Also, for some strange reason I'm getting this visual of R. Lee Ermey in a Disney employee outfit.
YOU'RE IN THE HAP-PIEST PLACE ON EARTH, AND YOU MAGGOTS CAN'T EVEN SMILE? YOU MAKE ME SICK. NOW PUT A SMILE ON THAT FILTHY SEWER OF YOURS BEFORE I...
(Lighten up Francis..) – It’s a nice way of reminding these over spoiled Kids that they are Lucky and should appreciate what they have… Many folks cannot afford a trip to Disney….
I've seen this from cast members enough to know that it's not just a single employee on a single day. This is something that's worked its way into parts of Disney's theme park culture, and it is just not acceptable behavior from a cast member. Sorry, but someone's got to enforce the old-school, top-quality standards of customer service, and if Disney's managers aren't going to do it, I'll try to do that here. :-)
Maybe other folks have money to burn, but when I spend my money to go to a theme park (and I do spend *my* money), I want to have an experience that my family enjoys. I want to get value for that money.
Sure, my family and I have been to plenty of parks, and we both ended up letting this incident go quickly. But if a Disney trip were a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me, I could see how an incident like this would leave me questioning why I blew all this cash to watch my child be treated this way. That's why I'm offering this heads-up. Disney's great, but here's one way that its representatives can do even better.
The cast member clearly had the child's best intentions at heart and, in seeing if they would smile or not, could gauge whether they were enjoying their day and, more importantly, whether there was something wrong.
Should you be forced to smile? Of course not. But personally I'd just ignore it and enjoy the rest of my day.
I've had plenty of bad customer service experiences at theme parks around the world which were much, much worse than this and I'm sure almost everyone on here has as well.
Cast member: "Hey smile!"
Thirteen year old: "I'm sorry, but my little brother is dying from leukemia."
...perhaps some compassion should be the order of the day...
The initial comment that someone who said, "Hey, smile!" to a 10-year old and causing them to be "seriously ticked off" is odd but makes much more sense when dad comes home and makes a nasty blog post and further comments about it.
Maybe everyone should just lighten up a bit? Smile back and say, "Long morning!" or something. It was just someone trying to cheer your son up a bit.
I'd be willing to bet MANY more parents would appreciate someone trying to cheer up their kid than wouldn't.
Bobby, formally known as Bob & Robert!!!!!!!
BTW, I'm not someone that smiles very often. And I'm usually in a good mood especially when I'm at Disney.
This is not an every day job, I work at disneyland and enjoy it because its like nothing else on the planet. we would not work here if we did not like our job. I agree the cast member could have phrased it differently but I have used a similar tact before. For instance I was trying to convince a 13yr old boy that princesses were cool. Mom forced him to take a family picture and I was there to snap the photo. I did say to him "ok grumpy, now for this photo no smiling," he smiled because of the irony that we were with Snow White, it got him to smile.
So yes the cast member should have said something different but it was not a false statement because sometimes it works. Training doesn't tell us to force others to smile and we are not all like that one cast member you encountered, to lump us together as a bad experience is insulting.
If you ever met me your experience would be vastly different and entirely more fun. Therefore I understand your frustrations and that you were a former cast member but the current cast is not all that bad and should nor be judged by one bad comment on a hot day. thanks again for hearing me out.sincerely, Awesome Character Host
Of course, I come from a family and am married into one that if you don't look like the Joker from Batman throughout most of the day, then they think that there must be something wrong with you. A few of us (myself included) are sadly the black sheep of our family.
Roxy – You are 100% incorrect. Those unfortunate children are there to forget their problems, not be reminded of the inevitable. Actually a positive attitude can often turn an illness around… You just want someone to wallow in sadness until their last breath… Not me, I am going out swinging…
I am not calling every child spoiled who enters the parks…. But every child should realize they are lucky to be in the park….
I guess you have never struggled financially and have no idea how to tell a child “We cannot afford to go”….
And when a child is suffering and with a group of folks that all have T’s on that say “Make a wish foundation” – you don’t think the employees are aware of that….. ??
You are going to an extreme situation… This is an everyday situation...
I think one of the reason they do this is because an unhappy kid at Disney (even the Disney Store) makes cast members very nervous and they want to try to ease any tensions without overstepping their boundries.
Could the Cast Member have said it better, well yes, but you also know better since you were a former Cast Member. I would rather have them tell me to smile than other park employees (cough....Universal....cough.....Six Flags) making fun of me because I am wearing something with Mickey Mouse on it.
Is it me or are there alot of Disney nitpicking lately? I do like the EPCOT Mask Picture too! Very appropriate!
If your son had been walking along totally content, but for no good reason not smiling, and someone said - "Smile!". He probably would have. If Buzz Lightyear had seen him and said, "Hey there Spaceranger, you need to smile, that's an order", he might have smiled.
The fact is, Mr. Greeter, doesn't have any idea of your current state of mind. He was probably good-intentioned.
You know, there are mornings, I come in and say to a fellow co-worker "good-morning" with out really thinking much about it or meaning too much. Sometimes, I will get a response like "WHAT'S SO GOOD ABOUT IT???". I think you're being the what's-so-good-about-it guy in this case.
The second time was exiting a ride which I was thinking about in terms of show and presentation and am certain I wasn't grinning ear to ear. The cast member said "Didn't you enjoy the ride? You need to SMILE!".
I can understand how some people would appreciate this and just think it's part of the show but as Robert says, there's a point when it becomes more of an order than a friendly comment. Guests are in the park to enjoy the experience on their own level. I can imagine some cultures being offended or angered by being told to "SMILE!"
Interestingly, I visit DLR much more frequently than WDW and I've never seen the SMILE police at DLR. Maybe they're there too, I've just never seen them.
It is indeed both common and rude to command others to smile, as if this conferred a favor by improving their outlook on life.
Miss Manners was once told this by a stranger on an airplane, although she was dressed in black from head to toe, on her way to attend a funeral. Later she regretted that she had restrained herself from bursting into tears.
Still, your chastising the offender was rude. You could have conveyed the point politely by asking, "Why? Did you say something amusing?"
As for those who say we are all smiling robots...how can you manage to not notice the mass of lazy and grumpy cast members? They are plenty of them. I personally find that my shifts go faster if I smile and am happy about it. Like most Cast Members, we are happy seeing others happy. If this in inhuman, unnatural and strange to you, then maybe Disney isn't the place for you.
Very true, perhaps Disney isn't the place for everyone. Although the company spends millions trying to convince us otherwise. It is wonderful that you are happy if you are surrounded by other happy people. Perhaps a greater goal would be not to judge your happiness by the happiness of others, but by treating others with respect to their behaviors and personalities.
And if you are so happy at your work, why are you interested in your shift passing quickly? Wouldn't you want it to pass as slowly as possible so you can enjoy more happiness?
So go on, America, and visit WDW or DL. Smile if you want to -- I sure am!