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Why Cast Members Make Disney Magical

Tonight I will have the amazing blessing to return to The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration at Disney’s Yacht Club, a beautiful Walt Disney World Resort.  I’m amazed to find myself here, even more humbled than before that somehow I will be able to share in this magic again.  A Walt Disney World College Program Alum, I can’t wait to spend our first day back in Epcot Center, taking in the Flower and Garden Festival and spending time in Future World and World Showcase.  For the spring of my sophomore year in college, Epcot Center was my home base as I worked as an attractions hostess at The Universe of Energy.  As part of our often nearly 30 hours a week on shift, we attended weekly classes teaching us key insights into Disney’s amazing success.

I’ve often said that my time as an Intern defined my business values, shaped my professional character, and empowered me to believe that no matter what may come, dreams really can come true.  Last year my favorite speaker was Meg Crofton, President of Walt Disney World Resort. During her presentation she shared the Disney Promise.  Its simply yet more powerful than any employee mission I know.

The Disney Promise ~ that Cast Members turn the ordinary into the extraordinary,

making dreams come true every day.

The picture above was shared with us last year.  Its an artists rendition of what the soon to be completed Fantasyland renovation will look like.  This year, there will be a small group of conference attendees who will get a sneak peak at what’s in store.  Fantasyland is a great example how visions become reality but at Walt Disney World, it all begins with you and here’s how.  We arrived at Orlando airport at 4:00 yesterday afternoon and in just 5 hours, check out the cast member and guest opportunities that were a total win-win:

Famously Friendly:  Greeted by 8 different cast members seamlessly navigating Disney’s Magical Express from the Airport to the Hotel.  Every interaction with a cast member has been guest centric with eye for helpful with a smile in everything they do.  This is HARD to instill in a company 62,000 strong in all age groups,nationalities, shapes, and sizes.  I’m so encouraged to see that above all, the art of gracious guest interactions is alive and well.

Ready When You Are: Upon Check-In using the Online Check-in Service, our folio was ready, our room available, our reservations already connected so that we don’t need to switch rooms, and our request for an upper floor met.  We were unable to be reassigned to a room facing the lagoon to enable us to view any evening fireworks, but the Cast Member at the desk called the back office just to make sure.

Its the Little Things: When I called ahead of time to make our room requests, I was asked if we were celebrating anything special.  I mentioned it was my birthday just this Monday, and in our folio I was delighted and so surprised to see a “Happy Birthday” button with my name HANDRWRITTEN, including the “o” being converted to a Mickey Mouse!  I couldn’t help but put it on and as we wandered through the resort, I was offered birthday greetings by most every cast member we passed!  The ladies in the gift shop told me that while my birthday was Monday, according to Disney policy, you are required to celebrate you birthday week and do so every single day while you are here.  That totally works for me!

Enthusiastic: We stumbled upon the nightly campfire and marshmallow roast held by the resort that is followed by a movie by the beach.  Our children were enamored with the very animated staff, including Julia who happens to be a college program intern as well, going home in just a few weeks after spending almost a year here!  She just happens to be a grad of UNC-Chapel Hill, making our hometown connection just that much more endearing.  Her co-host for the event went the extra mile for every child, helping to make sure marshmallows were roasted to golden perfection.  They were so completely delightful.

Attentive: We explored the pool at dusk, taking a tour to check things out and saw more lifeguards and staff ready to assist than imaginable.  At after 8:00 many were on their way to wrapping up a 12 hour shift, in about 3 hours yet all were cheerful, helpful and showed not a single sign of weary.  We stopped back by the front desk to inquire about wifi and after talking with us, the cast member offered each of our children a special button as well.

I will do my best to share as much *Pixie Dust* as I can gather with all of you as the next few days unfold while we learn, network, connect, and enjoy all that Walt Disney World Resorts and Disney Parks has to offer.  Thank you SO much for indulging my lifelong love a brand that made a huge difference in my life long before social media was even a glint in our eyes.  I am so very grateful to see these two worlds collide.

Disclosure:  Special Thanks to Disney Social Media for inviting me to register for this event.  As part of my paid registration, I received for both myself and my family discounted hotel accommodations, park tickets, attendance at special events, and branded merchandise.  I was not asked to post at anytime and clearly, my opinions are entirely my own.

 

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