Ten Ways You Know You’re a Disney Cast Member

Cast members around the world are a special breed of people. Working for the company has also given us a special (and at times odd) skill set. Here are 10 things I’ve noticed since working at WDW:

1) You can judge a group just by glancing at its size.

Sure, you always ask “how many in your party?” but you already know the answer. Yes, of course you included the babies in the count when the parents don’t. You’re already prepared when the Guest doesn’t respond with a number and only points to the large group and says “us.”

2) You can’t help but call little girls “princess,” even on your days off.

And when you do accidentally let that slip, her parents look at you like the biggest creep…

3) You can tell exactly what time it is by the fireworks shows around Disney property.

I once had a CM at Hollywood Studios point to IllumiNations and say “Oh hey look! It’s Wishes!” My response? “Nope, there’s too much red used in those fireworks for it to be Wishes. It’s Illuminations. We use more blue.”

4) You dream about work once you go home.

This can be good or bad. I’ve had nightmares about evacuations-gone-wrong on the PeopleMover. I also dreamed Stitch high-fived me before he teleported out of the chamber.

5) You get super-defensive about your job, especially if you work attractions.

Sure, you can vent to your coworkers that you think your ride is lame, but you’ll defend your attraction to the death to a Guest who tells you it sucks and Disney should take it out.

6) You keep tabs on the cool new merchandise and when your seasonal discount pops up, just waiting to buy what you want.

Yeah, I’ll take a pair of Glow with the Show ears and that adorable Eeyore pillow pet, please.

7) The letters “E” and “R” are your favorite letters, especially when put together.

Conversely, the number “101” has the potential to be the most stressful number you hear at work.

8) You know exactly when to hit up your favorite attraction while playing in the park for maximum fun.

Riding Rock and Rollercoaster three times in one hour thanks to the single rider line? Yes, that sounds quite nice.

9) You still fan-girl over seeing characters and friends of characters backstage.

Hey, Prince Phillip. You like pizza? That’s cool. Me too.

10) You get really creative when answering Guests’ questions.

“Oh that line coming from Cinderella’s castle? Well, Peter Pan drew that in the sky for Tinkerbelle to follow. He doesn’t want her to get lost.” “Sorry, guys. Stitch escaped and did more damage than we thought. Come back later on tonight and see if we’ve got the teleportation system back under control.”

I know this is a really general list, so feel free to comment with even more ideas. To my CMs, what are quirks you’ve noticed working for the company?

26 thoughts on “Ten Ways You Know You’re a Disney Cast Member

  1. I need to start off by saying yes. Just yes. To all of this. I’m so glad you’re not only documenting your experiences, but also sharing them with us so we can live vicariously through you. I’m also glad you’ve had some similar experiences to what I had. It’s a small world after all.
    1) We actually had to do a PSA dock spiel one time to inform guests that “all of us” is not a number.
    2) Turns out little girls in Lexington like it just as much. (Good thing too because you can’t prevent yourself from saying it).
    3) Amen!
    4) You have no idea how many times I dreamed I forgot my spiel or that the “attacking natives” actually attacked the boat.
    5) If anyone said that our animals were fake, I got livid. Even though they are. That’s beside the point! Enjoy the magic! lol
    6) Guilty….It was the Mad Hatter coffee mug for me haha
    7) 101 is a Skipper favorite….it’s best when people want to know why an outdoor water attraction shuts down in a lightning storm. (Bonus points if you have to explain the concept to someone who doesn’t speak English using a creative combination of Spanish, English, and pantomime).
    8) Let’s not forget to ride all the rides during fireworks and parades when everyone else is distracted by the pretty colors. (This in no way is meant to imply that I don’t sob everytime Go the Distance plays during Wishes).
    9) I think I have 5 different sets of pictures with Winnie the Pooh….
    10) “Is this Pirates of the Caribbean?” Ummm…..no

    1. Haha I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. And in response to number 7, I feel your pain. It’s so funny to explain why Astro Orbiter is closed when we get the lightning notice. “We’re closed due to incoming lightning in the area.” “But…it’s not raining.” “Well, no, but the Astro Orbiter is an outdoor metal attraction and we have incoming lightning.” “Oh, okay… Wait. Why is it closed again?” Guys, the ride is one GIANT lightning rod…

  2. 101 was amazing at Agent P. oh it’s raining? 101. Lightening? 101. Heavy cloud cover so the signals can’t connect to the FONEs? That’s a 101. Snake in the cart? Big 101. Animals chewed through all the electrical cords in the bushes? the best 101, out for hours! In summer time I never worked, just sat in the break room on 101.

  3. Working in FSFB, it irked me so bad when parents wouldn’t count their babies. Will they be taking up space at the table? Then yes, they count. Oh, and don’t wait until you’re at the table to tell us you need a high chair. That just causes unnecessary awkwardness.

      1. I don’t even work at Disney, one of my friends got me pointing only with 2 fingers or my entire hand and I work in a grocery store, haven’t pointed with one finger since I was a kid.

  4. My favorite is when guests think they can get to Tower of Terror either from Animation Courtyard or by Oscars because they can see it. No you have to go out and make two lefts, then it’s at the dead end of Sunset.

    1. The first time I ever went to HS (back when it was still MGM), I made that mistake. I was so confused on how to get to Tower. I kept thinking “I know the entrance has to be here somewhere. I can see the building…” Haha

  5. My favorite is when the guests think they can get to Tower of Terror from Animation Courtyard or Oscars because they can see it. No you have turn around and make two lefts then it’s at the dead end of Sunset.

    1. Oh man I know right? I’m so spoiled by automatic toilets now I just expect them all do to it even at places like rest stops in the middle of the highway.

  6. I was a WDW CM for 10 years and have since moved on… but I cannot stop myself from seeing tourists in my new city with a map and approaching them to say “Is there something I can help you find?” Oh, and yesterday, someone in front of me dropped some litter and I picked it up and brought it to the nearest trash can.

  7. Working merchandise when all the rides go 101 is the WORST. You get double the anger (Guests mad that the rides are down and about the prices). Classic.

  8. I worked at Big Thunder Mountain. 101s were a welcome relief. When we were closed, kids (and some adults) would ask why. I would tell them there were cattle on the track, and you can’t run a train with cattle on the track.

  9. My favorite 101 excuse from working at Dinosaur in DAK: “Well honey, the dinosaurs got loose and we’re trying to get them back on their leashes.”

  10. Just finished my CP in August… this made my day! All of the above made me laugh and brought back so many happy memories!

  11. As a Photopass Photographer at DAK, our favorite numbers are “101”! That means that we go sit in a break room until the lightning danger has passed (we are human lightning rods with all the electronics we carry and necessary batteries to run such in our pockets). At holiday time and during the summer the absolute WORST thing to see coming at you are “tour group” flags!!!

  12. My favorite is being friends with the characters and being able to seem magical to guests AND cast members. 🙂 We like talking to you guys too, even if we don’t get the opportunity very often because they isolate us a bit.

  13. Not sure if you folks do this at WDW, but over at DLR… Our attractions CMs use the “chit-chit” sound to get other CM attention. Usually they turn around instantly! Yes some people hate it but it is easier to get someone’s attention then screaming their name at a loud attraction! 😉

    1. Tomorrowland and Fantasyland attractions love the hiss. It never fails to get our attention. I’ve actually started hissing at my other friends to get their attention… I should probably stop doing that. Haha

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