I think all Disney fans have fantasied about being a Cast Member! We think about the fun of being at the Parks all day. We imagine exploring all of the backstage areas. At it’s best, Disney seems to be a great place to work. But what do we imagine the best part of being a Cast Member to be? The perks!
And every so often there comes along a special event, like The Happiest Celebration on Earth, from 2005. It was the year of Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary. New and better things appeared at the Disney Parks around the world. We enjoyed it! We were there!
But Cast Members got a little something extra:
Disney Editions published this special keepsake for the Class of 1955-2005. It’s obvious that Disneyland Cast Members would have gotten one, but according to the overleaf in the book itself, it was ‘an internal communications vehicle for the exclusive use of employees of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’. Even affiliates, successors, and assignees were included. So it appears that not just Disneyland staff got the keepsake.
So how did I, a non-CM, get my hands on one? One word: eBay.
I love the little name tag on the opening introduction page. It name is ‘ME’. It’s nice how it’s worked into the title of the book. And who doesn’t love seeing Tinker Bell?
The contents page reveals the six sections of the book: A welcome from Jay Rasulo; a chapter highlighting the importance of people to the Disney experience; how simple things make a difference; how Disney goes above and beyond our expectations; letters and testimonials from guests about how Disney Cast Members touched their lives; and finally, a word about the future.
I remember a story about how Walt was angered one day when he saw a cowboy walking through Tomorrowland in Disneyland. Or was it a spaceman walking through Frontierland? Either way, it disrupted the illusion of fantasy! So when he planned Walt Disney World, the Magic Kingdom was built on the second story, so to speak, so that the first story (or the basement) could be used as secret passageways to and from each Land. This way, no one would see two conflicting characters together!
That’s why I love the picture above! Note how characters from different Lands are all together in front of the Castle. This would never happen at any Park, and so is a very special moment to capture on film. The book is filled with such images.
Walt pops up throughout the book with quotes specific to each section. Above we see his take on imagination and two testimonials from individuals who appreciated and were affected by WED Enterprises, or Imagineering. Again, side notes like this abound!
There is simply too much in this book to show it all. Notably, there are many reprinted letters from guests about Cast Members telling how well they did in making the magic happen. In most cases, a picture and response from the specific CM mentioned in the letter is included on the page. Do Cast Members appreciate words of encouragement? Yes. Yes, they do.
I’m glad I was able to obtain a copy of this book! It certainly made me appreciate all that Cast Members do to make my visit to any Disney Park a memorable one. And I’m sure the CMs that received a personal copy were touched by the gesture.
If you appreciate Cast Members and all that they’ve done for you, why not check out my earlier post and find out the Top Five Cast Members to Talk To. Actually, they’re all awesome to talk to, but I had to narrow it down! The post even gives some suggestions about what questions you could ask. Fun and educational? Now that’s Edutainment!