Apparently, Disney magic does not always apply to the people working in Disney Parks or Disney Resorts. Disney heiress Abigail Disney (who might be replacing Disney CEO Bob Chapek, if some people have their way) has already revealed that some Walt Disney Company Cast Members are living at the poverty level (despite having particularly taxing jobs for Disney) in her new documentary. Now, Disney Cast Members have openly spoken about the struggles that they face when they take off their Mickey Mouse ears!
Apparently, some of the Cast Members who bring Disney magic to Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort Guests have to resort to everything from sleeping in cars to taking on second jobs as sex workers in order to make ends meet. In a recent discussion on the website Reddit started by Reddit user u/No-Philosopher-2178, many Disney Cast Members stepped forward to share their own negative experiences as Disney employees.
Apparently, a Disneyland employee had to move in with five roommates to get by on $12 per hour wages when they were in the Disney College Program and living in Anaheim. “I hemorrhaged my savings working at Disneyland,” the program member wrote.
Another Cast Member said that Disneyland treated her just like “an abusive boyfriend” would have treated her (giving one example in which her team leader gave her a substandard rating on her performance review because they thought that she should be curling her hair every day to improve her appearance) and that she remembers being tempted to deliberately crash her car in order to get out of going to work.
“In my head, this is how I think of it,” the Cast Member wrote. “Disneyland is a wonderful magical place, the Walt Disney corporation is pure evil.”
A former Cast Member who worked for Disney at Disneyland Resort back in 2004 joined in, recalling that, for them, “life was literally paycheck to paycheck. Some days I couldn’t afford the gas to get home after work, so I’d sleep in my car in K-Lot between shifts,” the Disney employee explained. “Top Ramen was the best meal back then.”
Other Cast Members or former Cast Members mentioned working more than one job, with one specifically saying that they were “an escort to get meals and pay the bills.”
Disney Park and Disney Resort Cast Members often have to face many challenges during their workdays, including screaming Guests or fistfighting Guests, so to hear the Cast Members saying that they are also not being paid enough money to make a living will sound disturbing to many Disney fanatics!
Are you a former Cast Member who worked for the Walt Disney Company? If so, what was your experience like?