An Ode to Amazing Cast Members by Emma Smith

Although it is their job to serve you, check you out, greet you, and even more, a large number of cast members take their role at Disney seriously and go above and beyond in order to make your vacation as amazing as possible. On every trip, we encounter hundreds of cast members, but those few that go beyond the call of duty are the ones that we remember the most. Even though I might not recall every detail of our conversations with these cast members or some of their names, but the reminiscence of them always leaves a smile on my face.

Here are just a few of my favorite memories, but there are so many more!

Janitor outside of Mine Train- This custodial worker saw my family and me waiting to take a picture of one of the trains going by and stopped to chat. He shared with us that you could tell that a train was coming because the music got louder, and waited a few minutes until another train came by to make sure that we got a good photo.

Greeter in the Emporium- While my mom and I were walking around the Emporium, we got to talking with one of cast members who stand in the doorway and wave to passersby on Main Street. He gave me advice on what to do to get a job at WDW and gave me a number to call for a job once I am old enough, as well as his reference number. We chatted about how long he had worked for Disney- around 15 years- and how much he loved it there.

Sebastian, in charge of a light-up merchandise cart– While waiting for the Main Street Electrical Parade, we started chatting with Sebastian, a native Floridian that had applied for a part-time job at Disney. His light-up cart was parked right beside our parade spot, so we were able to talk between customers. He was so sweet and kind, and you could really tell that he believed in the Disney magic.

Be Our Guest host– This friendly cast member helped us order our food at Be Our Guest, and we ended up chatting for a long time. We talked about working for Disney, and he asked me why I wanted to work there, what my ideal position would be, etc. He also gave me some advice- when you work at Disney, always be ready to have your picture taken!

Bonjour! Village Gifts greeter– Our conversation started with us asking him about the Phil Holmes portrait hanging in the shop, and he gave us the “Disney explanation”- the painting was actually an ancient portrait of a merchant, and Disney had recreated the painting and added details that pertained to Beauty and the Beast. We then got into his story of how he started working at Disney, and he described how he loved how Disney is so focused on cast member hospitality.

Balloon guy on Main Street, USA– While we were waiting for the Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It! Street Party parade, my mom and I struck up a conversation with one of the balloon sellers. He also gave me advice on getting a job at Disney and gave me the helpful hint that balloon sellers not only get an hourly wage, but commissions for each balloon sold.

Dawn at Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe- I’m not sure how our discussion was started, but Dawn and my mom and I talked for what seemed like hours about our love for Disney. She told us all about how she converted her husband into a Disney-lover, and how they ended up moving down to Florida and both got jobs at WDW. This is one of my all-time favorite Disney memories because we just really seemed to “get” each other in the way that only Disney fanatics can connect. She shared some neat details about Liberty Square with us and we also discussed our Disney “pet peeves.”

Every time I go back to Disney, I am reminded of just how amazing the company is. There are thousands of cast member there that absolutely love what they do for a job, and while some aren’t exactly in the “Disney spirit,” the people that I remember are the ones that are. These are the kind of people that solidify my belief and hope that I can work there someday, and remind me of the real reasons that I love Disney. Their passion, magic, and adoration for their career are the perfect inspiration for anyone to follow their dreams.

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