Former Cast Member Reminds Guests, “We’re Not Here to Be Your Friends”

in Walt Disney World

A man with a beard holds up his Disney Cast Member name tag.

Cast Members at Walt Disney World Resort do their best to ensure all Guests have a magical vacation. From Part-Time to Full-Time as well as Seasonal and Disney College Program participants, each Disney Cast Member has their own unique experience with the Walt Disney Company.

Unfortunately, many Walt Disney World Cast Members have had a rough time over the past few years. In 2020, The Walt Disney Company laid off thousands of Disney Park Cast Members in Florida alone. Many remaining Cast Members struggle to survive on poor pay.

Disney World Cast Member talking to Guests
Credit: Disney

Additionally, Walt Disney World Resort continues to experience staffing shortages, meaning more work is expected from each Cast Member. Some have taken to social media to express their frustrations.

A former Walt Disney World Resort Cast Member, Thomas (@dappermanatee on TikTok), aims to remind Guests to treat Cast Members kindly and lower their expectations for “special treatment:”


#stitch with @sthooch friendly not friends #dappermanatee #mitch #stitch #BigInkEnergy #fyp #disney #disneyworld #disneyparks #castmember #castmemberlife #castmemberstories #disneyparks

♬ Funny Song – Cavendish Music

“Not every Cast Member is your friend. It’s our job,” Thomas explains. “We’re not here to be your friends. Don’t ask me to bend rules for you.”

Disney World Cast Member Name Tags
Credit: Disney

Thomas says that he was frequently asked to make exceptions “just this time,” and Guests didn’t understand that if he made an exception for them, it would never be “just this time.”

Related: Magic Kingdom Closing Hours Early on Selected Dates This May For Cast Member Celebration

“Don’t ask me to get you in the Park. That’s the weirdest one,” Thomas continues. “Somebody just randomly asked you because they see your name tag. Doesn’t happen a lot, but it happens enough.”

disney world cast member
Credit: Disney

Thomas also reminds Guests to look for working Cast Members rather than reaching out to a Cast Member wearing street clothes, with a backpack, clearly on their way out of the Park.

“And if I’m on my way out of the Park with blue pants on and a backpack and a regular shirt? Do not ask me how to get somewhere,” Thomas says. “Excuse me; I am not being paid for this conversation. There are five Cast Members around me being paid to have this conversation.”

disney world cast members
Credit: Disney Careers

Thomas goes on to joke that if you asked him for directions off-the-clock, he’d purposely give inaccurate directions. For example, telling a Guest looking for the Canada World Showcase Pavilion at EPCOT to walk through Mexico and around the entire World Showcase before arriving at Canada.

He also reminds Guests not to ask for VIP experiences with characters, like a private session at Turtle Talk with Crush. Overall, Thomas hopes to remind Guests to enjoy magic when it’s given to them and not ask for special favors.

disney world reopening
Credit: Disney

“There are things like that you can ask for. But you know the moments they can be asked for. When you just walk up to somebody and try to get special treatment… that’s not quite the magic we got here.”

Has a Cast Member ever made a magical moment for your family? 

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