A Cast Member recently shared their frustrations about how Disney handles the Cast Member training at the Parks.
The heart of the Disney Parks experience are the Disney Cast Members. Whether you go to Walt Disney World Resort—Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom— or Disneyland Resort—Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure—there’s nothing quite like the experience of going to a Disney Theme Park. The people who make this happen and bring the magic, as it were, are the Disney Cast Members.
Lately, the Walt Disney Company has received much criticism, be it for its rising prices, the treatment of Cast Members, or even increased counts of bad behavior from Guests at the Parks. Many recent decisions the Mouse House has been making have not been sitting well with fans.
However, one former Cast Member shared insight that might surprise fans.
While Disney Cast Members have been applauded for their efforts to be inclusive of Guests who are hard of hearing by communicating with them in ASL, and instances of this kind of inclusivity have been going viral and shared by the official Disney Parks TikTok itself, TikToker @tremainetok highlighted that they personally knew many Cast Members who had gotten in trouble for signing to Guests.
Check out their video below, where they are responding to a comment from a Disneyland Resort Cast Member who was actively trained to “never sign or speak a different language to Guests because not every performer can.”
@tremainetok also shared that face performers are not allowed to speak any other language except English while in the United States Disney Parks for this same reason. Per the TikToker, Disney says this is for “character integrity” but they add that there’s another reason.
Performance specialists will regularly come and observe character meets and interactions and give Cast Members notes; if they can’t understand the CM, it could negatively impact their report.
@tremaintok mentioned that despite this, they regularly broke the rules because of the number of children who would come and “be devastated that they couldn’t interact with the characters the way regular American children could.”
The former CM continued,
“Some families save for their entire lives to come to Disney World one time. And I didn’t think it was fair that all they were entitled to was an autograph and a picture, instead of a character interaction like everybody else.”
Users in the comments were quite disappointed. @Karenheart44 shared, “This really kinda cheapens Its A Small World in my opinion. Disney either welcomes languages or doesn’t. Interesting.”
Another user, Meredith Wilson, agreed, “I have seen a Disney world ad that featured a face character signing with a guest. Wild that they wouId promote it while not allowing it in reality!”
The OP did specify that each Disney Park is different. For example, one user in the comments, @nerdelecktra, mentioned, “I find it so wild that in Disneyland Paris they actually prefer language abilities over looks. A CM shared they have to know a minimum of 3 languages.”
Disney has not confirmed whether this is true and has not released any official statement.
We at Disney Fanatic will continue to report on all Disney news as it comes to light.