The Best Cast Member Jobs

by Mike Scopa, contributing writer

In our last visit, we discussed the toughest cast member jobs at the Walt Disney World. So now let's take a look at some of the best cast member jobs at the resort.

Every time I visit Walt Disney World I always find myself thinking about what cast member jobs appeal to me and what exactly it is that creates this appeal. So I made a list of all those jobs that really look interesting and fun and ranked them in order of appeal.

Before we go through the list, let me toss in a caveat here: I've taken no polls or surveys on this list and I have no scientific data from which to base my selection. Instead, this is basically my opinion from over a million—well OK, 30-plus—years of visiting Walt Disney World and thousands upon thousands of hours observing all the cast member jobs.

I do, however, wish to acknowledge Skipper Ben, who along with Ricky Brigante, gives us those great podcasts at Inside the Magic (link). Ben has been focusing on this subject, and there were a few cast member jobs that Ben and his listeners have named that originally managed to escape my list.

So I took my original list, tossed in Ben's list, and came up with what you see here. So Ben, thanks for giving me a different perspective on this topic.

#10 Jungle Cruise Skipper

Imagine being one of those cast members who navigates, say, Congo Connie at Adventureland's Jungle Cruise. It has to be a fun job because of the interaction with the guests. Each skipper gets to put his or her personal touch on the entire assortment of corny jokes.

I've often wondered how often guests go on the Jungle Cruise. Do they go on that attraction every time they visit Magic Kingdom or is it one of those “every other visit or so” attractions?

If I were a skipper on one of those boats, I would love the challenge of doing my best to make the guests smile and laugh. That's what makes this job appeal to me.

#9 Monorail Pilot

You're thinking, “C'mon Mike. This has got to be one of the most boring jobs at Walt Disney World!” At first this job may seem boring, but think about it. It's one of the rarest jobs in the world.

These cast members get to operate a very cool vehicle, which is, by the way, one of the icons associated with Walt Disney World. Let's not forget that you also have plenty of opportunity to interact with the guests.

This job is held in the highest regard for all of the strict safety measures that must be followed by every monorail operator.

What appeals to me the most about this job is the opportunity to talk with guests who ride up front with the operator.

I can remember my first time riding up front in the monorail, way back in 1976. I was pretty excited and all I did was ride from the Ticket and Transportation Center (hmm, was it called that back then?) to Magic Kingdom. Now you can go from the TTC to Epcot.

I remember asking the operator all kinds of questions, and he seemed to feed off my excitement.

Yep, this is a cool job.

#8 Stars & Motorcars Parade Driver/Parade Performer (Tie)

Walt Disney World is the parade capital of the world and each parade has its own unique personality. Every time I watch the Stars and Motorcars Parade at the Disney-MGM Studios, I always wonder what it would be like to drive one of those cars carrying the characters.

There I am, possibly driving Aladdin and Jasmine or maybe Kermit and Miss Piggy, or maybe even Woody and Buzz. Everyone would be smiling and waving at us; the music would fill the air. What's not to like?

There is a tie here because I also have to include being a performer in any Walt Disney World parade. I would like to be specific and say that as performers go the preference would be to either be on a float or walk along the parade route as a face character (Peter Pan as opposed to Captain Hook) just because you can interact better with the crowd.

There's always been something special about a Walt Disney World parade and a lot of that has to do with the cast members who perform in it.

#7 Cast Members on the Great Movie Ride

This job is on my list for a different reason. I think that driving one of those trams through that attraction looks like a lot of fun.

However, that fun is very much based upon how well the cast members do their job on that attraction. The guests feed off the cast members, and the cast members do not always hit a home run.

It could be the monotony of the ride, but have you ever ridden that attraction and said to yourself, “Gee, this could be so better if this cast member was into it more.” Or “I think I could do a better job than this cast member.”

That's how I feel. The job looks like fun and carries a lot of responsibility. You get to act, crack jokes, kid around with the guests and your effort really goes a long way towards making the attraction special for the guests.

I'd like a shot.

#6 Flying Tinker Bell

This is another one of those rare jobs, the position of playing Tinker Bell and opening up the Wishes fireworks show at Magic Kingdom.

You have to be pretty special to take on that job, not to mention quite brave. Imagine “flying” from the castle every night with all eyes upon you.

It can be best described as the E-ticket cast member job. How many cast member jobs can equal the thrill and the rush of doing what Tink does every night before Wishes?

#5 Dapper Dans

I think the first requirement for serving as a Dapper Dan is that you must be quick-witted and have the uncanny ability to make everyone smile.

It seems that these cast members are always happy and having fun. Gee, imagine being happy and having fun, and getting paid for it at the same time.

The Dapper Dans, who roam about Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, are so much a part of the Disney magic that they had to be on this list.

And think of it. You get to have fun and joke around with each other, while having a great time with people who are on their vacation and are just ecstatic to be in Walt Disney World. I can't imagine that you would ever have a bad day.

Now that's a job that appeals to me.

#4 Performers at Festival of the Lion King or Fantasmic (Tie)

These two categories are very similar and I just had to link them together.

Whenever I attend the Festival of the Lion King at Disney's Animal Kingdom or Fantasmic at the Disney-MGM Studios, I always get the sense that the performing cast members are filled with energy and just love being in the show.

You can't help but notice the smiles on the performers in Festival of the Lion King and as guests we definitely feel the energy so you can imagine how it feels like to be performing right in the middle of it all.

The same goes for Fantasmic. There is so much going on with music, water, lights and pyros that at the end of each show all the performers must feel energized and satisfied for a job well done.

So imagine being a cast member in one of these shows and how much energy and emotion you would receive from every performance.

#3 Gaston at Beauty & the Beast stage show

I'll be honest. This particular job wasn't on my radar until I did a final “sweep” in my mind of all the cast member jobs.

So I'm thinking about “Gaston” and I pulled out some video I shot of the show, and I was sold. The role of Gaston has to be one of the most enjoyable roles any cast member performer can hope to land.

The songs are surely easy to remember. The choreography is pretty simple.

Most of all, it looks like so much fun.

And let's face it—when the applause comes at the end of the show who gets most of the applause? You guessed it.

So Gaston gets #3.

#2 Imagineer

You know that Imagineer had to be on this list. The question was exactly where to put it. That's when it comes down to a matter of opinion and what “floats your boat."

When I think of an Imagineer, I think of someone who is very creative and intelligent visionary.

Obviously if it wasn't for the Imagineer, we would not be here discussing the wonders of the Walt Disney World theme parks.

Think of how proud you would be to hear people talk about an attraction that you designed or created, about how good it would feel to see guests exit from your attraction and see that they are wearing ear-to-ear grins and talking about the attraction. That would be quite gratifying.

Imagineering is a combination of science and artistry and being able to combine the two to create enjoyment for guests has to put this cast member job close to the top….and probably right at the top for most people.

Except me.

#1 Voices of Liberty

From Day One I have always thought that being one of the Voices of Liberty would be the most gratifying and enjoyable cast member jobs in all of Walt Disney World.

These cast memberS get to perform in an air conditioned rotunda, dress in colonial costumes, sing patriotic songs, and interact with guests.

Obviously you need to be an exceptional singer to be part of the Voices of Liberty. They all have terrific voices. When I hear the Voices of Liberty sing in the American Adventure pavilion, it just moves me.

I ranked this cast member job number one also because the Voices of Liberty perform at the Candlelight Processional every Christmas holiday.

If you have ever attended a Candlelight Processional performance I don't have to tell you how thrilling it is to hear all those voices combined with a live orchestra.

Of all the cast member jobs I can think of, this is the one which appeals the most to me. and helps me…

…Remember the Magic!

This list is based on my humble opinion. What do you think about this list? Tell me if you agree, or if you think there are jobs I missed that you would like to share with the readers. Send me mail and let me know.

Next Time

I am more and more convinced of something that especially triggers me into Disney Zone mode and we'll discuss this something next time.

Class dismissed.