This post is intended to share my experience to help those looking to avoid experiences like these. I am not trying to say that this is everyone’s experience, this is just a legitimate experience that I had and chose to write about. This is not intended to damage the reputations of either the company or the individual. You may share with/comment negative comments if that is really the only thing that amuses you, but I would advise against it since you will more than likely become a joke between friends rather than making a true difference. However, if that is the only thing that gives you happiness in your wretched life, then by all means go for it.
I want to preface this particular post by saying I do not wish for Disney to abolish the Disney College Program, as I think it provides great opportunities for a lot of great people. In fact, a lot of the DCP people I have met have been so kind and seem to enjoy interacting with guests. However, as we allow more people from the younger generations (one of which I am apart of) into the work force, Disney needs to be more careful with who they hire. Please note that I waited a few months after my trip to post in order to try and provide an unbiased review of my experience. This is not a post that I WANT to share, but it is one I feel is necessary. Hopefully, this will be my last negative post for a long, long, long time.
Today, I will be sharing a story on behalf of several other people, some of whom I believe do not want to go through the trouble of speaking out. One woman I spoke with said she planned to complain directly through the company, but I personally do not trust it to be dealt with, so I think the best course of action is to publish this. The way these two cast members were acting was unprofessional and it did not seem like they were scared of any repercussions. Whether that is because of an indifferent supervisor or because of something else, I’m not sure. However, I thought that publishing this would help the company deal with this accordingly.
We approached the Gaston character line in Magic Kingdom at exactly 3:20 PM, thinking that this would be enough time since the app said he would be there until 3:30 PM. There was a very, very small line (3 parties at most). However, we were turned away by a very rude young lady (rude as in her actions and expression, not necessarily in what she said to us specifically) who said he would be back at 4:00. We asked why the app said the line closed at 3:30 and she just said we needed to wait in line. We said that was fine, but we wanted to know why the line was closing so early since the other character lines we had been in earlier that day did not close until the time stated on the app. She just rudely repeated that he would be back at 4:00 and we needed to wait. She began rolling her eyes and walked back to her male co-worker. We could hear her gossiping loudly about other individuals in the line. Most of the families in line did not speak English, which I believe she was counting on. However, I was able to plainly hear her saying very rude things about the other people in line.
We decided to sit down next to a few other families near Gaston’s tavern, a couple of which complained that the girl had been extremely rude and unhelpful to them. Since I am an aspiring blogger who wishes to help the Disney Company figure out who they need to promote and who they need to get rid of, I decided to observe the girl while we waited. As we waited, we noticed that a few families in the line were trying to talk to her and ask her questions. She simply ignored them and kept talking to her co-worker loudly. A few of them she even rolled her eyes at and complained about “annoying guests.”
At around 3:25, a group of women walked up to the lady and the man and asked if they were closed. The man answered he would be back at 4:00, not answering if the line was closed yet or not. One guest then proceeded to repeat her question, asking if the line was closed yet, adding this time that the app said that the line did not close until 3:30. The man then answered that he would be back at 4:00 and the line was closed. At this point, the female cast member began rolling her eyes at them. The guest asked what time they needed to be there to be allowed into character lines, since the app was giving out incorrect information (a few others had issues with this as well).
The female cast member approached the woman and put on a very condescending air. She talked very slowly and said, “all you need to know is that he will be back at 4:00.” The woman replied that she did not want to wait in line to see Gaston, but that she asked what time she needed to be in the character lines since the app’s time was wrong. The female cast member interrupted with a very angry tone “the line closed ten minutes ago, he will be back at 4:00.” The guest, deservedly frustrated at this point, asked the cast member to calm down and just tell her about what time she needed to be in the character lines to meet them, not repeat the information about Gaston’s line specifically since she wasn’t going to wait for him. The cast member laughed and walked away from the woman at this point. After this the cast member began running around in circles and spinning around, laughing. I found this very odd and began to think perhaps she was just inebriated or something. In all honesty, she reminded me of a 6th grade girl trying to impress her crush by the way she was running around and giggling. I found out later as we went through the line that she was doing this in an attempt to hide her nametag, which she covered every time we looked over (one of the women in the aforementioned group had attempted to look down at her nametag when she ran away laughing and began acting like this, I later learned).
As the women were walking away, I stopped them and let them know that she had been rude to a few others, including us, and that I was writing a blog post about it. One of the women said she would put in a complaint directly to Disney, which I am not doing for aforementioned reasons. I asked the guest who said she would complain for the cast member’s name, which she could not get since the woman blocked her name tag. However, she said she remembered the man’s name started with an S. My party unfortunately did not get either of their names as they were obviously trying to hide them, but we knew that they were working with Gaston on March 2, 2019 at around 3:30. The woman was light-skinned with brown hair. The man was dark-skinned and seemed to be bald. We had no issues at all with other character attendants, so I’m hoping these were just two oddballs. However, I hope that someone at Disney can rectify this issue as I would not want them to make the experience unmagical for other guests. The woman was truly the only one being rude to guests, but the man did not do anything to stop his coworker’s behavior and seemed to enjoy it as well.
The last issue I encountered with these cast members involved a young man who seemed to have a mental disability. He did not seem to have anyone accompanying him or helping him. He also tried to enter the line for Gaston and was rudely turned away. He obviously did not understand what was going on, as the female cast member was very rude and did not explain to him what he needed to do. Thankfully, the guest, though confused, remained positive and told us he planned to arm wrestle Gaston if they ever let him see the character. I was absolutely disgusted by the way she treated the young man, talking down to him and acting as though he were an idiot for not understanding. It was horrible to see a young man with an obvious mental disability treated in this way at DisneyWorld.
I really do hope that this can be resolved, even if it means the cast member or members are placed somewhere else. There are so many kind, hardworking people out there who deserve these positions and I would hate for people to waste this opportunity. If anyone has any more information (including the families I gave my blog name to in the line!) or has a way that I can directly speak to someone about this, please let me know.
Note: the group of women whom the female cast member was especially rude too (and after whom she started acting very odd) did get their information from another cast member who they said was much more helpful and gave them the answer to their question immediately. This only proved to me that this cast member was incompetent and very rude.
A special thank you to Victoriana Fletcher (@victorianaflet on Twitter), one of the individuals I met in the character line, who encouraged me to post this. She did a bit of research for me as well, and says she has heard several complaints about another young lady in the Disney College Program. We’re not sure if this is the same young woman, but I really hope that it’s not, because then it would be apparent that Disney does not care at all about how their cast members treat guests.
I’ve only one thing to stay to the young woman now:
as Taylor Swift once said: girl, “you need to calm down.”