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Name-Tag Magic: How Disneyland’s Cast Members Wear Their Hearts on Their Sleeves

If you’ve been to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, you may have noticed that all of Disney’s Cast Members wear a name tag showcasing their full name and place of birth.

These name tags are aimed to be “conversation starters,” encouraging Guests to break the ice with Cast Members and create opportunities to socialize, develop trust, and build relationships with each other.

But name tags have a different purpose in Disneyland California. On the west coast, the Cast Members’ name tags don’t show the person’s place of birth below their name. They show their favorite Disney character!

“Usually, you’ll find that most Cast Members who work in Disneyland California are from this area,” said Ken Potrock, President of Disneyland Resort. “And since we’re all from around here, instead of having our place of birth on our name tags, we thought it’d be a more effective conversation starter to have our favorite Disney characters.”

From my perspective, the strategy proved to be incredibly effective. From that moment on, I couldn’t help but pay close attention to the Disney characters’ names on each of the Cast Members’ tags we came across!

From left to right: Juan Fernandez, Director of Education & Communications at MVP; Genesis Warner, VP of Marketing at MVP; Ken Potrock, President of the Disneyland Resort; and Lynn Clark, VP of Sales for Disneyland Resort.

When we spoke to Ken Potrock, his name tag had the name of Buzz Lightyear, a personal favorite of mine as well.

“To me, Buzz represents the highest level of optimism possible in a Disney character,” said Potrock. “I love his positivity and problem-solving mentality. This makes him my favorite.”

I also asked several other Disney Executives and Cast Members about their choices, and this is what some of them had to say:

Lynn Clark – VP of Sales for Disneyland Resort

“I chose Mickey Mouse because, to me, he represents inclusiveness and community. In my opinion, Mickey personifies all of these values because he’s the mouse that started it all.”

David Nguyen – Part of the Disneyland Resort’s Food & Beverages Team

“I chose Mickey Mouse because, as Walt said: ‘it all started with a Mouse.’ With every contribution I make to enhance the Guests’ experiences through the food we create, in a way, I feel like I’m also that mouse.”

Carlos Martinez – Part of the Disneyland Resort’s Entertainment Team

“My name tag says Aladdin because of my father. I haven’t seen my dad since 1992, and Aladdin was the last movie we saw together. I even had the entire collection from Aladdin’s McDonald’s toys from the times my dad would take me to eat Happy Meals there. Aladdin represents my life’s story, in a way. He lived on the streets, he was an orphan, and he found a way to push through challenges and reinvent himself. He reminds me of my life’s journey and how proud I am to be able to do what I do at Disneyland.”

And you? If you were a Cast Member at the Disneyland Resort, which Disney character would you choose to have on your name tag, and why?

Let us know in the comments below!

From left to right: Carlos Martinez, Disneyland Resort’s Entertainment team; Juan Fernandez, Director of Education & Communications at MVP; Genesis Warner, VP of Marketing at MVP; and David Nguyen, Disneyland Resort’s Food & Beverage Team.

3 Comments

  1. Tiffany Wuzzardo
    February 5, 2023

    Winnie the Pooh! He’s been my favorite since I was a little girl!

  2. Jenna
    February 13, 2023

    GOOFY!! he has been my favorite since I was a kid. he was also my dads favorite character and he passed away January 6th 2022. goofy has always been the fun loving “goofy” one of the bunch and thats exactly who I am to my friends and family. he was also the loving caring dad to max which is exactly what my dad was!

    • MVP Media
      February 13, 2023

      Amazing story, Jenna! Thank you so much for sharing! We love Goofy too 🙂

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