This past week my boyfriend and two of our friends came to visit me for my birthday. While I enjoyed the time I spent with them, my experiences at the parks were less than stellar. I was excited to show off how magical the company I work for is but what we experienced was regular service. Whether we were eating at a sit-down restaurant, quick service food and beverage station, or going on an attraction, the service felt very quick and impersonal. I was especially disappointed when I visited Epcot on my actual birthday. The happy birthdays from cast members felt very forced and I actually felt a more genuine congratulations from the group of guests who passed by me and shouted “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” in unison.
What’s most disappointing to me is that whenever a cast member discovers I’m a cast member, their attitude towards me completely changes. No longer am I a guest who should be treated with kindness but an inconvenience to them. Any guest, whether they work for the company or not, is here to be enveloped in the magic and wonder of Disney. I know there are many cast members who are delightful to everyone and I’m sure the cast members I came across were just stressed out from the great influx of guests these past few weeks. However, I always try to treat each guest like it’s a special and amazing occasion that they’re here because really is! Most of the guests who come here are only able to do so maybe once or twice in their lives. For my boyfriend, it was his first time ever coming to Disney and I felt like it was not magical for him at all. No guest should feel like they are a nuisance or like they are unwelcome.
The highlight of our trip, however, was meeting Mickey! It was a shock for my boyfriend because it was his first time meeting him. Mickey was very interactive and showed us a magic trick where he guessed the card we picked (he eventually got it right!).
Overall, my week was great because I was in good company but I was unsatisfied as a guest. It’s good that I was able to experience the parks as a guest so I can use it as a refresher to remember what it’s like to be on the receiving end of guest service. I’ll be keeping in mind my time as a guest here for when I go back to work so I can continue to be mindful of how important each moment is for the guests.