Comments: 576 • Responses: 18  • Date: 

cyberchief161 karma

  • Is the penny test real? Do managers actually leave pennies lying around to test the clean-up crews?

  • How hard is it to become an imagineer? Do you know how much they make?

  • What free stuff can guests get just by asking?

  • How do you handle guests that maliciously exploit the secret to the fastpass machines?

  • How many VIP lounges exist in all the orlando theme parks?

  • What did you do for fun there, which you know you shouldn't?

  • What are things I should do to make the most of my birthday in the parks?

  • Other secrets?


sfgeek48 karma

  • I've heard about the penny test, but I work corporate. I have no idea.
  • It's VERY hard to become an Imagineer. But, those who do have great lives. Good pay, hard work, but creative freedom. EDIT to add: When I worked at Disney, we had a guy who was restricted to his wheelchair, the Imagineers spent part-time 6 or so months making a "Luigi" costume for him (the tire forklift from "Cars.") It was fully functional, and at the Disney/ABC lot Halloween costume contest, he won over many other Imagineers. Imagine a costume contest, where all of the costumes are made by pros. Amazing.

  • Free stuff at Disney? Near Zero. You can probably get some, but will be flagged and have a problem ever getting tickets again.

  • I have no idea how fast pass works, but I wouldn't mess with it, it's all biometrics authentication now, Disney will probably catch on.

  • VIP lounges in the Orlando Theme parks: Only one, it's called "33," and I have never met anyone who has made it in.

  • For fun: I used to ride The Tower of Terror at lunch, and bike around the outside of the parks, and then swoop in and ride a ride, through the back entrance (Disney provides pedal bikes to all it's employees)

  • To make the most of your birthday? Call a Travel Agent, or try Disney.com directly, they tend to like direct bookings. Also, Book immediately after 3 PM on a Tuesday, that's when travel sites post their deals.

yb0t70 karma

My sister was the little mermaid there for awhile ( Japan ). Apparently if the general public finds out you're a disney character, they will treat you as a god.

sfgeek61 karma

The Japanese are nuts for Celebs it seems, my friend who played Cinderella is so iconic looking that she wouldn't have to say a word and be mobbed in Japan.

ThequickdrawKid26 karma

Which castmember was the funniest when they weren't in character?

sfgeek47 karma

My co-worker was actually a Sr. Software Engineer, but he used to be Goofy in the suit, he was always funny and always smiling, but really smart, he was never the 'dopey' goofy. Cinderella was a big surprise though, she was super young and married to a wanna be southern politician, she was stunning, and clearly his 'beard.' He was so gay it wasn't even funny. I felt bad for him, as he himself couldn't accept who he was, nor could his family.

mlo9289526 karma

What are some things about Disney as a whole that you've learned in corpo that most people don't know?

sfgeek50 karma

They treat their employees REALLY well in general, although I've worked for them on both coasts, and the food in Orlando is shit compared to the corporate food in LA (Glendale.) In Orlando, it was a lot of fried food, and we had a Subway that only Cast Members could get to for lunch, that was pretty much the healthiest option. ALSO Most parks have secret backlot paths for Cast Members and an infinite number of pedal bikes on a path that rings the park, or an underground system that lets you zip through the park underground. About once a week they send trucks to re-balance all the bikes. Also: No matter your qualifications, if they feel your personality will cause strife in a group, you're not getting hired, because it will negatively impact the group. It may be 'corporate' but they really maintain a culture of VERY, naturally positive people.

seanseanx320 karma

Is it true that the cast members are often under the influence while in costume?

sfgeek37 karma

Nope. Not at all. There are literally hundreds of people lined up to be a Character. If one showed up under the influence, the would be cut in a second, and the police would be called. Disney really doesn't mess around.

Fidget619 karma

I've always wondered, how common is it for character actors to get people making obscene comments/questions, and how are these situations handled since the character actor isn't allowed to break character?

EDIT: And I mean the face characters who interact with the guests. Like the princesses.

sfgeek19 karma

The characters have 'handlers' that push these people away. In general, the characters never break 'character.'

nolej534 karma

What was the most interesting story you have ever heard happen to someone while in character?

sfgeek20 karma

Buzz Lightyear nearly passed out in his suit, even though it's the only one with an electric fan in it. And, they have custom dryers for the boots per costume. Also: Mickey is ALWAYS a women.

HairyPanda3 karma

Would you rather fight one horse sized Donald Duck? Or one hundred duck sized abuwhenhewasahorseinthatsceneinaladdin? (Disney needs more Has a lot of horses I failed to recall!)

sfgeek3 karma

Donald Duck is an asshole, so I'd rather fight the latter.

thejosh5021 karma

Yo my friend from high school works at Disneyland, he really loves it there. In fact, all the employees that I'm personally friends with take their job really seriously. What is it about Disney's corporate culture that seems to be so successful at getting staff emotionally involved in their work?

Thanks for doing this AMA!

sfgeek1 karma

I worked corporate, but I always went out to see the families. It's pretty hard to be cynical about your job when you see 600 happy kids every day loving the work that you do, that's it. I loved my job because I got paid to make kids happy and wonder about the world, what a great way to live.