Earning My Ears by Jennifer Romano

Since I have become a cast member at Walt Disney World, I have had the opportunity to view the parks from a new perspective. When I first expressed interest in working at WDW, so many people told me that I would not like working in the parks and that I would get sick of going to Disney World everyday. Now that I have been working for a while, I can say that being a cast member has not put a damper on my love for the parks, nor has it spoiled the magic for me. Since I have been a cast member, I can honestly say that I feel like I am part of creating magic and happiness for others. This has given me an even stronger appreciation for all of the hard work that makes Walt Disney World function so well.

When someone starts as a cast member, he or she attends Traditions, which is a class that helps to explain the history and mission statement on which the Disney Company is built. This all-day course was so much fun for me because I love Disney history, and I also believe in furthering Walt Disney’s legacy of quality family entertainment. We learned some important core values during Traditions. First, as a cast member, one of our primary goals is to create happiness for our guests. We are part of the magic that makes Disney Parks so special, and we are the stewards of Walt Disney’s legacy. We have a responsibility to treat every guest as a very individual person (VIP), and we need to have pride in all that we do. In addition to these lessons, we also learned about the four keys basics, which are safety, courtesy, show, and efficiency. These four keys are the guiding principles by which all Disney Parks operate. Safety is the first and most important key because we want both guests and cast members to be safe so that they can have fun. You are safer at a Disney Park than anywhere else on earth!

After completing all of my various orientations, I finally found out that I would be working at the Great Movie Ride in Hollywood Studios. I was both excited and nervous because I knew that I would have to learn a 40 page script in a very short amount of time. Even though I definitely felt concerned, I was so excited to start my journey as a cast member! I trained for six very long days, and then I had to go through my assessment, which was very challenging. Luckily (and with lots of hard work), I passed and earned my ears!

I never thought that I would be pursuing my dream of becoming a cast member; so many people told me that it was impossible and would just ruin my love of Disney World. However, I am proud to say that all of those folks were wrong, and I am glad that I took a risk and became a cast member. Every morning when I am walking through Hollywood Studios before the park opens, I am able to watch the park come to life. It goes from a peaceful place to a hive of activity as all of the cast members start to arrive and prepare their areas for another day of creating magic. Then, I spend all day fighting bandits and gangsters who try to steal the jewel from the great stone god, Anubis. I get to protect guests from the Wicked Witch and visit the wonderful land of Oz every 22 minutes.

All in all, working for Disney has enhanced my love of the parks, and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me. There are so many different opportunities for cast members, and who knows where I will be working a few years from now? So, if you make it over to the Great Movie Ride, “my name is Jenn, and I’ll be your guide for a magical journey into the movies!” Until next time, have a magical day, and keep moving forward!

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