It’s a subtle thing, perhaps something that the average guest doesn’t notice, but part of what makes your experience in a Disney park so good is the cast members who go out of their way to make you feel welcomed and taken care of. In fact, while it’s obvious that Disney is in the theme park business, they’re also in the customer service business, consistently providing a great product at the Walt Disney World Resort for over 17 million visitors a year. Similarly, I’ve come to trust Disney resorts. I know that they’ll be clean, safe, and that cast members will be friendly and efficient. Any issues I’ve had come up have been addressed quickly. In fact, part of the benefit of staying on property is knowing what you’re getting every time, whether you pay $88 a night or $458 a night. But no company is perfect.
I have never needed to lodge a complaint over a cast member, but should this happen, talk to a manager at the location the cast member works. Often, issues can be resolved quickly and easily. The overwhelming majority of cast members work at Disney because they love it. Similarly, if your room isn’t up to snuff, call the front desk. I’m not talking about the fact that you can only see a sliver of Bay Lake Tower in your Bay Lake View and you’d like a room change, but real issues, like cleanliness, noise, and broken items in the room. It happens. And in some cases, management won’t know about smaller issues unless you tell them.
If you have an issue with your room or the service you’re receiving, let Disney know. But please be reasonable and don’t forget your manners. Just this last trip, I witnessed a woman using very loud, four-letter words in the lobby of the Contemporary over some room mix-up. She wasn’t helping her family or her case and I couldn’t help but feel for cast member she was verbally abusing. Remember that Disney is a unique company and many cast members take a lot of pride in being part of it; in my experience, they’ll bend over backwards to help you. The company holds itself to a higher standard. Because of this, most of us expect better from Disney than we do from, for example, a Marriott or Holiday Inn. But that also works against it, because it brings out a strong sense of entitlement in some guests. So remember when you complain, be nice. This person has a hard job. But by all means, let your comments be known. Good or bad, they count.
Conversely, when you witness a cast member going above and beyond, please let someone know, particularly in writing These compliments go in cast members’ files and will help them advance in the company. I tend to keep notes on my iPhone about good service; it only takes a few minutes and means a lot to the person who just made your stay a little more magical.
Get Park Wise: If you want to compliment a cast member or relay an issue you’ve had during your stay, you can leave a comment card at City Hall or Guest Relations in any of the parks. If you prefer to wait until you return home, email Disney at [email protected].
I almost never find reasons to leave actual complaints–it’s easy to see that someone might be having a bad day–but I do make note of exemplary cast members and send an email when I get home. Make sure you get their name, where they’re from, and where they work. You should receive an email from Disney making note that they appreciate the input a few days after you send your email.
Have you ever had reason to leave comments about a cast member at Walt Disney World? Tell us your magical, and not so magical, experiences in the comments below.