Whether you have been to Disney Park or not, you have to know these secrets shared by the Disney Park employees.

A Reddit thread recently asked, “Former Disney theme park employees of Reddit, what are some dirty secrets or stories you can tell us about your time there? So let’s check out some of these answers.

These Characters




“You have to be in specific height ranges to play the different characters. Because Mickey’s height range is so short he’s usually played by a woman. Likewise for Donald, although the most successful and best known Donald that I knew while I worked there was a little person.”

Oh, wow, who knew, huh?

These Vast Differences

“A friend of mine worked at Disney World. According to her Epcot is the best place to work. When she was at the Magic Kingdom she said she went home crying all the time because the moms were so mean. She also said that cast members got to do something I think is called ‘magic moments.’ At her gift shop, she could just give a parkgoer something for free. She said that was a perk.

Aww, that’s nice. Too bad the other location sucks.

This Greeting

“If anybody tells you to have a magical day, they mean you were a gigantic asshole and hated dealing with you. We call it the Disney [Expletive] You.”

Oh my goodness, I hope none of you who visited have heard this, lol.

This Unacceptable Behavior

“People sexually harass the characters super frequently. I was working with Ariel and cast members will always count down before they take a photo so people have time to get into position. I counted down and this teen boy decided to try to rip off one of Ariel’s shells. I had to open his camera and expose his film so the photo didn’t get developed and passed around.”

OMG!

This Work Culture

“I think the worst part about character harassment is that Disney does not prosecute the guests, at least when I was there. When I was working in the 2000s, there was someone whose wrist was broken by a drunk guest who grabbed and twisted it really badly. They refused to prosecute, and I think she may have ended up with permanent nerve damage in her wrist, which really sucked because she was also a gymnast.”

The only way I can explain this is they don’t want to tarnish the Disney name which really sucks for the employees if you ask me.

This Big Brother Move

“Former Disneyland employee here. We see everything on the rides, there are cameras everywhere and we have night vision. Yes, I saw you cop a feel on your girl when you thought no one was watching.”

Oh, you better watch out, ha, ha.

This Sweet Gesture

“We actually care a lot about the guest experience. If someone drops their ice cream, I can get them a new one free of charge. It’s called ‘keeping the magic.'”

Aww, I wish they did that everywhere. Wouldn’t that be nice, huh?

This Odd Treatment

“Before I worked for them when I was just an annual pass holder, I got overcome by the heat and humidity, almost had a heatstroke, at the bathrooms outside the EPCOT entrance. Two security guards wanted to take me to the park’s First Aid, but a Disney manager refused. ‘He gets in the park when he buys a ticket.’ The manager walks away for a minute. Security guards say ‘Man, I can’t believe this’ and ‘what an operation.’ Thirty minutes for Reedy Creek Fire Dept. to show up. I was so sick I didn’t even pull out my AP until they got there. Security guard #1 says ‘NOW can he go to First Aid?’ Suddenly that manager is all about helping me — and so apologetic! He pushed me in a wheelchair all the way to First Aid. ‘Can I get you some water, sir?'”

That’s not cool at all.

These Accidents

“I used to occasionally work at one of the outdoor carts in front of the castle at Disneyland. There’s water in various areas of the park, so we got lots of ducks, and in the springtime, the babies would hatch and walk around with their mothers. People don’t always pay attention to where they are going and sometimes step on one of them, usually killing them. If I was able, I would step away from my cart to escort a family of ducks to safety.”

Oh my goodness! Please, watch out for the ducks.

These Failed Dreams

“Something that also isn’t very fun, but everyone should be aware of, is just how exploited the cast members are down there. So many people get into the work down there because they want to make magic for people and have hopes of moving up the ranks, but they most always get stuck in poorly paid dead-end jobs. Fortunately, many people I worked with have moved on and out of the area. One or two have stuck around and moved up substantially in the company. Then there are those who are still just there, sometimes still loving their job, sometimes hating it, and sometimes just so caught up in their own Peter Pan syndrome.”

Oh, that’s kind of sad, no?

This Gross Space

 

“Not a WDW cast member, but I’m married to someone who was. The guest-inaccessible parts of the Haunted Mansion are gross. Think asbestos, dust, grease, cobwebs, and all kinds of other crap that has accumulated over literally decades. Every time wifey had to work there, she came home and bolted for the shower.”

Yuck! I definitely wouldn’t want to work there. Is this even legal now?

This Pecking Order

 

“This is not a secret, more just an observation of the culture. It really kind of makes me sick and disappointed with humanity. As a cast member at Disney World in 1979, I learned quickly that putting people in uniforms brings out the worst in the instinct toward ‘other’ people. Certain cast members in specific uniforms were very high in status, and other cast members were very low. Since you wore your uniforms all the time your status was immediately spotted and people tended to treat you better or worse based on your status.”

Wow, sounds like high school to me.

This Surprise

“Now everyone I tell this to always asks, ‘Weren’t the characters the most important people and have the highest status?’ Sadly — and this is really where it gets sick — they were kind of treated like freaks. All the Goofy‘s had to be really tall thin men, all the Mickeys and Minnies had to be either short women or little people. They worked very odd shifts, a half an hour on a half an hour off, and they always had people around them to help, which also made them seem weird.”

I wouldn’t have guessed that.

This Money Scheme

“Not a former employee, but I remember hearing about the Disney College Program. Basically, college kids work at the theme parks for an hourly wage (like $11 an hour). The interesting thing is the college program offers housing, which costs like $110 – $200 a week. And there’s a $400 “admin fee” when you first start (and you have to pay this fee every time you extend your contract). And they try to keep the workers on ‘campus’ and in the Disney properties, spending money. The whole thing ends up sounding like a revolving door of cash where the college students work and get paid but most of the money stays inside of Disney. Disney is pretty upfront with these various fees and any program with a bunch of other college kids is probably a blast but it doesn’t seem to be the best way to actually make and save money.”

Hmm, what do you think of that?

This Hidden Fact

“No one can actually ‘die’ in a park. They remove the dead person and declare them dead outside the park.”

Oh, yeah, because who can anybody die in the “happiest place on earth”, right? I totally get that but still, it’s a little odd.

This Cult Status

“When people say that it’s like being part of a cult, it’s 100% true. In any job you have, there is bias, but at Disney, if you mess with the wrong ‘leader’ (manager) you’ll basically be blacklisted from ever working your way up in the company.”

Oh, man, that doesn’t sound good to me at all.

This Unappetizing Find

“So once upon a time a lady is eating her salad only to find a little, baby mouse in it. Obviously, chaos ensues. Managers and executives come down to deal with it and try and keep the family quiet. I think they essentially had their entire trip paid for to try and avoid news breaking. After this happened they set rat traps around the restaurant because they didn’t know if it came from the lettuce supplier or the restaurant.”

That settles it, I’m never eating at a theme park, ha, ha.

This Honest Plea

“One last soapbox moment — be kind to the cast members. The rules they are enforcing aren’t their own. Quite frankly, most of them would be glad to bend rules or do favors for those who are genuinely kind and don’t feel entitled. Although they won’t bend rules that are set for safety reasons, whether or not they can bend rules often comes down to a few things — if they have the power in the first place, who is managing/supervising that day, whether or not they just did a favor for someone else (luck of timing!), and your attitude. Don’t beg, don’t hit on them, just be polite. And NEVER touch a cast member without their consent.”

I totally agree with all of that.

Oh my goodness, huh?

Would you have ever guessed that? I mean, I suspected there would be some issues working in an environment like this, but I definitely didn’t expect all the harassment issues, and the lack of care the cast members get. However, it’s not all bad. I’m sure there are plenty of people who worked at Disney theme parks that absolutely loved their jobs.