Home Disney Planning Tips 7 Ways to Thank a Walt Disney World Cast Member

7 Ways to Thank a Walt Disney World Cast Member

7 Ways to Thank a Walt Disney World Cast Member

Part of the magic guests experience while they are in Walt Disney World stems from the personalized experience Cast Members deliver to guests.  Here is how you can thank them for the care they devote to taking care of guests. Whether it is a grand gesture doused in Pixie Dust, an offer to snap a photo of your family, or a friendly conversation during bag check, Cast Member (CM) interactions with Walt Disney World Resort guests go a long way towards shaping guest experiences.

I have yet to go on a Disney trip where a CM didn’t go out of the way to make a member of my travel party feel special. It is part of the reason I am a repeat visitor. I have seen photographers turn into comedians to make a toddler smile.  I have seen tears over a lost toy melt into smiles over brand new gifts from a cast member making note of a lost item.  I have seen bus drivers turn into EVC driving coaches.

Sure Cast Members are paid to do their jobs, but some of them go above and beyond to spread the magic, and I am delighted that there are a number of ways to thank them.

1. Say Thank You!- This may seem simple and obvious, but it can never be said enough. Cast members experience a lot of complaints and ingratitude day in and day out.  People get tired and grumpy, a combination that can fuel negative interactions. Sometimes just saying thank you as you pass through security, when you receive the towels you asked for, when your food appears on the counter, or when you exit a bus might not be such a little thing.  It is even sweeter if you are traveling with kids and teach them to thank the people who run the show.

2. Write a Thank You Note- My children have taken to the practice of taking simple thank you cards to the parks.  My littlest traveler loves pulling a card out from behind her back to hand to people who make her smile.  She has a knack for choosing CMs who probably don’t get a ton of recognition: those who are tasked with re-parking strollers, the security guards at bag check, the character attendants who hold Sharpies for the forgetful, the people pointing the way to the buses at night.  Her older sibling plans his “Thank Yous” out a bit more discerningly.  For example, he has already written a note for our next trip addressed to one of his heroes: the person who operates Space Mountain.  I keep a few in the bag myself. So if someone carries my tray for me or gifts my children ice cream, a toy, or an extra turn on a ride, I have a card ready most of the time. Hand written notes work, but you can also print out little notes using a template.

Tweet A Cast Compliment (Photo Credit: Rebecca Davis)

3. Tweet a Cast Compliment-I created a Twitter account JUST so I could tweet out Cast Compliments (and also to follow @thepiratekenny, of course).  I used to write guest services and still do if I have a LOT to say about someone, but Twitter does the job when it is a quick story that can be described briefly.  If you want to Tweet cast compliments, simply make note of the CM’s name, town, where you met him/her, and a summary of your interaction.  Be sure to add the hashtag #castcompliment.  You can direct your Tweets to @WDWGuestService.  They will probably respond to you.  What’s more, they will print out the tweet and present it to the CM, and sometimes the CM will even respond to your Tweet!

(NOTE: the handle used to be the @WDWToday you see pictured, but @WDWGuestService is the new way to Tweet about your favorite CMS)

A Cast Member’s Response to her Cast Compliment (Photo Credit: Rebecca Davis)
A Cast Member Receiving his Tweet!

4. Send an Email-If your note of gratitude will not fit in a Tweet, as several of mine have not been able to, you can upgrade to an email. Again, remember to include the Cast Member’s name, town, where you met him/her, and a summary of your interaction.  Cast Members receive recognition when guests shout them out in this way.  Direct emails to Guest.Services@DisneyWorld.com. The compliments are passed along to the CM and his/her leadership team and noted in his/her file.

5. Visit Guest Relations-If you have time, you can also visit Guest Relations in person and handwrite your words of gratitude.  You can visit Guest Services in the park or in your resort hotel.  So if you happen to have a good experience, and you can catch Guest Relations with no line, hop in and submit a handwritten compliment.  Again, they are passed along to the CMs and their leadership teams.

6. Mind your Behavior-Respect the park rules and be kind. Don’t be that guest who lets the weather, sleep deprivation, exhaustion, or mild disappointment of something that didn’t go quite according to plan get the best of you and take over your words and actions.  It is true that there are some problems that are worth addressing with guest relations, but try not to take those experiences out on Cast Members who cannot provide the service you need.  Guest Relations is there to listen and will try to resolve problems you may experience during your trip.

7. Tip IF it is appropriate-If you loved the service you received at a table service restaurant or the little towel animals Mouse Keeping created, go ahead and show it with a tip.  However, keep in mind that many CMs cannot accept tips and instead opt for a different way to say thanks.

If you encounter a CM who makes your trip feel extra magical, make a note of his/her name and town if you want to send out a compliment later.  Some people like to make a note on their phones, and some people even ask to take a quick photo of the CM’s name tag.  Regardless of how you thank your favorite cast members, you are sure to send a little bit of magic back at them.

Have you ever encountered a Cast Member who made your visit more magical?

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  1. I have had several moments of pixie dust. One was on a solo trip when I ate at Tony’s Town Square restaurant as part of a package with a special viewing area for the parade. I told the nice waitress that I had previously visited with my brother Tom, I wished he were with me then, and I hoped he would come back with me in the future. She gave me a signed dessert menu to give him, saying “Sorry we missed you, Tom! See you next time at Tony’s Town Square!” I was overcome. I have thought up something to bring on my next trip next February: I now have rosebushes and last summer dried their petals to make rose sachets as gifts. This summer, when they bloom again, I will make sachets and bring a bunch on my trip to give to nice Cast Members and fellow guests with whom I have a meaningful interaction.

  2. whenever possible i let the CM’s know how much i appreciate all their work. this last halloween as were leaving there were 4 CM’s directing to the exit. i walked up to them and told them how much fun we had and felt bad they had missed it. so i then gave each of them a big hand full of candy from my bag. they were almost in tears thanking me and that i need not do it. made my heart flutter to see them with such big smiles. can’t wait to do it again this year!

  3. Thank you Kenny. As a cast member, there are so many things guests do that say thank you to me that might not even be thought about. When you decorate your windows at our resort, when you wave me on, or even if you just take the time to say good morning back. These little things say thank you to us and show us how much you appreciate the extra effort that we give to make your trip more pleasurable.

  4. my daughter is a cm at wdw and i cannot tell you enough how much cast compliments mean to her! not only does it go in her “file” at work and the leaders present her a printed copy, but these help her get through the very hard part of living so far away from family and her homesickness. she sends me a snapchat when she receives cast compliments and says she is in tears when it happens. she has had a guest give her a grape soda pin and she has also helped to make magic for many kiddos. she was able to present a young guest with a monorail figurine set “from mickey” and to arrange for him to meet a monorail driver (this was his dream job). to this day, that was probably her favorite moment. thank you for keeping disney magic alive by being kind to one another while visiting ;)

  5. Great article!. Your opinions on this idea please…. little index cards with an individually wrapped life saver candy taped to it and a hand written thank you on the card to give to the CM’s. They would fit in my park bag and I could easily hand one out. Thoughts?

  6. I totally agree. The Cast Members who’ve helped us in the past (usually with directions) have all been wonderful. So kind and respectful, too. It sure would be nice if the customer service people everywhere else would take a lesson from them. Walt would be so proud of everyone who is at, lets say the bottom rung. Can’t say as much for those who’ve climbed a lot higher on that ladder.

    • Yes! I never worry about not knowing how to get somewhere in Disney because someone will point me in the right direction…or just escort me there if they aren’t too busy and are up for a stroll.

  7. Great article! The CM’s often don’t get enough recognition. They work hard. I have been around a couple who have been less than stellar; however, the majority are wonderful and very friendly. You can often see if a cast member has been having a rough day. We had lunch at Akershus on our last trip. We had the sweetest waitress attending to us but she seemed rather sad. I engaged in a conversation with her, asking her about home in Norway. Every time she brought us something, my daughter and I were quick to thank you. She suggested something for me to eat because I was having a difficult time trying to choose something due to health reasons (though not actual allergies). We both loved our food! Because she had been so nice, I asked her if I could take a picture of her with my daughter. She seemed so surprised that I would want her photo! She proceeded to thank us both for being so kind to her. Apparently a table right before us had given her a very difficult time and was obviously very rude to her. I can’t even imagine because this girl was a sweetheart! She literally had tears in her eyes as she thanked us for our kidness. I wish I had thought to make pre-made thank you notes like you did! I will be sure to do that for our next trip. Maybe I’ll even get some little trinkets from Texas to pass out to those CM’s who go above and beyond!

    • What a lovely way to turn someone’s day around! It’s refreshing to read about people showing appreciation for a job well done. Kindness matters.

      • It definitely does, KatieP! It doesn’t take much to offer someone a smile or a simple “please” and “thank you.” Common courtesy and the old adage of ‘treat someone as you would like to be treated.’ I have seen some very rude guests at Disney. I don’t understand why it’s necessary to be rude and crabby to CM’s or other guests! You’re at the happiest place on earth! Just relax, enjoy and be respectful of others!

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