Clueless cast members! This is new to me. Heads up.

GeneralTso

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 28, 2009
I have **always** experienced cast members to be helpful, nice and generally cool people. Both at Disneyland and WDW.
This past trip to DL has me shaking my head. I wonder if there's a whole new batch of employees or a new less intensive training program for them.

The worst was at the Haunted Mansion merchandise event at the Disneyland Hotel. Three (!!) different people told us there was no extra photo op other than the flowy sheet windows as you entered. We were event directed to speak to a lead in a white shirt. She told us anyone in a white shirt could help us. Not so. "Lead" had no idea what I was talking about. This went on for quite some time as they could not find anyone who knew where this stuff was located inside the hotel. I showed them pictures that people were posting on Instagram. It was really strange.

I won't go on and on, but suffice it to say that a few more CMs in both parks were really confused and straight up said "I don't know" and left it at that. It's not like I have a lot of dumb questions, we are seasoned park folks. After a few times it becomes abundantly clear that staff is not trained like they used to be.

No one was rude or obnoxious, just clueless and straight up said they had no idea, please ask someone else. That's new for Disney.
 

dieumeye

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
I'm no expert or insider, but word on the street was SW:GE required 1400 new positions and was staffed with existing DL staff. That's 1400 CMs pulled from elsewhere in the park... and replaced by new hires. That's 1400 new hires throughout the park, which seems like it would have to have some effect on operations. Not an excuse, but maybe it's an explanation. Although now with the staffing cuts, I wonder if it's the more senior people who are being allowed to stay on or not?
 

  • Save up to 25% in Early 2020!
    Visit the Disneyland Resort in early 2020 and save up to 25% on a stay at the Disneyland Resort Hotels.
    This offer must be booked by 03/14/20, with travel completed by 04/17/20. This offer is good most nights 01/05/20 to 04/16/20!
    Click Here for Details

  • SteveH

    Where's my Mai Tai?
    Joined
    Sep 8, 1999
    At least they were being honest when they said they don't know, it's a poor sign of Disney management and training but I won't put it on them (completely). That said I also think Disney has slipped in the quality area, I'm not sure it's the employees haven't been trained well or if they just don't care to provide great service anymore. I seemed to run across an increasing number of CMs that were just going through the motions, or to into their conversations with other CMs to pay attention.

    With the stories about CMs getting hours cut and pending cuts to staffing, that might encourage some CMs to perform better.
     

    Skyegirl1999

    1st pickle of the day!
    Joined
    Apr 11, 2016
    Oh man, I’ve experienced this for years (especially at any type of special event - you should have watched me talk to 20 different CMs about Candlelight last year and get half “I don’t know”s and half incorrect answers - not one, not even leads, gave me accurate information).

    I actually prefer them admitting they don’t know over giving out erroneous info; however, ideally you’d get a cheerful, “Hmm, I’m not sure, let me check!” or something.

    Having said that, it’s rough being a CM, especially this summer. I try to give them a lot of grace.
     

    theluckyrabbit

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    Oh man, I’ve experienced this for years (especially at any type of special event - you should have watched me talk to 20 different CMs about Candlelight last year and get half “I don’t know”s and half incorrect answers - not one, not even leads, gave me accurate information).

    I actually prefer them admitting they don’t know over giving out erroneous info; however, ideally you’d get a cheerful, “Hmm, I’m not sure, let me check!” or something.

    Having said that, it’s rough being a CM, especially this summer. I try to give them a lot of grace.
    LOL -- last year at CP, CMs starting sending people with questions over to us because we had answers! Hahahahaha! And I agree about giving grace whenever we can -- being a CM, veteran or newbie, is a tough job. They get a lot of flack and abuse on all sides, so if I can make their day a little easier, I'll try. Disney can do better, but so can I. We're also in the season of new hires -- kids who are here for college, maybe their first time away from home, maybe starting their first "real" job. What looks like rude, aloof, unfriendly behavior can often be nervous, awkward, shy, scared newcomers feeling like they can't do anything right and getting that message left and right from guests. Giving them a smile and some encouragement can go a long way in helping them grow in their jobs. And if you have to, most of us here know how to send in a comment (and a compliment!).
     

    SteveH

    Where's my Mai Tai?
    Joined
    Sep 8, 1999
    What looks like rude, aloof, unfriendly behavior can often be nervous, awkward, shy, scared newcomers feeling like they can't do anything right and getting that message left and right from guests. Giving them a smile and some encouragement can go a long way in helping them grow in their jobs. And if you have to, most of us here know how to send in a comment (and a compliment!).
    Well stated. I did see some obvious new CMs, I will say most were at least trying to be friendly. I had fun trying to interact with some of the CMs on Guardians. Three were to enghaged with what I'd call flirting, aka ignoring the guests, but one did stop and tell me the backstory about why Harold was in the display. Gave him some kudos and dropped a note to Disney about him... but also his other CMs lack of attention.
     
  • Karin1984

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2012
    How these things usually go in organisations & at one-time events.
    The three different people probably told you that, because that's the instruction they received. Maybe that happened already a week or so before the actual event, that's what was in the instruction paper. At the last moment it was decided to add the other photo opportunity, maybe they didn't know it would be done on time, or they thought they needed more photo opportunities. And usually with last minute decisions by management, they forget that there are people who are impacted by their decisions.

    And in addition to this, due to social media and the internet, it's very common for guests or customers to know more than the employees. Not just at Disney, but in many businesses.
     

    tzeitel

    Toadi Acceleratio Semper Absurda
    Joined
    Aug 28, 2008
    I did a special event at WDW when I was a CM. This was ages ago and while I like to think things have changed from the comments it does not look like they have. I was a CM at one of the resorts but for the 2000 celebrations they needed extra CMs at an Epcot press event - they did not pull me from my job, it was on my day off and considered OT. International press, the whole park was open to them, Illuminations, parade, the works. I showed up, was given a costume and a handful of maps and told to go hang out at the American pavilion - I was a cowgirl ;) That was it, never had anyone tell me specifically what I had to do or what was going on at the event. The info I got was what I could read from the maps they gave me and what I could see walking around the park. So there was a cluster of cowboys/girls just goofing around, eating funnel cakes and getting paid for it. I was super paranoid that we would get in trouble but we did not see management at all the entire night.
     

    cruisehopeful

    Wishing I was taking a nap on a ship.
    Joined
    Oct 25, 2015
    Oh man, I’ve experienced this for years (especially at any type of special event
    Same. Many years of CMs not knowing where something is or even telling me that they don't carry something and then I see it right out in the open in the store they are working in.
     

    GeneralTso

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 28, 2009
    Yeah, I'm not one to gripe and complain. It's hard to work with the public. ESPECIALLY when the public is Disney vacationers. It's even harder to be new.

    For whatever reason/excuses Disney has for backfilling positions, training is key. I, too, would much rather hear "I don't know" than someone trying to fake it. The explanation above about having to do such a huge hire, then cut back makes sense.
     
  • Imdboss

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2014
    Actually just experienced this ourselves when trying to leave the Mickey & Friends lot by foot. We walked all the way to the park but took tram back then had to walk the rest to our hotel. I was simply asking how do I get to Disneyland Dr so I can walk to Ball Rd. First security officer told me to talk to another one, asked him and he had no idea either. Told us to take tram back to DTD which made no sense since that put us further away from our hotel. We ended up finding our way out on our own and the path was literally right there close to the first officer! All they had to say was go out these doors, turn right, go to the sidewalk and turn left, that puts you on DL Drive, easy peasy.

    Just like you experienced, they were nice just completely clueless.
     

    DizMe

    Here we gooooo...
    Joined
    Jun 4, 2007
    LOL -- last year at CP, CMs starting sending people with questions over to us because we had answers! Hahahahaha! And I agree about giving grace whenever we can -- being a CM, veteran or newbie, is a tough job. They get a lot of flack and abuse on all sides, so if I can make their day a little easier, I'll try. Disney can do better, but so can I. We're also in the season of new hires -- kids who are here for college, maybe their first time away from home, maybe starting their first "real" job. What looks like rude, aloof, unfriendly behavior can often be nervous, awkward, shy, scared newcomers feeling like they can't do anything right and getting that message left and right from guests. Giving them a smile and some encouragement can go a long way in helping them grow in their jobs. And if you have to, most of us here know how to send in a comment (and a compliment!).
    My daughter is one of the new hires. She's a host. She had lots of training days before starting the job, but some things just have to be learned as you go. She has been very happy with her job but the ones who are the most difficult in terms of how they treat her are some of the other CMs. Most are extremely nice and overall she loves the people she works with, but there is the occasional character and higher-up that can be impatient to the point of rudeness and a few have been purposely mean. She has only had one instance of trouble with the public, when for some reason some teens were attacking the character she was hosting and she had to call security. She said that most people are very friendly and nice, which makes me happy to hear because I know she's worried about people being upset with her for thinking her 'clueless' as a newbie. She is 19 and away at college, and yes, theluckyrabbit is correct in the description of what some of the newcomers are feeling.
     

    JKalai

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 16, 2014
    Well I agree Star Wars is probably why, but they had YEARS of notice and I refuse to give Disney a pass on this.
    Quit being cheap, hire the best and take care of them.
    This 100%.

    I love the US parks and will continue to visit... but it kind of spoils it after coming back from Tokyo Disney. The CM's there are on another level and deserve all the praise that they get.
     

    brockash

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 16, 2008
    I have **always** experienced cast members to be helpful, nice and generally cool people. Both at Disneyland and WDW.
    This past trip to DL has me shaking my head. I wonder if there's a whole new batch of employees or a new less intensive training program for them.

    The worst was at the Haunted Mansion merchandise event at the Disneyland Hotel. Three (!!) different people told us there was no extra photo op other than the flowy sheet windows as you entered. We were event directed to speak to a lead in a white shirt. She told us anyone in a white shirt could help us. Not so. "Lead" had no idea what I was talking about. This went on for quite some time as they could not find anyone who knew where this stuff was located inside the hotel. I showed them pictures that people were posting on Instagram. It was really strange.

    I won't go on and on, but suffice it to say that a few more CMs in both parks were really confused and straight up said "I don't know" and left it at that. It's not like I have a lot of dumb questions, we are seasoned park folks. After a few times it becomes abundantly clear that staff is not trained like they used to be.

    No one was rude or obnoxious, just clueless and straight up said they had no idea, please ask someone else. That's new for Disney.
    Honestly, I'd wish we got more CMs that would just say "I don't know," instead of making up whatever sounded good. Most my experience is at WDW, but we learned a long time ago that if we wanted accurate info., search on the dis and never believe a CM. - Sometimes they told us the truth, but more times than not they gave us inaccurate info.
     

    Connect

    Disney News and Updates

    Get Daily Email Updates


    Top