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Hong Kong Disneyland workers train at Disney World

For the 6 weeks that I’ve been in Orlando and frequently visit the Disney themeparks here it has been easy to notice the presense of 500 workers from Hong Kong (CNN is running a story today). They all wear a bright red ribbon beneath their nametags. The ribbon identifies them as being from Hong Kong Disneyland and that they’re being trained in the way of the Disney Cast Member. Although 500 is a small percentage of the 50,000 total Cast Members at Walt Disney World, when all of them are onstage in guest related roles, they’re frequently encountered by the daily guest.

What I’ve noticed on my last few visits is, if they didn’t have those ribbons I wouldn’t have known they were from outside the U.S. at all. Nearly all speak wonderful english, they all wear huge smiles all the time, and they’re quick with information or pointing you in the right direction if you look lost. In the last six weeks they’ve really become perfect Cast Members.

Yes. It’s a nice PR push for Hong Kong Disneyland to have their future cast members advertising the next Disney park to guests, but I think it’s unfair to the cast members themselves who may not get honest guest interaction and who at this point don’t deserve to wear the red badge of separation. For the rest of their stay here in the US, I think it would be nice if they could take off that red ribbon. After all they’re part of the Disney cast just like everyone else who wears the nametag.