It’s time for my second “What Disney Taught Me” post. Most guests have no idea what Disney Fanatic Cards are, but I’m here to tell you all about them!
Disney Fanatic Card is a tangible reward for Disney employees who are being praised for their hard work. Cast members can get Fanatic Cards by displaying exemplary work in one of the four “keys” of Disney’s professional attitude. (These keys will be discussed in another post!) Once you have received a Fanatic Card, it goes on your Record Card, which is sort like Disney’s version of a permanent record. (I will also talk more about record cards in a future article!)
While I was at Disney, my ultimate goal was to get a Fanatic Card. I made sure I was always super friendly with everyone, had that Disney smile on 24/7, and went above and beyond to cater to Disney guests. However, being within an attraction, it is especially hard to get them since they are simply less common. (Folks in merchandise get them all the time, which is another thing I learned while working at Disney, ha!)
Honestly, I had lost all hope on getting one and was complaining that my chances were over. Then the very next day, my attraction had a ride issue and both trains were stuck stationary for 20 minutes. And of course, I was the conductor on one of the trains! I did my best to entertain guests and keep worrying at bay until the problem was fixed. We ended up having to evacuate all the guests from both trains and Rafiki’s Planet Watch. All the while, I kept guests’ spirits up by passing out free water bottles like they were going out of style, telling jokes, and congratulating them on being able to walk through the behind-the-scenes areas of Animal Kingdom (which are honestly not that glamorous, ha!). I even calmed down a very angry man, who was upset that he might have missed his dinner reservations. (He still had two hours, but I reassured him “we’d take care of it”, ha!). And because of that chaos, I finally got a Fanatic card from one of my managers for my “courtesy” and “stellar cast member traits!” As you can imagine, I was VERY excited!
My program was ending, and I still hadn’t received a Fanatic Card.
The awesome thing about Fanatic Cards is that they can be filled out not only by managers, supervisors, and fellow employees but also by Disney guests. Yes, even Disney guests can give cast members a Fanatic Cards! How? Just go to any Guest Relations building, which is typically found near the entrance of the parks, and tell them you want to give a particular cast member a Fanatic Card. Then they will write down your compliments and pass it along to the appropriate department. I have even filled out a few Fanatic Cards for my (former) fellow Disney cast members. My favorite was a cast member named Mark at Rockin’ Roller Coaster. That guy was so awesome, I wrote him TWO Fanatic Cards!
These cards really are so important to cast members because they make them feel like all their hard work has paid off. The next time you are at any Disney location, whether it be at an attraction, restaurant, or even in the bathroom, and you meet an extra wonderful cast member, be sure to send them a Fanatic Card. Just remember to make sure you have the cast member’s name and work location.
Written by my daughter, Brittany. She completed several Disney internships and worked full-time on the conservation team at Animal Kingdom. Read all about her time there over at her blog Britty Loves Disney.
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