What it’s really like working at Disneyland

Working for the mouse isn’t always magic

When I was hired at Disneyland, I was ecstatic. It was a chance for me to work for a company I loved at one of the most “magical” theme parks in the world. I ended up working there for three years where I learned a lot about myself and humanity.

Customer service is hard. For whatever reason, customer service at Disney is a whole other ballgame. I understand that there are high expectations when you come to a Disney theme park. What’s hard is that every single person (all 50,000 of them on a busy day) are coming in with those high expectations. The truth is, Cast Members (what employees of Disney are called) can really only do so much.

I worked as a Monorail Cast member for the most part, though I was trained to work on some other Tomorrowland attractions. As an Attractions Cast Member, we were “land locked,” so we were only able to train and work on other attractions within Tomorrowland. Every day, I would put on my costume (our word for uniform) and head to work.

My Finding Nemo Costume and one of my (many) nametags

The Monorail costume.

One of the biggest things I learned was how to develop a thick skin. As I mentioned before, people have very high expectations for their Disney vacation. During my years at Disneyland I was screamed at, pushed, called all sort of nasty names and, on one particularly busy day, picked up and moved by a guest. But honestly after being called a “bitch” for the eleventh time because the Monorail wasn’t open, it stops stinging.

I spent every major holiday there and, let me tell you, if you’re thinking that you should go to Disneyland on Christmas DON’T.

Another skill I managed to develop fairly quickly is how to deal with an emergency. When stuff hits the fan at Disneyland, it hits hard. Whether is a power outage or a medical emergency, Cast Members have to be quick on their feet.

Disneyland is a weird microcosm of society. In fact, it’s almost like high school. Disneyland has it’s own culture and language that’s hard to explain to someone who has never worked there. If I told you, “An eastside stores cm was in the park at splash and made them go 101 until pyro.”* You’d probably look at me like I was insane.

Working for Disneyland was a trip and a half. When I left, there was a sense of relief. But that’s not to say working for Disney was all bad. I met some of my best friends working there and, even though we’ve all gone our separate ways, we’re still close. If anything, working for the Mouse gave me a better understanding of customer service and a better appreciation of customer service workers.

I still enjoy going back to Disneyland every once in awhile. Working there didn’t completely ruin the magic. However, I would rather be punched in the face than ever go to Disneyland on Christmas.

*Translation:  A retail worker who usually works on the east side of Disneyland came into Disneyland on their day off and went of Splash Mountain. Something they did made Splash Mountain break and they didn’t come back from this until the fireworks.