My most exciting moment becoming a Cast Member was receiving my Walt Disney World name tag. I had been taught since I was little to seek out those white ovals for help and I was proud to wear one myself. You will probably see hundreds of these name tags during your vacation and it turns out there’s a lot you can learn from pausing to take a look.
Let’s start with the basics. A Walt Disney World nametag will always be placed on a Cast Member’s top left side, over the heart. The name is featured prominently in center, with the Cast Member’s hometown listed below. Cast Members love meeting people from our hometowns, so make sure to say hi if you see a familiar place.
Learning and Training
When a Cast Member is being trained, a red ribbon that reads “Earning My Ears” will be attached to their name tag. They will have a trainer with them; the trainers wear Jiminy Cricket pins over their nametag. Be extra kind to these Cast Members—they’re still learning.
Some Cast Members’ name tags will have a college or university name in place of the home town. That means the Cast Member is either a current or former participant of one of the Disney College and Internship Program. If you’re visiting in the January or August, it’s likely that the College Program student you’re meeting is brand new to their job. While they have gone through plenty of training in their position, they may not be an expert on all things Disney. Some College Program participants have never even been to Disney World before starting their programs. When interacting with College Program Cast Members, remember that they are there to learn and might not be familiar with past policies or all departments.
Skills and Awards
Cast Members at Disney World come from all of the world. Language pins are available in over 50 languages. Cast Members wearing the language pins elect to take a short test proving their fluency in the language in order to earn the pin on their name tag. I have seen Cast Members with four language pins attached to their name tags. Guests from around the world are likely to encounter Cast Members who speak their language, so feel free to start a conversation if you see your language on their pin.
When Cast Members have worked for the Disney Company for over a year, they receive a pin celebrating their years of service. This pin is placed on the top right section of the name tag. The Steamboat Willy pin signifies one year of service. Pins with a character and year number are given at other milestone years. If you want to talk to an experience Cast Member, look out for those service pins.
Every once and awhile, you may spot a name tag with the reverse of the usual color scheme: a blue oval tag with white letters. Cast Members with blue name tags are winners of the Walt Disney Legacy Award. These Cast Members are nominated by their fellow Cast Members to be honored for outstanding service to Guests and dedicated to Disney magic. (Ed. – I met a Legacy Award Cast Member on my last trip – big shout out to Mike at Top of the World Lounge!)
Switching between costumes or running late to work can lead to forgotten name tags—even Cast Members are only human. Instead of spending the day nameless, Cast Members get a temporary replacement name tag. These name tags are usually a gender neutral name—Chris, Pat, or Alex are common ones—with the hometown of Orlando, FL. So if you spot one of these generic name tags, you may be encountering a Cast Member undercover for the day.
Disney World name tags are a great way to get a lot of information about a Cast Member with just a quick look. Next time you meet a Cast Member, see what you can learn from their name tag.