Walt Disney World is known around the world as a gold standard company for guest service. From the way cast members speak and dress to the way guests are referred to—always “guests” and never “customers”—throughout their history, Disney has always made it a priority to ensure that every visitor has a pleasant experience with their cast members.
Despite this, Walt Disney World is still a business where sometimes people make mistakes. Sometimes cast members don’t quite meet Disney’s high standard for guest service, whether they are temporary hires for the busy season or longtime workers who miss the mark. Whatever the reason, it is never a pleasant experience when you have a problem with a crabby (or insensitive) Walt Disney World cast member.
While there may be a temptation to lose it when things turn sour with a cast member, guests in this situation actually have a number of options to see the situation resolved…
1. Keep your cool
Nothing is going to derail a genuine complaint faster than when a guest loses it. While you may have encountered a genuinely upsetting situation at Walt Disney World, cooler heads will almost always prevail in a complaint situation. If you can articulate your concern in a firm but temperate way, it can only help your case in seeing the issue resolved. It’s much easier to work through a situation when the cast members and managers have some route to an amicable solution with you. It will also help you express your complaint with poise and without unnecessary extra stress. Take whatever time you need to calm your emotions before raising a complaint if possible. Disney cast members and managers are still human beings. Show them you are a quality customer who Disney wants to keep for the long term.
2. If possible, start with the cast member involved
In the case of a particularly crabby Disney cast member, this option may not be possible. However, if your complaint is minor or something that can easily be addressed, see if you can work out the issue with the cast member involved. As we’ve already mentioned, keeping your head and using a firm but polite tone can give the cast member an opportunity to resolve the problem without a supervisor being notified.
While our focus so far has largely been on issues with Disney cast members, if your complaint is not the cast member’s fault (let’s say a bad dish from the kitchen), make sure you do not blame cast members for things that are outside their power. The cast member standing outside a closed attraction, for example, has no power to reverse that decision. They can relay polite complaints, but it may be more worthwhile to email Disney guest services directly rather than expecting them to remember and relay your complaint on top of the myriad others they are probably getting that day.
If the cast member you are dealing with makes a major mistake or seems particularly difficult, there are other steps you can take…