exploring possibilities for an engaging and productive workplace

My family spent Thanksgiving at Disneyland this year. I had a blast, and came home wondering what motivates Disney employees, a.k.a. "cast members" to give their all and create such a magical experience for guests. Whether roller coasters, parades, or chocolate covered bananas I was consistently impressed by the cast.

Front and center on Disney's career page is a proclamation: "Every guest at Disneyland Resort feels the magic. That's because every cast member is focused on making it happen." What's special is that any company could make this claim, but Disney is good at making it happen.

Thinking about the jobs at Disneyland, much of what I saw seemed boring, from pushing bottons on rides, manning a turn style, or checking fast passes. The LA Times takes this observation even further by highlighting the hundreds of employees that work night shift and maintain Disney's immaculate appearance. The article describes the work as "tedious and occasionally bizarre." Jobs that seem mundane on the surface required surprising ingenuity, the kind of creativity and problem solving that keeps things interesting.

A quick Google search will reveal Disney as a coveted employer. People post to forums trying to better understand how to get ahead in the application process. They seem really excited to work at the park, even if the pay is low and the work seems monotonous. Any negatie comments seem quickly swept under the rug.

To better understand what's behind this magic I reconnected with a friend who worked at Walt Disney World in Florida. I can remember her telling me stories about working there, it was obvious that Disney wasn't just a job. Something about that job touched her heart. Perhaps it's the "magic" of Disney? Here's what she had to say:


"All ages work there and most of the time they get along great, old timers and newbies. I truly enjoyed working with the public and was trained in creating a magical day for the guests... I worked at the Haunted Mansion and had a blast. Really, I loved being there and even stayed after I as supposed to leave. They offer stocks, a lot of overtime, holiday pay, and vacation days. Free passes for friends and family... It was really an amazing time in my life, I still dream about going back."

It's A Small World ride at Disneyland










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