Disney Housekeepers Earn Their Ears at Housekeeping Graduation Ceremonies

Peri Gregg

by , Communications Intern, Walt Disney World

Sept. 12-17 is International Housekeeping Week, and we’re celebrating our housekeeping cast members all week long! Our housekeeping teams not only make magic every day for our guests, they also sprinkle pixie dust for each other along the way. While many special events and celebrations will take place for our housekeepers throughout this week, Disney Resort hotels across Walt Disney World celebrate their housekeepers year-round with a fun tradition to recognize their new cast members.

Once housekeepers “earn their ears” and complete their training period, they are officially welcomed into their new role with a Housekeeping Graduation Ceremony! Unique to Disney, these ceremonies commemorate cast members’ end-of-training milestone with a big celebration. 

Each resort across Walt Disney World holds a unique ceremony. At some Disney resorts, graduates walk the red carpet to receive their certificate and a customized pair of Mickey ears. At other locations, they receive graduation-themed treats and a Disney-inspired graduation cap.

Some resorts also host graduation ceremonies in multiple languages- like Spanish and Haitian-Creole- for cast members who may speak English as a second language. But the reason for the celebrations remains consistent throughout — it’s the perfect opportunity for housekeeping teams to gather and recognize the accomplishments of their newest cast members.

Housekeeping leaders and trainers greet graduates at their ceremonies with big smiles, loud cheers and goodies just for them. Ashley, housekeeping training manager at Disney’s Pop Century Resort, helps organize their graduation ceremonies. “I find any and every excuse to celebrate our cast because of their dedication to our guests and the way they go above and beyond,” Ashley said. 

Graduates say participating in these unique ceremonies made them feel special. “The graduation made me feel like my work is being appreciated,” said Sandra, a recent housekeeping graduate from Disney’s Pop Century Resort. “It makes you feel special. It makes you feel like you belong.”

Recent graduate from Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Jose, said it means the world to him to have leaders that support and celebrate their cast members. “If there’s one thing that will keep you motivated to come into work every day, it’s knowing that whether you’re struggling or having a great day, your leadership is always there with you.” 

If you’re staying at a Disney resort this week, be sure to give a special thanks to our wonderful housekeepers for all that they do! And if you’re looking to sprinkle a little pixie dust in a housekeeping role yourself, head over to Walt Disney World Jobs to explore available roles!