Walt Disney once said, “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” Of the myriad Walt quotes out there, this is the most poignant; the most significant to this day.
Every time I see the Casting Agency door on Main Street at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney’s sentiment gives me pause. It reminds me of the devoted individuals who breathe life into the parks, putting the Magic in Walt’s Kingdom.
It’s important to be appreciative of this every day, but on days like today, it’s nice to be extra thankful. While we are at home enjoying a relaxed holiday with family, there are thousands of Cast Members spending the holiday away from their families so others can have an unforgettable Disney Christmas.
Many Disney fans, us included, have dreamed about the fun elements, thinking of being Cast Members someday. It’s often a post-retirement scenario in which we fantasize about being able to captain a Friendship boat, enjoying beautiful Florida scenery while feeding off of the laughter and delight of guests enjoying first visits to Walt Disney World.
The dream is a romanticized fiction, much like so many dreams in which we all indulge. While being a Cast Member can no doubt be satisfying and rewarding, it can also be thankless. For every glamorized on stage role like the monorail pilot, there are countless Cast Members in less prolific positions from custodial to parking to food & beverage who play just as integral of roles.
I’m especially thankfully for these unsung Cast Members, because I know I couldn’t do what they do. I’ve seen irate guests berate Cast Members for attractions being down, parade viewing spots being unavailable, and other inconveniences wholly outside the realm of any individual Cast Member’s control.
Ignorance and entitlement are a dangerous combination, and we’ve witnessed Cast Members bear the brunt of it. Surprisingly and much to their credit, these meltdowns are met with patience, helpfulness, and restraint (…and maybe sometimes a coded “have a magical day”).
Anyway, we just wanted to take a moment away from our Christmas festivities to say thank you to Cast Members away from their families, working today–and everyday–and making the magic. The parks wouldn’t be what they are without your hard work and dedication. Even if we don’t always stop to say thanks or go to Guest Services to leave an official “Cast Compliment,” we always appreciate what you do.
Here’s to you, Cast Members!
The Cast Members at Disney parks worldwide who carry the torch of Disney’s legendary guest service are Walt’s most enduring legacy. We just wanted to reflect upon and pay tribute to all of you who make (or have made) the Disney magic. We appreciate everything you do. So, thank you. ありがとうございます。Merci beaucoup. 謝謝。