An Open Letter to Walt Disney World Cast Members

Dear Cast Members,

You are amazing. Has anyone ever told you that? I’m sure they have — but you deserve to hear it again. In fact you deserve to hear it 100 times a day. In Morgan Freeman’s voice. While eating cookies. And getting a Swedish massage.

Custodial Cast Member Making Water Art

You spend your days making sure people have the vacation of their dreams. You give up your weekends and nights to bring smiles to guests’ faces. You don’t spend Christmas with your family — you spend it creating happiness for strangers. You quite literally are magic makers.

You’re butlers and bellhops and skippers and safari drivers. You’re trek guides and toys and pilots and pirates. Whether you’re dancing down Main Street or cleaning overnight, you’re the real magic. Without you, the flower beds wouldn’t be picture perfect, the Tiki birds wouldn’t wake up, and the monorail wouldn’t run.

Without you, there is no Disney World.

Cast Members singing outside Muppet Vision 3-D

Your job isn’t easy — no matter how you feel or what you’re facing, you have to smile and help. Some guests and situations certainly put that to the test, but you literally grin and bear it.

Since the Disney World parks and resorts have reopened, I have not run into ONE SINGLE bad Cast Member. From checking in to the Contemporary to the first walk back down Main Street USA, I was greeted with “welcome home” and “we’re so happy to see you.” I’ve seen custodial cast members draw Disney characters out of water, entertainment Cast Members blow kisses to excited, waving little kids, and food and beverage Cast Members go out of their way to grab refills or clean tables. I watched the Muppet Vision 3-D cast sing the Muppets theme song and Mickey Mouse Club march when the attraction was closed.

Every single one of you exudes happiness and joy.

I’ve also seen that now more than ever before, you’re dealing with people you shouldn’t have to. Suddenly, your job description includes telling guests to keep their masks on and stay 6 feet away from each other — which is hard to do when Winnie the Pooh just came out holding a butterfly net. You didn’t make the rules, but it’s still your job to enforce them.

Winnie the Pooh

The current health crisis has brought out the best and worst of humanity, both globally AND at the Disney Parks. Recently, I’ve seen guests roll their eyes when Cast Members enforce a six foot distance between parties. I’ve seen guests curse at Cast Members who remind them they need to be stationary to eat or drink. I watched a Cast Member tell a family taking photos that they need to keep their masks on — only for them to pull them up and then immediately back down when she walked away.

99% of guests are happy, smiling, and following the rules — but that 1% is a doozy. 

Cast Members

So thank you. Thank you for making magic for guests in the best of circumstances — but an even bigger thank you for doing it in the worst.

Writing thank you doesn’t seem like enough, but it’s the least I could do for the people who make me and thousands of others smile every day. You’re national treasures, every single one of you.

 

Love,

Molly & the AllEars Team

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Molly is a lifelong Disney enthusiast, and former Walt Disney World Guest Relations Cast Member and tour guide. Her Walt Disney World favorites include Festival of the Lion King, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Fantasmic!, Mickey-shaped pretzels and rice krispie treats, and anything with Buzz Lightyear! She lives in Orlando with her husband (who she met in Guest Relations) and their two rescue dogs, Kronk and Cruella de Vil (Ella for short!)

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36 Replies to “An Open Letter to Walt Disney World Cast Members”

  1. Good on you for making these comments. My elderly parents just found out that they cannot come back. My mom loved!! working there and my dad did as well, but hes more of an introvert. at 80 and 79 years old, though, this job kept them moving and healthy and they look great. I have been told such incredible stories from their time on the job. I know my mother would approve of your message and following on comments. Perhaps you ran into them at Splash or Thunder. They were likely the eldest of the bunch!

  2. Well said. My heart is hurting for the Cast Members who were let go this week. Cast members ARE the real magic of Disney.

  3. I love the cast members and try to make them smile and know I appreciate them. Their pay stinks, guests are sometimes rude and obnoxious, yet they smile trying to bring us magic. I found a cast pantry where we can help show them they are appreciated. It’s posted on Facebook if anyone can help. Love them and the all ears team. Molly, you’re in a class by yourself, in a good way. Thanks.

  4. Well said. I love the Disney CM’s and I hope they are able to come back soon the ones that had to be let go. We support you in all you do, thank you. For keeping the guests safe

  5. Thank you for putting up with us! We are an obnoxious group of people! Either we are struggling with children, in-laws, weather we are not used to, schedules no one in our group seems to be on! But you, the cast members, always give us a smile. “Have a magical day” you say and it always brings a smile to my face no matter what the day holds or has given me. I was raised on Disney Magic, my child is raised on Disney Magic and although I do see some in the parks that don’t hold it as close to my heart as I do, you never treat us differently! THANK YOU! You will never know in how many ways you have given me and my family Magic you might not know you had!

  6. Couldn’t be more beautifully written. Made me cry. Straight from the heart. Bless them all.
    We need MORE smile-makers in this world, not fewer.

  7. After 40 something family trips to WDW, can’t say I havn’t encountered a few grumpy cast members, but all in all, It is the “Happiest Place on Earth”, because it has the Happiest people working there on earth. We always try to thank cast members and really try hard not to be obnoxious “tourist” when there. When we are hot and tired, we always remind each other that the cast members are hot and tired too. Disney World is beautiful only because of it’s beautiful cast members that keep it that way. If only the airports could hire some Disney cast members, but that’s a different story.

  8. Wow, this is Awesome . There aren’t enough Kudos for Disney Cast Members. Thank You, All Ears, Molly, for starting this Chain of Thank You’s to Disney Cast Members!!!!! What a Special Group of People! I Love Disney!

  9. Thank you Molly. Although some of us are still on furlough and awaiting to return to the magic, it’s always amazing to know that we are appreciated. Some days are better than others, but I cannot imagine doing anything else!

  10. One of the things that has always impressed me over the years is how impressive Disney cast members are. I don’t think in all the years I have been going to Disney or interacting with cast members over the phone, I have ever had one bad experience. When, in the course of your life, have you felt that about any industry you have encounters with? Sure it says a lot about Disney. But it says even more about the people that work there. Disney ‘expects’ that of cast members. I don’t think they are more highly compensated to account for it. But when you ‘have to be nice’, it is hard to keep that up day after day. No matter how crowded or hot it is and no matter how unrealistic or difficult the public can be at times. They are people too and have stress and difficulties in life. I always walk away from Disney trying to be a better person as a result of my encounters with them. You can take away the rides, the shows, the souvenirs, or the food, but Disney is the happiest place on earth because of the people that work there.

  11. I wholeheartedly agree with you, Molly. My husband and I are WDW frequent fliers and in all our many many encounters with CM’s we’ve only had one unpleasant non Disney-like experience (in a hotel). Ironically we were supposed to be there this week, but chose to reschedule.

  12. As the husband of a CM who passed away a few years ago, I love you Molly! As soon as I can bring my granddaughters back to WDW again, I will make a point of thanking as many CMs as I can.

  13. Never understood why people go to the happiest place on earth, spend thousands of dollars, and then just act nasty to other people or lose their mind when things don’t go exactly the way they want. CM are wonderful people

  14. Thank you, Molly! As the mom of a still-furloughed CM who is dying to go back to work, it means so much to hear these kind words. The CMs are the true magic of Disney, and they deserve so much praise and recognition, especially now!

  15. Thank you Molly! This is said often enough. I have never had a trip to WDW without seeing above and beyond what I expected positive interaction with Cast Members numerous times. Hats off to them and to you for reminding us all how great they are.

  16. As the father of a CM who is having a tough time right now dealing with the mask haters and the social distancing deniers, I want to sincerely thank you for posting this. I’ve forwarded it to them.

  17. Very well said Molly! Kudos to you for writing such a heartwarming dedication to the Disney crew. My husband and I are bringing our son to Disney in June for his first Disney experience!! We’ve enjoyed watching your videos and we check the All Ears website daily. We will make sure that we also spread the love and give our thanks and gratitude to all the cast members we meet.

  18. Wonderful and well deserved letter. Should be shared with each and every Disney Cast Member. Thank you for your thoughtfulness in writing and posting it. Allow me to share a personal story. I was staying at Pop Century September 7-14, 2017 when Hurricane Irma caused the closure of WDW. The entire staff was selfless during this time, accommodating guests concerns and needs, taking care of the US medical personnel who were housed in Pop Century, volunteering to remain on property at a time when their own homes and families were in the path of Hurricane Irma. They were so empathetic for the concerns and attentive to the needs of the guests. For me, these are some of the images and memories from Pop Century and the 2017 Hurricane Irma experience that will last a lifetime.

    1. CMs are the GREATEST! Can’t wait for May when we can thank them in person. In over 20 years, we have only met 1 CM who was rude. There have been hundreds of wonderful CMs who have been exceptional. ❤❤❤❤❤

    1. I totally agree. CM are the best. The are the magic in Disney. I do though wish they were compensated more so they do not need to always worry about paying their bills. Without them Disney and the Disney magic would be gone.