Walt Disney World employs more than 66,000 cast members, spending more than $1.2 billion on payroll each year. The largest single-site employer in the United States, Walt Disney World has more than 3,700 job classifications. While cast members are not really supposed to share behind-the-scenes secrets with the general public, today’s modern technology along with the internet allows cast member secrets to find their way to Disney fans. Here are 20 Secrets From Walt Disney World Cast Members. Do you know any more?
1) Not just an employee – All Disney World employees are called cast members. Even Walt Disney was a cast member.
2) You have a point – Cast members will always point with two fingers or an open palm. Pointing with one finger is considered “rude” and isn’t allowed anywhere in Disney property.
3) Autographs – Cast members who play characters have height requirements and also are taught how to sign autographs so that it matches the original.
4) Stay in your place! – Cast members are not allowed to leave their “land” or area, while onstage. The reason is to not affect the scene. A Frontierland costume would be out of place in Tomorrowland!
5) Behave yourself! – Unbeknownst to guests, DSS (Disney Secret Service) cast members are always roaming the parks and gift shops, to watch for anyone who might misbehave or have “light fingers”.
6) Where you from? – Cast members love to talk to guests. Ask for their advice or just ask them about where they’re from. It’s usually on their nametag.
7) Start at the bottom – Seniority is a big deal with Disney. The longer you’ve worked for the company, the better your chance of advancement. Many high-level cast members, such as executives, once worked low-level positions in the parks.
8) Nametags – A cast members’ longevity is shown on their name tag. 1, 5, 10, 15… etc. year tags are made, each distinct. One Year: Steamboat Willie (Mickey Mouse at a boat wheel). The “World with Ears” logo; five years: Donald Duck; Ten Years: Cinderella Castle; etc.
9) May I help you? – A Cast Member is never supposed to say “I don’t know,” if he or she doesn’t know the answer, they are supposed to get on the phone and find out. They are also never supposed to react to silly questions, such as “What time does the 3:00 parade start?”, etc. Don’t laugh, it happens a lot!
10) Towel animals – Housekeeping Cast Members (aka Mousekeeping) are encouraged to leave special touches for guests when cleaning occupied rooms. Many housekeepers learn how to create a variety of towel animals. Some even bring in their own pipe cleaners and eye stickers to dress up the animals that they leave.
11) Clean sheets – At the Grand Floridian, bedsheets are changed every day!
12) The music never stops – The background music continues, even after the last guest has departed.
13) Historically speaking – Walt Disney’s private plane sat in the backstage are of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and could be seen by those on the Backlot Tour. Sadly, that tour is no more, due to construction.
14) What’s my size? – Cast member costumes are still classified by sizes used in the 70’s. Cast members report having to request sizes much larger than they really wear.
15) What’s in a name? – In World Showcase, cast members will write your child’s name in their native language.
16) No cameras! – Backstage photos are a big no-no, both for cast members and guests on backstage tours.
17) Pin-trading – Cast members are encouraged to pin-trade with guests. Feel free to approach any cast member wearing a lanyard.
18) Costumes – Cast members can’t receive their final paycheck until all their costumes are turned in.
19) Disney image – Once a cast member sets foot on stage, they must follow all rules and live up to the Disney image.
20) Beat the crowd – At closing of the Magic Kingdom, the Resort monorail is faster to the parking lot than the Express monorail or the boats.
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