Dear 100 Hour Board, but mostly Luciana,
Thank you SO much for your help planning my Disney World trip! Your answer really helped a lot. We just got back and we had a blast! So now I have new questions.
* My daughter dressed up as Star Butterfly, and she kept a running tally of how many people recognized her. Specifically, one cast member TOTALLY made her day when he jumped from his spot to run and give her a high five for being "my favorite Disney Princess!" It made me think: as a cast member, what sort of things make your day? Is there anything that guests do that make your day more awesome?
* I honestly felt bad for the cast members who end up repeating the same rule over and over again all day. Because sometimes that one thing that is human nature to do is totally against the rules, and so almost every single person tries to sit in the illegal spot for the parade/get in the wrong line/whatever. What is something that guests do that drive you the most crazy inside? (Because, heaven knows, all cast members seem to have the patience of a saint and never seem to be annoyed on the outside!)
*I assume that you've had a few different positions over the years. What has been your favorite role? Least favorite? One you would most like to do?
*I loved seeing all the creative guests in the park! All the unique ears and matching shirts and cute purses and such. Have you seen any things you thought were fun lately? Or do you feel like you have seen it all by now?
*Do you ever get used to the heat? Or do you just sweat all day, from sun up to sun down? Having grown up with humidity, I have to say it was nice to not feel dried out like I do here in Utah. I'll give it that. And it only rained on us once! Yay! But there was sure a lot of sweating goin' on in my family, that's for sure.
- The Answer is 42
Thank you for this question, I find it weirdly flattering and validating.
1. I can't think of any specific behaviors that make cast members' days, because every cast member is different. But a lot of what cast members do can be tedious, telling people what row they'll be riding in or scanning their merchandise for eight hours a day. In such a high volume destination, cast members talk to thousands of guests a day, so anything they do to stand out is appreciated. I've gotten little business cards with thank-you messages around the holidays. I've had guests give me hugs after a lot of time together (and with my permission, I've been hugged by guests unexpectedly and it's not fun). I've had guests tell me they appreciate me and the work I do, especially if they've noticed someone else giving me attitude. Basically showing appreciation makes my job a lot more fun and makes it feel a lot more worthwhile.
2. I have thankfully not had to work in a role with too much repetition, though of course every role has it to some degree. I had one role where on occasion I would have to help with crowd control during the fireworks time in Magic Kingdom, and I was stationed right in front of a walkway that had to be kept clear for safety. While there were no written signs, a ton of people pack into the Hub to see the fireworks, and so the best spots go quickly. I could never understand why guests would show up five minutes before fireworks, try to stand in the walkway, and I suppose just think they were lucky enough to find a great spot that no one else had considered. A shocking number of them would give me attitude when I explained that they couldn't stay there.
On another note, as my previous answer probably conveyed, Disney trips take a lot of planning. In one of my roles guests would come up all the time wanting to purchase tickets, and always seemed shocked by the ticket prices and startled by the lack of Fastpass availability. It blows my mind that someone would come all the way to Florida with the intention of visiting Disney World and have no idea what the cost is.
3. I've basically given up on anonymity, so my favorite role was definitely being a VIP Tour Guide. While the leadership of the department at the time was not my favorite, I loved leading tours, and I got to meet a lot of really cool people (both cast members and guests). I'm also lucky that I haven't really disliked any role thus far. My least favorite aspect of a role so far was in the call center for Groups/Conventions, which was basically booking hotel rooms for people visiting as part of a conference or other big group. Booking hotel reservations over the phone is not overly interesting. But thankfully I didn't do that aspect of the role every day.
As for what role I would like to do, I'm trying to work myself slowly in that direction. I'd like to work with either HR or some cast recognition team to help ensure cast members feel valued and appreciated, and to make Disney as great a place to work as it is to vacation.
4. Right now it's too hot for me to be spending much time in the parks. But Halloween is one of my favorite times of year, because I love seeing the amazing and creative costumes that people come up with. When I worked in VIP tours, I would have the occasional shift in Magic Kingdom where I had no actual work to accomplish for several hours, and I relished the opportunity to just walk around the park and compliment costumes. I'm really hoping I get the chance to go to a Halloween party this year.
5. You don't get used to the heat. Or as least, I haven't. I sweat like crazy. I went to Epcot the other day and I had to take a break in the air conditioning after walking from Electric Umbrella to the start of the World Showcase. It was miserable; I wouldn't go if I didn't have a homeless Food and Wine addiction.
I'm glad you had a great trip!