Walt Disney World Resort More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Guests Are ‘Blessed With a Good Smile’ At Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Robert Hitchcock

by , Content Director

“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” – Walt Disney

Everyday, Walt Disney World Resort cast members work to make Walt’s dream a reality by delivering outstanding customer service to guests. But, as in any organization, there are always a few people that have a little something extra.

If you have visited Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and entered through the front doors chances are you received a hello, a smile and possibly a hug from 88-year-old Richard Gerth. For more than 22 years as a cast member, Richard has greeted thousands of guests and assisted thousands of brides with wedding photos on their special day.

In a way Richard has become an attraction of his own. As guests make plans to ride Space Mountain, see characters and catch parades and fireworks, they also make plans to stop by and say hi to him. Recently, while standing in the resort lobby with Richard, two generations of one family reflected on all the years they have greeted each other on vacation. After commenting on how their trip to Walt Disney World Resort would not be complete without seeing him, one guest said to me, “Richard is the Grand (Floridian).”

Richard is not only a legacy to the Grand Floridian and to thousands of guests, but also a legacy to The Walt Disney Company. He credits two things for his success, longevity and “I was blessed with a good smile.”


  • Richard is lovely myself and my boyfriend met him this past Easter, as we were leaving the resort Richard told us that we are a beautiful couple and asked if we were married, (we had only been dating for 1 month) we said no and he told us to hurry up, We have been together for almost 10 months now and are talking about a future engagement, thanks Richard for seeing it then even when we weren’t sure.

  • Richard held my train as I was coming into the Grand Floridian after my wedding at the Wedding Pavilion two years ago! It honestly made my day. Such a sweet man! Thank you Richard!

  • I always hurry off the Magical Express and look just for RICHARD.
    We have been friends for 9 years and the Grand Floridian wouldn’t be Grand without him. Warm hugs to the folks who hired Richard, as he makes the ambience real, by his presence and warm words when he greets you. I hugged him today as I departed home and whispered I’d see him next year at the GF, Lord willing.
    Mouse hugs from Lori, Chesapeake VA

  • My husband and I were there when this was being filmed.(Sept. 19) Mr. Richard is a wonderful, friendly person. Every time we stay at the Grand Floridian Resort it has been our pleasure to see him. He is always there with a warm smile, he says “Welcome to the Grand Floridian Resort, Good Morning and have a wonderful day”. He talks to you and gets to know you. His presence at the Grand Floridian Resort is one of the many things that is great about this beautiful resort. Thank you Mr. Richard and look forward to seeing you again.

  • I’ve never been able to afford the GF, but I visit often for the ambiance. I’ve seen Richard many a time, and he always makes me smile. He’s part of the reason why GF is my favourite resort, and my go-to spot when I’m having a bad day. He’s always showing Disney magic in his attitude, for every guest young and old.

  • This is the kind of job I want to do after I retire from the daily grind! Thanks so much for showing that the Disney company values the unique contributions of ALL, no matter their age.

  • Great story!

  • I’ve said it a thousand times…..the “magic” that is found at Disney is in it’s employees. This is just another shining example. What a precious man!

  • Richard helped me with my dress only wedding day….. make a point of saying Hello every trip

  • Delightful man. He was so kind in helping at my daughter’s wedding. He was very complimentary of the veil I made; said it was the most beautiful he had seen. Glad we have a wedding pic with him in it.

  • Richard is the BEST!

  • Richard was at The Grand Floridian on the day of my wedding and helped me with my train! Now every time I am at the Grand and Richard is there I get a picture with him!

  • He is such a treasure – so glad you did a profile on him!

  • Richard is a TRUE GEM!!! My husband, James, and I met him in March 2008 and he represents Disney very well! It was so nice to meet him and have my picture taken with him. Plan to see him around the first of December as we are making our way to WDW for our first holiday experience and to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. People like Richard make coming to WDW a special occasion.

  • I love his attitude. 88 and still active and going out of his way to make a positive impact on other. An inspiration.

  • Love Richard! I’ve had my picture taken with him and as you said, he is a legacy to the happiness of this place.

  • Richard was at our wedding and was such a treat. A genuinely nice person! It is great to see a feature story about him! Thanks for helping make our day special Richard!!!!!!

Comments are closed.