We have all seen pictures of Disney World and it is a child’s dream come true. It is the most magical place on Earth and the best part about it for the people of the United States of America is that it is easily accessible to them, being located in the state of Orlando. One woman arrived at the gates of Disney World with hope in her eyes of getting a job there. She had just graduated from the University of Florida and she was quite surprised to have landed the job at Disney World. However, she revealed after she was fired that Disney World is not as magical a place as it seems. She says that there are a lot of strict rules that every employee have to follow if they want to keep their job at Disney World.
Disney Does Not Have “Employees”
Disney never refers to its hired group of people as “employees” or “staff”. Instead, they are known as “Cast Members” and they are known only by their first names which are written on the badges that they wear. There is an ongoing rumor that this was because Walt Disney believed that this way was quite a lot more personal.
The Appearance Guidelines Book
Every recruit at Disney is given a book when they are recruited. This book tells the recruits how they are supposed to dress when they are at Disney World. The book is known as “The Disney Look Book” and we believe that it is quite appropriately named.
Within the pages of this book, there is everything that the recruit would need to know about the appearance of the character.
Following The Disney Look
There is a strict dress code and everything is checked on a daily basis. You cannot just go to work at Disney World the way you want. Everything is coded from the hairstyle to the fingernails.
The recruits are not allowed to have long fingernails, their hairstyle has to be according to the dress code, and the recruits are not allowed to have tattoos on their body as well.
Buying Things That Guests Have Left Behind
On a daily basis, thousands of people leave behind things that get accumulated in the Lost Property section of the park. There is everything available from smartphones to clothing to designer bags, and after a certain amount of time has passed and no one has claimed the items, the Cast Members can buy the items at a special price. The money that Disney World receives from this is donated to charity.
No “I Don’t Know”s
The Cast Members are not allowed to say the words “I don’t know” to anyone who asks them anything. They are supposed to know the answers to all sorts of questions that the visitors might pose to them during their visit to the park. If the Cast Members do not know the answer to something, they are allowed to give ridiculous answers as well.
One Big Show
The people working at Disney World are known as Cast Members and the people visiting the park are known as guests. If a guest wanders off into an off-limits section of the park, he or she is said to be “Backstage”. This means that every Cast Member working at Disney World is always On Stage and everything is just a big show that is put on a daily basis.
Vomit Is Not Vomit
Since there are a lot of rides at Disney World, there is also a lot of vomit. However, Disney does not allow the vomit to be referred to as vomit by the Cast Members. Instead, they have special code words for every type of accident that has a possibility of happening on the premises.
Pointing With Multiple Fingers
There is a magic rule of Disney that the cast members are not allowed to point towards anything with just one finger. They consider pointing with one finger to be quite rude. The other reason why pointing with one finger is not allowed at Disney is because Walt Disney hated it.
There is a special Disney Point which is pointing with the index finger and the middle finger pointing towards the direction together. The Cast Members can also point towards directions using their palms.
Taking Pictures Is Not Allowed
It is important to keep the magic alive if you are working for Disney World. As a result, the Cast Members are not allowed to take any pictures of themselves in costume when they are backstage. If any Cast Member is caught taking pictures in costume, their contract with Disney World will be terminated immediately.
Never Break Character
The people working at Disney are supposed to always remain in character since they are always on stage. They have to walk in a certain way, stop for pictures with the guests, and act like their characters are supposed to.
The Disney Scoop
If you are a Cast Member at Disney, you must never walk past litter, or draw attention to it by getting rid of it in a conventional way. You must perform a “Disney Scoop” and discreetly dispose off the litter while you are on the move. The Cast Members are not allowed to stop or bend over while you are picking up the garbage.
The move is incredibly difficult to master but every Cast Member must get there at the end.
Mickey’s Best Friend
The Cast Members are not allowed to ruin the magic for the children visiting the park. Whenever a cast member is asked if they are the real Mickey Mouse or the real Minnie Mouse, the Cast Members are allowed to say that they are the character’s best friend instead.
Not many people know that there is a special university known as Disney University. Everyone who wants a job at Disneyland has to attend two years at the university so that they can learn how to be better at their job.
Growing Facial Hair
While it is understandable that tattoos and piercings are not allowed for the Cast Members since it would ruin the magic for the children and other guests at the park, you would be surprised to know that you cannot shape your beard or have your mustache extending over the lip either.
The Timely Parade
One of the most commonly asked questions for the cast members from the guests is what time the “Three O’Clock Parade” is. The Disney Cast Members are required to be polite to the guests and they have to give the answers to the questions too. This is why, the cast members do not ever forget what time the parade happens.
No Tattoos Allowed
Disney have pretty strict rules when it comes to the appearance of the cast members. The cast members are not allowed to have tattoos, piercings, earlobes, or any skin implants. However, these things are allowed if they are discreet and covered.
No Long Hair Allowed
Even though Disney princess Rapunzel had pretty long hair, the Cast Members are not allowed to wear their hair as they want. The cast members are not allowed to shave off their eyebrows and the female cast members have to always have their hair brushed, and while beads are allowed, the braids are not.
When crew members change shifts every 30 minutes, the first thing that they have to do is take pictures in the same position as the crew member before them who was in the same position as before. This is so that the experience for the visitors remains the same. If Mickey was in a position when the shift changes, Mickey will remain in the same position as before.
Dealing With The Heat
It can be quite a rough day when you are dealing with the heat. It is not easy to stand under the sun in those big furry suits all day. The way that Disney deals with this is by running shifts of 30 minutes for the Cast Members.
Every 30 minutes, the Cast Members go off stage and then come back after another half an hour.
Choosing Disney Princesses
Disney just does not let anyone become a Disney Princess. The Cast Members have to meet a few requirements when they are applying for the position. An example of the requirements is that the female cast members have to be between 5’4″ and 5’8″ in order to be eligible for the position.
Getting Nails Done
The Cast Members at Disney have to always have their fingernails trimmed. This means getting the nails done at regular intervals of time The women cannot have the fingernails growing a quarter of an inch past the fingerprint. They are also not allowed to wear any nail paint as well.
Perks Of Working There
You might think that working at Disney is all just a rough time. However, there are many perks which make Disney quite a magical place to work at. The best example of this is that the Cast Members can have free entry to the park even on the off days.
Getting Guest Passes
The Cast Members get free passes on all the rides and they can work hard to earn free guest passes as well which they can give to their family members and friends as well.
Creating The Magic With Smells
Everything at Disney has a very distinct smell. Water rides, popcorn, Rome burning inside Spaceship Earth and even Disney resort toiletries have very distinct smells. The management at Disney understand that the smells can transport people into a magical time.
Learning Something New
The Cast Members are taught quite a number of interesting facts so that they can tell something new to the visitors as well. One of the interesting facts is that the Animal Kingdom is sunk into the ground since it creates a more preferable climate for the animals in the Animal Kingdom.
The Hidden Treasures
When you take a closer look, you will notice quite a lot of hidden easter eggs all over the park. For instance, you will notice that there is a small Mickey Mouse head on one of the pillars of the park.
The Biggest Fight At Disney
In 2007, Pluto was taking a picture with a group of people when a young boy was told by an adult in his group to pull Pluto’s tail to see if he barks. The boy does as he is told and Pluto nearly looses his balance. He turns and shakes his finger at the boy.
The boy not liking what Pluto just did then proceeded to kick him and a chase ensues.
In July 2019, a fight broke out between a group outside of the Hollywood Tower of Terror ride. The group was upset that their FastPasses were not valid for the ride and began berating the employee until it got to a point where the tourist punched the woman in the face. The attacker was banned from Disney for life and the employee has declined to comment or to receive treatment for her eye.
The Beginning Of Disneyland
Disneyland originally opened on Sunday, July 17th, 1955 with a total of 18 attractions. However, the park has expanded and there are now 51 attractions.
The Admission Fee
When the park opened, the admission fee was $1 but now the fare to enter the park has increased to $154.
As of 2014, the park has welcomed more than 700 million visitors since it opened.
The Edible Plants
Did you know that all the plants at Tomorrowland are edible? That is right, there are no poisonous plants in the section and you can eat any of them.
The Pet Cemetery
The park’s haunted mansion has a pet cemetary as well. This is rarely seen by the guests since it is hidden on the mansion’s side lawn. Don’t worry, the cemetary is a fake and there are no pets buried there.
Making It Big After Disneyland
Steve Martin and Michelle Pfeiffer both worked at Disneyland as Cast Members before they made it big in Hollywood. Pfeiffer was Alice in Wonderland and Martin was a magician.
Selling Mickey Mouse Ears
Over 84 million Mickey Mouse ears have been sold ever since Disneyland opened. The ears are the most popular souvenirs that are sold by the park.
Longest Surviving Cast Member
Oscar Martinez is the longest surviving Cast Member at Disneyland. He started working at the park in the December of 1956.
Real Gold At Disneyland
The facade of the building that makes up the It’s a Small World ride is completely covered in leaf gold, which is a real gold.
Did you know that there is a basketball court at the Matterhorn at Disneyland. However, this court is not for the visitors but only for the Cast Members.
The Time It Took To Build
The attractions that you see are ever expanding. Disney is adding new stuff to the park on a regular basis. However, the initial park took an year to build before it was opened up to the public.
Disney’s Secret Apartment
Walt Disney had a secret apartment at the park. This was above the fire department on Main Street. The light in the window still lights up today to remind people of Walt’s presence.
First Monorail In The Western Hemisphere
Disney’s monorail opened on June 14, 1959 and it was the first daily operating monorail in the Western Hemisphere.
There are many rodents that roam around the park. In order to catch them all, the Cast Members release about 200 feral cats at night daily so that the cats can catch the rodents.
Did you know that the skeletons that you see in the original Pirates of the Caribbean ride were real skeletons? These bones were taken from the medical center at UCLA.
Changes At Y2K
Up until the year 2000, the Cast Members were not allowed to keep mustaches. Thankfully, the rule was lifted and the people working there could grow facial hair to some extent.
Disneyland’s announcer Bill Rodgers and California Park Adventure announcer Camille Dixon are actually married. Long distance relationships do work.
The only place that serves alcohol at the park is Club 33, a secret club that was created by Walt Disney to host the important people.
30th Wedding Anniversary
Walt Disney and his wife celebrated their 30th anniversary with a party on the Mark Twain Riverboat shortly before the park opened to the public.
Mr. Egroeg Sacul
While the visitors wait in line for the Star Tours ride, the announcer makes a special announcement for Mr Egroeg Sacul, which is actually the name George Lucas spelled backwards.
The Time Capsule
On the park’s 40th anniversary, a time capsule was buried in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and it will be opened up on July 17, 2045.
You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch
Thurl Ravenscroft, the voice of Tony the Tiger, is also the voice of many attractions at Disneyland. These include Mark Twain on the riverboat, the Monorail, the Haunted Mansion, and It’s A Small World.
Snow White’s Wishing Well
Visitors can throw coins down the Wishing Well in Snow White Grotto to the right of Sleeping Beauty Castle. You can hear her voice echoing in the well and throughout the peaceful garden area. Your wish will be donated to children’s charities.
Smells Bad Backstage
Since the pleasant smells are pumped into the park to keep the magic alive, you will never smell anything bad. However, because of the huge amount of garbage that is generated in the parks everyday, the backstage gets pretty stinky on a daily basis.
Built Over Tunnels
Disney was built over a network of tunnels that run through a swampland. This means that the already stinking smells gather in the tunnels and they turn out to be pretty bad too. The tunnels under the Magic Kingdom also smell pretty foul.
Two Characters Are Never The Same Onstage
Disney keeps tabs to ensure that two characters are never in the same place at the same time. The Cast Members carry a guide everywhere that gives them the necessary details and information about the park, including park hours, attraction times, character showings, and all necessary phone numbers.
Plain Clothes Security
What is not so obvious is that there are even more security officers than you think. Disney employs a ton of plainclothes officers who are in the parks at all times. The only identifying thing about them is the earpiece they wear.
Garbage Tunnels At Disney
Every 20 minutes, small vacuum pipes remove the garbage from the dust bins through the hidden tunnels under the Magic Kingdom at 60 mph. No guest has ever seen the garbage being removed by a janitor from the garbage bins.
The Grey Stuff
At the Be Our Guest restaurant, ask for The Grey Stuff. This is the secret pudding that is not on the menu and it is a chocolate mousse-like dessert.
Enhanced Safari Experience
In the Animal Kingdom, there is piped chilled air on the ledge of Pride Rock. The icy blast of air is pumped out to encourage lions to sit up and pose for the perfect picture opportunity when guests come by.
The Secret Cinderella Suite
Cinderella’s Castle has a secret suite that cannot be booked by anyone. The apartment is a money-can’t-buy experience – it is usually only available to VIPs and an extremely limited number of competition winners every year. The suite is designed like a room in a 17th century castle, four stories above the Magic Kingdom.
Disney makes the Cast Members work quite hard and that means they party just as hard. When the cast members are not on the clock, you will find them engaging in raging parties and everyone is hooking up with each other at the parties.
Not According To The Stereotype
People often think that the Americans are well-behaved and the immigrants create all the ruckus in the park. However, Disney employees reveal that it is the complete opposite. Americans had this sense of entitlement, and thought just because they’d spent thousands of dollars to bring their family to Disney World, everything had to run smoothly.
More Money, More Resentment
The face Cast Members such as Belle and the Beast or Prince Charming get paid $3 an hour more than the other characters such as lesser-known characters. This means that the face Cast Members act like they are the stars of the park and treat the other members as lowly creatures.
Becoming Your Family
Even though there is a lot of jealousy among the Cast Members, when you are living with them throughout the year, the rest of the Cast Members become your family. Love begins to happen even at places that you least expected it to flourish.
The Mean Guests
“I once had a man slap me in the face because he said I hadn’t taken pictures of his son on a ride (he went three times, and I got photos every single time). Luckily, a sheriff was nearby, and she escorted him out. I’ve also been spit on and run over with strollers — on purpose.”
The Hierarchy Of Coolness
There’s a hierarchy of cool kids based on your job as a cast member, and unsurprisingly, the princesses are at the very top. There are also cliques and cafeteria politics you have to learn to navigate.
People often sprinkle the ashes of their dead loved ones throughout the Haunted Mansion ride at Magic Kingdom. Cast members refer to it as ‘Code Grandma.’
Underneath The Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom is built on the ‘second floor.’ There’s an entire web of offices, store rooms, break rooms, and a cafeteria underneath it.
The Females Under The Role
Mickey Mouse is usually played by a female cast member. Casting is based on height, so many female cast members often play shorter characters like Mickey and Minnie.
If you see a cast member with a gender-neutral name tag (like Chris, Pat, or Alex), chances are they forgot to bring their own.
If someone offers a tip, the Cast Members supposed to deny it politely three times. After that, they can accept it, but they have to let their supervisor know.
If the Cast Members see someone fall down or get hurt in any way, they have to ask them three times if they need medical assistance.
Paramedics actually answer a lot of calls from cast members. Emergencies range from cast members overheating in costumes to experiencing anxiety attacks.