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10 Things To Remember When Interacting With Disney Cast Members

For those of you unaware of the term, a Cast Member at Disney is any employee, not just the performers. Disneyland is a wonderful place, for the people who work there and all of their guests. Here are a few things to keep in mind so that your interactions with Disney Cast Members are better for both you and for them.

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1. They do not make the rules.

Some people think that if they yell at the cast member, threaten to complain about them, call them names, etc. that somehow they can change the rules. They can't. As hard as it can be, try to remember: They are just doing their job. They do not have the power to change the policies at will.

2. It is not their job to watch your kids.

Some people come to Disneyland on vacation and somehow think that it is also a chance to take a vacation from parenting. WRONG. If your kids are climbing on stuff, playing in the fountain, or, Walt forbid, pulling a character's tail, it is your job to stop them. Disneyland Cast Members are not part-time nannies. Don't get me wrong- Cast Members adore kids, (otherwise there is no way they could handle working there), they just don't want to have to discipline them.

3. You are wonderful, but you are not superior to the person next to you.

Cast Members see hundreds of adorable kids every day. They also see hundreds of people celebrating their birthday. Hundreds of people enjoying their first visit. This is why trying to use these as leverage for getting special privileges doesn't work so well. If you just barely missed the line for Minnie Mouse, don't worry. Nine out of ten times, Minnie really will be back in five minutes!

4. They don't wear uniforms. They wear "costumes." And don't judge.

Cast Members do not get to pick what they wear. Sure, some of them get to wear some fairly cute costumes, i.e. Guest Relations. (They're the ones in plaid.) But many are not super thrilled about their sky-blue overalls or their grandma-aprons. So keep this in mind and try your hardest to keep from telling the Toontown folk they all look like Mario. Oh… and never assume gender based on outfit. Many of the costumes are unisex, and some are misleading. i.e. The male and female squires of the Princess Fantasy Faire.

5. They can help you! Seriously!

Cast Members have many resources that they can use to get you information. They have special Cast Member-only guides with schedules and restaurant hours, and they often have access to in-park phones so they can call for info if necessary. They are also smart and know the park! So, if you are not sure where to find a particular character or the nearest place to buy a turkey leg, ask a Cast Member! They are there to help, and it will make your trip much easier. Don't go it alone!

6. You can catch more flying elephants with peanuts than with vinegar.

This goes along with the helping thing. As I said in rule one, they do not make the rules. However, if you have an issue of some sort and need special assistance, ask nicely and with respect. Because who wants to go out of their way for someone who is being rude to them? Again, sometimes there really is nothing they can do, and respect that if that is the case. But if you want to ask for something, ask nicely!

7. You are on vacation. They are not.

Just remember when you are enjoying New Year's Eve or even Christmas at the park, that all those cast members around you are working to help make your holiday special. If you have to work on a holiday, and of course at Disneyland they do, it's always a better experience if you get to meet nice, kind people in the process. Be extra pleasant- they deserve a happy holiday too!

8. If you fail to plan, plan to fail. But never blame your failure on a Cast Member.

If you promised your family that you would see a certain show, or visit a certain character, etc. but then don't get there in time, don't blame the Cast Member who cannot let you in. Also… barring unforeseen circumstances (rainy weather, a ride breaking down for whatever reason) all schedule and ride closure information is on the Disney website, often months in advance. Therefore, there is no reason you should arrive to the park, only to be disappointed because Matterhorn is down for maintenance till next spring. Or because the fireworks are only showing on certain days. If there are particular shows and rides that are important for you to see, plan your trip accordingly!

9. It's really easy- Just be nice.

If something a Cast Member does or says doesn't seem fair to you and you need an explanation, simply ask. Usually there is a perfectly reasonable explanation. If you truly are treated poorly by a Cast Member, then by all means, make a complaint or seek a manager. Just try to take a moment first. Consider whether the rudeness that you are perceiving is actually just the Cast Member doing their job.

10. Show some love!

If you have an excellent interaction with a CM, take a moment to stop at City Hall and give a formal compliment. (Or the Chamber of Commerce, if you are at Disney California Adventure.) It's literally on the way out of the park, and it can really make a difference for that cast member. Also, if you do fill out a compliment card, be sure to be specific about why they were so amazing. Again, it only takes a moment, and it can brighten their day a lot to know that they are appreciated. There is nothing that Cast Members love more than to make magic for their guests. If you've smiled or laughed, they've already considered themselves rewarded. An extra word of thanks would be the cherry on the Dole Whip.

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