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Current Cast Member Shares Experience During Chapek-Era

A current Disney Cast Member shared their experience working at the Disney Parks, giving fans a behind-the-scenes sneak peek.

The Disney Parks are the perfect places to fulfill your most magical desires. Walt Disney World Guests who visit any of the Parks at the Walt Disney World Resort: Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom Park, or at the Disneyland Resort: Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, all find a plethora of rides and attractions to satisfy many a fantasy.

sleeping beauty castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle, Disneyland Resort/Disney

The Disney Cast Members are one of the biggest reasons that the Disney Park experience is as magical as it is. However, with all the flack that the Walt Disney Company has been getting during Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s era, whether for the lack of maintenance on rides, for lack of concern for Guests, or even for treatment of Cast Members, there is much criticism making the rounds.

One Disney fan finally took to social media to ask current Imagineers and other CMs whether the rumored treatment of Cast Members and the behind-the-scenes environment of Disney was actually accurate.

U/FancyPantsBlanton asked the question on Reddit,

Current CM’s / Imagineers: What’s the atmosphere behind the scenes right now?

Obviously, we know how the guests here in the sub feel about the Chapek era thus far (as far as maintenance, etc.), but for those of you with boots on the ground, what’s it actually like inside the company? Is the cost cutting etc. as bad as people in the sub are speculating?

disneyland cast members

Disneyland Resort Cast Members/Disney

U/YearIllustrious5704, a current CM at the Disneyland Resort, jumped on the thread to answer. The CM said they only joined after Chapek started at Disney, so they couldn’t speak to a comparison but expressed an appreciation for the current reservation system while only calling out one universally hated feature. (Lightning Lane.) They said,

Attractions CM here, I got hired into the company this year so I can’t speak about how it differs from pre-chapek but honestly its not bad at all. The new attendance system is meh but it’s honestly what the company needed because we have less call outs now and we can finally fully staff our attractions. To be fired from the new attendance policy, you would have to miss 12 full 8 hour shifts a year (15 for Full time CMs) which is a lot imo. And if you can’t make your shift, you can always try to trade it or give it away to another CM which is super helpful. So I personally don’t think the attendance policy is bad but yeah. The other thing is the pay is pretty minimum at $17 for most CMs. I don’t mind it as I don’t plan on working at disney for my whole life and only while I’m getting my degree. From a cast stand point, all my fellow peers are all super friendly and I love all my leads. Some of the managers are great too. Everyone is super nice since we are all on the same boat. So all in all, from a part timer who isn’t in super need of money, I enjoy my work. Chapek hasn’t really made me want to quit (yet) and I still love creating magic for thousands everyday. I think imo the one thing we all hate is Lightning Lane, especially when we are impacted and have to give priority to LL users and making standby mad at us. Everything else is fine imo.

Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Resort/Disney

U/forlorn_hope28 added a second-hand account from some former Imagineers as well. “I know two people who were Imagineers (one departed in 2019, the other in 2021). I spoke with them as recently as September and they say morale is low in Imagineering.”

Only time will tell what many recent changes that Disney has instituted will hold for the Mouse House. In the meanwhile, here’s hoping that fans will have the chance to continue enjoying the Disney Parks and all they offer.

About Priyanka

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago.