Disney is the most magical place on Earth. Who wouldn’t want to work there?
Before jumping into a job at and of the Disney parks, you should be aware of what that position might entail. Though Disney is a place of happiness and magic, it takes a lot of hard work to keep it that way.
1. Disney Appearance Guidelines
In order to even be considered to work at Disney, you have to be prepared to look a very certain way. Disney has an entire book full of rules in terms of what you are allowed to physically look like.
Though the ‘Disney Look’ as it is called is meant to encourage a look of professionalism, it is rather restrictive.
You are not allowed to have any tattoos that could not be hidden by a costume. You are not allowed to have any untraditional piercings. This means that only females can have their ears pierced. No nose rings, lip rings, tongue rings… the list goes on and on.
You also are not allowed to have any crazy hair colors or styles. This means if you want highlights, you have to make sure it doesn’t look like you got your hair done. If you have blonde hair and brown roots showing, get that fixed. Did you want to try out that rose gold hair trend? Well, sorry.
2. The Hours
In theory, getting paid to be in a Disney park all day sounds amazing, right? But in reality…it isn’t that glorious.
Disney employees work long hours in extreme heat. Depending on your job, your shift could start as early as 4 a.m. or go as late as 3 a.m.
Disney is not a high-paying job, either. In order to pay your bills and feed yourself, you are forced to have to work long, grueling hours.
3. The Disney ‘Attitude’
To work at Disney, it is emphasized 24/7 that you are to be happy and approachable at all times. In order to give the park that ‘magical’ vibe, the employees need to match the part.
At the forefront is the idea of character integrity. As an employee, it is your duty to keep the pixie dust and stories alive. Not only do you have to push the stories of Walt’s characters and worlds, but you have to play your own role.
Depending on where you are stationed in the parks, you will ultimately have to fulfill some type of character. For example, say you are placed as an attractions employee at The Haunted Mansion. It is expected that you are quiet and spooky. If you are working at Pirates of The Caribbean, you will be taught to speak in the way that a pirate would. You get the point. You have to be good at faking a smile somedays.
4. You Aren’t An ‘Employee’
I know I have referred to Disney’s workers previously as ’employees’ but the truth is, that’s wrong. When you accept a job with Disney, you are then deemed a ‘cast member’.
This relates heavily to #3 on our list. You are a character no matter where you are working or what you are doing.
You are to put on a show for guests and really keep alive the overall magic.
5. Off and On Stage
Are you starting to see a pattern?
Anywhere that a guest can see you is considered ‘on stage’ by Disney. This means you are to be abiding to every rule and code. Oh, and in case you forget.. your character.
There are underground tunnels that allow cast members to get from one place to another without the hustle and bustle of busy Disney walkways. These are considered ‘off stage’. There are also separate cafeterias and dressing rooms for cast members to use.
Wondering why you have never seen or heard about this? Well, that’s because if a cast member were to ever post a photo of a ‘back stage’ area, they were be fired instantly.