Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Unique Personality of a Disney Cast Member

The Unique Personality of a Disney Cast Member

       It takes a special type of person to work at a Disney Theme Park. In my opinion they are truly what makes the difference between a Disney Park and all other amusement parks. They have to be a people person willing to go above the normal level of service to help. They have attention to detail and watch out for the smallest thing out of place. Nothing is below them.
       It is amazing to me that each Cast Member will stop and talk to you if you engage them. It does not matter if it is a janitor or maintenance worker or a Imaginer or manager. Unless they have an emergency they are involved in they will stop. They notice your emotional state and are willing to spend the time needed to change your attitude from sad to at least ok. Even the janitors say it is their job.
       I think the way Disney empowers each Cast Member to reach out to the guest and help is important. Each CM is empowered to say, “I don’t know the answer, but I’ll find ask someone who does.” This freedom allows the CM to solve problems that otherwise would frustrate a guest. Just think if you only got the answer, “I don’t know.” or worse yet they give you any answer, correct or not to get you to move on. I’ve had that happen often at non Disney places.
       I’ve spent at least one thousand days over my life at Disneyland. Add to that two weeks on the Disney Cruise and one week at WDW and I’ve spent a good amount of time at Disney destinations. In all that time I’ve had a handful of negative interactions with Disney Cast Members. Only once was it bad enough that I felt the need to report so immediate action could to be taken.
       Over the years I’ve had hundreds of positive interactions with Disney Cast Members. They have listened when our daughter was young she and noticed a safety issue. They have gone above and beyond to help when we have had a problem, even when the problem has nothing to do with them. Let me share a couple of examples of the positive.
       We were riding Space Mountain and our daughter, then six years old noticed that the ride did not feel or sound the way it normally did. As we got off the ride she called out to the ride attendant and informed them the ride was shaking and making an unusual sound on the second lift of the ride. He pulled the car immediately to have it looked at.
       My Step-Dad was very sick.. He was giving up on life and kept talking about dying. He had recently started to like Disney. My daughter and I decided to cheer him up. His birthday was coming up so my daughter and I went to Disneyland with Disney Birthday and Get Well Cards. We went looking for all the characters on the card to get them to sign the cards. Partway through the hunt we found out one character would not be available. Daisy Duck was only out for a couple of hours at a character breakfast at a hotel at that time. I explained the situation to Scott, a Character Handler and he offered to take all the cards backstage for us. He said, “I know where all the characters take their breaks and I can get them to sign the cards.” He asked us to wait for him while he got the autographs. He also asked me who my dad’s favorite character was. He came back about twenty minutes later with all the cards signed and an autographed picture of Goofy for my dad. When I gave the cards and picture to my dad his attitude changed. He started talking about getting well enough to go to Disneyland again and shortly after decided he had to go to WDW and on a Disney Cruise with the family.
       Ok one last positive story. We were on our second honeymoon, with my entire family and may Cast Members helped us in big ways but none so memorable as the head of Maintenance at the Port Orleans French Quarter Resort.
       My husband uses a CPAP when he sleeps. If he does not have it his health is greatly affected. When he packed his machine the power cord did not make it into the bag. Now at most hotels/resorts if you need to purchase something like a power cord you would be given the number of a taxi service and a telephone book. Instead the desk clerk called the head of maintenance. He came to our room and looked at the machine. He then went and looked in the maintenance office to see if he had a spare. When he found he did not he put my hubby in his Disney Company truck and drove him around Orlando to find the right power cord.
       So, if you ask me what makes Disney so special I say the Cast Members. Hats off to each and every one from the maintenance workers to the ride attendants! From backstage supporting Cast to on stage Cast Members performing in shows they are all special people.

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