Picture this: You’re in one of the Disney parks and a cast member goes out of their way to make your trip a little more magical. Maybe they make a special fuss over your child who is dressed as their favorite character or slip you a special dessert at one of your meals. Perhaps one of your interactions with a character is especially good, something you’ll remember for many years to come, or they give you an extra set of fastpasses at just the right time.
Here’s an example. My family recently had a great time with cast member Nick at Magic Kingdom’s Tortuga Tavern. He was great fun to be around from the second we walked under the tavern’s sign, greeting us like fellow pirates and asking our daughter if she’d ever been asked to walk the plank. He stayed in character the entire time he took our order, and then presented us with an extra cookie to go with our lunch. It sounds simple, but he made quite an impression on us. Pirate Nick was all my daughter could talk about at the table while we ate our nachos. She was so entertained by him that she even forgot about the cookie he gave her for dessert until we reminded her about it. We were already having a good day, but he made it even better.
I hope every guest in a Disney park gets to experience this kind of extra-special customer service at some point during their visit. It’s difficult to explain how happy even a simple above-and-beyond gesture can make you, but whatever overwhelmed, stammered “thank you” I’ve ever been able to choke out in the moment never seems like it’s enough to get across my gratitude. Thankfully, there is a way we can give those cast members a more formal thank you, but to do it, you’re going to have to make sure you remember a few things about your magical moment.
If you experience extraordinary customer service, note the following:
- The cast member’s name
- The location
- The time
- As many details about why this was special to you as you can remember
If your memory is anywhere near as bad as mine is, make sure to write down, text, or email those details to yourself as soon as you can! After that, all you have to do is visit Guest Services on your way out of the park (or visit the concierge desk at your resort if you are commending a cast member you met at your resort or in a restaurant at the resort) and ask to fill out a guest comment card. Guest Services will help you fill out the card, and then they will file it with that cast member’s supervisor. I have been told that the guest comments are put into their employee file, that they are called out for a special mention at their next team meeting, and that the cast member also receives a copy of your comment to keep. Comments like these can also factor into internal employee evaluations.
If you can’t make it to Guest Services or the resort concierge desk, you might also try submitting your experience at WDW’s guest comment web form. I doubt comments submitted this way will have the same weight as a card filled out at Guest Services, it certainly couldn’t hurt.
Another thing you may want to consider is bringing a few homemade thank you cards with you. Sometimes it’s hard (for kids especially, but for adults as well!) to react quickly with a proper thank you when a cast member does something special for you. If you are prepared with something small you can pull out of your pocket and hand to them, you don’t have to worry about being too flustered to express your gratitude. You don’t have to bring any fancy, store-bought folding thank you cards, though. You can make some simple, quarter page sized postcard type cards very easily before your trip and bring them with you.
Fold a piece of printer paper in half from top to bottom and side to side and write “Thank You” and put some Disney-related doodles or stickers in each of the four quadrants. (You could also use a graphics or word processing program and design this on your computer.) Take that master sheet to a copy store and have it printed on a few pieces of heavier card stock. If you used different colors on your master, you may want to opt for color copies on white card stock. If you used black and white, it could be fun to have your copies on different colored sheets of card stock. After that, simply cut down the center each way and you have little thank you postcards you can hand out whenever the mood strikes you.
And now I’ll wish you good luck in having some pixie dust sprinkled on you during your next trip! Hopefully now you’ll feel prepared to express your gratitude if it happens.