We hold a special place in our hearts for Disney Cast Members, and we’re not the only ones.
Disney Cast Members received some shocking news recently as the company announced that they would be laying off 28,000 CMs from their Parks, Experiences and Products sector. Our hearts are hurting for the affected CMs, so we reached out to our readers to hear some of their favorite Cast Member memories.
We’ve long said that Cast Members are the true source of Disney magic. Without them, the parks just won’t feel the same. Practically anyone who’s spent some time in the parks has a fond memory of a Cast Member interaction. As a reminder to CMs of just how much good they’ve done in their jobs, we wanted to share some of these stories.
We reached out to our readers via Instagram to hear some of their most treasured Cast Member memories, and the results are amazing. We received over 300 responses in a matter of hours. Let’s take a peek at a small piece of the magic CMs have brought over the years. Responses are edited for clarity!
Making Special Occasions Even More Special
A lot of stories came in that shared times that Cast Members helped to make special occasions even more special — whether it be weddings, family announcements, birthdays, or anything else!
One reader shared their recent experience when a super sweet Cast Member helped plus up their wedding celebrations.
“The All Star my fiance and I were planning to stay at during our November wedding in Disney won’t be open yet when we go. A Cast Member called to rebook us a new room and when she found out it was for our wedding, she upgraded us to the Gran Destino Tower for no extra charge! I couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t thank her enough! She was so incredibly sweet and gave great suggestions! So grateful for all Cast Members! They make the magic!”
This soon-to-be-wed wasn’t the only one who felt a little extra magic around the big day.
“My wife and I stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge for our honeymoon in February, just before all of this kicked off. We were surprised with a Mickey Dome Cake in our room one evening, and we got a See You Soon greeting card from a Cast Member at Boma on our final day. There were other countless things throughout our two weeks at Disney, but that made us feel really special and at home!”
Another reader shared a similar surprise from the Cast Members at their resort.
“Our honeymoon cruise was canceled due to a hurricane. CMs at Grand Floridian gave us free bride and groom ears and had dessert delivered to our room while we hunkered down for the storm to pass. Such a sweet gesture.”
Sometimes, CMs even become a big part of a very, very special announcement.
“A CM at Main Street Bakery wrote ‘I’m pregnant!’ on my coffee for me to give to my husband. She was so excited for me that she came out to give me a special cupcake so we could celebrate after telling him! I’ll always remember that!”
One reader shared a time that CMs made them feel just like a princess on their birthday.
“It was my birthday and we walked into a store (can’t remember which), and a CM ran up to me and said there was a phone call just for me from someone special. They brought me over to the store phone and it was Goofy and Mickey wishing me a happy birthday! We only ever got to go to Disney once when I was little (I was turning 20 this time) so it made my day so special. It made me feel like a princess! Cast Members are really the magic of Disney!”
It can be surprising just how far a CM will go to make a little extra magic for guests, and one reader saw this first hand on their first Disney trip.
“When my now-husband and I went to Disneyland for the first time, we stopped to get our first visit buttons and then waited for rope drop. A Cast Member came up to us and asked if it was really our first time visiting. He then asked if we would like to follow him to Frontierland before the park officially opened to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. He let us pick any seat on the ride and even let us ride again once people started making their way over. Before we got off, he gave us three skip the line passes and a pass for Splash Mountain. Thinking about that Cast Member and what he did for us still makes me smile and I love telling people this story because it showcases the Disney magic.”
Coming to the Rescue When Things Go Wrong
We’ve also found that Cast Members are pretty much real-life superheroes. They’re pros at coming to the rescue when something bad happens!
One reader reminisced on a time that lost keys turned into a magical experience!
“About 20 years ago, I went on Splash Mountain with my uncle and cousins. As we headed out of the park that day, my uncle puts his hand in his pocket and realized he lost his rental car keys. We get a CM at Splash Mountain to pull up our photo and luckily we could see what number log we were in. From there, we went back through the exit to the unloading area. When our log came by, the CM saw the keys. Then he said if we wait a moment he would get us on the next log and we could go on the ride again, no waiting in line! It was magical!”
Did you know CMs have the power to turn a RUINED vacation into a wonderful memory? One reader had it happen to them!
“We traveled from Argentina only to find out upon arrival that our travel agency had incorrectly booked us. My family doesn’t speak English so we were all really nervous because we had nowhere to go and our vacations were RUINED. Suddenly, a CM who spoke Spanish stepped out of nowhere. He made some calls and 15/20 minutes later he got us all in a taxi on our way to Saratoga Springs Resort. Everything was fixed. To this day we still remember him. He really did go out of his way and essentially saved our entire vacation.”
Another reader shared a sweet memory of a time that their tot’s bad fall turned into a fun surprise for the little guy, all thanks to a CM.
“My son was 1.5 years old on our first Disney trip. He face-planted and ended up with scratched all over his face and legs. The CM at our resort felt so sorry for his trip not being 100% magical. She asked what our room number was and that night we walked in to find balloons, Rice Krispie treats, and a stuffed animal of Pooh. It was amazing! They went way above and beyond when they didn’t have to.”
That little guy isn’t the only one who had gotten some cheering up from a CM. Little actions from Cast Members can go a long way when something goes wrong!
“When my son was about four years old we were rushing our way down Main Street to exit the park before a parade came through. My son tripped and scraped his knee right in front of the bakery. The CM that was standing by the doors checked to see if he was okay and told us to wait a minute. She came back with a cake pop for my son and turned his frown upside down. It was so sweet.”
Skinned knees aren’t the only thing that can spur a CM to turn into a superhero. One reader shared a story of their daughter getting a big pick-me-up when she was sick.
“Years ago, my daughter got sick at Disney World. While we were waiting at first aid, a darling CM brought her a Princess Atta stuffed animal and told my daughter that Mickey heard she was sick and hoped this would make her feel better. We never forget that even nearly 20 years later. CMs are the angels of Disney!”
Turning Little Moments Into Big Memories
But it doesn’t always take a special occasion or a vacation interruption for Cast Members to create some wonderful memories. In fact, most of the responses received were about times that CMs made a little extra magic for seemingly no reason. CMs out there, you might be surprised just how impactful you’ve been!
One reader shared a story of a time that a CM made a long-running family memory, without even trying!
“In about 2002, a CM at Animal Kingdom with a beautiful southern drawl asked my then four-year-old sister if she wanted a hand stamp. My sister, a curious Canadian, hadn’t heard an accent so thick before. She replied innocently, “What’s a heaaaand staaaamp?” doing her best to repeat the accent. The CM got a kick out of it and was very sweet to explain what she meant. We still quote it in our family so often.”
We’re not kidding when we say that little things can make for big moments.
“My favorite is probably when a female CM at Epcot’s United Kingdom store gifted my then 4-year-old daughter with a new autograph book because she had already filled up her first book. It was such a kind gesture.”
And it’s not just kiddos who can benefit from a sweet moment with a Cast Member!
“Sometimes it’s the small things that Cast Members do that you remember forever. I never got to go to Disney as a kid. My first time was when I was 20, so I never got to feel like a little princess. On our last trip a Cast Member said, “Your turn next princess,” and I think I was giddier then I had ever been in my whole life. They really make you feel special and like, even as an adult, I’m a princess, too!”
One reader shared a sweet moment from a CM WAY back on the opening day of Animal Kingdom!
“My entire family went to Animal Kingdom on opening day and had a blast. As we were leaving, a CM was saying goodbye and my then 6-year-old sister happened to notice that they had the same name (Leanne) and told her. Leanne immediately gave my sister her name tag pin and an opening day pin and gave her a hug goodbye. To this day the pins are still hanging in my parents’ kitchen.”
One CM even made a HUGE impact on this reader when it came to following their dreams!
“Back in 2015 my family and I were sailing on the Disney Dream. A Cast Member overheard that I was a stage tech for my high school musicals and that I wanted to go to college for it. That night we got a special letter inviting me to go backstage at the Walt Disney Theatre. It was one of the best and most magical moments in my life and I will never forget it.”
We got a message from a reader who lauded the way CMs work with special needs kiddos. We have to say, these folks certainly are a gift.
“My son is non-verbal. He waited in line to meet many characters during our Halloween trip last year. The CMs in the line and the characters were so amazing. He tried to touch Mickey’s face and Mickey gently squeezed my son’s face with his big gloves and it made him giggle and smile the biggest I’ve ever seen! I cried, it meant so much. It can be tricky making magic with special needs kiddos, but they get it. I’m forever grateful for them and the memories they gave us. Their kind hearts aren’t forgotten.”
Is there anyone quite as good at making you feel like a kid again? We don’t think so. Check out this reader’s story.
“My boyfriend and I went to Animal Kingdom for the first time when I was 26. I was given a Simba doll on my first birthday that I still have so I brought him along with me. When getting my bag checked, the CM made sure his head was poking out of my bag because “Simba isn’t going to want to miss this.” Later, the CM working at an ice cream stand asked about my Simba doll. I told him why I had him and he gave me my ice cream for free to ‘spread some extra magic.’ It was such a special moment and two CM’s really made sure it stuck with me forever.”
As you can clearly see from these stories, the impact that Cast Members have is felt for years to come. Every person on our team can certainly rattle off a TON of wonderful and magical Cast Member memories.
Our hearts break when we think about the hard times our beloved Cast Members are facing. So, to all of our readers out there, share a little bit of love with some CM memories in the comments.
One of our readers put it best when they said, “Disney Cast Members have made dreams I never even imagined possible for my little girl and our family come true. Their love for their jobs & the magic of Disney is immeasurable and I have seen first-hand countless times just how special the people who inhabit these roles can truly be.”
If you are a Cast Member in need or are looking to help a Cast Member who has been affected by the decisions at Disney, take a look at our resource document to learn more about what you can do.
To all of the CMs who are hurting right now. We love you! Your work and your magic are so, so appreciated. From the special occasions to the big rescues, to the little moments — you are truly where the magic comes from! Our hearts are with you. <3
We’ll be keeping an eye out for any resources available for Cast Members or those who are looking for ways to help out the CMs who have been affected by the lay-offs. Stay tuned to DFB for the latest updates and to learn you can help.
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Do you have a sweet Cast Member story? Share it in the comments!