Ray Sidejas, operations manager of custodial guest services at Disneyland Resort, has been keeping “The Happiest Place on Earth” clean for 46 years. His colleagues joke that when asked about retirement, Ray would always say, “I’ll retire in two years.” Then six months or a year later, Ray would give the same response. Evidently, when Ray retired last week, those “two years” finally arrived.
We recently sat down with Ray to talk about his career. It’s obvious when speaking with him that he’s the champion of cleanliness at Disneyland Resort and my guess is Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs is making the same observation in this photo with Ray.
Did you ever see Walt Disney in the park?
Every once in a while I would and I’d think, “That is Walt sitting on a park bench and I’m going to walk right by him.” He would acknowledge the cast and say, “Good morning.” We would all say, “Good morning Mr. Disney,” because we didn’t know what else to say. It’s funny when you saw him on TV you would have an image of him always in a gray suit. To actually see him in a canary yellow sweater and brown trousers was quite surprising.
You received a Walt Disney Legacy award. What do you think your legacy will be at the Disneyland Resort?
Walt always had high standards and would say, “You have to give the guests everything that you can give them – and even surprise them; give them things they don’t expect and you will be successful.” I think my legacy will be continuing that effort.
What is one of your fondest memories from the early years of your Disney career?
Working with Club 55 members. They got their start with Walt Disney and captured his spirit by working closely with him.