Thanks to a friend of ours who has recently worked as a Cast Member (CM) at Epcot on the Disney College Program for this article.
Here are a couple of things I’ve learned and observed while being on the other side (along with some hints):
Please remember that CMs are there to help you, assist you and create magic. However, they are not there to be yelled at, cursed at, screamed at and told that they’re stupid, not doing their job right or any variation of that. When we ask you to do something, it’s more than likely because of safety concerns. CMs are people. We have feelings.
Now, some thoughts from the couple of places I’ve worked since being here.
1. Please have your tickets ready when you approach the turnstile. It’s not the time to dig through your backpack trying to find it.
2. If you have a large group, please write your name on your ticket. It will make things far easier due to the biometrics. Your ticket must match your finger and if not, we get an error message. Knowing whose ticket is whose makes this SO much easier.
3. If you have a base ticket (1 park per day) you CAN NOT use a second day to visit a second park. I don’t care if your cousin, uncle, travel agent, priest said you can, you can’t. The turnstiles will kick your ticket out with an error message.
4. If your child has had their third birthday, they need a ticket.
5. If you have a stroller, please wait for me to open the gate. If your child is kicking the gate open into my leg, please stop them or pull them back, the gate is metal and it leaves bruises.
6. If the park closes at 9pm, it means that the park closes at 9pm. Yes, Illuminations begins at 9pm, but once they begin, no one else comes in. We’re closed.
7. If you’re arriving at the end of the day at Epcot, head to the turnstiles towards your left. It’s the cast entrance and there is almost never a line there when the other end has one. Anyone can use those turnstiles.
1. NEVER, EVER, EVER stop your car and get out because you’re lost. Please pull up to the booth, we’ll help you and no, we’re not going to charge you.
2. Parking (as of January 2, 2011) is $14. I didn’t set the prices, I have no control over the prices. Please remember that (see my paragraph above)
3. If you’re staying at a Disney resort, don’t assume I saw your parking slip that is all the way on the other side of the windshield. I need to see your check out date to be sure it’s still valid.
4. When you pull up to the booth, please roll down your window and turn off your wipers. It’s simple courtesy.
5. The only way to get free parking is to be an Annual Pass Holder (full pass, not seasonal, Epcot After 4, Water Parks, Weekday Select), stay at a Disney resort or be a Cast Member.
Patience is the key to a great Disney visit. be kind to the CMs – we work hard, long hours and make peanuts. I have loved 99% of the guests I’ve encountered but those other 1% make me want to run far, far away from here as fast as I can.