Disney has a notorious reputation for the quality quest receive when coming to the parks. It is what puts Disney far above any other theme park. One could say that the rides, entertainment, and food are what create the magic, but speaking from behind the scenes experience, the Cast Members are truly the root cause for all things pixie dust.
However, as a former Cast Member, I can say that not all guests take in the magic. There are times people will be unhappy, unsatisfied, and downright aggressive because of something that did or did not happen. It is a part of any job as most people know. There are those out there that are very pleasant, but then there are those who make you want to quit. It all depends on the weather, well, that is just what we would tell each other backstage after dealing with a less than grateful quest. I have already done a few articles on my best moments while working, so here is my by far worst moment as a Walt Disney World Cast Member.
It was very clear that this lady was not one you wanted to get on the wrong side of. Even though I was at the jewelry section trying to help guests pick out watches, she was making such a scene with her kids that it was hard to ignore. Her son wanted the whale shark, Destiny, plush from Finding Dory, and her daughter wanted the beluga whale, Bailey, from the same movie. Both kids had asked and she screamed no at them, this isn’t unusual for a gift shop at Disney… or anywhere in the world, but, usually, the child is throwing a tantrum to receive a screaming reaction for the parent. However, this mom was fuming with negative emotion and the kids just took it despite being well behaved.
Later, the woman approached me with the two stuffed animals and placed them out the jewelry counter with no regard for the guest I was helping or the small line that she cut. I told her that the jewelry section was for jewelry purchases only (that is what I tell people who want to check out when it is busy because there are at least twenty other cash registers open thy can go to with less busy Cast Members). I then watched her as she pouted away from me to the other side of the jewelry section to where another Member was standing. This Cast Member was a full-timer and did not care that she had cut a whole line to check out two plush toys. The lady was muttering to herself angrily and took the toys and darted out the door pulling her kids.
No more than five minutes later, the full-timer walks up from behind me and says “I need you to help me do an exchange.” I look up and there is the very frustrated woman holding Bailey the beluga and Hank the octopus. “My daughter wants this one instead and it is an even exchange so bing bang boom done, okay? Hurry it up.” At with that I just nodded and started the process of the exchange, it has to go through the register to keep track of stock. The computer was acting up so I told the woman, “this may take a few moments.” She then yelled at me, “it’s an exchange and it is an even exchange, why would that take more than a second. You suck at your job and hurry it up.” I was so flustered by her behavior at this point I did not know how to respond. My first instinct was to make the quest happy, as Disney had brainwashed me to do. “What if I cut off the tag and do the exchange and you can just leave now?” I grabbed the scissors and was about to cut the tag off when she grabbed my arm, pulled me forward over the counter, and tried to swing at me. She yelled, “No! Those are collectibles!” I was able to duck away from her punch but she tried to grab my arm again. I quickly ripped the receipt from the printer as the transaction finalized and handed it to her along with Hank. My hands were shaking and I couldn’t process words as she stormed out of the store once more. What broke my heart more than anything was that the whole time she was confronting me her maybe seven-year-old daughter was begging her to just leave the store and to stop being mean. You know you have crossed the line when a kid has a better understanding of common courtesy than you do.
The full-timer went and got a manager to come talk to me about what had happened. I wrote a report and security was instructed to find her and escort her out of the park. I never had a guest be so mean or aggressive before. Sometimes passive-aggressive, and usually upset or peeved, but never shouting and punching. I had no idea how to process it. People pay thousands of dollars to come to Disney and enjoy the park, I understand when things go less than perfect they can become mad. I have been there before, I totally get it. But there is no excuse for violence or rage, and there is no room for it at the happiest place on Earth. The take away from this story is to be nice to those who have to work with the general public and to never make a Cast Member upset. Because Mickey will find you, and you will be exiled from all Disney property.