Overcoming Fear and Going All Out

By Nate Johnson

One of the many positions I held during my shift while interning at Disney was Tunnel. I took a glowing mover and a Mickey hand and stood outside to remind guests to return their strollers. I made a game out of it every once in a while. I’m a metrics, analytics guy. I need some kind of goal to get me going. So I gave myself the challenge of giving as many high fives as I could in an hour. I went all out giving high fives to everyone. Boys and girls, young and old, it didn’t matter. No matter the language barrier, everybody understands the universal high five. So I walked around giving high fours with my Mickey gloves. It took so much energy to keep going. Some guests rejected my high four attempts. I kept going and I forgot all about the rejection I had just received. The first time I tried it, I got 598 high fives.

I like the free buttons Disney gives to its guests. It was an easy way for me to make an interaction. Saying Happy Birthday, Anniversary, or Congrats is something I could do. It helped with the connection at Disney. The guests were acknowledged, recognized, and accepted. That transcended every niche people put themselves in.

I also have been to all 50 states. So when I saw a shirt that showed a school or state, I could say I’ve been there. There’s another connection. Or when I heard a British accent, I’d count the change in quid and pence and say cheers. Since I went all over England, I usually made a connection with where they live.

Finally, when I was in costume, I always say GO (insert sports team)! Or O-H (with the guest saying I-O) or Roll Tide. My personal preference didn’t matter at that moment. I was making the guest feel welcomed and usually giving the dad a moment of relief to talk about sports.

It’s all a practice for me. Some shifts it was hard to put myself out there. Sometimes I don’t want to go all out. But every time I toe that line, back at Disney or moving forward, it’s always satisfying.



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