What Were Cast Members Doing During Hurricane Ian?
While everyone else in Florida communicates with loved ones and inspects the damage, cast members are currently entertaining the troops.
Disney employees have continued working throughout the events of Hurricane Ian.
Even though Disney has closed the theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs, the hotels have stayed open.
Here’s what Disney cast members are doing this week to keep vacations magical during turbulent times.
Walking the Grounds
I’m confident that you’ve glanced at many hurricane-related pictures and videos. The damage is almost incomprehensible.
In some parts of Florida, flooding reached record levels, reportedly as high as six or seven feet.
On the other end of the spectrum, winds and high tides sucked the water out of Tampa Bay, temporarily landlocking the area.
Walt Disney World qualifies as lucky by Hurricane Ian standards. Unfortunately, Universal Orlando Resort across town has suffered extreme flooding.
— Lissainflorida (@lissainbama) September 29, 2022
We’re not getting any reports of the same on the Disney campus, and we have people staying at official Disney resorts. We also have others living in the area.
So, if Disney had flooded anywhere, we’d likely know about it, or our staff members would have seen it.
Still, cast members must walk the grounds of every inch of the Disney campus as a precautionary measure.
The workers will search for any broken windows, displaced trees, detached branches, and other forms of debris/wreckage.
This stuff is serious business, too. There are a lot of gators and snakes in Florida that just lost their homes.
They’re in need of a new place and may try to find one at Disney. For this reason, Disney employees are patrolling for anything unusual.
By the way, MickeyBlog has posted some photos of various ripple effects of Hurricane Ian.
Performing Customer Service
More than 100,000 people visit each day. While I’m dubious, some reports list the numbers much higher at 250,000-400,000.
Many of those people face customer service issues due to Hurricane Ian. Don’t get me wrong. These complaints are trivial compared to some stuff we’ve seen.
Still, people pay good money for Disney vacations. They expect to get what they pay for, and that’s not happening this week.
Cast members will ensure that guests receive satisfaction. In addition, they’ll offer any number of make-goods to apologize, which is an incredible gesture.
After all, everything that happened was entirely beyond Disney’s control.
As an aside, some estimates placed the cost of Hurricane Dorian at $60 million for Disney. The belief is that Hurricane Ian will surpass that.
Keeping the Trains Running on Time
Few people spend the day at the resorts during a typical Walt Disney World day. Instead, they visit the parks and other onsite attractions.
This week has proven anything but typical, though. Instead, management’s request that guests shelter in place has caused heavy traffic at the hotels.
Who must satisfy the needs of these guests? Oh yes, it’s the cast members. They’re carrying a heavy load, but they’re doing it gracefully.
Viral videos have shown the insane lines for guests trying to buy Meal Kits.
Disney employees have dutifully served every customer while keeping the lines moving smoothly.
Also, Disney has managed to maintain cellular service and power throughout the ordeal, which is no small feat.
Cast members have answered the same questions hundreds of times as people try to access Disney’s wireless network.
Anyone who has worked in customer service understands how grueling that sort of endless repetition is.
Of course, other aspects of park operations also fall under this umbrella.
Disney plans to reopen its theme parks on Friday, September 30th.
So, cast members are restoring some of the decorations that they previously tied down/removed for Hurricane Ian.
All the plastic covering we discussed the last 72 hours is getting torn down so that the various entrance kiosks are operational once more.
Finally, cast members are doing the little things to clean up the debris. You’ll notice an unusual number of mops and brooms at Disney today.
Disney employees must get rid of these unsightly blemishes so that the parks will look magical again on Friday!
Putting on a Show
Costumed cast members are out in force at Disney hotels today. Park officials know that guests require entertainment and a distraction from the news.
So, cast members dress up as Disney favorites and put on a show. It’s always a highlight of inclement weather situations at Disney.
Videos like this have surfaced:
— Monorail Supply Co (@MonorailSplyCo) September 28, 2022
Yes, that’s a Country Bear doing the Macarena! In the background, you’ll notice a cast member in a standard outfit working just as hard!
Of course, there’s also the third worker, who looks like they regret many of their life decisions. Cut this person some slack. It’s a trying time for all of us.
The costumed cast members apparently needed a break at one of the All-Star Resorts. They sat down and watched some cartoons:
— canto030 (@CanTo030) September 28, 2022
That might have been an out-of-body experience for some of them, as Goofy could feasibly appear in that cartoon.
You’ll notice that Chip, Dale, and Powerline Max are there as well. The Powerline Max outfit is rare at Disney and a selling point for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
— Devin Graham (@devinsupertramp) September 29, 2022
Clearly, Disney is using every tool at its disposal to make guests happy. In fact, costumed cast members are filling in other needs, too!
Disney must be a bit short-staffed at the moment. So, here’s Big Al checking in guests!
— Monorail Supply Co (@MonorailSplyCo) September 29, 2022
The Country Bears also put on hula skirts because…why not?!
— Monorail Supply Co (@MonorailSplyCo) September 29, 2022
Seriously, cast members are doing everything possible to keep everyone smiling during an impossible circumstance.
We owe them a debt of gratitude for their dedication to maintaining the magic no matter what!
Feature Image: Str/Xinhua/Zuma