In 1992, Laetitia started her professional journey at Disney within the Front Desk team of Disneyland Hotel. On the occasion of the grand reopening of this iconic hotel, the Cast Member – who has now become a manager on the Real Estate Development team – shares her memories with us.
Tell us about your professional journey!
I have been a Cast Member for thirty-one years! I joined Disneyland Paris in 1992 after being offered a position on the Front Desk team of Disneyland Hotel. In addition to working in an internationally renowned company, I saw an opportunity to both broaden my skills and contribute to the development of the resort since Disneyland Paris had just been brought to life.
Today, I serve as a Marketing and Communication manager on the Real Estate Development team. We are in charge of promoting the dynamic nature of the Val d’Europe territory. More specifically, we focus on creating an exceptional living and work environment to inspire small and large companies like Tesla, Deloitte, and TD Synnex to set up their business premises in this area.
Do you remember what your reaction was the first time you stepped through the doors of Disneyland Hotel?
Of course! I visited it one or two months before its grand opening. At the time, construction work was still underway, so everyone wondered how the hotel could open within the set time limit. I remember that I was particularly impressed by the gigantic staircase. We were fortunate to be accompanied by a Cast Member who was familiar with the hotel and its story. He even told us fun facts about the chandelier, which featured a nod to Cinderella and the birds that helped make her dress. The experiences I had during my previous internships in the hospitality industry were way different, as we were taught to do our job without learning to adopt a storytelling mindset and tell fairy stories to our guests.
What memories do you keep of the years you spent at Disneyland Hotel?
I spent three years at Disneyland Hotel. I first provided front desk services to guests before joining the team that worked at the Castle Club, where we got to meet several celebrities. I will forever remember the visit of Barbara and George H.W. Bush. While on a trip to France to meet with President Mitterrand, the presidential couple decided to stay at Disneyland Hotel. That day, we were requested to be at the front desk very early, as President Bush was planning on going to play golf. Around 5 a.m., I saw a guest in a robe coming down the stairs. I did not recognize her immediately, but it was actually Barbara Bush who asked me if I was there “just for them.” And there I was… talking to the First Lady in the early morning. It was surreal! Shortly after, we found out that members of the secret services had come anonymously a few weeks prior to the presidential couple’s stay to prepare for their visit.
Have you stayed in contact with the Cast Members who worked at Disneyland Hotel in 1992?
Yes! I’m still in contact with a group of approximately fifty Cast Members who started in 1992. We were all looking forward to the reopening of the hotel. I find it incredible that we have managed to keep our bond intact after more than thirty years. I can still remember the sense of camaraderie that existed among us and how we supported each other to overcome the challenges we encountered. Besides, we reunited a few days ago to discover “our” royally reimagined Disneyland Hotel. During our reunion, we experienced many emotion-filled moments, as we looked back on a part of our lives that was particularly impactful. We all were very young and many of us had to leave our native countries to come and work here. Sharing this experience of moving away from home made our bond even stronger. It was amazing to be able to reunite in a place that is still very close to our hearts after all these years, rediscover our former work locations, and meet with Majbritt Iaconis, the director of Disneyland Hotel.
“Even nowadays, our guests continue to praise your outstanding sense of service, which has left a mark on the history of this hotel. Thank you for you dedication. You will forever be home at Disneyland Hotel, and you are welcome to come and visit us anytime.”
Majbritt Iaconis, managing director of Disneyland Hotel