An Extended ‘Mine Family’ in Shanghai

Did you know that Disney International Programs helped build the foundation of cast members for the highly anticipated Shanghai Disney Resort? In the summer of 2015, 700 International  participants from China began their Disney journeys at the Walt Disney World Resort by learning from state-of-the-art operations, guest service standards and cast member culture. With a valuable education and successful completion of an International Program, this allowed many of those cast members to join the opening teams for the Shanghai Disney Resort.

For cast members opening an entirely new park in a new country, it took a lot more than just learning the Four Key Basics and the ins-and-outs of Disney Parks. Instead, it took truly embracing the culture and meaning of being a cast member and representing the values of Disney. Ning and Zihe did just that with the start of their Disney journeys at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Magic Kingdom Park.

From day one, Ning and Zihe saw the passion that drove their fellow cast members to provide positive guest service, as well as the support the Mine Train cast members showed for one another in what they call ‘Mine Family’. Both agreed that learning from their fellow Mine Family was their favorite part of their Program. Ning said, “We became very good friends, and it’s them that helped me become a better cast member and even a better person.” Having the support of her Mine Family, Zihe said, “I learned to be myself, and be kind and patient towards guests. I also learned that when I have questions it’s okay to ask others for help because we are all here to support one another.”


Carrying the magic of the Walt Disney World Resort over to Shanghai, Ning now works as a trainer at Shanghai Disneyland’s Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and facilitates “Welcome to Operations” for new cast members.


Zihe sprinkles her pixie dust as an entertainment character lead by keeping shows magical and on time.

Although the Walt Disney World Resort and the Shanghai Disney Resort may be far away in distance, with cast members like Ning and Zihe, it’s a smaller world after all!

CarolineDisney Internships & Programs Housing Communications