Disneyland is the very first theme park that was built by The Walt Disney Company. It opened in July of 1955 and has been open ever since; welcoming a total of over 700 million visitors into the park since the first time it opened its doors. The park has undergone a lot of renovations to reflect more recent Disney movies and have added exciting new attractions that use the latest technology to thrill and entertain guests of all ages. It also contains eight different “lands” throughout the park, including Main Street, U.S.A., Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, and New Orleans Square, among others. Since opening Disneyland, more parks owned by The Walt Disney Company have opened around the world, such as Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disney Resort, and Disneyland Paris.
Because there are so many people that visit each of these parks every year, there are a ton of people employed by the different Disney parks. There are people who act as characters like the Disney Princesses, as well as characters in costumes that portray Mickey Mouse and his friends. These people meet and entertain guests who are excited to see their favorite Disney characters roaming the parks, but there are also retail workers and food service workers who help things in the park run super smoothly. In order to make this happen and keep the Disney magic alive, the employees have a lot of rules to follow, along with things that Disney doesn't allow them to do.
25 Call Themselves “Employees”
Even though Disney park employees technically are employees because they work for the company, they're not allowed to give themselves that title. What?! Sounds pretty weird, right? Disney has a very different term that they prefer to use for the people who work in their parks.
Everyone who works at the Disney parks has to call themselves a “cast member.” This is because they consider the parks a performance and anything that visitors can see is considered “on stage,” while everything they can't see is considered “backstage.”
24 Call Each Other Mr. Or Mrs.
At Disney, all the cast members have to be on a first name basis with each other. No one is allowed to call each other Mr., Ms., or Mrs. anything. Instead, they all call each other by their first names.
This dates all the way back to when the parks first opened and Walt himself wanted the cast members to feel like a big, friendly family. Even when he was in charge, cast members weren't allowed to call him Mr. Disney! Rather, he insisted they all call him Walt.
23 Have The Same First Name
Since Disney park cast members are on a first name basis with one another, that can get pretty confusing if two cast members have the same first name. Luckily, Disney has found a creative way to deal with that.
If a new cast member is hired and they have the same first name as an existing cast member, the newest member has to go by a completely different name! That may sound bonkers, but it's definitely a smart and creative way to avoid confusion.
22 Talk About Their Role
How amazing would it be to work at the Disney parks as one of the characters? Whether it's a princess or one of Mickey's friends, working as one of our favorite Disney characters would be an amazing job!
Unfortunately, Disney strictly forbids its cast members from talking about their role or saying what character they are on social media! Disney doesn't want to disrupt the magic by having their cast members acknowledge that the characters are people in costumes, so cast members have to be careful about how they talk about their day at work.
21 Have Anything But The Perfect Signature
One of the highlights of going to the Disney parks for many kids is getting a signature from their favorite princess or other characters. Meeting the kids that come to visit really means that the actors who work as these characters have to really know how to act!
But, another important part is being able to perfectly sign that character's signature. It would totally disrupt the magic if they got signatures from the same character twice and it looked completely different each time another actor signed it.
20 Wear Bright Nail Polish
Getting ready to go to work each day is an important part of any job, no matter where it is. For Disney cast members, it's really important because they have to follow what Disney calls “Disney look.”
One important part of the “Disney look” is not having any brightly-colored nail polish. Exceptions may be made if it matches the character's costume, but most cast members are instructed to stick with neutral shades that match their natural nail and won't draw any extra attention to their hands.
19 Point With One Finger
Disney has millions of guests each year from all over the world. That means there are people from a ton of different cultures that are going to be exploring the parks. From the very beginning, Walt kept the idea of not offending any of these cultures in mind with the practices he instilled in the park.
Pointing with one finger can be considered offensive in some cultures, so Disney cast members are instructed to point either with two fingers or their entire hand when they're directing guests around the park!
18 Have Visible Tattoos
Even though some of the most dedicated Disney fans have shown their love of the animated films and the parks by getting Disney-themed tattoos, cast members aren't allowed to have any that are visible.
As part of the “Disney look,” any tattoos that a cast member has must be covered up by their costume or uniform, no matter what industry they're working in. That means anyone working at the Disney parks has to really consider their tattoo placements and only get them in places that can be easily hidden when they go to work.
17 Borrow A Costume
Being a Disney cast member would be amazing because you'd get to borrow all the amazing costumes they have for every character, including costumes for special events, holidays, Halloween, or other costume parties, right?
Wrong! Disney cast members are strictly forbidden from taking costumes out of the park or wearing them when they're not on the clock. Even though Elsa's dress might be perfect for a Halloween costume, only the character performer who works as Elsa is allowed to wear it while she's working in the parks. Bummer!
16 Say “I Don't Know”
Working as a Disney cast member means seeing a ton of guests, and it's pretty likely that at least some of those guests will have questions about the parks. Whether it's where they might find a certain character, what locations serve the food they saw on social media, or what time a special event is going to be starting, cast members have to know the answers to a lot of questions.
If they don't know, they're not allowed to say so! They have to direct the guest to someone who does.
15 Walk Past Trash
With so many guests coming to the Disney parks each year, there is bound to be a lot of trash being thrown out. But, the Disney parks never seem to have any on the ground, no matter how many millions of people walk through the parks each year.
That's because no matter their role, Disney cast members aren't allowed to just ignore the garbage they see on the ground. It may seem silly to imagine Belle picking up someone's Dole Whip cup, but it's how Disney keeps their parks so clean.
14 Pick Up Trash The Wrong Way
When it comes to picking up any of the garbage that they see, cast members aren't allowed to simply bend over and grab it like someone normally would. There's a very special way that cast members are taught to pick up garbage they see around the parks.
Cast members are taught to scoop it up in one smooth, quick motion while they're walking! That seems a lot less silly than imagining Cinderella stop what she's doing to bend over and grab a piece of trash in the middle of the park.
13 Break Character
No matter what happens to a cast member while they're working, they're not allowed to break character!
Character actors at the Disney parks get a lot of training to learn to act exactly like the character they're working as. That means that Belle will talk about loving books, Gaston and the other villains won't exactly be friendly, and no matter what happens, the cast members won't say anything that their character wouldn't. It really makes the entire experience more immersive and helps to keep the Disney magic alive!
12 Acknowledge Anything Outside Of Disney
Since she loved books so much in Beauty and the Beast, Belle would totally be a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, right? Belle would definitely have so many opinions on her favorite fan theories and talking to her about them would be a dream! Or, so you'd think.
But, Disney doesn't allow any of their character actors to acknowledge anything outside of the world of Disney. That means Belle has no idea what Harry Potter is, and although Tiana loves to cook, she will have never heard of Pizza Hut.
11 Be The Wrong Height
The auditions for being a character actor at one of the Disney parks can be a lot of work. But, there are a few things that no amount of amazing dancing and acting can change!
Disney has strict requirements for the heights of many of their character actors. Most of the princesses, like Rapunzel and Aurora, are between 5'4 and 5'7, but there are a few exceptions! Maleficent, one of the villains, is usually between 5'6 and 5'10, while Tinker Bell is typically between 4'10 and 5'2.
10 Have Their Phone “On Stage”
Not being able to use your phone during work is a pretty typical thing. It's especially important for the Disney cast members because of the fact that it can take away some of the immersion and magic for the guests. Plus, the parks are so busy that checking your texts for a second might mean missing a guest trying to talk to you.
The Disney parks work hard to make sure that the guests feel welcome and have a good time, so having a cast member ignore them for their phone would not be good.
9 Have The Wrong Hair
Disney cast members who work as a character wear a wig to make sure they have the same hair as the character they're portraying, while cast members who work in other parts of the park have to have the right hair, too!
In order to fit the “Disney look,” hair has to be a natural color, groomed in a simple style that doesn't draw too much extra attention, and can't cover the cast member's name tag. Having purple hair, certain braiding, or Mickey-Mouse-shaped beads isn't going to work out so well.
8 Turn Down A Trade
Anyone who has ever been to the Disney parks will know there is all kinds of awesome merchandise. One popular thing people like to buy at the parks are Disney-themed pins. Park visitors even like to trade pins with other visitors!
Some cast members wear a lanyard covered in pins that are solely there for trading and they're not allowed to turn down a trade with a guest! The lanyards don't belong to the cast member, so visitors don't have to feel bad about taking the rare pins from them.
7 Skip Deodorant
The Disney parks are located in really hot places and those costumes can be really heavy (and not particularly breathable). While Disney has a lot of restrictions on appearance in their “Disney look” section of the cast member handbook, there's one part on hygiene that might seem a little silly.
In order to combat the heat and the heavy costumes, cast members are not allowed to skip out on wearing deodorant. At the same time, they're not allowed to wear any perfume or cologne that has a particularly heavy scent.
6 Wear The Wrong Glasses
If a cast member working at the parks really has to wear glasses, they're totally allowed to. You're not going to see Rapunzel or Tiana walking around wearing glasses, but cast members who work in other parts of the park aren't constricted only to contacts.
The one restriction that Disney does put on glasses is that they have to be very simple. No bright colors, no huge decorations, and no large brand names are allowed to be on the frames where people can see them.
5 Post Behind-The-Scenes Shots
Although it might be tempting to open Snapchat to take a picture of yourself in your break room or post a picture of different costumes on your first day as a Disney cast member, resist the temptation!
Disney has a lot of really strict rules that involve trying to preserve the magic of the parks and not allowing cast members to take behind-the-scenes pictures is one of the most important ones. Visitors aren't allowed “backstage” for a reason, so seeing pictures back there isn't good for them either.
4 Wear Attention-Grabbing Accessories
Disney sells so many different Disney-themed accessories, both in the parks and in other stores, that it would be so hard to resist buying them all as a Disney cast member! Unfortunately, wearing them to work is strictly prohibited.
In order to fit the “Disney look,” cast members can only wear really simple jewelry and accessories. Medical identification bracelets and simple pieces of jewelry are fine, but cast members have to leave the huge necklaces, Mickey-Mouse-themed Apple Watch bands, and giant rings at home before their shift starts.
3 Go Backstage On A Day Off
Even though cast members can go back stage during their shift at the park in order to get ready or go on their break, they can't on their days off! On a cast member's day off, they're basically considered a regular park visitor. That means no going backstage and definitely no talking to the other cast members as if they're not in character.
Being off the clock doesn't mean that it's not important for Disney cast members to keep the magic alive for the other guests.
2 Adjust Their Costume On Stage
Anyone who has worn a costume for any reason can know that they're not always super comfortable. Sometimes, a wig can get itchy or a costume can get hot or start to shift around.
In order to keep the magic alive for the visitors, cast members are forbidden from adjusting or removing any piece of their costume while on stage. That means they have to deal with that itch until they're not in front of the other visitors in the park! It wouldn't be great for a young visitor to see Snow White pull her hair off, after all.
1 Get Special Treatment On Days Off
Disney cast members do get some special discounts on merchandise and food while they're working at the park, but that's the only real special treatment that they get.
Many cast members talk about spending a lot of their days off at the park because they enjoy being there so much, but that doesn't mean that they're going to get to skip to the front of the line of their favorite ride or get extra time to talk to their favorite character! When they're off the clock, cast members are just like any other visitor.