Walt Disney World Resort is a place where passion and imagination intertwine, from the creative brilliance of Imagineers all the way to our talented custodial cast members who transform the landscapes they care for into canvases of creativity.
At this enchanting destination where magic and childlike wonder run free, your favorite characters can be found around the park – or right under your nose. Today, on National Custodian Appreciation Day, we’re introducing you to three Walt Disney World custodians who are bringing a magical touch to the guest experience in subtle and unexpected ways!
A Testament to the Magic of Nature
Visitors to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park are brimming with anticipation to explore endless trails and illustrious lagoons – and for good reason. The park’s fantastical flora and fauna are a mesmerizing sight to behold.
Cast member Greg, knows this more than anyone. An artist prior to becoming a custodial cast member at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Greg went about his daily responsibilities and started noticing the untamed beauty of flowers scattered throughout the park. Inspired by the vivid colors and shapes, he began collecting these blooms on his rounds and creating floral masterpieces.
“The most rewarding part of my role is when guests join me when I’m creating my art. When I notice kids are watching me, I will hand them a flower and ask if they would like to help. I love creating these unexpected surprises to add to the magic – and they love it, too!”
Greg’s vibrant displays are a reminder that art can bloom wherever (and however!) inspiration takes hold.
Crafting Enchantment with Every Splash
Amidst the whirlwind of roller coasters and parade floats at Magic Kingdom Park, cast member Joel’s extraordinary flair for transforming water into enchanting works of art adds a spellbinding touch to the park’s vibrant atmosphere.
Transforming a simple broom into a paintbrush with a splash of water, Joel’s artistic process is as fluid as the water he wields. Bringing favorite characters like Mickey and friends to life, each piece is a testament to his artistic passion as he turns water into wonder.
“There are times that I’ve been so focused on creating water art, that I look up to find a crowd has formed to watch what I’m doing,” Joel shares. “Their reactions and excitement make me love what I do. I have never felt so appreciated!”
Carrying a sketchbook at all times to capture moments, he is inspired to design water art creations of his own, and Joel now trains other cast members on how to transform this seemingly mundane liquid into a source of joy and inspiration.
Folding Everyday Fabric Into Miniature Figures
With a few expertly executed folds, twists, and tucks, EPCOT cast member Dye, transforms ordinary towels into whimsical creations that range from adorable animals to iconic characters, all designed to bring a touch of delight to the restrooms in her care.
“I love that in Custodial I can be myself. Everybody comes to Walt Disney World to have fun, so I get to bring my silly and authentic self to work every day,” Dye explains. “People always tell us how we make their visit magical, but interactions with guests are what makes my day magical! Creating special moments for them is my favorite part of the day.”
Always up for a challenge, Dye is currently working on perfecting her towel shark after a cast member mentioned it’s their favorite animal. “Just give me one week. I’ll have it figured out,” Dye says confidently.
Whether it’s flowers, water, towels or another medium – the creativity of custodial cast members brings a unique touch to the guest experience by immersing us in our favorite stories through the simplest of actions.
We are thankful for our custodial cast members, not only today on National Custodian Appreciation Day, but every day of the year. Thank you for helping our parks shine and sparkle as much as you do!
Next time you are out and about in the park, take a moment to take in the landscape around you. Who knows the magic you may find where you least expect it!