1. Most Disney cast members are unbenefited, “part-time” workers, but we work 40-60 hours a week anyway especially during busy holiday periods.
It’s cool, though. Who needs benefits when you get a cast member discount of 20% on souvenir cups and stuffed animals (40% during the holidays)?
2. We make slightly above minimum wage (about $10/hr.) even though most of us have completed college.
We do it for the joy of seeing a child’s face light up when we hand him a Buzz Lightyear toy. We live for Magical Moments!
3. We get in for free, but we rarely go.
Between working long hours and resting, there’s just not a lot of open days to spend all day back at work, aka a theme park. And, there are days when we – and/or our guests – are blacked out from free admission.
4. We have to point with two fingers
Apparently, in some cultures pointing with one finger is considered rude. We’re not doing this because we like to imitate in-flight safety demos.
5. We can make your visit a lot better if you’re nice to us
If your mouse ears break, or you forgot to secure them when you went on the Tower of Terror, or your $11 cheeseburger was undercooked, just tell a cast member and be really nice about it. We can probably fix it. Guest satisfaction is actually our main job, so we get a lot of leeway to make you happy.
6. We get promoted if you give us good feedback
If we do give your kid a new, fluffy Mickey Mouse plush toy because he left his on the boat, please take 30 seconds and fill out a comment card in Guest Services with our name, location, and excellent service rating. We appreciate it!
7. We get weekly random Facebook messages from acquaintances asking us for some “friends and family” tickets
Yeah, that semester we spent dissecting frogs together in 1996 was meaningful for me too. But if you don’t have my phone number, what on Earth makes you think I want to “hook you up” with free tickets?
8. Make friends with attraction operators and we’ll shorten your wait time in line
The level of power that goes along with ensuring your safety bar is secure is up there with club doorman and hall monitor. Saying please and thank you goes a long way with us! 🙂
9. We hear the question “What time is the 3 o’clock parade”? at least twice a day
From English speakers, and we have to answer politely, no eye rolling allowed!
(Answer: 3 o’clock!)
10. People do disgusting things in your attraction seat
It’s amazing how normally civilized people turn into that gross homeless guy on the corner when sitting in a moving seat on a dark ride FOR 3 MINUTES! There’s a reason custodials wear gloves…
11. People will do anything they can to NOT be safe
Stuffing children’s shoes to barely hit the height requirement. Sitting on top of a seatbelt or bar. Standing up on a roller coaster during a period of negative g-force, ejecting themselves from a perfectly good, thrilling, and already fulfilling experience. Hiding their infants in their jacket or poncho in order to get them on a super-loopy, upside-downsy, crazy-fast ride (yes, this happened!). Trying to cut across the street while the parade is rolling. DON’T DO THESE THINGS!
12. We’ve been called every name in the book
In languages we didn’t even know existed. But mostly Portuguese.
13. Most of us can give directions to the restroom in several languages
But that’s it. Anything past that is going to require excessive hand motions and maybe a call on the Disney translation phone.
Two Girls and a Mouse Tale
by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins
Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???
We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.
We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.
Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.
Book link on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale