s work every holiday and give up that time with their families to keep the parks open for your enjoyment. They really appreciate it when a guest wishes them a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, etc. Many guests already do this and it is happily received by Cast Members. It also helps their family to know that guests appreciate their loved one being there. This kindness is: wish the Cast Members well on Holidays.
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5. Listen to the Cast Members when you are in their attraction.
As guests we need to listen to announcements, read signs, and adhere to directions given to us by the Cast Members. If a situation arises, our willingness to listen to the CM’s could save lives. They know what to do when a situation arises, we do not. We need to listen to their directions, and be patient. For instance, if our ride stops, don’t think the CM’s have forgotten us, they can see us on the security screens and they are coming to help us. Do not get out of your ride vehicle until the CM’s tell you to and how they tell you to. If you are afraid to ride something, don’t get in line for it and if you board the vehicle, don’t decide you no longer want to ride it and get out of your ride vehicle. If you do this the entire ride stops, guests have to be evacuated from the ride, many losing a FP at the same time, ruining many people’s experience on the attraction, and you may be asked to leave the park. This may have been a lifelong dream to come to Walt Disney World and what a shame it would be to have it ruined in this way. Please, listen to announcements made by CM’s, recorded announcements and read signs to safely enjoy any attraction. I have heard Cast Members tell guests repeatedly not to take flash photography and most guests listen, but there are always some who think that does not apply to them. It does, so please be courteous to other guests and listen to these announcements. If you don’t pull down your lap bars as soon as you are seated you will slow down your whole train/boat load. This adds up when other guests do this all day long. If you forgot something of yours in the ride vehicle, don’t turn around and run at it. Ask a CM to look for it when the ride vehicle gets back around. Someone else is already in the vehicle and it is moving or about to move so don’t run at it. The CM’s will talk to you and help you find it if it is possible. Be patient. This kindness is: listen to the Cast Members.
4. Please remember that these Cast Members are not robots, they are human beings.
Some very hurtful things have been done and said to CM’s because they didn’t allow guests to do whatever they wanted to do. There are policies and procedures for doing things at Walt Disney World that need to be followed for everyone to have an enjoyable visit to the parks and resorts. Some guests have no problem asking for and even demanding unreasonable things. They have even expressed exactly how much money they have spent on their vacation there and that they are therefore entitled to have these demands met. If you are kind to a Cast Member they will do as much as they can for you. I have actually been told this by several Cast Members across different parks/resorts that this happens. These entitled guests yell at the CM’s, verbally attacking them, cutting them down on their appearance or intellect, unfairly berating them and this is not acceptable. This is bullying. There is a lot of passive-aggressive behavior when adults are told no. Please remember we are all human beings and they are not being paid to make everything you demand to happen. They are not stupid, they are not ugly just because they may tell you no. The cost of your admission does not give you the right to treat them like robots that are there to make your every wish come true. Everyone in the park paid admission just like you, don’t ask for things that everyone else does not enjoy. If you have a suggestion, great, take it to Guest Relations. If there is something in the ride vehicle when you get in, don’t pick it up and throw it at a Cast Member. Hand it to them, they don’t need these items thrown at them. This kindness is: remember the Cast Members are human beings with feelings too.
3. Here is something easy we can all do, share a smile with a CM.
When I encounter a Cast Member I make sure to smile warmly at them and treat them with respect. It goes a long way. Don’t you want to spend your vacation with a smile on your face? This kindness is: smile!
2. The Cast Members all go through intensive training and are not “on stage” as a Cast Member until they have demonstrated that they know their attractions’ important operational guidelines to make it safe and enjoyable for us.
Don’t say to the CM boarding a ride vehicle, that has multiple seats in a row, that you want 2 rows for your party of 4 when the rows seat 4 adults. They efficiently assess the “size” of our party and they have enough experience to judge how many of us will fit, safely and comfortably, in a row. It is not fair to everyone waiting in line to expect your own personal row(s). This is a theme park and we should expect the CM’s to seat us efficiently when there are long lines out the door. If we happen to visit on a day that is not so busy and there is not a line behind us, the CM’s will give us additional space. We can trust them to give us the best experience possible. Don’t walk up to a Cast Member that is handling another situation to ask them your question, look for a different Cast Member that looks less busy. There are several CM’s at the entrances you can ask. So this kindness is: respect that they know their attraction* and provide an enjoyable, safe, experience for us. (*or food service, resort location, etc.)
1. The number one thing we can do to brighten a Cast Member’s day is to say “Thank you”.
I aim to do this, along with the smile, for every Cast Member I encounter. I know they don’t make a lot of money and could be working somewhere else but chooses to be there to make my visit more enjoyable. That certainly deserves my gratitude. If they are having a bad day, all the more reason to smile and express my thanks. It could be enough to turn their day around. This kindness is: say “Thank you” whenever you can to Cast Members.
I hope that this encourages you to be kind to Cast Members. Being kind to others will make your day better too. They really cannot accept physical, actual gifts, but these kindnesses they are happy to have.