The people who work at Disney World are usually among the nicest people you’ll meet! They kneel down to talk to my little guy when he’s crying because he was afraid to ride Star Tours. They make sure you know the best time to get in line for the character you want to see. They whistle as they clean up the garbage tourists toss on the street, smile and ask you if you are having a good day as they wipe the water puddles near the sinks. I have conversations and exchange names with cast members every day of our vacation. I notice them putting up with grumpy people, going above and beyond and taking the time to talk to my kids, and I like to tell them that they are appreciated. There are many ways to do this. You can just tell them right then and there. The best way is probably to get their name and state info written down and then letting someone at Disney know that this castmember is awesome. I always mean to do this, but rarely do. What we did start doing years ago was handing them a little something as well as thanking them for taking the time to talk to us. The best thing to give them is something small, preferably something the kids have made. I like to have a little tag or card with it, saying thanks for spreading the magic or something like that, along with our last name.
It’s especially nice for your kids to hand them out. This teaches your kids to interact with people, and helps the kids to notice when castmembers are being especially Disneyish, and deserve to be thanked.
We have made friends of castmembers over the years and we are greeted like old friends when they see that we are back. My Bing has a friend in Eduardo at Soarin’ who we met when he talked with us while we waited for big sis and dad to ride. We have now seen him 3 years in a row, and he always remembers my boy.
Castmember thank you gifts:
When loom bracelets were all the rage 2 years ago, my daughter made a bunch of red, yellow, black and white (Mickey colors) that she and her brother could wear and hand out when we met a sweet cast member.
Door knob hangers that said something like, “I made the Laughery family’s vacation magical! ”
J has drawn pictures of the characters and given them to them. (They LOVE this!)
Keychains made by myself out of beads and in the shape of Mickey’s head.
Bead bracelets made by J (On the drive down to Florida!)
foam crowns or castles decorated by the kids
friendship bracelets made from embroidery floss
We have handed out thank you cards, too.
One year, we gave out inexpensive rings and keychains that said things like “Believe” on them.
There are some things to keep in mind: Some cast members will tell you that they aren’t allowed to take anything from guests. That is true of the security guards, because it could be considered a bribe. But most of the castmembers who say they can’t receive things are mistaken. I know, because I have personally asked their managers if the kids could give them something, if it came to that. Or I tell them, we have done this for years when we meet especially nice castmembers. If you are on the Disney cruise and want to give a castmember a thank you, don’t give them an item, just give them a card or a tip. They have to declare everything, and know the monetary value.
Castmember interaction is a big part of my vacation, and I would be remiss if I didn’t let them know that they are important and appreciated. So with 16 days to go, we planned our castmember thank you gifts. This actually was supposed to be the day to make the gifts, but since we had leftovers from the past 2 years, we decided to just hand those out instead.