No-Strings, Guest Recovery, and Castmember Training


Brooklyn Boy
Oct 23, 2015
Hello! On the most recent Dis Unplugged #1054 - Top 15 Things Walt Disney Gets Right the gang discussed the great customer service and magic created by castmembers for guests, and the great job that they do sometimes. In some cases, this meant brightening someone's day when they were having a bad experience or recovering from a family tragedy, while in other cases it meant helping out a family that had decided to pass up a ride that had a too-long wait time and helping them bypass the line (and getting to ride with them).

I work for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts here in New York City - I manage the Procurement for the company, helping my colleagues to put on shows and performances and do events. I enjoy my job and really try to focus on customer service - both internally in the company and helping my colleagues, and externally, trying to help people wandering around the campus if they look lost or confused.

Disney obviously has (at least traditionally) had some of the finest customer service and a focus on trying to give guests an amazing experience - I feel like when they do it right, they are a great role model for most organizations around the globe.

My question, especially for any castmembers and former castmembers - are there any resources out there (training materials, e-books, websites, videos, etc) related to how to do it right, the Disney way? I would like to find out more about how they do what they do in regards to training, customer service, etc.

Thanks in advance!

- Scott


Sorcerer please cast forever love spell for me
Jul 16, 2007
@ConeyLighthouse - First and foremost, thank you for doing what you do! I know giving professional training seminars to all SORTS of "companies" used to be done by The Disney Institute (when that was incepted by Eisner). Don't know if it still is, hopefully someone else will answer that.

I can say - on a somewhat parallel note - I attended an event at a large entertainment venue (don't want to say the name and offend you, as I've never attended anything at your venue) in the handicapped section. Except for one pretty big issue at the start (which I have sent them an email about - and talk about guest recovery to have overcome that later, even without realizing it!) almost every single employee (almost said CM ;) ) I encountered while there was FANTASTIC, without being patronizing, or overdoing it. I felt like they WANTED and APPRECIATED me being there. And a lot of times, it was just a nod and/or a smile, but at least I knew I was "seen" and appreciated. Like you said - sometimes it was just making sure I knew where I was going (it was a LONG walk!) when they saw my Rollator. Doesn't have to be a grand gesture to make a grand impact.
And since this happened - back in June - I have told everyone I've talked to about it (probably more than they want to hear! LOL) about the experience, and have always said - it "reminded me of the old school Disney Difference that I used to regularly experience, adore, and now miss".

Soapbox taken down. :)


DIS Veteran
Sep 26, 2018
The BEST way to get insight on the Disney way is to attend the professional development courses at Disney Institute. (the one you want is the Quality Service seminar)

They have a blog at that I often reference for the soft skills classes I teach.

They've also published a few books on their process/philosophy, Be Our Guest and Disney U. Both are available on Amazon.

In my 25 years in customer facing/customer experience roles, one thing I have learned and now instruct is that you need your leadership to equip (through softskills training - customer service, emotional intelligence, etc) AND empower their front line employees to manage the customer experience. If you only have them trained but don't trust them and give them tools to manage the customer experience then it's only ever going to be "good" customer service, not "great". Front facing employees are more invested in customer outcomes when they're empowered to do something about tough situations without going through ten miles of red tape/approvals.


Brooklyn Boy
Oct 23, 2015
Wow, thank you all for your suggestions and input! Very interesting! I am always interested in hearing ideas and suggestions, especially because everyone has a different point of view and having a variety is very helpful.


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