One of the reasons I love to visit so often and spend all my vacations at Walt Disney World is the wonderful service provided by the Disney Cast Members! That’s really what keeps us coming back again and again. Sure, we all love Disney – the movies, the characters, the rides at the theme parks – but if the employees of the Disney parks and resorts treated us poorly, I doubt we would be returning year after year, as many of us loyal fans do. If you spend any amount of time there, I’m sure you will notice how hard the Cast Members work, what a great job they do, and how much fun they seem to have while doing it!
To me, they seem to genuinely enjoy working there, being a part of the magic, and to take pride in putting smiles on guests’ faces. This is mainly because they are mostly big Disney fans themselves, just like you and me! For many of them, working there is a dream come true, thanks to a strong fondness for Disney and most likely a history of good experiences from their own childhood visits. Since they do so much for us to create all of the Disney magic we have come to expect, it’s only right that we make an effort to recognize them for their good deeds and truly exceptional service!
It is customary to tip many of the Cast Members at the Disney resorts, such as the valet drivers, bellmen, and housekeepers (aka “mousekeepers“), and of course, any of the restaurant servers at the table service restaurants. However, the Cast Members that work in the theme parks are not allowed to accept tips or gifts. So here are some meaningful ways you can acknowledge them for helping to make your vacation more magical:
Visit Guest Relations & Fill Out a Comment Card – The perfect way to say a very big thank you to that helpful Cast Member is to visit the Guest Relations lobby on your way out of the park and ask for a “Great Service Fanatic” comment card. You’ll want to make sure you do your best to remember their name and hometown as displayed on their name tag, but no worries if you aren’t sure of it. If you can at least write exactly where and when you encountered them, with a brief description of what they look like, they should hopefully be able to track them down with no problem based on the records. Write on the card about what that special Cast Member did for you and how much you appreciated it. It will go directly to that person’s manager to be seen and signed, and goes into their file. This type of official, documented feedback from guests counts in a very big way when Cast Members have performance evaluations. It actually helps them to get promotions! They even enter the cards into drawings in order for these great Cast Members to win prizes! How cool is that?
Call or Write an Email to Guest Communications – If you prefer, or if you have already left Disney and traveled back home, you can call or send your positive comments to them through mail or email. Here is the contact information you will need:
For Walt Disney World –
email: email@example.com or click here
Walt Disney World Guest Communications
P.O. Box 10040
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040
For Disneyland –
email: click here
Disneyland Guest Relations
P.O. Box 3232
1313 South Harbor Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92803-3232
Create Your Own Cast Member Appreciation Cards – If you’re feeling really inspired and creative, you can create some personalized thank you cards at home, before you leave for your Disney trip, to hand out to any Cast Members that make a magical moment happen for you during your vacation. There are lots of ideas and designs online if you look around. Here are some fun examples I found:
- Use an image of Buzz Lightyear with the phrase “Thanks for going above……and beyond!”
- Use an image of the Incredibles with the phrase “You were truly incredible!”
- Use an image of Tinkerbell with the phrase “Thank you for the pixie dust!”
- Use an image of the castle or a Disney princess with the phrase “Thank you for making us feel like royalty”
- Or to keep it sweet and simple, you could just say “Thank you for making our day even more magical!” with an image of Mickey
Then be sure to include your name on the back side of the card with “from the (insert your last name here) family.” If you want, you can even include your hometown and the date/year of your trip, or even better – you can leave blank space in which to really personalize it with a handwritten note and/or signature. Any Cast Member is sure to be flattered and delighted to receive such a wonderful, thoughtful token from you.
All of these ways to give your special thanks can be very empowering for a Cast Member to receive from you, so please, show them some love! As I said before, your feedback can really help them get promoted into better positions, and perhaps even be nominated for the Legacy Award by their co-workers! One of the highest, most prestigious honors a Cast Member can be given is the Walt Disney Legacy Award for excellence in representing the values prized by Walt – “dream, create, and inspire” – and superior performance standards. Guest satisfaction weighs as a large factor in meeting the criteria to be awarded such an honor. These special Cast Members can be distinguished from others by their royal blue name tags. While dining recently at the Garden Grill in Epcot, we had the pleasure of being served by Joann, a Legacy award recipient. When I mentioned to her that I noticed she had a blue Legacy name tag and gave her my congratulations, she told me all about how wonderful it was to be awarded, and how Disney threw quite a spectacular party for them. She said it was so incredible, it felt like she was at the Grammys!
*I want to say a special thanks to Stephanie from Kissimmee, FL and John from Upland, CA, who are the fabulous Cast Members featured in the image above that I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with at Club Disney in Hollywood Studios. Thanks for letting me take your photo and use it for this article! We had lots of fun with you at Club Disney that day!
Have you received exceptional service or experienced a magical moment created by a Cast Member while vacationing at a Disney park or resort? Please let us know about it in the comments section below! Thanks for reading.
If you’re interested in booking a vacation to Walt Disney World, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As an agent with World of Magic Travel Services – the preferred travel agency of Chip & Co. – I offer complimentary planning services so that all you have to do is show up and enjoy your magical vacation!