What a Disneyland Job Is Really Like, According to Redditors
Every job has its up and downs. While working at Disney parks is coveted, it isn't always easy.
Redditors share their experiences as cast members (also known as CMs) on what it's really like to have a job at Disneyland. But be warned: Some of these stories about Disneyland jobs may take a bit of the magic out of the "Happiest Place on Earth."
Cast Members and Rude Parkgoers
In a post-pandemic era, when everything is more expensive and people are stressed more than ever, Disney cast members deal with rude park patrons more often than not. One said that a group was "complaining that CMs who working at a particular ride weren't attractive enough. How sickening can you get? So a CM wasn't able to squeeze you [in] for lunch at Blue Bayou because you didn't have a dining res. People act like they should be fired and shot and publicly shamed. You didn't get to hug a character because it was time for their break."
Another CM agreed by saying that they had endured even worse at times: "I think I’ve cried more times in my break room this last year then I have in the past 10 years I’ve worked at Disney. And they’ve all been because I’ve been screamed at, spit on, punched and even had my hair pulled by guests. If any of you wonder why we are so exhausted and tired or not crapping magic, it’s because we are just human beings doing our best."
Park Support for CMs
While park patrons can be a handful, Redditors state that, sometimes, the parks don't do enough to protect CMs. One worker posted that the park does "very little to protect their characters from assault/harassment (which is disgustingly frequent) if they think it will create a scene.
"An angry guest was allowed to grip and shake my arms so hard I bruised to the point of not being able to play a face character for a week because the staff are taught to value the Disney 'magic' over the safety of their cast members."
Compliments Are Always Appreciated
Redditors do admit that there are some patrons who go out of their way to show CMs that they are appreciated. However, there is a proper way to go about it.
"We love our compliments. Not only do they just make us happy, but we can put them on our resumes and on our records, so when we apply for other roles, the park can reference them. I suggest going to a leader or coordinator that can put one in on your behalf or go to guest relations or one of the guest experience stations if you have time."
Posting on Social Media
So, can a cast member post about their job on social media? Well, it depends on the message. As one Redditor put it: "I'm not a cast member, but I know a few people who are. None of them post on social media about working at the parks. From what I understand, it's allowed, but there are limitations. Disney is a media company, and PR is super important for them; that includes how their employees represent the company on social media.
"If you announce to the world that you work at Disneyland, then you are not allowed to paint the company image in a bad light. You can't complain about your job, your bosses, the guests, your pay, etc. You can't post pictures of backstage; you can't post about your coworkers; and you can't post about anything negative. You can't resell merchandise; you can't offer your discounts and free tickets to anyone outside your immediate family publicly; and you can't give your opinion about how the company is run.
"You can post pictures of you enjoying cast events and loving your job though!"
The Same Audio Over and Over Again
You may not realize that, as a CM, depending on where you work in the park, you'll hear the same audio all day. That sound may drive you crazy within a matter of weeks.
A CM who worked in Fantasyland said, "You want to know what a day on Routes is like? ‘Keep your hands and arms inside at all times. (HI DIDDLY DEE! ) Keep your hands and arms inside at all times. (HI DIDDLY DEE!)’ And repeat every 25 seconds for eight hours.”
Another employee said: "I worked at Taste Pilot’s Grill (RIP) and all of our songs were flight themed — 'Rocket Man,' 'Leaving on a Jet Plane,' 'Flight of the Bumblebee,' etc. Now I can’t hear 'Rocket Man' without thinking about when I worked there."
When to Apply for a Job
Disney is always looking for people to work in its parks, but there are times in the year when it hires more than others. One worker said, "The park usually hires prior to the summer, but always check the website, as it could post something depending on its needs. Disneyland always hires internally before they look for new hires.
"Also be ready to apply for something that you may not necessarily want to do, such as custodial, vacation planning, etc. Getting your foot in the door is what leads you to be able to get into attractions and all the rest!"
Approaching a Cast Member
Cast members are always expected to put their best feet forward and have smiles on their faces when walking through the parks, as guest experiences are the top priority.
Still, they have to get from place to place and, as one worker states, there is backstage etiquette of not bothering a CM on their walk. "You can truly chat to anyone on thebus or tram. But if you are walking from A to B, and Cinderella comes through going the other way, you DO NOT stop her to ask for a free selfie."
CMs Take Cutting in Line Seriously
CMs are well aware people cut in line, but they do their best to keep order so that all patrons are happy.
One patron saw a CM actually remove cutters: "I was just in line for Incredicoaster, and a group of seven or eight people was cutting [through] 80 percent of the line to meet up with one person. A cast member stopped them and asked how many were in their group and immediately said 'No, I have a problem with that. They proceeded to scold these people for cutting with such a huge group and told them they'd have to go to the back of the line."
CMs and Lost Children
What happens when a child gets lost in the park? Thankfully, all CMs are trained in this very situation.
One park patron states: "A few years back, we noticed a young boy crying by himself in front of Blue Bayou. [We] immediately contacted a CM nearby and watched the magic [as they] truly snapped into action, nearly instantaneously alerting security, [putting] radio alerts out to find the parents, [and] trying to get the parent's description from the child. [They] found the parents in two to three minutes easily. It was the most impressive, organized operation I have ever seen.
"Talk to your kids before going to the park, and teach them to look for a CM with a name tagand give them a bracelet with your contact info, particularly if they're non-verbal or toddlers."
The Scariest Ride in the Park, According to Cast Members
The scariest ride at Disney or the ride that is most hated is Mickey’s Fun Wheel (now known as Pixar Pal-A-Round). According to Wikipedia, "terrifying" is the word most often used to describe the ride's swinging gondolas.
One worker said: "Years ago, I worked on Mickey’s Fun Wheel. I get sad when people talk about how much they hate it or how scary the ride is!If heights don’t bother you, and you want incredible views of the parks, take a ride on the stationary side. If you are feeling adventurous, head to the swinging side! Otherwise, if you walk through the entrance and don’t know what side you’re going on, please don’t blame the cast members."