The Struggles via Buzzfeed:
For fellow Disney cast members on the clock, off the clock, and everywhere in between.
1. The word “folks”
You had never said it in your life before you started working for the Mouse, and suddenly it’s the only word you use to communicate to a group of 3+ people.
“Hi, folks!” “Alrighty, folks…” “Folks! Folks!! FOLKS!!!”
Who are you? Mark Twain?
2. Not knowing how to end a conversation
Guest: Hi, where is the bathroom?
You: Just down that walkway to the right.
Guest: Thank you!
You: Of course! Have fun!!
Guest: *Looks at you, confused.*
You: *Looks at guest, confused, quickly looks away and pretends to be busy with something else.*
Don’t judge us, we typically have a very cheery demeanor, okay? And maybe we do want you to have a fun time in the bathroom…I don’t know.
3. Calling little boys “Princess”
You: Hi, Princess!
Brother of “Princess”: He’s a boy!!
Parent of “Princess”: *Probably shooting you some look, but you don’t catch it because you cannot bear to look at them anymore.*
You: *Slowly walks away. Tries to disappear. Just pretends nothing happened. Considers saying “I said ‘prince!’” Just…thinks maybe I should just quit right now.*
Hey, in our defense, your young son has beautiful hair.
Check out photos of Adele’s 3-year-old son in a Princess Anna dress at Disneyland in February 2016!
4. The question of all questions
Guest: What time is the 3 o’clock parade?
You: *Wonders if guest is asking this on purpose to be silly…oh you silly guests! You must have read that BuzzFeed article about Cast Member struggles and you are asking this to be funny! …suddenly realizes guest is genuinely asking this question.*It’s at 3 o’clock!
Guest: I know it is! That’s why I said 3 o’clock parade! Get a sense of humor!!
You: *Forces smile and laughs through teeth while thinking about how you don’t get paid enough.*
5. Selfie Sticks
We’re supposed to take them from you. You’re not supposed to bring them in. There are literally three announcements on the tram in about how they’re not welcome in the parks. There are signs at the turnstiles. Big signs. And yet, here we are.
Guest: *Pulls out selfie stick.*
You: *Hears “Psycho” theme, eyes widen as you focus in on the banned object. Approaches guest.* Hi, um, so actually selfie sticks aren’t allowed in the parks and –
Guest: What?! No one told me that! I had no idea!
You: Yeah…so…I actually have to take it from you.
Guest: For the day?
You: For…ever. Or I can call security and they can escort you out so you don’t have to get rid of it. You can take it to your hotel and then come back…or we can store them in a locker for you at the very front of the park….
Guest: That’ll take too long! But I’m not giving it up because it was expensive.
You: *Thinks: I’m pretty sure those are $4 at Claire’s, but sure.* I’m sorry, but they are a banned –
Guest: I’m not giving it up!
You: Okay, I’ll just have to call security…
Guest: That is ridiculous!
You: I know. *Looks at metaphorical fourth-wall camera and gives it a raised eyebrow.*
6. Not knowing if compliments are genuine or sarcastic
You: *Staring off into space, praying someone comes and bumps you soon.*
Old Man: Hey, *reads nametag* I just wanted to say you’re doin’ a great job, kiddo!
You: …Thank you!…? *Thinking: Was that sarcastic? Must have been. I’m doing a terrible job! I should give myself a Show reprimand for being a waste of space here.*
7. Trying to find the appropriate shade of nail polish
We won’t get into the rules of the ‘Disney Look’ here because that’s a beast of its own, but it’s just difficult to understand how bright (hooker) peach nail polish is allowed, yet a lovely, subtle lavender shade isn’t…
Snarky Cast Member: Oh, I love that nail color!
You: Thanks! I –
SCM: But is it the Disney Look?
You: I DON’T KNOW, MARTHA, IS YOUR FACE DISNEY LOOK?!
8. Trying to be a good Cast Member by picking up trash (and then instantly regretting it)
We all do our part to keep the Parks looking clean, and who doesn’t love doing a good “Disney Scoop” every now and then?
You: Oh, look, some trash in my way. I can totally pick this up! *Does Disney Scoop, picks up seemingly harmless-looking trash, realizes it is, in fact, not seemingly harmless.* OH MY GOD, THIS IS WET! WHY IS THIS WET?! WHAT HAVE YOU MONSTERS DONE TO THIS NAPKIN?! I AM NEVER PICKING UP GARBAGE AGAIN. SORRY, CUSTODIAL. SORRY, WALT. I CAN’T.
(“Disney Scoop” = a cute name for the fluid motion of bending down to pick up trash and seamlessly continuing to walk.)
9. Crowds: Spring Break, Holidays, Peak Summer Season…
No one likes it when the parks are close to or at capacity. It’s a less-than-ideal situation for guests and cast members alike. Prime example:
“Dear Diary, today, in the same minute, I was hit in the head by a light saber and run into by an ECV backing up. Please send help.”
(What’s an ECV? Electronic Conveyance (Convenience?) Vehicle…or something like that. The scooters. You know.)
10. The Straight-Legged Sprint
Whether it’s to get someone their bump-out on time, to get to the PC in time to clock in, or to make your way through rotation quickly (because you stopped to use the bathroom), a lot of us CMs have mastered the Straight-Legged Sprint. From afar, it looks like you’re just a really fast walker, but upon closer inspection, you are absolutely sprinting without bending your legs. (No running at Disney!) It’s an acquired skill only brought out at the most necessary moments.
11. Pretending not to be totally grossed out by vomit
People throw up. Kids especially throw up. A lot. And sometimes it’s in the area you’re working. And all you can do is call custodial (Code V stat!), lay down some towels, if you have them, and stand over said vomit with a half smile plastered on your face while telling guests to watch their step.
You: Watch your step, folks.
Guest: Oh my GOD! Is that –
You: Yes. Yes it is. *Thinks to self: and I’m standing over it. For $10 an hour I am literally guarding someone’s puke. Is this the dream? Am I really living the dream right now?*
Guest: *Gives you look of pity but also appreciation.* You don’t get paid enough.
You: *Laughs and gives an “oh stop it” hand to guest, while also thinking: NO KIDDING, LADY!*
In a normal world, I would legitimately run away from puke. I don’t do vomit. Ever. But at work I get into the mental state of it being no big deal/another day another puke pile…this must be what it’s like to be a doctor…yeah.
12. Visiting the parks as a guest
You: *Sees cute child running around.* Hi, Buddy! How are you? Have you seen Mickey yet today?!
Cute Child: *Stares at you and wonders why this scary stranger is talking to him…*
Parent of Cute Child: *Kind of looks at you like you’re creepy, but also appreciates you talking to their kid.*
You: *Debates whether or not to say you work here, decides against it and just slowly walks away…*
OR, how about when you see guests doing something that definitely isn’t allowed and you have this moral compass problem of speaking up or not…but decide against it because you’re not on the clock/in costume. And then feeling guilty. “Safe-D begins with me!”
13. Being able to block out all the noise until someone brings up how you’re able to block out all the noise
Guest: Wow! You must be able to block out all that noise.
You: What noise?…*Suddenly, you hear it. You hear it all…Your area’s music/babies crying/people screaming.* Why have you done this to me, woman?! I was subconsciously blocking it all out until you mentioned it! Why?! What kind of monster are you?!
[Caroline was once in such a zone at work that she was mistaken by guests as being a mannequin! Then she ruined the moment by asking them “May I help you?”, which scared the crap out of them!!! They didn’t think she was real!]
14. “If you hate your job so much, why don’t you just quit?”
I don’t hate my job. I love it. I love the people I work with…well, most of them, and I truly do enjoy interacting with guests from all over the country and the world…well, most of them. Every day is a new adventure. It’s just fun to complain, especially when so many others can relate. Do I want to work here forever? No. But for now, yeah! And besides, Annual Passes are way too expensive now. My Cast ID is a golden ticket. And it’s nice to have someone wash your work clothes for you. #ThanksCostuming!
– Disney Cast Member maddiescheutz via Buzzfeed
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