I’ve never heard of The Disneyland Alumni Club…

It’s always fun to tell people that I work at Disneyland.

I get a kick out of their reactions. They get excited. They get interested. They want to know more. I detect the smallest bit of jealousy because the name Disneyland evokes visions of happiness and magic and all things wonderful and awesome.

I primarily work in the stores of Downtown Disney. So, technically, I don’t work inside Disneyland (except for the occasional shift which is always entertaining) but I’m still employed by the company and get to enjoy all the fun perks.

Working in the stores you see and meet and talk to a lot of different people. You see the wonderfully good, the super nice, people who don’t really like conversation so you end up sort of talking to yourself but that’s okay, and every now-and-then you get to see the dark side of humanity and you lose faith in everything until you hear one of your favorite Disney songs and you can’t help but sing along and you feel 1000 times better.

A few days ago, I had a super adorable older Guest named Anne. I’m talking your adorable white-haired super-sweet type. I was ringing her up and, per our training, asked if she had any discounts. She said that she was an Annual Passholder and she was a ex-Cast Member and I told her that the second would get her a better discount.

She pulls out this card that I had never seen before that looked like this:

Disneyland Alumni Club2

Like I said, I had no idea there was even such a thing as the Disneyland Alumni Club. I called one of my leads over but he didn’t know about it either so we called a manager over to see if they knew anything about it.

Naturally, at this point, my curiosity was peaked so I started asking her questions about where she had worked and for how long and how she liked it etc. She told me that she was a ticket seller for 7 years and that “my Spanish was really good but now I can’t even speak a lick of it”. Her favorite Guests were Guests that came from Japan because she knew that Japan has their own version of Disneyland. “I would ask them why would they come here if they already had a Disneyland,” she told me, “And they would say that they wanted to come to the original Disneyland.”

By the time one of my managers came over, Anne and I were best buddies. She was telling me all about the Disneyland Alumni Club and how they have Special Events and Guest Speakers and parties and all these neat things.

Unfortunately, my manager didn’t know anything about the Club so there wasn’t anything we could really do about a Cast Member discount but she had an Annual Pass so she was able to get a little something.

We said our goodbyes and she went on her way but now I was fascinated so I did a little digging.

Turns out, The Disneyland Alumni Club is a very real and neat thing. They have their own website, a Facebook page, and even a Twitter account.

According to their website, The Disneyland Alumni Club was founded back in 1983 by Van A. France, Disney Legend and founder of Disneyland University where all Cast Members are trained, and Dick Nunis, who held several positions with the Company including Vice President of Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

The Club was actually intricately tied to Disneyland Park until 2001. Now the Club is self-supporting and is listed as a non-profit.

Now the Club is able to host events for members, such having Imagineers as guest speakers and parties in the parks.

Like Anne told me, the Club was and still is intended for Cast Members to keep in touch long after they have left the Company. Now, the Club is open to the general public, which I think is a nice touch to those who are giant fans of Disneyland.

So I learned something new about the Company that I work for, which is always exciting to me. And I think that’s what I love most about my job. Each day is different.

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