IamA Disneyland Resort cast member. AMA!
Yeah seriously, I'm still pissed at that HuffPost guy. He even asked me permission, I said no, and he DID IT ANYWAY....
Anyway, on to your question. My favorite thing about the job is when I legit make someone's day. Not a lot of jobs give you that opportunity to firsthand make someone really happy. Occasionally, I get managers giving me certificates that basically say someone was so happy with my help, they actually went to City Hall and told them I was awesome. Imagine how much of an impact someone has to make for you to actually go out of your way like that.
As for dislike... Annual Passholders. God, I wish they'd go away. Tourists are like perfect people who think Disneyland is a magical place where nothing bad happens. AKA ideal guests to help. Annual Passholders, though, feel entitled and most are plain rude to us.
Funny stories, I have plenty. But I'll hold off on those for this comment to not make it too long. I'll probably have a few for other comments haha
What about out of state annual passholders who go about once per year? (It's cheaper to get an annual pass if you're going more than 5 days in a year)
Disneyland is a magical place where nothing bad happens! It's my favorite place, and the only reason why I ever want to go to So Cal!
Edit: I think I've been bamboozled by my Girlfriend to get extra trips into Disneyland! It's cheaper for 10 days. Not 5. Not that I'm complaining. I love Disneyland. And we've been making it two trips within 52 weeks of each other.
I do have guests like you occasionally; ya'll don't make me mad, in general the non local passholders are really cool people.
Hi. If you were a Disney exec/shareholder, what is the last thing you would want us to know?
oh god theres gigantic roaches EVERYWHERE
Ok but that's pretty standard anywhere there's hot weather and lots of people.
I'm talking about stuff like "it's an open secret among management that the entertainment staff, the ones who play the Disney characters, wouldn't be able to get through the day if it wasn't for generous quantities of cocaine".
Anything like that?
I mean yeah its standard. But Disney prides itself on how "clean" it is compared to other theme parks.
If someone attempts to shoplift, I've heard there are secret "doors" where security will come out, grab the individual and take them back out almost as if nothing happened, as to not disturb the public. Is this true in any fashion?
Oh my god. Thats hilarious. But no, god no. Do you know how many lawsuits that'd set us up for?
Nah, if anyone shoplifts, we just call security and tell them. Security usually follows up to Anaheim PD, and when the guest leaves, the cops are there. But thats if we see you shoplift. If we dont see you do it, youre pretty much clear.
As far as a daily routine goes (atleast for your job in California Adventure), what is it like?
Well, for me personally, I take the bus to work. Then I have to go through security to get backstage. After that, I walk to my check-in location (not necessarily where I'm working). I can clock in up to five minutes early; after clock in, everyone else scheduled that time in that general area, we all get a "check in". Basically a powerpoint presentation telling us park hours, show times, etc. Then I get to go to work haha. I think its pretty self explanatory, nothing too crazy.
Is your social standing amongst your peers dependent on what character you play?
I'm in stores, not a character, so I wouldn't know. But I do know personality-wise, the face characters tend to be more stuck-up than the fuzzy characters.
What's an example of each? Is Mickey a face or a fuzzy?
Yeah other commenter got it right. If your face can be seen, you're a "face character". Anyone else is a fuzzy.
Even Russel from UP
Do you find that customers are generally more or less pleasant than in outside retail situations? I would imagine there are two forces at work: 'Yay I'm on vacation' putting customers in a good mood competing with a sense of entitlement based on the amount of money they've already spent to set up their Disney vacation.
Sort of. I touched upon this in a previous answer.
Basically, theres two kinds of guests. Tourists and Annual Passholders. Tourists are generally really happy and enjoying everything around them, since its all so fun and new. Annual Passholders are generally ruder, since they've been coming for so long its no longer magical. They tend to be the "bad guests" who think having a pass means they're entitled to whatever they want. It sucks.
But generally, tourists who paid that crazy amount to come to the park aren't rude. They're usually just excited to be here.
I am just replying to this for one reason, Myself and my girlfriend are both pass holders who frequent Disneyland as much as possible. For us, the magic is still very much alive but I totally understand that most of the pass holders can be very rude. Anyways, Disneyland has always been my favorite theme park because its so great! Thanks for helping make the happiest place on earth a great place!!
I'm glad the magic is still there for you! Unfortunately, most passholders I meet aren't like you. If I had a dollar for every time I heard "I've been an annual passholder for YEARS, the policy is blah blah....."
Nothing against the nice passholders though. Theres just a very clear divide in attitude from a passholder to a tourist.
I wonder if it's different in Orlando. We go down once a year and are always super pleasant, but I don't know anything about the annual pass holders down there other than my huge Disney friends, and they are also always nice.
From what I've heard, most guests in Orlando are tourists. Most here are passholders. So its a lot different.
As a previous Disney Cast Member, what's the likelihood of you being found out on this AMA? Remember, Mickey is omnipotent.
Haha, last AMA I did, I felt pretty comfortable in my invisibility. It was only when that HuffPost douche made an article about me that I panicked; my managers dont go on reddit, but they def read the news
I hear that it's a tough place to get into for employment. Does Disney treat their employees any better than the average employer? What makes the jobs so desirable?
I wouldnt say its tough. I got in on my first interview. It really depends on where youre applying. As long as you seem like a happy person, you are pretty much instantly hired in the low level departments (custodial, foods, stores, etc)
How far are you allowed to go for Disney magic? As a store employee do you have any leeway to give things away for free? Or is it just a regular old retail job where the magic-making is left to the face-characters and friends-of characters?
To an extent. We basically have this coupon-type book in every store that we can basically write up for anything. Its meant to be like... if we watch a kid drop his popcorn, we can give him an NSA for a new popcorn. Stuff like that. But if we partner with our leads and managers, we can be more intense with them.
They're also good as Fast Passes. I usually give them as a fastpass to people I like
I've heard from someone who worked at Disney World that even normal cashiers and the like for the shops and stands had to sign pretty hefty contracts with NDAs in them. Is it similar out in Disneyland? He also said that he got paid shit minimum wage as well, hopefully they treat you guys a bit better out there
Yeah p much. Which is why I'm not posting selfies backstage as my AMA proof.
Also, I get paid a teeny bit more than CA's minimum wage
Have you learned any secrets while there like best days to go or how to schedule your day when a guest visits ? :)
Yep. Never come on a weekend. Wednesdays are best to come here.
What is your favorite type of guest?
Japanese girls. From Japan. They find every last thing so amazing and magical, its just really uplifting to watch.
Do you know my friend Sarilda? She's one of the Princess actors as well.
I work in stores, so I don't see the characters very often, except perhaps in the break rooms. And unfortunately, most of the face characters (ie Princesses) don't like to associate with non-characters.
I'll ask my girlfriend though, she works with the characters in her department.
Follow up question: You claim, "my girlfriend;" Do you really have a girlfriend, or are you just trying to act cool for all the redditors?
LOL. Man, what a high school question to ask (no offense). I've been with my girlfriend for a year and a half, best friend for 6 years.
What are some quirks/characteristics you've noticed about different foreign tourists vs Americans that you've noticed? How is behavior different?
At the risk of sounding racist, I gotta say; middle eastern tourists are so unintentionally rude its aggravating. They reach around and just grab stuff they arent supposed to. Not just kids; adults too. On the opposite end, japanese tourists are GREAT. The girls get so excited over every little thing, its fun to watch them. Especially when they see Duffy. Japanese tourists just LOVE Duffy
I had to look up who Duffy was.
Evidently he's a stuffed bear Minnie gave to Mickey and was marketed heavily in Japan.
Yep. Mostly a gimmick to fight Build A Bear. Hes pretty cute though.
Do you answer questions to your AMA posts?
Yes? If you're referring to the delay, its because I posted the AMA when my store was empty, then suddenly like a million people came inside and I couldn't answer yet. I'm on break now, so I'm catching up.
Are there any sort of restrictions for what you can do on your shift?
Hoo yeah. We basically have assigned places we can go and do. Its pretty strict. The only time we can do anything else is with permission (or telling them "yo i gotta pee" cuz legally they cant tell me not to). We also cant do or say anything thatd look bad on Disney.
Does Disney drug test? Seems like that'd be an obvious "YES!" in order to preserve the Disney family friendly enviroment, but it also seems like an obvious "no" just imagining the sheer numbers of employees they must have. Most likely I'd bet it depends on your position. Maybe face characters get tested, but street sweepers don't? Very interested in your response, and any drug related stories you might have to tell about working there.
I've never been drug tested by Disney, but I wouldnt doubt they'd do it if you seemed high at work or something
Do you guys have a labyrinth of secret doors and passages you come in and out of?
Sorta, haha. I'm always amazed when I get to work at a new location and the leads show me the doors I use. Most cool is the whole area beneath the Pirates ride; that shit was so fun to go through.
Anyway we can get pictures? Probably not, but it never hurts to ask.
Nah, sadly not. Instantly fired for taking pictures backstage. But next time you ride the railroad, before the New Orleans Square stop, look near the ground to your right. You might get lucky and see us. I can peek up through the cracks and watch the train go by haha
why is magic kingdom so sticky?
Probably from thousands of dirty shoes
Is this the best job ever?
Ehhhhhh. Its an amazing job sometimes, but other times I'm just waiting to die.
Why is that? It would seem to be good place to work (benefits, wage, perks, etc etc). Are you just burned out?
Imagine a job where half is making people happy, and half is hoping a guest doesnt throw something at your face because it costs too much.
Or that time a kid stabbed me in the eye with a plastic sword. I got to go home for that one
Any insider info you can share about Star Wars Land? Any big changes coming to DCA that you know about?
Unfortunately not. They don't tell us anything B(
Whats the most unreasonable bullshit you've had to put up with on the job?
People who think I'm gonna give them something for free because they couldn't find the pricetag. Just. No.
Ok, I'll just ask my dumb, immature question because I'm curious.
How prevalent is co-worker on co-worker smashing?
On a scale from the Wyoming Department of Labor offices to bartenders that work on the Jersey Shore?
I know a few cast members banging each other, and a few rumors. It seems pretty standard. My girlfriend works here too but shes in a different department.
Do you find people asking where the Harry Potter stuff is?
Also, do they complain it isn't the same as Disney world?
No, but always minions. I dont know why people think minions are disney, theyre hideous
Whats the naughtiest thing you've seen or done at Disney?
God, those grad nite kids. A girl gave a handjob to her boyfriend on a bench in front of our store. How did she think we wouldnt notice???
A kid starts assaulting you, it doesn't hurt or anything it is just annoying.Then other kids look over and think it might be fun to join in.
They start overpowering you and if you want to save yourself it looks like you are going to have to start using physical force.
What is the company's policy or 'plan of action' for this?
Well, no location should have me alone. So in theory, if a kid assaults me, whomever I'm working with would call security. Security would then escort that family out and take away their tickets (possibly calling the cops depending on how much they hurt me). Then I write up some paperwork about the injuries, etc, in case it goes to court.
Actually had to deal with that yesterday. Angry guest threw shit at my coworker. Security was on his ass so fast...
Like, literal feces, or just stuff in general?
Nah, it was a stuffed animal to the face
How long do you think it will be before this AMA habit has negative consequences for you?
Ehh, its only my second time doing it. My name isnt on it, so I doubt I could get in trouble. Most things I'm sharing could be said by anyone in my department
All of the employees in WDW know that the worst day of the year to work in the parks is the Night of Joy.
What's the equivalent worst-night-of-the-year in Disneyland?
Grad Nites, 24 Hour Day, July 4th, Christmas, New Years
Any of those days, most people call out
As someone who has visited Disney World approximately 30 times, I can honestly say that my family are Disney maniacs. Just considering the current developments of Avatar Land in Animal Kingdom, Orlando, what do you think the future is for Disney's recent acquisitions of Marvel and Lucasfilms? Has it already affected your job?
Considering my usual location was recently converted to a Marvel store... its definately impacting me. But I'm just in stores. Whatever is popular, we have it in spades in our stores. Thats just kinda how it goes
Does working there ruin the magic for you if you visit, or does it not change much?
Ehh i mean, it sorta does. Its not magical anymore. But its still fun. I love being a guest on my days off every once in awhile.
Why do you say cast member instead of employee?
Because thats what we're called. But also because we're supposed to be "putting on a show" with our guest service, so we're "cast" in the show.
Is it true that Walt Disney's head is frozen and underneath the park?
man i wish
I get 16 sign ins a year; each sign in can get me + 3 people in that day. I can also use them at Disneyworld in Florida, and any park besides Tokyo.
Is it true that Disneyland Paris is known as Mauschwitz to cast members?
What? LOL. Never heard that one
Has there ever been any insufferable customers? If so, what happened?
Oh god. Several a day. Mostly just annual passholders who want to use their discount for someone else. Nope, name on the pass has to match the name on your credit card. Some people just dont understand that and like to angrily throw their unpurchased merchandise at me.
Can't they lose their passes for that? It's been years since I was an annual passholder, but I vaguely remember it was stated that the privilege could be revoked at anytime with no refund for abuse.
Disney is REALLY lenient with passholders. Its super tough to get it revoked. Even if its in their contract, no one wants to deal with the backlash. Only guest I knew who had their pass revoked, it was for sexually harassing the princesses.
Do you find yourself doing the "two-finger point" outside of work? I'm a former cast member and still catch myself doing it!
I actually never did the two finger point; i instead did the alternate "full hand point". Which I do consistently outside work now LOL
What are the main differences, that you've noticed or heard about, between the Disney parks in different countries?
Mostly small differences. I'm told us at DCA are the "nicest" cast members, so thats cool
How big are goofy's shoes?
actually the character actor can have any shoe size, they fit their own shoes inside of goofy's
How does someone get to be a Jungle Cruise skipper? Direct application or working up the ranks?
Direct application. Its like any other attraction. I had a family member who was a skipper; he was put there instantly upon hire
On the musical side of Disney, how would you go about getting a job in their orchestra/instrumental careers?
Just keep an eye on disneyauditions.com
I read earlier today that if you yell "Andy's comming" around the Toy Story characters, they will all stop what they're doing & lay down like toys. Is this true?
Nope. Its a safety hazard. They did that long ago, but once it went viral, they had to stop for the safety of the cast members
How do you manage to emanate genuine happiness all the time?
We're all REALLY good at faking it. It hurts
Have you ever been in any of the amusement parks late at night? I've heard of interesting adventure stories that birthed from those events
Fuck those ghosts. They knock shit off shelves that i JUST put away.
Also, it feels like Silent Hill at night
I'm going to stay in CA with my wife starting in July. For couples, what's the best way to spend a day (or further if you recommend it) in Disneyland?
Blue Bayou is a gorgeous restaurant; I also suggest watching the shows, such as Mickey And the Magical Map
How much do you get paid?
50 cents above minimum wage
Secret tunnels, do you guys travel around in them?
Yeah, if we need to get somewhere without being stopped
Morning, annual pass holder here not an ahole lol. I have a couple questions. 1st who is your favorite Disney character? 2nd what is your most prized disney memorabilia . 3d what is your favorite novelty food/drink. I think disney cast memebers are awsome and make the experience a million times better for guests, so thank you. I went to Euro Disney last year and the cast memebers there suck! Rude and totally not happy. Anyway Cheers!!
Aw thanks!! Passholders like you rock.
My favorite character is Hans (he and I share similar views to Elsa). My most prized memorabilia is my 1 Year Pin, which I recieved for my first year of work. My favorite novelty food/drink has to be the corndogs; god theyre so good. Especially from Stage Door, you can get them with Honey Mustard
What's the most scandalous thing you've heard of a fellow cast member getting fired for?
Dirty dancing with the grad night girls
You mentioned that you've worked in several Disney locations. Does a particular place stand out as your "favorite"?
i absolutely love working at Tower Hotel Gifts. Mostly because I know where the "sleeping guy" is, and I like whispering to guests "hey wanna see a dead body?" and watching them panic
Just got home from my honeymoon there. My wife and I got an annual pass and even though we live in Texas she works for Southwest airlines. Woo for free flights.
Anyway we need to know. How the hell does small word and haunted mansion know our names at the end of the ride?
Did you wear those Happily Ever After buttons with your names on them? Because honestly, its part of our policy to look at you for name clues and call you by your name if we figure it out. Its supposed to be more like a "family" to do that, but I just think its creepy haha
Care to weigh in on the replacement of the IT workers with HB1 visa employees?
I've only heard about that from non-primary sources. I dont know anything about that firsthand
I'll be there in Dec. (4th time yearly trip with my son) Anything I should know for this time around?
December is going to be packed; so be prepared to wait in long lines. If you want to ride Space Mountain or Radiator Springs Racers, get your fastpasses as soon as you get to the park. If you want to see that new Frozen musical, same deal.
Haunted Mansion is all done up for the holidays, so if youre a fan of Nightmare Before Christmas, winter is the perfect time for that. But mostly, my main suggestion is to utilize the fastpasses as best you can. december is nuts
Do many people come up to you to trade pins, and do you enjoy that aspect of your work?
I actually refuse to trade pins. I used to love it; i was specialty trained in it. But unfortunately, some guests take the fun out of things. So I don't do that anymore unless I'm required to (like locations with Pin Boards).
Pro tip; wait your turn in line even if you're pin trading. It makes everyone feel awkward if I have to tell you to get in line.
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Hey! I used a similar picture last time I did an AMA for this; I was at work and posted in my description I wouldn't check back til my lunch. Which this was commented while I was working. Thats pretty unfair
What part of Disneyland are you an actor for? Can you say?
I said in the description I work in stores. I'm not a character
Fuck Huffpost, ruining the fun for everyone..
Anyway, what's your favorite thing about the job and one or two things that you hate (or dislike)? Any funny stories?
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