What makes Disney magical? That’s an easy answer as far as we’re concerned. It’s the cast members. They are the hardest working magic makers in the Land, World or on the seas. And we want to celebrate them with your cast member compliment stories on the No-Guilt Fangirls Podcast.
Francisco… That’s Fun to Say! Cast Member Compliments Episode 1
We think we’re funny around here- kinda. I mean, we crack ourselves up, anyway. In this episode of the podcast, we formally introduce Francisco.
Francisco is our general name for all cast members. Mostly because it’s fun to say.
(Holla, Will Ferrell!)
This is the first Cast Compliments episode- the one where we share your stories about amazing interactions with cast members.
Or if you are a cast member, we share your favorite Disney moments as well. ps- we’ll keep your name on the down-low if there’s anything you don’t want to get back to Mickey!
Submit your stories here on the No-Guilt Disney Podcast submission form.
And don’t forget to Stay Disney and Don’t Do Standby!
Find the No-Guilt Disney Podcast Team
by email at [email protected]
- The No-Guilt Fangirls Podcast
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- @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/)
Transcripts Cast Member Compliments Episode 1
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’re Jane, Theresa and Patty, three Disney fan girls who probably know more about Disney Parks than most grown women should and we’re perfectly okay with that.
Oh, you know it.
Yeah, we certainly are. Hello, lovely listeners. I’m Theresa and you can find me on Twitter @GertieTheDino and on Instagram at @in.sight.full.life.
And I am Jane and I can be found on Instagram and Facebook @RealMousewifeWDW.
Hey, I’m Patty Holliday from NoGuiltDisney.com and No-Guilt Travel, a travel agency that specializes in Disney and Universal vacations. You can find me on all socials @NoGuiltLife We know that you have a choice in your Disney podcasts, because there’s like a zillion love these out there, but we’re glad you decided to listen to ours.
And subscribe so you don’t miss an episode.
And make sure you leave a five star review.
Now, this is the favorite episode of our week. This is the one where we read you your stories. You submit them, we read them back to you, right?
Yes. And we want to say thank you so much to everybody who has already shared a story or a memory with us. And if you have something you want to share, especially after listening to this episode, or if you have an unpopular Disney opinion or a question that you want us to answer, you can find the link to our submission form either in the show notes, on NoGuiltDisney.com, and I know I also have it in linked in my pinned tweet on Twitter.
You can also send us an email at [email protected] or you can find us on any of our socials and contact us there.
All right now this week we are featuring our favorite people in all of the World and all the Land and all of the seas. And that would be the Cast Members. We have Cast Members stories. Some of them where Cast Members and former Cast Members shared their magical moments with us, and then others where guests tell us their stories about how a Cast Member made their trip special. And I gotta say, anytime anybody asks me, “Why Disney? Why do you keep going back? What is it about them?” It always comes back that yes, I love the magical stories and I love the storytelling elements. And I love the awesome attractions and I love just being in the Disney Bubble. I love all of that. But really, it’s the Cast Members, guys, they make everything happen. I know you guys agree with me, right?
Yeah, absolutely. I know in this episode, we’re going to share some magical moments that have happened with Cast Members, but even in our Rise of the Resistance episode that we did the other week, talking about the the Guests Experience Team, the Cast Members are there just to make sure your day goes smoothly.
Oh, for sure. The Cast Members are honestly the ones who put the magic in Mickey! And Disney, you can steal that if you need to. I give you my permission. So as we dive into these Cast Members stories, we do want to make one note that is going to come up as we talk about Cast Members. And this is…I don’t know, it was really funny to us. And you will hear us giggling about it. Hopefully it translates. If it doesn’t translate, and you think it’s really dumb and lame. Well, we don’t care because we think it’s funny.
We’re going to keep doing it. <laughter>
And that is, we wanted to offer an opportunity for Cast Members to write in or to message us with their stories, but also to keep them anonymous, if that was something that they really felt that they needed to do. So we were joking around saying we should have just one name for all Cast Members so anytime a Cast Member tells a story, we’re just going to call them all the same thing. Throwing around names, we weren’t really landing on anything, because we know it had to be something a little bit silly, right? And then I don’t know which one of us said it, but somebody was like Francisco. And immediately the other person said,
“That’s fun to say!”
And Francisco is born! <laughs> With a nod to, obviously, Elf and the great Will Ferrell. We are stealing, borrowing, usurping Francisco as the name of all Cast Members in all stories that we feel like it fits. So when you hear us say, Francisco!
That’s fun to say!
That is why. All right, who’s got a story to share? Who wants to start?
I will! I’ll share one and this was told to me by my coworker, Bobby, and as soon as he said it, I looked at him and was like, “You know, I’m gonna steal this for the podcast, right?” So I got his permission to share his story. It is, While walking towards Expedition Everest, I knew my daughter was still going to be slightly too short to ride, but we wanted to have her check her height anyway. After realizing she wasn’t quite tall enough yet, she started crying. A nearby Cast Member saw this happening, quickly came over to us, and handed us a small card about the size of a paper Fast Pass that says, “Young Explorer! This is to certify that you may join the expedition to Everest as soon as you are as tall as the posted signs.” She said we could use it as a Fast Pass on our next visit, fill in the day she was able to ride and then have it as a keepsake so she can remember this moment. Tears quickly went away, and we’re already looking forward to when we can ride it with her for first time to face the Yeti.”
I love how they took what is such a huge bummer and such a big negative and turn away type moment, and they made it into something to look forward to. Oh and by the way, you’re coming back now, right?
Because you have that one Fast Pass.
Disney knows how to get us, all right? They do, they do. I like that one. That’s a good one.
When he sent it to me… I will send you the picture so you can put it up on the blog post that’s going to be with this episode. But it’s a really nice little card too. It’s got artwork on the front and back with Everest on one side, and the Yeti on the other. So they are fully prepared. This isn’t just like a little regular paper card, it’s a really nice design on it. I did not know that this is something Disney did. I’d be curious what other attractions have it and what those look like. So if you’ve also gotten one of these cards, send us those pictures because I love these unique little Disney souvenirs that you don’t know exist and every now and then, you get one.
Yeah, I’ve never heard of that. That’s really such a cute way to help a kid out.
I knew it was a thing, but we never had it offered to us. But I did know it was a thing. But I didn’t realize or recognize or understand that it was specific to each ride like that. That’s really cool. That’s an awesome little Disney touch, I love it.
Totally. Well, help the parents out. It might cost the parents a lot of money, but we will pay it if we don’t have to listen to our kid cry.
Well, I’m essentially a five year old. So I’m like gosh, that five year old is devastated.
Totally, totally. Alright Jane, Do you have one?
I do. I have this story from Suzanne on Facebook. She said, “On my daughter, Ariel’s fifth birthday.” That’s her daughter’s name. So cute. “We had just had a fun character breakfast at ‘Ohana and went to Magic Kingdom for our last day at the Parks. We were back by Fantasyland expansion, which wasn’t open to the public yet. A Cast Member saw her little birthday ear hat and asked her name. She was delighted to tell her. ‘I have someone who’d love to meet you,’ she said, and proceeded to allow us an early preview to the New Fantasyland, taking us directly to Ariel’s Grotto. We got to meet Ariel, and the character interaction with her was priceless. ‘There’s a human with my name!’ This was such a special memory for us.”
Wait, wait wait! So she got to go to New Fantasyland and meet Ariel before was even open because her name is Ariel?
All right. I’m changing my name. <laughter>
I said the same! I was like what is my new name?
You can be The User, and then you’ll go as soon as Tron is open.
Oh, I was like….I’m not following. I haven’t seen that movie. <laughter>
Fine, then I will be The User and I will go on Tron when it opens!
I’ll be Gamora! I’ve got this.
You can have it. Wrong episode, sorry. <laughs>
Oh my God. Jane. Let’s be honest, A) You’ll be Rocket, and B) –
Theresa….I caught that. That “she can have it.” Yeah. You didn’t get that one by me. I caught that one. That’s very sweet. And thanks, Suzanne, for sharing that one with us. Super, super sweet. Alright, so this one was sent in by Leslie. And Leslie said that she has tons of Cast Members stories, and she’s kind of like me – this is why she keeps going back time and time again. Her story says, “My husband and I love trading pins. The first trip we took after we started pin trading, we took my stepdaughter for her college graduation present. And she fell in love with trading pins, too.” So that’s kind of cute little family out there. Do you guys trade pins? I don’t trade pins.
I’ve done it here and there. But I never typically remember to bring them with me or take the time to stop. But if I’m with friends who are pin trading, then I will, I’ll participate.
I want to, but I know I’d become obsessive. And then I’d be like hunting down the one pin. That’s it. So no,
It’s not a good hobby for you, Jane. At all. I would have to tell you “no” to that. My kids tried it once or twice, and then they just basically got bored with it. So we’re just not pin traders. But I know it’s a huge thing I know. It’s a massive, huge thing. So she goes on, she says, “We spent more time that trip trading pins than we did riding rides. <laughter> The morning we decided to go to California Adventure, we also decided to give up any hopes of trying to ride Toy Story because we just wanted to sleep in. This was back in the days before Cars Land, and all the other newer things. Toy Story Mania was the biggest hit in the Park. We got up late, we headed into the Park, we did a few rides and traded pins along the way. And then we saw this older gentleman Cast Member and he had pins. So my stepdaughter ran over and then we all just kind of stood chatting and trading pins, even though he didn’t really have anything that we needed. But we just chatted and told him about why we were there, and that we were celebrating her graduation. And he asked us if we would like a special surprise. And we were like, yeah, sure, whatever. Then he walked us over to Toy Story Mania and slipped us in the exit and asked them to let us on the next cars. He wished just a wonderful trip and said that sometimes Disney likes to treat customers that are excited and not complaining, then he disappeared. <laughter> We never saw him again. And we have looked every trip. I can’t remember his name anymore, and that makes me sad because he really made our trip extra magical.” Well, y’all know his name right?
That’s fun to say. I like that though. I think that’s a very sweet, one of those unexpected things where you want to do something so bad and it’s just not going to happen. So you’re resigned to it, but then a little bit of Disney pixie dust lands your way and you’re introduced to the exit of Toy Story Mania. Good one, Leslie. Good one. Good job, Francisco.
I’m going to share one that was sent to me by Tarah. And she said, “When I was pregnant with my third child almost two years ago, we took a quick baby moon to Florida and spent a day at Disney. At the Photopass spot outside of Beast’s Castle, we stopped for a photo and the Cast Member spent about 10 minutes giving us a full on maternity shoot. Belly photos, our hands making a heart on my belly, us kissing, all of those things. That was amazing itself. But when we got home, I sent an email to Disney to give her a Cast Compliment. Someone called me back the next day to thank us for recognizing her, and then they let us download all of those photos for free. I started crying on the phone because I was pregnant, and now we have all these special photos from our third pregnancy when you’re usually too busy to get that many photos or maternity shoot by the third one.”
That’s super sweet.
When she told me this, I wrote her back saying that I love that it’s not just one Cast Member who made this happen. It was a chain of Cast Members. Each one did something special for them.
Oh, for sure. And that’s a really special thing. As a mom of many children, I totally echo that by the third kid, you’re like, whatever.
Well as the second child. I don’t really have any photos, so it doesn’t even take three. <laughter>
That’s true. That is so true.
So the story I have actually comes from a former Cast Member, and it’s an experience that she had that’s not not necessarily guest related. But I should also give this disclaimer that there’s a 99% chance I’m going to cry.
Okay then, hit us. Hit us with it.
I have tissues nearby.
Send some my way. “I was an opening day merchandise trainer at Animal Kingdom. We started mid-January 1998 with an opening date of April 22, 1998, which was Earth Day. My shop was Creature Comforts, a cute little kid shop that sold toys and children’s clothing. We were also in charge of Baby Care, Lost and Found, and two merchandise cards in the former wonderful land known as Camp Minnie-Mickey. This awesome shop is now a freakin’ Starbucks, under the same name, but that is a whole other story.”
As you said that I was thinking, isn’t that Starbucks? That was a store?
I almost was adding that in sooner than I was like, oh, she included that. Okay, we’re good. “This particular story takes place on our opening press event day. There were so many celebrities there – so many. I remember being on a closing shift on a cart in Camp Minnie-Mickey, right in front of the Pocahontas show.” I don’t even remember the Pocahontas show.
Yeah, that’s before my time. Don’t know it.
I remember all my fellow Cast Members who had worked early shifts and were free to attend the event coming to tell me what A-list celebrities they’d seen throughout the day. I was so jealous. I mean, I had sold an autograph book to Al from Home Improvement, but I didn’t see Leonardo DiCaprio or John Stamos like everyone else did.”
Hey. Hey. Al…I mean that’s….that’s something?
<laughs> “I was sort of depressed all my fellow Cast Members had such a great experience and saw all these amazing celebrities while I was stuck at a merchandise cart. It was closing time, and I began to close the cart under the realization that no famous people would be coming into my life that day. <laughter> And then it happened. The entire area was empty. I didn’t think anyone was there.” Guys, I’m gonna cry.
I can tell you’re voice is getting all crackly.
I just love this story so much. “Then all of a sudden, Roy E. Disney walked around the corner.”
I just got chills.
I need the tissues. This will go down in history as the one episode I cried.
Roy. Oh, wow, y’aaaall.
It gets better!
Stoop. I mean, don’t stop. Go. <laughter>
“Is it just me, or does he really remind everyone of Walt? It was so surreal. He walked by me and he thanked me for my hard work, or something to that effect. I can’t even remember exactly what he said because I was going crazy inside. When he walked away, I literally sat on the ground and cried. I don’t know why, but I think it was because I felt like Walt had just thanked me. Oh, which was so much better than seeing Leonardo DiCaprio.”
That’s it. We’re done.
I mean, no offense, Leo. But yeah.
We’re done. We’re shutting the podcast down now because we all need a moment.
Thank God for editing.
Oh my gosh, that’s amazing. Wow.
Isn’t that amazing?
Yeah, yeah. And I and I get exactly how she would feel. I would just have done the same thing. I would have just sat there going like, “Did that really happen?” Wow, Francisco. I love it. Good job.
All right, Patty. I think I think you’re up, so compose. Compose.
Okay, I’m up next, right?
This one comes from Mandy, and Mandy says, “As you know, I’m a T1D mama (Type-1 Diabetic mama),” her son Jake is the T1D. “Jake wears an insulin pump, and we try to avoid having him walk through metal detectors, and the like, wearing it. So for bag check we have him take it off and pass it around to the security guard usually. A few years ago, we were heading into [Test Track] at Epcot. There’s some sort of metal detector or something that you walk through prior to getting into where the ride is. And so we flagged down a Cast Member, and we were asking what exactly it was, and we explained why we had these concerns because of his pump. So this Cast Member called someone else over, and then they brought the whole family around to another entrance point and gave us a real VIP experience. It was so incredibly appreciated and kind, and they were very sensitive to our needs.” And you know, that’s what I’m talking about: when they go the extra mile and actually listen to the concerns of the guests and then do something that is so simple, but so amazing at the same time, to make you feel validated and heard. That’s the Disney difference, man.
Yeah, absolutely. It’s really it’s the small things that a lot of time can leave the biggest impact.
And I think that’s also another lesson for everybody that’s listening, is if you go to Disney and you have concerns about something, speak up. Ask a Cast Member, you never know what response or what hopefully helpful option they might have for you. And if you don’t ask, then you don’t know. Right?
I have another one here ready to go. I have one from Rachel and she wrote, “On our trip last May, we were at Animal Kingdom one evening, pretty close to Park closing time. My eight year old LOVED Primeval Whirl, and when we went to ride it, it was closed. The four of us (me, my husband, and my eight and five year old boys) were just hanging out at a picnic table, finishing some popcorn. A sweet Cast Member named Taylor came over and started chatting with us. She could tell my son was kind of bummed about the ride being closed. At the end of our conversation, she said that she wanted to make our vacation a little more magical and took down my phone number. The next morning I got a call from Guest Services offering my family extra Fast Passes for any ride, at any Park, other than Slinky Dog Dash. This was our last day of vacation, so this was extra special. I just thought this was so sweet. This Cast Member didn’t have to approach us and start a conversation but she did, and we will always remember it.”
Aww, see they go the extra mile man, that’s just awesome. I love that. I love that. And I’d be curious from a Cast Member point of view, if they can tell us – is that something they’re encouraged to do? Is it something they’re just kind of given free license to do? Or do you get to make magic x many times a month?
That’s what I was wondering. Yeah, if there’s a certain…allotment’s not not really the right word…
But I know what you’re saying. That’s what I want to know is if they will allow you to do like, three special things a month, and then after that you need to get management approval or something like that.
When I think about a lot of these stories, what’s so great about it is you had one where somebody was asking a question to see what could be done for them, but then there’s also ones where the Cast Members – they pay such close attention to what is going on with the guests. So a lot of times the guests, they’re not even realizing that anyone’s paying attention to what’s happening on their vacation, and a Cast Member just kind of swoops in as, “I have something to help you out here.”
Yep, yeah. Alright, so this one comes from Francisco.
That’s fun to say!
“When I worked at Chester and Hester Midway Games for private events, we would all put our name tags in a hat and randomly draw out new name for the night. So one night I, a 6′ 3”, 320-pound guy, was named in “Daisy” for the entire night.”
Now I need everybody to like put in Francisco as their nametag. <laughter> That’s what I’m hoping will end up happening with the power of our podcast. We need Francisco’s everywhere.
It’ll replace “Chris from Orlando.”
I’m gonna run into an actual Francisco at the Park one day and just laugh in their face, and they’re going to have no idea why.
“Some rude chick came, laughed, pointed at me, and then took a selfie with me like, what was that all about?”
Oh, there would absolutely be a selfie. <laughter>
I love those Cast Members stories, and I hope that we get some more fun ones to share. Again, if there’s any Francisco’s out there, any Cast Members, that want to write it and give us those stories, we can keep you anonymous. If you just want to hear us say Francisco, then let us know and write it in there. <laughter> You can find that link up in the show notes and we want to hear your stories. If you’re not a Cast Member, but you just have a really cool, a really sweet, a really magical – whatever fits your definition of an amazing Cast Member story, send those our way. Cast Compliments, Cast Members, we want to hear it all right. And Jane, you got one more thing to say right?
Stay Disney and don’t do standby. <laughter>
And join us each week on the No-Guilt Disney podcast. Because as Patty likes to say:
It’s no fun to fangirl Disney alone.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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