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  • Trip Report Cast members need to smile at Disneyland Resort!

    Just returned from a 4 day stay at the Grand California Hotel and visit to the Disneyland Resort. Overall it was a fantastic time. The one thing that my husband and I noticed was that cast members throughout DLR were not very happy. Cast members did not talk to the guests and say "Have a wonderful day" or "Enjoy your stay" or even wish those guest wearing a Birthday or anniversary button a happy day. The GCH cast members would just walk by their guests and not say a word or even smile! My husband and I began saying hello to the cast members which made some cast members look confused. I mentioned it to Guest Services and they witnessed housekeeping cast members walking by me without any greeting or smile. At GCH two never-been-to-Disneyland out of town guests asked for help at the DVC desk and were told it was not his job! He did not advise them where to go for help. I soon shared some tips and tricks about Disneyland and CA Adventure and met some wonderful and grateful people. Cast members did not smile not only in the Grand but also inside Disneyland! No acknowledgement of guests in the stores nor the walking around security etc. Disneyland was not the Happiest Place on Earth this past weekend. Perhaps Disneyland should take time to learn how Disney World treats their guests...totally magical!!

  • #2
    Re: Cast members need to smile at Disneyland Resort!

    Sorry to hear about your "unfriendly" visit. Hope it's better in the future.
    "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." -Henry David Thoreau

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    • #3
      Re: Cast members need to smile at Disneyland Resort!

      Some cast members are really great about this, while others unfortunately aren't. It really does make a big difference. Heck, that's even applicable in the "real world."

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      • #4
        Re: Cast members need to smile at Disneyland Resort!

        We stayed at the GCH Oct 15-18th and had a wonderful experience. Even the late night maintenance crew man told my daughter happy birthday. I was just bummed because I didn't get any cute folded towels with my turn down service or room cleaning. I thought I remember them making cute animals and stuff by folding the towels. But oh well, it wasn't that big of a deal and maybe I made it up!
        --Leslie ~See my photos on FLICKR ~

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        • #5
          Re: Cast members need to smile at Disneyland Resort!

          I just spent 6 days at DL a couple of weeks ago and thought the CMs were MORE friendly than usual!

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          • #6
            Re: Cast members need to smile at Disneyland Resort!

            Over here at WDW, our managers watch us from afar. If we aren't smiling, or greeting guests or interacting, we'll hear about it shortly after.
            GRD999 - The Ghost Relations Dept.

            http://ghostrelationsdept.blogspot.com/
            http://www.theghoulishgallery.com/

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            • #7
              Re: Cast members need to smile at Disneyland Resort!

              "If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours."

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              • #8
                Re: Cast members need to smile at Disneyland Resort!

                I have never had that problem. Evey CM I run into are always smile at me. But of chourse I haven't been to a Hotel other then when I'm at Goofy's Kitchen.

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                • #9
                  Re: Cast members need to smile at Disneyland Resort!

                  Originally posted by GRD999 View Post
                  Over here at WDW, our managers watch us from afar. If we aren't smiling, or greeting guests or interacting, we'll hear about it shortly after.

                  Managers apparently weren't around on any of my florida trips sadly. But good to know that they do keep tabs.


                  As for Disneyland, I agree. Overall they do need to smile more and stop acting like it's a job and instead be the "host" or "hostess" that their job title requires. But because the CMs at Disneyland know the parks so well, there's a lot of incredible CMs that do their job very well.


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                  • #10
                    Re: Cast members need to smile at Disneyland Resort!

                    Having spent a lot of time in both Disneyland and Disney World, I think that the Cast Members in Orlando are certainly more likely to initiate guest interaction and provide the small guest contacts that really contribute to the magic.

                    At least in Orlando, the push to add as much personal interaction while in the hotels is strong. Front Desk hosts and hostesses include a personal comment or observation with each guest interaction, or at least they are trained to do so.

                    However, I don't seem to notice the same activity during my trips to Disneyland. That's not to say that there aren't a lot of shining stars among the cast in Anaheim, but the large number of less lusterous "employees" bring the average experience down significantly.

                    Isn't it funny how a small might have a small positive impact on your day, but as Disney fans and followers we are so thoroughly impacted by the lack of a smile? I know it effects my time greatly.
                    I worked at Walt Disney World as a member of the Disney College Program in Spring 2008 and Summer 2010. Now, I build software, design live events, and frequently make the short trek from Costa Mesa to Disneyland with my Annual Passport in hand.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Cast members need to smile at Disneyland Resort!

                      The housekeeping and hotel union has been in a long battle over their health benefits and union contract. Those CM's are very, very bitter at the Company right now and very few of them are happy. Just be thankful you weren't staying at the hotel on one of the mornings when they stage one of their dawn rallies on the sidewalk beating pots and pans and yelling in a purposeful effort to wake up their own guests staying in the hotels they work at, in an attempt to anger the guests to complain and force management to comp them rooms and monetary charges. It's a bitter environment at the hotels for the past year or two.

                      As for the parks, there is no training whatsoever to make people smile. Cast Members must follow their Operating Guidelines for their locations for Safety and Efficiency, making sure they only use proper body mechanics to avoid the Company from getting a workers comp claim or an injury. I have read over a dozen Operating Guides as part of the training for all the attractions I've worked at in my years at Disneyland, and smiling is never covered in the Operating Guides. If you don't follow that Operating Guide, you can be disciplined up to termination for doing it wrong, but the OG only covers the proper operation of the equipment and facility. That's pretty much all managers care about now; Efficiency and proper body mechanics.

                      There is no real training for courtesy at Disneyland, and no hourly or salaried supervisor really cares if you aren't smiling. If you are being noticeably rude you will get talked to, of course. If someone complains about you for being blatantly rude, you will usually get a word or two backstage from a supervisor.

                      But simply not smiling or saying hello? No one cares about that, there's no training or standards set up to measure that, and that type of behavior doesn't show up on a report that is sent to State of California inspectors and bureacratic agencies, unlike workplace injuries and unsafe practices.
                      Last edited by Westsider; 10-26-2009, 06:19 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Cast members need to smile at Disneyland Resort!

                        i remember working at a retail job and telling a customer who complained about my attitude, "I don't get payed enough to do my job AND be happy"

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                        • #13
                          Re: Cast members need to smile at Disneyland Resort!

                          I guess it is hard to greet or smile when you are getting paid minimum it still sucks though.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Cast members need to smile at Disneyland Resort!

                            I never really thought about the whole "smile" concept that much. As realistically as I can look at it, it can be difficult for some cast members to smile, since they have to take care of people whenever they are working on the job. Sure it is simple, and saying "Have a great day" should be a lot, but during my experiences, I've had cast members to tell me "Have a Great Day," but as for smiles, not so much.


                            AUTOPIA: Fan Since 1991

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                            • #15
                              Re: Cast members need to smile at Disneyland Resort!

                              Originally posted by GRD999 View Post
                              Over here at WDW, our managers watch us from afar. If we aren't smiling, or greeting guests or interacting, we'll hear about it shortly after.
                              Ah, so that explains it. Every CM we ran into over our spring break trip to WDW had amazing customer service. They made our vacation so pleasant!

                              sigpic

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                              • #16
                                Re: Cast members need to smile at Disneyland Resort!

                                I would have to say I have noticed this unfortunate trend at Disney"Resort" properties as of late, this includes Disneyland, DCA and the other properties.
                                The cast members have been overall not inviting and friendly (of course there are some fantastic Cast members but as a whole I am making this generalization on the large percentage of interactions I had) at one of the eateries in New Orleans Square there were two food cast members actually arguing in front of me and bad talking each other (in a argumentative and not in a playful way, they were seriously arguing/ verbal fighting in front of a huge line of guests waiting to be served food. This is occurring on a more regular basis, I think with the state of the economy now and the lack of jobs, Disney should fire the non customer service oriented employees and replace them with eager more pleasant and customer friendly employees.
                                I hope the new President of Disneyland makes customer service and a better preforming cast/employee base a priority. There are hundreds of thousands of people looking for jobs in California, lets give the jobs to people who really want them.

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                                • #17
                                  Re: Cast members need to smile at Disneyland Resort!

                                  You can fire all the bad apples all you want, and there are still quite a few bad apples out there that hired in during 2005-08. But if you aren't going to train them about courtesy and smiling and interaction, much less hold them to any sort of standard or expectation of those skills, then why bother?

                                  Managers are held to very strict standards when it comes to injuries, even minor ones like back strain or wrist strain or repetitive motions. Managers get bonuses if an attraction or facility hits their efficiency targets during busy periods. Disneyland now has on staff a small army of "physical therapists" that go to attractions, stores and restaurants and teach CM's how to stretch properly before their shift, and how to use proper body mechanics to prevent minor injuries that could lead to workers comp claims. Guys on Canoes had this pretty physical therapist come down to the dock once a week all summer this year teaching them stretching techniques and body mechanics, and you can go to their office at any time for a free massage and physical therapy!

                                  But there isn't a single person on Disneyland's staff to teach courtesy skills or politeness. No manager gets a bonus for reaching their smile quota for the day. And during your OJT your trainer doesn't teach you how to smile and dispatch vehicles, they only teach you how to dispatch vehicles per the Operating Guide and to satisfy the state inspectors and TDA industrial engineers that routinely inpsect the clinical operation of every attraction.

                                  Physical therapists, industrial engineers, managers, and even state inspectors are constantly auditing, inspecting, observing, and testing the CM's operating the attractions. This all costs the Company a great deal of money to have all these people on staff. But they don't give one rip about courtesy or smiles. It's all about numbers and preventing costs.

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: Cast members need to smile at Disneyland Resort!

                                    Originally posted by Westsider View Post
                                    The housekeeping and hotel union has been in a long battle over their health benefits and union contract. Those CM's are very, very bitter at the Company right now and very few of them are happy. Just be thankful you weren't staying at the hotel on one of the mornings when they stage one of their dawn rallies on the sidewalk beating pots and pans and yelling in a purposeful effort to wake up their own guests staying in the hotels they work at, in an attempt to anger the guests to complain and force management to comp them rooms and monetary charges. It's a bitter environment at the hotels for the past year or two.
                                    oh my gosh! They've actually done that? I hate to say this, since I have worked in the hotel business....but, any employee who would compromise their business like that...should be fired on the spot. I thought you were supposed to work hard to show your employer that the business needs you...not revolt and cause trouble for them.

                                    Originally posted by Bexington View Post
                                    i remember working at a retail job and telling a customer who complained about my attitude, "I don't get payed enough to do my job AND be happy"
                                    But.....isn't that what Disney IS paying for? Isn't the Cm's main job to make the guests happy and encourage them to return to "the happiest place on Earth"? Because...it goes back to just that. Without that guest staying in that hotel room or visiting that park...you don't have a job. All Cm's jobs...in part..are to create an atmosphere. And attitudes are a large part of that. So, they kinda are paying for your smiles.



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                                    • #19
                                      Re: Cast members need to smile at Disneyland Resort!

                                      Originally posted by Stitchy View Post
                                      oh my gosh! They've actually done that? I hate to say this, since I have worked in the hotel business....but, any employee who would compromise their business like that...should be fired on the spot. I thought you were supposed to work hard to show your employer that the business needs you...not revolt and cause trouble for them.
                                      The Disneyland Resort hotel union has staged two dozen protests in front of the hotels in the last 18 months. Expert: Union hopes to wear down Disney with bad PR | union, disney, unite, company, workers - News - OCRegister.com

                                      The early morning marches banging pots and pans and shouting in bull horns beneath the hotel windows are the CM's favorite tactic, but they've also done themed events. They blocked Harbor Blvd. dressed up as Disney Characters to purposely get on the TV news with Snow White, Mickey Mouse, etc. being arrested in front of Disneyland. Last Christmas they staged a big event where they brought in a bunch of CM's children dressed as Joseph and Mary to stage a Posada Procession and be "turned away from the inn". The CM's at the hotels are very, very bitter and angry, so there will be no smiles to be found there for the hotel customers. Grand Californian hotel guests are lucky they weren't yelled at for contributing to an evil employer like Disney, much less expect a smile from your housekeeper or bellman!

                                      Hotel workers union stages Posada protest at Paradise Pier - Around Disney - OCRegister.com

                                      The CM's in the park don't have that kind of big excuse for not smiling though. The park CM's simply aren't being held to any hint of a standard that would encourage courtesy, gracious hospitality, or any concept of pretending to be happy to serve the guests in the park.

                                      If you encounter a happy, polite CM, that just means that CM is a happy, polite person by nature.

                                      Nothing that Disneyland management or official training has provided the happy CM brought on that smile, other than their own sunny outlook on life.

                                      .
                                      Last edited by Westsider; 10-26-2009, 09:52 PM.

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                                      • #20
                                        Re: Cast members need to smile at Disneyland Resort!

                                        I've always had great experiences at the GCH....of course I'm not really noticing how many CM's are smiling or offended if I'm not wished a magical day.

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