The Cast Members of the Disney Parks and Resorts are some of the hardest working people we know. No more so in times like now- where the Disney Parks closures are causing long hours and stress all around. The travel agents who spent extra time with the phone Cast Members and Guest Services of Disney had some cast compliments to give this week on the No-Guilt Disney Podcast.
Cast Compliments: Episode 2 The One Where Travel Agents Share Their Stories
We love the Cast Members so much around here- and we lovingly refer to them as Francisco.
Because that’s fun to say!
This week has been HARD on all of us in the Disney community, but no more so than for the Cast Members.
From the phone line staff to the resort, parks, and cruise line faces, to the Guest Service reps and to the College Program kids… y’all have been through a lot this week.
And we want to thank you.
We crowdsourced some of our favorite Cast Compliments and stories from the travel agents who were working hand in hand this week with them.
We thank you, we love you, and we’re thinking about you right now.
‘Til we meet again- see you real soon, pals!
ps- if you want to cry and say goodbye with the Disneyland family, click this link. If you do not want to cry, definitely do NOT click this link.
We know you have feelings and maybe #allthefeels right now: join us in the No-Guilt Disney Facebook group to have a therapy sesh.
Find the No-Guilt Disney Podcast Team
by email at [email protected]
- The No-Guilt Fangirls Podcast
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- @gertiethedino on Twitter
- @in.sight.full.life on Instagram
- @realmousewifewdw on Instagram
- @realmousewifeFL on Twitter
Music from https://filmmusic.io
“Vivacity” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
To all who come to our happy place, welcome to the No-Guilt Disney Podcast – where we have no guilt about our love for all things Disney.
We are three Disney fan girls who probably know more about Disney parks than most grown women should – and we’re perfectly okay with that. Yeah, I see nothing wrong.
Yeah, I see nothing wrong. Hello everybody, my name is Theresa and you can find me on Twitter at @GertieTheDino and Instagram at @in.sight.full.life.
I’m Jane and you can find me on Instagram at @RealMousewifeWDW and on Twitter @RealMousewifeFL.
The two days of the year that Jane is on Twitter. <laughter>
I’ve been on at least three times in the last two weeks.
She might do it more. Who knows? You never know.
I’m trying, y’all.
You do have some extra time on your hands.
Well, this is true. Hey y’all, I am Patty Holliday from NoGuiltDisney.com and No-Guilt Travel, which is a travel agency that specializes in Disney and Universal vacations. You can find me on all socials at @NoGuiltLife, because I want to make life easy on you.
And we also want to make life easy on you on this podcast. So don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review if you’re listening on an app that allows it, and just hang out with us and you know – let’s have a fun conversation about Disney.
It really helps other Disney fans to find us and right now we all have a feeling that’s going to be more important than ever.
Definitely. The Disney community it’s a real thing. It is a real thing, and we want to be here for anyone who is still looking to talk Disney to get through this dark and somewhat scary part of life right now. We promise our most of our shows are going to be light and fluffy and fun. And hopefully something that you’ll want to listen to to take your mind off of the day to day quarantine-type situation that you might soon find yourself under.
Yeah, so make sure that you join us on Facebook in the No-Guilt Disney group. If you search No-Guilt Disney it will come up, and we’re going to be talking about any news that does come out because we know people are gonna have opinions on it, but also just the fun Disney things that you’re doing at home, and how you can keep that Disney Magic going.
Alright, so today we have a fun episode to talk about.
We’re talking about Francisco, right?
That’s fun to say.
Yeah, this is a shout out. I feel like this is a shout out episode that is especially needed at this time. And it is coming to you from the travel agents, who’ve had a lot of Francisco interaction lately. This is basically stories from the phone lines, if you will.
Here at the No-Guilt Disney podcast, we like to call Cast Members Francisco. Mostly because we do a lot of shout outs, and we like to talk about magical moments, things like that. Sometimes they come from the Cast Members and when they want to remain anonymous, we’d like to help them to do that. So we decided to name them Francisco. Because that’s fun to say. <laughter>
If you have not said it out loud, even after listening to these episodes, just do it now really quick. And you’ll see – there’s a little bit of enjoyment there.
Also, if you’re named Francisco, please let us know. <laughter>
I really want a Francisco name tag, so somebody, please take a picture of it and send it to me. You will make my day and brighten up my Disney life. [email protected] is our email address.
But we really wanted to do this episode today, just with everything going on in the Disney Parks. We know that there are a lot of guests who are upset about their travel plans being disrupted. But we also really feel for the Cast Members who are handling a lot of the questions, who are unsure of their job situation moving forward, who are dealing with a lot of uncertainty themselves. And they are also working really hard to make sure everyone’s getting their questions answered and things are going as smoothly as possible. So we wanted to give them some love right now, share some stories from the travel agents who have had great experiences with people handling big and small issues. We just wanted to say thank you, and we appreciate everything that you are doing right now.
To set this up appropriately, if you chose not to listen to the previous episode where we talked about what’s happening with the coronavirus and whatnot: I am a travel agent, and I have spent hours and hours and hours on hold, and hours and hours and hours having discussions with Cast Members on the phone lines. In my particular case, I talked to folks in Paris, I talked to folks in runDisney, I talked to folks at Disneyland, at Walt Disney World, and for the Disney Cruise Line. So I have kind of had this smattering of Cast Member interaction through the phone lines that covered pretty much everything that Disney does, and I got to say – so much of it was heartwarming and impressive, and they are working so hard, and they are so exhausted, guys. They are so exhausted. So this is our little love letter to you. I talked to a bunch of other travel agents who chimed in with some of their stories, and so we’re going to share those stories with you today.
Are we ready to go?
All right, I’m going to start with a story from Debbie, from Debbie’s Main Street Magic. Hi, Debbie. I love Debbie. She’s so sweet.
I love Debbie, too.
She wanted to tell us about her interaction on the phone lines. She said, “I got dropped twice and finally got answered after five and a half hours.” Y’all. This is a long time to stay on the phone.
Dude, tell me about it.
“Praise be that Bonita Kay was an absolute doll! She handled everything including getting my concerns approved by guest services without being transferred.”
Y’all, this is huge. Just a quick side note, what happens is we call and we deal with the Cast Members on the front line. There are some things they can fix for us and they can work their little magic. There are other things that, for whatever reason in Disney’s brilliance and how they have set up their systems – which I know nothing about guys – you have to get transferred to Guest Services. Now Guest Services are literally the wizards behind the curtain, right? They can make stuff happen. And so you want to get to Guest Services if you have something particularly crazy going on. However, because they are so in demand, the Guest Services phone line – and to sit in their queue after sitting in the original queue – y’all, it’s a whole thing. So the fact that Bonita Kay was able to get it taken care of without a transfer is huge.
Sounds like it. She said, “I have seen such amazing displays of generosity the past couple of days- agents from other agencies messaging me while they were on with Disney to see if they could get something answered for me. Teamwork makes the Dream work!”
That’s another side note too – this is a little shout out to the travel agent community. We have Facebook groups and whatnot, and what has been amazing was also the stories that have come out through the travel agents. There was one example where I woke up one morning – just hit my phone, dialed in, letting it play the whole music there in the background – where I’m reading this story about one travel agent who said, “Guys, I just have to give a shout out to…” and I can’t remember who it was specifically they were shouting out, but they were like “to Lisa. Lisa is a fellow travel agent here. She saw that I had a question in this Facebook group. And while she was talking to a Cast Member, she called me and did a three way call so that I could come into the call and not have to sit on hold.”
Seriously, after hearing the five and a half hour wait time.
Isn’t that amazing? And she was like, “Lisa doesn’t know me. We are not in the same agency. We are not connected in any way, shape or form. It was just the fact that she saw me with this question and knew that I was sitting on hold for a long time, and was like, ‘Hey, my 90 minutes haven’t gotten up yet.'” And so she looped her in and made this three way call so that she could take care of it, because this agent also had something she had to do with her kid or whatever. So she was like, I don’t have time to sit on the phone today, but I really need to take care of this. So somebody heard that, somebody helped out. Travel agents, we are all in this together, as my favorite High School Musical will always remind us.
You’re going to get that stuck in my head today. I knew that was coming
<singing> “We’re all in this together.” Does that help, Theresa?
Yeah, but you can’t keep going because we don’t get a copyright strike.
Right? All right, all right. So Theresa, I know you’ve got one too.
Yeah, I’m gonna share one. This came from Jillian, from Storybook World Travel. And she wrote in, “Yanilda was awesome this evening and tried to get what I needed finished. Sadly, I need Guest Services to fix these things. But she did try her best before putting my into the Guest Services line.”
Yep, they really do go above and beyond and try as hard as they can to get it fixed for us. But sometimes we got to talk to Guest Services. So I have a story of myself, and this actually has to do with Guest Services. I sat on hold for hours and hours, y’all, and got disconnected. I put it on my Facebook page, and that’s when Debbie chimed in and told her story at that time. But I put it on my Facebook page, and I was just like, “After four and a half hours, they they disconnected on me, ahhhh!” I got right back in line, and strangely enough, that hold was only 30 minutes. Somehow I hit the sweet spot, and so whatever, I only had to hold for 30 minutes that time. I got a hold of a Cast Member, and I did not get her name. I wish I had, but I didn’t get her name. She was fantastic. She couldn’t help me, but she said, “Let me find somebody with Guest Services. I know that they can fix this for you.” And I was like, “Thank you so much.” But she tried, she did all of the tricks, and she took extra steps to try to make it work, and just couldn’t make what I needed done to happen. So she gets me transferred over to Guest Services where I had the adorable and amazing Sal answer the phone. Sal was fantastic. He was funny. He was kind of giggling and laughing through the entire phone call. I guess he was just getting punchy at this point. I don’t know. But it was it was refreshing to hear this upbeat..because I know what they’ve been through. I know what they’re dealing with. And again, like I said, the the guest services folks are actually getting the brunt of things of the actual fixing of the problems. But here’s where we were with Sal. Sal says, I don’t know if I can do this. But it makes sense to do it. So for those listening to this recorded conversation, I’m doing it and I was just like, I had the perfect cast member and Sal because Sal You are my people. That’s exactly how I would have handled it as well. And I used to answer phone lines and in dealt with folks Every day and it was always bottom line for me was what makes sense? What is the most common sense answer, right. And I hated the fact that we always had these procedures and processes. And I know that there’s reasons that they’re out there. But sometimes it just comes down to what makes common sense. And in this case, it was a very simple, you know, thing to do. And Sal just did it instead of like, putting me on hold again and trying to find somebody else to give them approver or whatever. He was like, yellow, we’re doing this. I fixed it for you. You’re good. Have a great day Patty. And I was like, Sal, I love you. So So I love you.
Well, and I think I think there’s going to be more of that coming up. Because we said, because the phone lines are so busy, and there’s so many questions coming up. I think there’s gonna be more of those, you know, executive decisions. We’re doing it this way. And then maybe, maybe things will make become easier, like processes might change throughout all of this to be in line things. So it’d be Katie, maybe you’re helping cast members out in the future by having a towel who’s just like this. This makes sense. We’re going to do it this way. And
Yeah I loved it. I appreciate it.
Whitney from Believe Vacations, she wrote us as well. She said, “So I was disconnected from the Earmarked DTA line after 3.5 hours of being on hold.” Y’all all these wait times are killing me. “Being on my own vacation at WDW, I literally burst into tears in the lobby of Art of Animation. Patty came to the rescue -”
Not me, by the way.
” – and offered to try and help. She personally had the back office call in on my behalf to cancel 3 reservations that were to check in the next day. Now while she couldn’t ever get it actually changed- she spent a large portion of the day trying and called me multiple times to keep me posted. I am grateful for her calm and collected mindset. I certainly needed it as I’m sure most of you understand what it feel like to be on hold and then have the call drop…and how incredibly frustrating that can be.”
Well done, well done.
After hearing these, before I share my next story, I did want to say if you are using a travel agent for your Disney vacation, or if you have in the past or think you might in the future, listen to these stories and make sure you send them a thank you for anything that they’ve had to do in the background that you weren’t aware of to make your trip happen, or to make changes for you. Send them a nice little note, because it sounds like with everything they’re dealing with this week, they probably could use the boost also.
Yeah, honestly, I got quite a few messages from clients who said, “I don’t need anything, I just want you to know I’m thinking about you.” And here I go. I’m getting teary eyed, guys. That really did mean a lot. It was a hard week. And it was a hard week not in the sense of…I wasn’t mourning the loss of income or work or anything like that. That really wasn’t where my heart was. My heart was feeling the…I don’t want to call it pressure, exactly. It’s not pressure. But the responsibility. I have responsibility to take care of these very important trip details for these clients who put their faith and their trust in me. And it was a heavy responsibility to go in and know that I’m canceling $6,000 trips, $5,000 trips, fighting to make sure their $4,000 cruise got refunded in the following complete way that they’re entitled to, and that sort of thing. And so it was stress on that level, from a responsibility aspect. And so the the folks that did reach out and sent us those very kind comments – hey, thinking about you, appreciate you, that sort of thing – it goes a long way. So if you have used a travel agent, or even if you know one and you didn’t use one, but you just want to say, “Hey, travel agents, we know you’re working really hard right now. We love you.” That would be so cool. That’s so nice.
Let’s all spread additional kindness wherever we can, right? o I’m going to share a story from Deanna. And her story is about a Cast Member that she had recently. She said, after waiting on hold for over 2 1/2 hours, she was answered by a cast member, Francisco –
That was fine to say,
– who was crying when she answered the phone. Deanna let her vent for a bit and cry, and then by the end of the 90 minute call they were both laughing together so hard – and she was just a wonderful reminder of humans on the other end of the line. Oh and she took care of everything perfectly, as well!
Good job, Francisco! When I called Paris and I said, “Hi. I actually have somebody that wants to book; I don’t want to cancel anything. I just want to book something. Can you do that for me?” She was like, “Oh, I would love to do that for you. Thank you so much.” It was one of those very human moments for me as well when I was when I was talking about that trip for her. It’s been rough because I was calling, of course, the morning after Paris got the news that they were being shut down as well. And I was like, I don’t want to call and do this, but at the same time, I still have this responsibility to a client who is requesting it. So, you know, I made the call expecting them to tell me “Yeah, go away, lady come back. This trip isn’t until September,” but they were so happy. It worked out okay.
These are… the Cast Members and travel agents. The whole reason that you guys are doing this is because you want to make magic for guests and you want to make great memories for guests. And right now, what you’re doing in a lot of cases is the opposite of that because of the situation. So I’m sure that they were appreciative to have a chance to do something positive versus having all the cancellations.
Yeah, for sure. For sure. All right. Well, I’m gonna wrap this last one up. This is from Holly, and Holly is also an agent at Storybook Travel. And Holly says, “This doesn’t have to do with the phone lines, but I’m here now. And the Disney College Program students need a shout out. These guys are handling everything so well. So many of the workers last night at Magic Kingdom and at our resort were College Program students, and they were doing an excellent job of taking care of guests. I made sure to give them extra thank yous and tell them they were doing a great job. I may have even cried to the cashier checking me out at Mara at 11:30 last night. I saw a lot of them watching Happily Ever After together, and it was very emotional.” You guys want to cry? I’m gonna do this to you.
Me, cry? What?
I was already crying.
No, I’m talking to the listeners not you two. I am going to link in the show notes the video that I did sent to you two, and we all cried over it. This was at closing of the Disneyland parks. This video had a whole bunch of Cast Members, and a whole lot of characters coming together, and somebody put together this wonderfully sweet video of how they closed the park for this indefinite period of time. And I think the reason why it chokes me up so much is because it’s Disneyland, y’all. It’s Walt’s Park. And anyway, they take some time to make it special for that closure for the Cast Members. I think it’s something they will probably remember forever. If you are one of those Cast Members and you want to come tell us about it, reach out to us. You can either come into the Facebook group at No-Guilt Disney, or you can send us an email. Our email address is [email protected], and I’d love to hear your experience and what that was like last night at Disneyland, or two nights ago at Disneyland. It was a couple nights ago at Disneyland. This has been – this has been a week, guys. It’s been a week. But the Cast Members: you are doing such a phenomenal job, and we always appreciate you, but for sure wanted you to know how much we love our Francisco’s.
Yes. And make sure you keep joining us each week on the No-Guilt Disney podcast, because as Patty likes to say:
It’s no fun to fangirl Disney alone.
Patty Holliday has been running Disney since 2011. She knows just about every tip, trick, and hack there is to cover the runDisney Magical Miles at Disney World and Disneyland. She knows every mile isn’t *always* magical- but with training, tips, and a little bit of pixie dust, they can be a lot of fun! You can also find her at noguilttravel.com and noguiltfangirl.com