Millions of dollars to be invested into Disney World cast member break rooms, dining plans and technology

A fantastic article from the Orlando Business Journal sheds a light on Josh D’Amaro, the new president of Walt Disney World. D’Amaro, who has built a reputation at Disneyland as being an employee-focused leader, has taken on the role at Walt Disney World as several theme parks are seeing enormous additions. While he is surrounded by billions of dollars in construction projects, D’Amaro has an eye on improving things for cast members.

As seen in the article, D’Amaro understands that cast members are the sometimes overlooked factor that creates the magic at Walt Disney World. Keeping their energy high creates a tangible difference for guests visiting the theme parks.

“Our responsibility is we have a lot of guests — many annual pass holders — who come back from time to time. We have a responsibility to make sure the energy we provide doesn’t wane. The way we do that is through all the new stuff that keeps coming via entertainment, cast members and more. It can feel different walking up Main Street from one day or another just by making sure the cast is energized and feel they are part of the story, as well. This place is alive”

Josh D’Amaro, President of Walt Disney World

D’Amaro is right on the money. Disney can build enormous lands and attractions that break the mold, but the magical interactions and outstanding customer service is a large reason why guests keep coming to Walt Disney World. Consider Rise of the Resistance, the most technologically advanced attraction Disney has ever made, and that cast members are what really brings the story to life.

As a result, D’Amaro plans to invest millions into upgrading cast member break rooms, creating healthier dining options for employees and adapting better technology.

“We could spend billions of dollars on a new land or attraction, but you need to be putting that money back into the [common areas] or the break rooms to make sure they are equipped so you feel good. To me, it’s a sign of respect to make people feel good about their surroundings.”

Josh D’Amaro, President of Walt Disney World

He adds that the cast member experience goes beyond the physical spaces. Feeling good physically is just as important as feeling good mentally.

“Not only do you have to be in the right state of mind to do the job our cast members do, but you also have to feel good physically, too. It’s too easy to buy fries and a cheeseburger, and while that’s OK to do once in a while, we wanted to offer something healthy and [provide lower costs] as incentives to get something healthier. So in the end, it’s tied to feeling better so you can do better on stage and better out in the community and bring that home to your family. So this whole system of the cast experience is important.”

Josh D’Amaro, President of Walt Disney World

You can see why many were excited when it was announced D’Amaro was going to become the president of Walt Disney World. His focus on employees can improve the overall experience when guests visit the theme parks. A happy employee can make better memories for guests than an unhappy employee. That’s a basic concept that unfortunately goes overlooked in many businesses today.

D’Amaro understands that it can be the little things that make Walt Disney World a special place.

“Little things are big. Particularly for Walt Disney World, you can be overwhelmed with the size of this place. But it’s really the simple things that make the business works. But the moment you forget to say hello to somebody, the power of that simple gesture is huge.”

Josh D’Amaro, President of Walt Disney World

Visit the Orlando Business Journal to read more about D’Amaro’s views.

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David is a Disney travel expert who created Notes from Neverland in 2018 after visiting Disney theme parks countless times. Previously, David spent way too much time writing about sports, and was featured in Sports Illustrated, MSN, Yahoo!, and in many other publications. Learn more or contact us.

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