5 of The Most Magical Disney Cast Member Roles
I’ve written this before, but it bears repeating: Cast Members are the heart and soul of the Walt Disney World experience. They make the magic come alive, and are responsible for some of my absolute favorite memories at the parks (for just a few examples, check out: https://celebrationspress.com/2020/02/24/cast-member-magic/ and https://celebrationspress.com/2019/12/30/my-fashion-faux-pas-with-edna-mode/)
Far from just admiring Cast Members, I have to admit that there are a few roles that I’ve spent more than a little bit of time daydreaming about performing. Honestly, I’d love any chance to work at the most Magical Place on Earth, but there are a few that particularly stand out.
Merchants in the Black Spire Outpost Market
Visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is truly like arriving on another planet with a fully realized culture and backstory. Along with the awe inspiring architecture, and the presence of First Order soldiers, it truly feels like you’ve stepped into the Star Wars universe. Disney even goes so far as to label their Coca Cola products in Aurebesh, so that the drink bottles are still consistent with the surrounding environment.
The merchants who work at the Black Spire Outpost Market go a long way to fully immersing Guests in the world. As you make your way through the crowded alleyway, you’ll be greeted with calls of, “Bright suns!” They’ll ask you to pay for your goods in, “credits,” and bid you “good journey” and, “‘til the spire” when you depart. If you ask to find a restroom, they’ll direct you to the “refresher” and if you need a drink they’ll happily point you toward the nearest “hydrator.” Though it may seem like a small thing, the Cast Members willingness to fully embrace the unique dialect of Battuu truly helps it feel as though you’ve arrived in a real place.
Kilimanjaro Safaris Tour Guide
While the star of the Kilimanjaro Safari will always be the animals, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of the tour guides that narrate the trip. They serve as the narrators and educators on the journey, making it seem as though you’ve stepped inside one of Disney’s True Life Adventure documentaries. The role also requires vigorous training when it comes to driving the safari vehicle. After all, nothing is more important than protecting the health and well being of the Kilimanjaro Safari animals, and much of that depends on the guide’s ability to safely navigate the wildlife preserve.
Characters at the Character Meet and Greets
While (for the time being) Guests can’t currently meet with characters in the park, they can still be seen in character cavalcades and other interactions. You may see Winnie the Pooh chasing butterflies with a net, or princesses waving from the train station in Main Street U.S.A. The ability to see favorite Disney character in person is truly magical, especially if you’re traveling with young Guests. There’s nothing quite like the look on a little one’s face when they see Snow White or Rey up close. The Cast Members performing these role do everything they can to make each interaction a one of a kind experience that make the Guests feel truly special. Anyone who has met with the Fairy Godmother in Fantasyland can attest to this. When she talks to a Guest (young or old) she treats them like the only person in the world.
Haunted Mansion Butler/Maid
I am of the humble opinion that the Haunted Mansion is the single greatest attraction in Disney history, and arguably the greatest dark ride in the world. I’d live in the Mansion if they’d let me, but park management keeps saying no (and asking how I got into their office). The next best thing would be working as a Haunted Mansion CM.
Though most of the attraction takes place in the Doom Buggie, the Cast Members are absolutely essential to setting the atmosphere. Their Victorian style costuming (including a delightfully spooky color scheme) is just the tip of the iceberg. The prim and proper manner (one might almost called it dead pan) affected by the Cast Members helps one feel as though we are actually entering an ancient and very proper estate. The Haunted Mansion CM’s also get to deliver some delightfully macabre puns. When entering the stretching room, they always instruct Guests to “drag your body to the dead center of the room.” As someone who believes that the puns is, perhaps, the world’s greatest art form, it’s hard to imagine a more enjoyable experience. Well, maybe one. And that brings us to:
Jungle Cruise Skipper
The Jungle Cruise experience completely depends on the ability of the Jungle Cruise skipper. From the moment Guests step onto the boat, they are met with an endless stream of puns and witty dialogue as they narrate your trip through the world’s great rivers. Here are just a few:
- If you took any pictures in the queue, put them back. They were nailed there for a reason.
- Before I came to the Jungle, I worked in an orange juice factory, but I got canned because I couldn’t concentrate. My boss almost beat the pulp out of me…
- “This formation on the right is actually sandstone, most people take it for granite. It’s one of our boulder attractions here in the park.”
- “Please watch your head when you leave the boat, and if you can’t watch your head, then watch your mouth. This is a family atmosphere.”
And no trip on the Jungle Cruise would be complete without the Skipper proudly proclaiming that Guests admire the eighth wonder of the world: The Backside of Water!!!!
There’s no other attraction that so depends on the ability of the Cast Member to be entertaining. Plus, the chance to get paid to spend all day telling Dad Jokes? It’s no wonder they call it the Most Magical Place on Earth.
Of course, this list only scratches the surface. Every cast member is essential to the function of the park. The CM’s who clean the park hotel rooms, who serve the food, and those who help Guests board their attraction vehicles, every single one is an essential part of the Walt Disney World experience. They truly are the magic. What are a few of your favorite Cast Member experiences?