Walt Disney World is publicly honoring two of its Magic Kingdom cast members. It's the "Skipper of the Year" awards, presented to cast members who work the Magic Kingdom's Jungle Cruise and the Jungle Navigation Co. Skipper Canteen.
This year's honorees, nominated by their fellow cast members, are Jay Friesner at the Jungle Cruise and Richard Reyes at the Skipper Canteen.
As a former cast member who worked Magic Kingdom attractions on the west side of the park, I somehow managed to avoid ever once working on the Jungle Cruise - the only Magic Kingdom West attraction I never worked, even as a fill-in greeter. Nevertheless, from watching them every day, I know how hard pulling shifts in the Jungle can be... and how a great skipper can make the difference between a "ho-hum" and an "oh-wow!" experience on the ride.
Whether you call them cast members, team members, model citizens, or some other corporate-approved name, the people who work in theme parks truly are the ones who make the magic. They put in the hardest work (often for the lowest pay) and even if you never notice them, they make the roller coaster trains run, the food moving, the bathrooms and walkways clean... and the jokes flowing in the jungle. So congratulations not just to Jay and Richard to but everyone working the Jungle and all other attractions and in-park locations at Disney and other theme parks around the world. Thank you for all you do!Tweet
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