Fun Facts and Secrets About Disney Cast Members

Orig Art
Original Art

  1. Disney does not have employees, only Cast Members.
    REPORTED: Greg Sorensen 23 OCT 95
    All Disney "employees" (including Burbank based corporate employees from Eisner to the janitor) are referred to as "Cast Members".
    CONFIRMED: Mike Sedberry 07 OCT 96
    If all Disney employees are called "Cast Members", someone must have forgotten to tell the person who made the sign on a door outside of Space Mountain, Disneyland. The door is located to the right of the actual entrance to the ride, almost right across from the two water fountains. The sign on it plainly says "Employees Only".
    If all Disney employees are called "Cast Members", Disney Corp. must have forgotten to tell the person who made the sign on a Cast Member drive in entrance out of Disneyland when coming from I-5. The sign on the entrance plainly says "Employees Only".
    That's because first time Guests to Disneyland may not know what Cast Member means - it's to stop tourists from pulling in there!
    UPDATE: Scott M. Leonard 10 JUN 97
  2. No Disney Cast member at the Disney reservation center has the same name. If there are more then two with the same then they are given a name.
    REPORTED: Chris 15 DEC 99
    CONFIRMED: TR Shaw 21 DEC 99
    My wife and I took the Inside Animation tour as our flex feature. Our guide, Laura, explained to us that she has worked for the mouse for two years. She started out at the Reservation Center where she was known as Rachael. The names are all different so that there is no confusion if someone is referring to a reservation employee.
    CONFIRMED: Gregory Wood 23 DEC 99
    This is true. I had a friend at school whose mom was one of those reservations workers in Tampa.
    CONFIRMED: Matt Brannock 04 JUN 01
    Not all the people who work for Disney are called Cast Members. Film crews are called employees because of the confusion it would cause to call members of the film or TV show's cast Cast Members AND the crew Cast Members. Only people who work for Disney Theme Parks & Shops are called Cast Members.
    UPDATE: Chris Callac 17 MAR 01
  3. BEFRIEND SOME CAST MEMEBERS! They are completely cool and are the best source of information for the parks.
    REPORTED: Joseph Guisti 23 FEB 98
  4. I have never seen a company more steeped in "seniority pride" than Disney. It doesn't matter if you're a supervisor or a platform loader, if you've done more time, you're better. They back this up with award pins that goes on your name tag, showing all other Cast Members how long you've been with the company. 1, 5, 10, 15... etc. year tags are made, each distinct. One Year: Steamboat Willie (Mickey Mouse at a boat wheel) Or if its an old, old pin: The "World with Ears" logo; Five years: Donald Duck; Ten Years: Cinderella Castle; etc.
    REPORTED: Brannon Boren 06 DEC 95
  5. A Cast Member is never supposed to say "I don't know," if s/he doesn't know, they are supposed to get on the phone and find out. They are also never supposed to react to stupid questions, such as "What time does the 3:00 parade start?", etc. Don't laugh, it happens a lot!
    REPORTED: Michael Littell 04 OCT 95
    If you were to ask a Cast Member or other employee (including a maintenance person) any question about Disney or the theme park, they are required to give you an answer. If the employee does not have an answer for your question, they must use a nearby telephone and call a Disney phone number where people are standing by with computers with information and answers to questions and report the answer back to you! You can ask them anything, and they will never say "I do not know".
    CONFIRMED: Peter Bleickardt 27 JAN 97
    This in not entirely true. While MOST Cast Members are required to go to the nearest telephone and find out the answer, some employees who must remain stationary, (e.g., Outdoor Vendors) have to remain at their wagons and direct the guest on how to get the information themselves from the information board or another Cast Member.
    UPDATE: Jennifer Cernosek 12 FEB 97
  6. Each Cast Member is to "never point". Each Cast Member when, asked a question, such as,"where's the restrooms?" is supposed to use an open palmed directional. Never pointing with one finger.
    REPORTED: Dave M. Haller 01 JUL 97
    Cast members are also allowed to point with two fingers.
    UPDATE: anon 11 NOV 97
    Disney Cast Members point with two fingers for two reasons.
    1. It is more clear to see where they are pointing if they use two fingers instead of one.
    2. It is inpolite in some cultures to use one finger to point.

    CONFIRMED: Jon M. 13 APR 98
  7. On the last day of orientation, new Cast Members are told to go out into the park and "test" working Cast Members. They look at attitudes, ask good questions.
    REPORTED: Michael Littell 04 OCT 95
    I was a Cast Member at Walt Disney World Monorails from 1988 to 1991 and would like to put in my two cents about a few things. The report that new Cast Members in Traditions class are sent on their last day of training to "test" veteran Cast Members is (was not at the time I left the company) true. I could not see this being implemented in any form. Vets are sensitive about their status, and I have never seen a company more steeped in "seniority pride" than Disney. Veteran Cast Members would resent the hell out of a suggestion that newbies should test them. It'd never happen.
    UPDATE: Brannon Boren 06 DEC 95
    With regard to the new Traditions crew "testing" the Cast Members, we can spot them coming a mile away. When else do you see a large group of people strolling around the park dressed in business attire unless they are management? If they think that they are really testing us, the joke is on them!
    UPDATE: Suzanne Merrill 22 JAN 96
  8. Next time you see a Disney Cast Member looking bored, frustrated, mad, etc., try this. Make eye contact, put your index finger and thumb together, pull the top of your head up from an imaginary string, and smile sheepishly. Chances are their attitude will change, at least until you're out of sight. You might not want to know any more beyond that . This is a stupid little signal that Cast Members and undercover orientees are supposed to give each other when someone is not being what I like to call "Too Cute to Live!"
    REPORTED: Michael Littell 04 OCT 95
  9. Next time you visit any of the Disney Theme parks, I dare you to find a theme park Cast Member with facial hair, a visible tattoo, too much makeup, or too much jewelry. In fact, the only jewelry you'll find on men, is a wedding ring. On women: one set of earrings max (single ordinary gold posts), 1 conservative gold necklace max, a wedding and/or engagement ring. Costumes don't count. Only the beautiful people are allowed to be seen by the public.
    REPORTED: Michael Littell 04 OCT 95
    When I was at a Disney interview in September I was told no necklaces in case someone or something got a hold of it. Also, earrings must be studs and smaller than a dime, and one ring is allowed per hand and that is it. In regards to makeup, men none and women are allowed mascara in brown or black, and eye shadow in a natural tone, no blues!!, and lipstick only if it is natural. Before you got to your station you are inspected and I was told they are pretty strict!!
    UPDATE: Emma Harrison Burgess 20 FEB 96
    Back in 1987 I applied for a behind-the-scenes job at WDW. I was told about the "dress code" requirements. Some of these may have changed since then, but this is what I was told at the time. (Further, I can only state the dress codes for women, as the personnel recruiter did not go into the men's dress code.)
    UPDATE: Judy McDonough 24 MAY 96
    CONFIRMED: anon 23 MAY 97
    I was once visiting with a friend that was a performer at Disney World, and had gone with him underground to eat at the cafeteria on the sly. When I got to the cashier, he asked, " From W.E.D, huh?". I figured the best thing would be to go along with this and reply yes. I asked my friend about it, and he laughed and asked me to look around at the hundred or so seated diners, and see how many had beards, as I did. I then noticed I was the only one with facial hair. It turns out that at least back then (18 years ago) the only Disney employees allowed to have beards were the "Creative Types" that worked back in Burbank at the W.E.D think tank.
    NOTE: Jim Cooper 25 MAY 97
    CONFIRMED: Lauren Ferreira 07 JUN 97
    Rod, the "Ragtime Rythms" piano player on Main Street wears a ring on just about every finger! Not sure if this qualifies as being part of a costume, or perhaps his seniority affords him special priveliges, or maybe it's just a Liberace thing.
    UPDATE: Tom Bernard 10 JUL 97
    After working at WDW and then DLP the differences were amazing. At WDW, they were very strict with their costumes and one could not leave the land and sometimes specific attraction they worked in. At DLP, it was a different story. I worked in Adventureland and I could wear and work in my safari costume, if needed, at Frontierland. I could not go into Fantasyland or Discoveryland. On one occasion we did have a Discoveryland costumed cast member work at Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost. Main Street is accesible to every cast member for a few reasons: They take a few cast members from each land for crowd control at parades, the only cast member restaurant, Sodexho, is located there and cash control is behind city hall. Every night we would carry the daily monies there, through the park. Like you would see that in Florida. Unlike WDW, we could walk across the park to go eat. According to French law, it is illegal to force a dress code. I was not required to wear my hat, scarf or belt, tuck in my shirt, even wear black shoes. We were asked to, but many did not and could not be punished for it. Once in Florida, I was sent back to costuming for the nail polish I had on, while in France, anything goes. One friend of mine who worked at Camp Davy Crockett even had a nose ring! In fact, I knew I was in for it when, in Tradittions, our instructor told us, "If you don't feel like smiling, don't." That's my two cents on the subject.
    UPDATE: Liz Larcomb 18 JUL 97
    I would like to dispel the rumors that Disnyland is strict about the dress code. I am a Cast Member. You are not checked each day before you go on the floor. They trust you to do right. And when and if they notice you are wearing someithing you are not supposed to be, they hint at it until you realize the mistake for yourself. They are usually pretty nice about it.
    UPDATE: Psyche 16 NOV 98
    The Disney Look (dress code) is enforced differently by different managers. I was working at Disneyquest before, and I got away with a spiked wath and bleached white hair, however I transferred to Magic Kingdom and was quickly repoimanded and corrected. However during events in which the park is open late (ie. Grad Nite), the management seems to not be as strict with the "Disney Look" as usual. Byt the end of the night I was covered from head to toe with glow sticks and glow necklaces, and was not even given a second look by management.
    UPDATE: anon 06 MAY 00
    Walt can finally become a Cast Member! Disney Theme Park management has changed the dress code to allow mustaches!
    The following is all OFFICIAL: Appearance Policy Ensuring consistent administration of the Walt Disney World Appearance Policy is the responsibility of Management, the Cast Image and Appearance Manager, and Employee Relations. Specific questionable deviations from the policy should be referred to the Cast Image and Appearance Manager for further assessment. If a Cast Member deviates from the Disney Look the following shall occur:
    1. The Cast Member shall be informed of the specific area of non-compliance and informed that the guidelines must be complied with immediately, if applicable, or within five (5) calendar days. This counseling shall be documented on the Employee Record Card. Upon correcting the situation, the Cast Member shall obtain Managementís verification that the guideline has been successfully met.
    2. A Cast Member who does not comply (as directed in step 1) shall be issued a reprimand.
    Additionally, the Cast Member shall be informed that the guidelines must be coplinary system. Questions regarding administering appropriate types/levels of discipline should be referred to Employee Relations. * As determined by whether or not the Cast Member is covered by a collective bargaining agreement and its respective negotiated disciplinary system. Questions regarding administering appropriate types/levels of discipline should be referred to Employee Relations.
    The Disney Look - Guidelines for All Cast Members
    UPDATE: anon 21 MAY 01
  10. Cast Member IDs double as time cards, thanks to a bar code on the back. Cast Members clock in at Wardrobe in the back of the park.
    REPORTED: Rachel Nacion 30 JAN 97

Former Cast Members

  1. Steve Martin was a former cast member, working in the Magic Shop, which used to be located just past the castle, where the Villains store was later located.
    REPORTED: Tom Bernard 10 JUL 97
  2. Robin Williams and Steve Martin who were past skippers for the Jungle Cruise.... Long before they were famous. This fact is included in the training material a new skipper recieves upon arival to the Jungle. It's also noteworthy to mention that Michael Fay, the kid "cainned" in Singapore for vandalism, was a skipper briefly. I worked with him.
    REPORTED: Dave 16 SEP 97
    Steve Martin was never a Disneyland skipper. I was under this assumption until I met Steve Martin and asked him and he set me straight. Disappointing becuase I thought I was following in his footsteps.
    UPDATE: anon 03 AUG 99
    Steve Martin was, in fact a magician at the magic shop. But before he did that, he sold park guide books at the main entrance. Apparently he was an amazing salesman, and could sell hundreds in one shift. He held the record for most sold for decades. Amazing since he was only around 13 at the time.
    UPDATE: emily 20 JUN 01
  3. Kevin Richardson of the Backstreet Boys is a former Walt Disney World cast member. Although the official Backstreet Boys site only states he worked at Walt Disney World, Kevin has said he played Aladdin.
    REPORTED: Lauren a5 AUG 01
    He played Aladdin.
    CONFIRMED: Sam 26 JUN 02

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