When you pay for a ticket to Disneyland or Disney World, you pay for entrance to the "Happiest Place in the World". And I've got to say, for someone who has been going to Disneyland since she was two years old, it's a pretty freakin' happy place. Unless you go on a weekend during the height of summer when the crowds are insane and the sunburns are very, very real. Then it's pretty freakin' miserable.
But there's just something about the atmosphere and the culture of the Disney parks that makes you feel like a kid again. Disney creates a magical environment, and people are willing to pay A LOT to experience that magic for a day or two. But what do Disney's employees think about the parks? Do they still feel the magic of Disneyland? Or have they seen too much?
If you're a Disney lover, working at one of the parks may seem like a dream come true. After all, you get to be surrounded by Disney magic every single day. But there have to be downsides, right? After all, when you are surrounded by something every day, don't you become a bit desensitized to it? It's like being the magician's assistant. You can't enjoy the tricks as much as everyone else, because you've seen how they're performed and know that there's really no magic to it.
Instead of guessing how Disney employees feel about their jobs, let's hear it from their mouths. Read on for inside secrets from employees of the Disney parks.
First of all, when you work for Disney, you're not an employee. You're a cast member. From the characters, to the ride operators, to the janitors...they're all cast members.
So that means when you decide to leave Disney and look for another job (does that happen? Do people actually leave the Happiest Place on Earth?), your resume will say "Cast Member". It's kinda like how employees at Abercrombie and Hollister were called "Models". Like, no Stacey, stop telling everyone you're an Abercrombie model. You literally fold clothes all day.
Male and female cast members are not allowed to shave their eyebrows. Men's hair cannot extend over their ears or shirt collars. Women's hair has to be neatly brushed. Braids are allowed, but not beads.
There's a height requirement to be one of the characters. To play a princess, you need to be between 5'4" and 5'8". So sorry to all you short ladies and tall ladies, but you can never be a Disney princess. Dreams crushed.
If you ask a cast member for directions, look at how they point. It's usually a gesture with the whole hand, or with two fingers. They never point with one finger, because in some cultures it's considered offensive.
If you work at Disney, you cannot talk about what you do on any social media platforms. Think of working at Disney like working at the CIA. You've got to keep it locked down. Well, fine, it's not quite like the CIA.
Walt Disney only liked to be called "Walt," which is why you only see first names on the employee tags. Also, if two cast members who play a Disney character happen to have the same name, one of them gets to go by a new name to avoid confusion.
Cast members are forbidden from taking photos backstage. Disney is very protective of its image and its magic, and if everyone knew what it was like backstage, the magic would be a tiny bit ruined. Cast members have been fired for breaking this rule.