The Most Valuable Disney Travel Tip That You’ll Rarely Ever Hear
The Most Valuable Disney Travel Tip is One that You’ll Rarely Ever Hear (Until Now)
The world is full of Disney travel tips.
Do a quick Google search for “Disney Travel Tips” and you’ll find well over 15,000,000 results. And an awful lot of them are basically the same content.
But among all of those travel tips, there is one that is rarely (if ever) seen, but that can have a very positive impact on your Disney vacation:
- Be nice to Disney Cast Members.
Yet it’s something that we sometimes forget to do, or don’t even think about.
I’m not talking about being courteous in an everyday manner (hopefully we all do that most of the time); I’m talking about going the extra mile to be nice to the Disney Cast Members with whom you interact.
Sometimes I think we tend to forget that our Cast Member guides, hosts, servers etc. are people too. Sure, they get to work for Disney (something that many of us wish that we could say as well), but having to be “on” all of the time is not always easy. I have known quite a few Cast Members over the course of my Disney travel lifetime, and while they do love their work — and love working for Disney — it is still work (at times).
I can understand how it can be challenging on some days to smile for hours on end and cater to guests who may not always be as kind or courteous as they should be. Sometimes people are just having a bad day and the Disney Cast Member happens to be on the receiving end. But Cast Members really do want to help. The overwhelming majority of those I know really do enjoy helping guests. They want to make your Disney experience “magical.” They care.
So remembering that and being kind and courteous to Disney Cast Members can have a big impact both on their day and on yours.
How I Came Up With This Disney Travel Tip
This “tip” came to mind when I was telling someone a story recently about a time when Rock’n’Roller Coaster went down at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
My daughter and I got up early that day and headed over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios first thing in the morning so that we could get on Rock’n’Roller Coaster without using a valuable FastPass.
We got through the Park gates near the front of the morning crowd and headed straight to Rock’n. We were among the first 25 or so guests in line and everything was looking good. Wouldn’t you know it, literally as soon as we were about to board our Rock’n limo, the ride went down. We waited there on the boarding platform for maybe 15 minutes before the house lights ultimately came on and we heard the dreaded announcement that the ride was temporarily closed and we were asked to exit the building.
I’ve been through enough of these to know that, in my experience, the odds are that a ride will be back up and running within 15 to 30 minutes. That’s not quantified; it’s just been my experience. So my daughter and I decided to go right back to the ride line and wait it out. There were maybe 20 other folks who had the same idea.
So there we all stood once again. Waiting.
As time passed with no ride re-opening in sight, the crowd of guests slowly began to dwindle. There was a Disney Cast Member there and she was having to deal with some frustrated guests who did not appreciate that this had happened to them — throwing their carefully laid plans out the window. The Cast Member did her best to be kind and helpful in the face of adversity. She was smiling, understanding, apologetic and said all the right things to guests who were clearly frustrated. We chatted with her throughout the entire ordeal, always keeping things light and making her smile. I’m pretty sure this is the part of the job that Cast Members like least of all. But to her credit she was a Disney pro all the way through.
After an hour had passed, my daughter and I were the only ones left waiting. We kept upbeat about it…”no point in leaving now” we agreed. Every now and then our Cast Member friend would check in with us and we kept smiling and cracked a few jokes with her. Finally, after another 30 minutes — a 90-minute wait in total — Rock’n’Roller Coaster was back up and running and this time we were first in line to ride.
We waved goodbye to our Cast Member friend and headed up the ramp to enjoy the ride.
After the ride was over and we were exiting the building to go back outside, we saw our Disney Cast Member friend standing there.
Surprised to see her, we cheerily said “hi!” (Rock’n’Roller Coaster is our favourite ride and we were in good spirits despite the wait).
“I’ve been waiting for you guys,” she said. “Did you enjoy the ride?”
“Yes!” we replied in unison.
And then the magic began to happen.
“Want to go again?” She asked, smiling.
Guessing what was about to happen, we both smiled and said “Yes!”
She took our Magic Bands and applied an extra FastPass to them. We were grateful.
“Want to go on anything else?” she asked? “Toy Story Mania? Star Tours?”
By this time, the wait for Toy Story Mania was close to two hours, so we quickly nodded yes to both of those.
Bling. Bling. She added two more FastPasses to our account. These could be used however we pleased.
We were super appreciative and thanked her very much for being so kind.
This was a “Magical Moment” as Disney calls them (when a Cast Member can do something extra special for a guest). We headed off happily and enjoyed the next few hours with our newfound FastPasses (plus, we had also been given another one because the ride was down).
Kindness Doesn’t Only Make You Feel Good…It Can Be Magic
The point of this story is that none of this would have happened if we hadn’t treated this Cast Member with kindness in the first place — particularly in the face of the adversity that she had to manage earlier. We didn’t do it with the thought that we’d get something for being nice. It just makes us feel good to be extra nice in a magical place.
But as I began to think about it, I realized that a high percentage of the Magical Moments that I have received over the years, have come as a result of just being nice to Disney Cast Members.
I do it because it makes me feel good to be nice — especially when I’m at a Disney Park or Resort, but the truth is that most guests probably aren’t overly nice to Cast Members. It’s understandable. Guests are pleasant (one would hope), but they’re on vacation and they have schedules and most guests are probably just too involved with their vacation plans to think about anything else.
So it dawned on me as I was telling this story to a friend that I would pass this Disney travel tip on to my blog readers.
Always be nice to your Disney Cast Members
It will make you feel more a part of the Disney spirit and you never know, Disney karma just may smile down on you some day for your efforts and reward you with a little magical vacation experience of your own.
Are You Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation?
Be sure to read my Guide to Planning A Walt Disney World Vacation and my post on the Five Golden Rules of Walt Disney World Vacation Planning.
Mike Belobradic: The Finer Side of Disney Travel
Luxury Travel Blogger – Deluxe Disney Travel Specialist
The Finer Side of Travel™ #LuxuryDisney