Seeing The Stuff That Only Disney Cast Members Are Usually Supposed To Be Able To See

Disney parks have always had a bit of mystery to them, and that’s done on purpose. Using terminology from the concept of “putting on a show,” the areas that customers (called “guests”) can see is called “on stage” and anything that’s behind the scenes or areas that guests can’t otherwise see, is called “backstage.” For decades, only Disney employees (called “cast members” [CMs]) could go and see backstage or views that guests would never have access to, but over time, things (read: rules, adherence to same, and technology) have changed and, for better or for worse, guests can see stuff like this:

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DL & WDW Disney Cast Members Speak Out (Part 2): How To Have The Best Disney Experience Possible

Not long ago, we posted a blog article about “How To Be A Good Guest.” This is Part 2.

Vacations to Disneyland (DL) and Walt Disney World (WDW) are meant to be special and they usually are. A lot of what makes those times special are the Cast Members (Disneyspeak for “employees”) who do everything and work everywhere – hotels, attractions, housekeeping (they call it Mousekeeping, LOL!), internal transportation, custodial services, guest services, entertainment, food & beverage, reservations, photographers, plus many, many more areas. That’s on top of all the Cast Members (CMs) who do stuff behind the scenes that you may not even know about.

Joe and I have been Disney fans for pretty much our whole lives (and that’s a LONG time, people!) and know a lot of CMs and former CMs who work or have worked at Disneyland and Walt Disney World (and sometimes one and then the other!). And just as we’ve sometimes heard Disney Guests (Disneyspeak for “customers”) say how they wished things could be different with this or that at DL or WDW, we’ve occasionally hear our CM friends and acquaintances mention ways they wished some situations could be better, as well. It got us to thinking, “We know what makes a good CM but what makes a good Guest? What can Guests do to make their visit to Disney, and the CMs’ job more positive experiences?” So we asked them:

If you could tell Guests anything you wanted that would make their vacation and your job better, all at the same time, what would you tell them?

Here’s what they had to say.

Note: Due to the nature of this post, our main goal was to keep our friends’ and acquaintances’ anonymity intact. We had them respond to us via personal conversations, private messages and emails so what they each said was not where the general public could see or hear them. We purposely are not including gender or which Disney park(s) these people work(ed) in, and we are intentionally keeping the areas/departments where they work(ed) very broad, and even changing the name of the department at times, so it’s more vague. Obviously, a few categories make it obvious about which coast they work(ed) on, i.e. save for a few attractions, there are no “Watercraft” at Disneyland, but even then, there are several different kinds of boats at WDW so our friend(s) who work(ed) on WDW watercraft will still be safely anonymous, as well. Also, these may or not be the CMs’ exact words; although the reasoning behind them are still 100% what the CM wanted to convey, some things may have been slightly edited (the CMs were aware we reserved the right to do this when transcribing for this article).

Here we go…

Continue reading “DL & WDW Disney Cast Members Speak Out (Part 2): How To Have The Best Disney Experience Possible”

Uber, Lyft & Minnie Vans at WDW: Comparing NEW PRICING STRUCTURE & Value (Updated Oct., 2018)

Uber and Lyft have been servicing the Central Florida region for a while now, much to the chagrin of the local taxi companies such as Mears, Taxi Orlando and Yellow Cab Orlando. Their integration into the area became complete in the summer of 2017, when the two ride sharing services were finally allowed to pick up at Orlando International Airport.

Walt Disney World (WDW) joined the ride sharing game a few months later with the introduction of what they call “Minnie Vans.” Minnie Vans provide guests with point-to-point rides within the WDW complex, or directly to Orlando International Airport (MCO). When introduced, each Minnie Van ride was $20. In February 2018, they increased the price to $25 and not long afterwards, they introduced Minnie van rides from MCO to WDW for the (sarcasm) low, low (/sarcasm) price of “just” $150. Gratuity not included. Because of course it isn’t.

Although the ride from MCO hasn’t changed in price (yet), WDW has now changed the price of on-property Minnie Van rides to a $15 flat fee with a “per mile” rate on top of it. The “per mile” rate is not documented, which means Disney can play with the amount as much as they want, include their own form of surge pricing, etc. However several Disney blogs are suggesting the flat rate is currently based on roughly $2.75 to $3 per mile and the real-life examples that Summer from The Points Guy recently gave would support those rates.

So for potential ride-sharing customers who want to travel within the WDW property or to MCO, there are three options. Which one is best? Well, it depends. Read on…

Continue reading “Uber, Lyft & Minnie Vans at WDW: Comparing NEW PRICING STRUCTURE & Value (Updated Oct., 2018)”

DL & WDW Disney Cast Members Speak Out: How To Be A Good Guest (Part 1)

This is Part 1 of a series. Click here to read Part 2.

Vacations to Disneyland (DL) and Walt Disney World (WDW) are meant to be special and they usually are. A lot of what makes those times special are the Cast Members (Disneyspeak for “employees”) who do everything and work everywhere – hotels, attractions, housekeeping (they call it Mousekeeping, LOL!), internal transportation, custodial services, guest services, entertainment, food & beverage, reservations, photographers, plus many, many more areas. That’s on top of all the Cast Members (CMs) who do stuff behind the scenes that you may not even know about.

Joe and I have been Disney fans for pretty much our whole lives (and that’s a LONG time, people!) and know a lot of CMs and former CMs who work or have worked at Disneyland and Walt Disney World (and sometimes one and then the other!). And just as we’ve sometimes heard Disney Guests (Disneyspeak for “customers”) say how they wished things could be different with this or that at DL or WDW, we’ve occasionally hear our CM friends and acquaintances mention ways they wished some situations could be better, as well. It got us to thinking, “We know what makes a good CM but what makes a good Guest? What can Guests do to make their visit to Disney, and the CMs’ job more positive experiences?” So we asked them:

If you could tell Guests anything you wanted that would make their vacation and your job better, all at the same time, what would you tell them?

Here’s what they had to say.

Continue reading “DL & WDW Disney Cast Members Speak Out: How To Be A Good Guest (Part 1)”