Front line cast members at Walt Disney World work extremely hard. They juggle their standard job duties, such as scooping ice cream or checking ride safety restraints, with providing the world-class personalized guest service for which Disney parks and resorts are renowned. With visitors of all ages and walks of life, who come from hometowns around the world, providing that level of guest service is not always easy.
Fortunately, Disney empowers their front line staff to make decisions that can tremendously impact a guest’s experience. Here are just 5 of the many ways that cast members are empowered to create magic.
1. Giving bonus surprises
Have you ever gotten to re-ride your favorite attraction late at night without having to get off and walk all the way around? Did a cast member give your slightly too short for Space Mountain child a special certificate to get to the front of the line on his next visit? Maybe you were chosen to take part in a show because a cast member noticed your 20th anniversary button. Whatever the reason, the front line staff can give bonus surprises without having to ask for permission, as long as operational needs are not affected. That means you won’t get a re-ride with a 60 minute queue, but when things are slow, the magic can, and usually does, happen.
2. Assuaging fears with facts
Many kids, and more than a few adults, are afraid of the unknown. While Tower of Terror is always a thrilling ride, it seems much less ominous once you know what to expect. Front line cast members are empowered to help you and your kids make reasoned decisions on whether to try a ride based on a full explanation of the ride experience.
Universal Team Members are similarly empowered to help assuage the fears of scared or nervous young guests. When I worked at Kongfrontation, one of my favorite things to do was to take a scared child into our control tower. He or she would watch the trams go around on a monitor, and even see the massive animatronics in action. Sometimes the child would get brave enough to ride, and sometimes not. But in every case, both the child and the parent thanked me for the experience.
It’s not always possible to get into a control tower or other backstage area, and you should never expect or demand this. But rest assured, if someone in your group is waffling on whether to ride, cast members will be glad to help you make an informed decision.