Let me let you in on a not-so-big secret: few, if any, Cast Members work at Disney because of the money. The front line Cast Members that you see on every visit for the most part make a little bit more than minimum wage. Most Cast Members work at Disney Parks and Resorts simply because they love it. They are passionate and they truly enjoy making magic for guests.
I know that sometimes you have a less than magical experience with a Cast Member. In this case, I do ask that you think about how you act every day at your jobs, whether in a professional setting or as a stay-at-home parent. Are there days where you are consumed by negativity? Short with your boss or your kids? Consumed by stress? Disney Cast Members are expected to push all of that aside and create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for each of us.
It isn't easy, I can tell you from personal experience. In fact, it's downright hard, and I've been called "ridiculously cheerful" by my coworkers. Life sometimes gets in the way, and Disney Cast Members do an exceptional job of pushing that aside for 8+ hours, in the sweltering heat, and dealing with sometimes insane demands of managers and guests.
Magic is a two-way street. If you want that Cast Member to continue to create magical experiences, you can help by officially thanking an exceptional Cast Member. Here's how:
Stop By Guest Relations
Have you ever been to Guest Relations at the end of a long day? It usually isn't a fun place to be. Often people are there to complain about a myriad of issues. Did you know, however, you can stop there to THANK a Cast Member?
Arguably the best way to thank a Cast Member is to head to Guest Relations and share their name, location, and what they did to make your trip magical. Did a Cast Member give your child a free popcorn after they dropped theirs? Give you a Fastpass for being patient? Sang Happy Birthday to your prince or princess? Take note of their name and let Guest Relations know.
Walt Disney World Resort alone has over 65,000 Cast Members. As you can imagine, employees can feel lost in the "big picture." By stopping by Guest Relations to share a magical experience, the Cast Member who went above and beyond for your family will get the recognition they deserve by their area managers.
Do it. It's refreshing. And the Guest Relations Cast Members will be happy to hear good news for once!
Share a Story After Your Trip
If you forget to stop by Guest Relations or want to share a story afterward, you still have the opportunity to do so. You can email Disney at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call Guest Relations at (407) 824-4321. Be sure to make note of the Cast Member's name and area. You can now even tweet Walt Disney World's official Twitter account, @WDWToday.
Remember: It Takes People to Make the Dream a Reality
Walt Disney knew the importance of his Cast Members. When you're waiting on a long line and see a Cast Member who is working extra hard to keep guests happy, say "thank you." Trust me, it goes a long way to be appreciated.
Think about the holidays. When you're enjoying Christmas with your families at a Disney Park, there are thousands of Cast Members missing their families to make your day special. Set the example for your kids. Just as Cast Members are instructed to greet each and every guest, you should make it a habit to say please and thank you to each Cast Member who helps you along the way.
Kindness goes a long way. Just as Cast Members make magic for you, help them get officially acknowledged for going above and beyond for your family.
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange | Thanking Disney Cast Members Loop:
- 1st Stop - Heidi's Head | Make Your Own Cast Member Thank You Notes
- 2nd Stop - What's the Point? | How to Leave an Official Thank You
- 3rd Stop - Bibbidi Bobbidi Booze | Tales of Thank You from a Former Cast Member
- 4th Stop - Disney Mamas | Cast Member Interview
- 5th Stop - Family Travel Escapades | Wonderful Cast Member Experiences Worth a Thank You!