Legacy Award

Several years ago, I wrote a blog about Disney nametags and how these badges have changed over the years. Today, I want to tell you about a new nametag that a select few cast members are sporting these days. These are worn by the recipients of the Legacy Award, a new recognition program that has been rolled out across the Disney Parks and Resorts around the world.

In the past, each segment of the Disney Company had its own recognition program. Although all business units had the same goal, to celebrate those individuals who exemplify the Disney spirit, each had different selection criteria. For example, cast members working at Walt Disney World were eligible to win the “Partners in Excellence” award while those at Disneyland, could win the “Spirit of Disneyland” award. The recipients of these honors can be identified by a pin they wear on their nametag. Unfortunately, these pins are small and easily confused with service anniversary pins. Most guests would never have a clue that these outstanding cast members have been singled out for their performance. Below is a “Partners in Excellence” pin.

Partners in Excellence Aware Pin

This “lack of easily identifiable recognition” has been changed with the Legacy Award. The recipients of this honor receive a blue nametag with white lettering (the opposite of the standard nametag). Being different, these badges stand out and are easily spotted. This is good. Now guests will notice and hopefully ask the cast member why they have a blue nametag (rather than the standard white), giving them the opportunity to proudly brag.

Legacy Nametag

The recipients of the Legacy Award are selected by their leaders, direct reports and/or their co-workers. These are individuals who consistently Dream, Create, and Inspire each day by supporting the business objectives and goals of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

When visiting any of the Disney parks, it’s easy to forget that there are thousands of cast members working behind the scenes (backstage), out of sight of the guests. These “backstage” individuals are just as important as their “onstage” counterparts. Without their contributions, the magic onstage wouldn’t happen. Disney recognizes this and made sure that the requirements to win the Legacy Award were broad enough to encompass everyone.

So next time you’re visiting any of the Disney resorts around the world, be sure to notice these blue nametags and congratulate the cast members. Also, if you see bronze pins on a white nametag, ask the cast member what they stand for. Whether it’s an award pin or service anniversary pin, I can assure you, these individuals are proud of their accomplishments and their time spent at Disney making the magic happen.

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15 Replies to “Legacy Award”

  1. Hi Jack, thank you for ths blog. I am one of those very proud CM’s who won this Legacy Award. I’ very proud to wear my nametag and share with anyone who asks me about my story.

  2. As a former (2)x WDW College Programmer it give me great pride to have my nametags on dispaly in my case at home. But nothing brings you more excitement about being a castmember then when you receive your name tag @ Traditions.. Truely one of the most magical 1st steps in being a Cast Member.

  3. Thanks for this. I was just in WDW for a week and noticed a few CMs with the blue name tag, but didn’t ask about it. I just assumed they were corporate or something.

    And I am 99% sure I saw you, Jack, in World Showcase on Thurs, Oct 13. You walked by me so fast that when I turned around to tell you how much I enjoy your work, you disappeared into the sea of humanity. I was excited for my “celebrity” sighting!

  4. jack i have been blessed to have two “disney buddies” miss joanne recently recieved her legacy pin & carl a couple of years ago partners in excellence award. they both represent disney well & are just super people

    Jack’s Comment:

    I too know a recipient of the Legacy Award and the Partners in Excellence Award. Both are super people and very proud of their accomplishments.

  5. Hi ya Jack,
    Thank you for this article recognizing cast members and their service. As a former cast member, and I’m sure you feel the same 😉 each recognition pin I earned was something to be proud of. I still cherish all of mine from my Steamboat to my Donald service pins, to my Tigger Guest Courtesy Pins. To being on the only team at that time to have a perfect shop and even though it’s been 17 years since I was a cast member, these remain as some of my most treasured mementos and memories. Thank you for all you do Jack. Your blog makes me proud to have once been part of the “magic” 🙂

  6. Just as Greg stated, I have always gone out of the way to make sure a good worker gets recognized by their superiors. I’ve lost count on the amount of times I’ve spoken with managers or supervisors about a positive experience I received from a good employee. It truly makes a difference in the employees day and life. I will be at WDW Mid November for my semi-annual camping trip in Fort Wilderness. If I see one of these badges or pins I will certainly compliment the cast member. So, in a way, you could say that I’m making a little magic for the cast member!

  7. Jack,

    what a great post! Next time I am in the world I will make sure to keep an eye out for this More than just noticing, I want to make sure to express my appreciation when one of the CMs go above and beyond. I know that personally thanking and CM appreciation cards are good, but I always felt that sending a letter to a higher level in the company was the way to go. Would you have any insight into the most effective way to make Disney aware when one of the CMs promote the magic? Or what CMs themselves appreciate the most?



  8. Thanks Jack for making us aware of the name tags marking special achievement.

    Yesterday I had a fantastic time taking photos at Magic Kingdom. I had several wonderful conversations with cast members young and old. One younger cast member, Hannah even asked if she could hug me! How special was that!?

    I almost always look at name tags for the cast member’s name and where they are from. Now I will have to be on the lookout for special achievements and acknowledge them.

    In this day of so many people hating their jobs, I really like going out of my way to compliment those that love and take pride in their jobs.

  9. I noticed these new blue nametags on a couple of cast members on my trip last month, and actually took a moment to ask the nice woman working in one of the shops at the Contemporary about her blue nametag. If memory serves me correctly, she had been working with Disney for 50 years (or maybe it was 40)! She was very happy that I noticed it, and was happy to explain it to me. She even laughed when I joked that she must have started working for Disney when she was 12.

    These name tags definitely stand out, and it’s a wonderful way for these wonderful cast members to proudly wear there accomplishments on their chests for all to see.

  10. Hi Jack,
    Thanks for writing about this, I happen to know one of the recipients of this award and I can tell you it means a great deal to him! I appreciate you letting everyone else in on how to spot those special cast members who work so hard to make the magic happen for all of us.

  11. I saw a cast member that had a bronze pin on it but I didn’t ask what it meant. I’m sure it had something to do with years of service. Next time I’ll ask.

    Thanks for the wonderful article!!!

  12. Thanks Jack! I always wondered about the Disney nametags. Next time we visit, I’ll have to hit up a cast member. It’s always interesting to see where they started in Disney and how long they have been working there. 🙂

  13. Hi Jack!
    Do you know if the traditions trainers have a special badge? I have a good friend who I know is a traditions trainer, and I’m just curious.


    Jack’s Answer:

    Unless something has changed recently, the Traditions trainers do not have special nametags. These individuals are selected for a one year assignment then return to their normal job at its completion.

    Just for the record, I was a University Leader (I taught Traditions) while I worked at Disneyland.

  14. hey jack
    next time i visit disney world hopefully in may i will make sure to keep an eye out for the new name tags. i know all of disney’s employrs work extremly hard to make a vacation extra magical. can’t wait for your next blog and as always keep up the great work.