It's that time of year again, the time to count our blessings. This may be a difficult task this year. After all, 2020 has been a doozy. But one thing I am certainly thankful for are the Disney cast members. These underappreciated magicians are the heart and soul of the Disney parks and they don't get enough thanks for what they do. With 18,000 cast members out of a job at Disney World alone, I believe these wonderful folks need a bit of love. The DIS has been great with promoting cast member-owned businesses and the Cast Member Pantry, and I know many Disney fans have made their own individual contributions. As a part of my own effort to help, I thought I'd give a special thank you to the people who make our vacations come alive.
I can't count the number of times a cast member has made my family's vacation extra special. There was the Primeval Whirl employee who gave us FastPasses to Flight of Passage. There was the cashier in the Frontierland Trading Post who gave me a pin for free. There was the group of cast members at Contempo Cafe who made us a platter of delicious desserts free of charge in celebration of our birthdays. There was the College Program intern who walked my family to the boat dock when we asked for directions. Then there was the man who opened our eyes to the amazing easter eggs hidden within the Royal Sommerhus queue. As I said before, there have been plenty of instances of extraordinary kindness.
Unfortunately, cast members are the people who get yelled at, cussed out, and sometimes even physically assaulted. Yet, they are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. My first job was in food service, Starbucks to be exact, and it did not foster feelings of cheery amiability. Serving arrogant, picky patrons all day long is excruciatingly difficult. But the cast members do it day in and day out to the very best of their ability. This is nothing short of magical.
So, in this season of thanks, I wanted to take a moment to thank these very special people for everything they do. Thank you cast members. Without you, the Disney parks wouldn't run. You take the brunt of the Disney Company's decisions and the full force of any vacationer’s bad day, yet you continue to show compassion. You make people feel included when they walk through those park gates and you add bits of magic to their day. We all need a bit more kindness, especially this year. In a year full of fear, heartbreak, and loss, Disney has been a beacon of hope and you, cast members, keep that light burning. You are special and we Disney fans are so grateful for you. Happy Thanksgiving.
For some cast member-owned businesses to support, check out Jackie Gailey’s article here.
And be on the lookout for the DIS' daily Cast Member Spotlight for more businesses to support!