Friday, August 28, 2015

Things I learned in my 5 weeks of working at Disneyland

There aren't any cool underground tunnels, cast members don't automatically get into Club 33 (I met cast members who have worked there for over 10 years and never been), and Disney employees really do sell their souls to work there.

But the most important thing I learned in my time at Disney was: every single person on that property's number one priority all the time is for guests to have the most magical time possible.  And that is pretty darn impressive.

I used to think that the prices to Disney were absolutely insane.  But after working there I can tell you exactly why it costs so much.  On any given day at Disneyland, in order to provide the best possible experience for all guests, the ratio between guests and cast members is about 3 or 4 to 1.  Now hopefully that number seems outrageous to you.  That number seemed outrageous to me until I spent enough time there to see how much freaking work goes into every single detail of the entire operation.  And now I understand why it costs so much.  And sadly the mass majority of those cast members are getting paid less than they would working at In & Out Burger.  But they do it because they love it.  They do it because of the perks.  They do it despite they literally have to sell their souls to be there.

Random Facts:
- Disney hired Bush's entire FBI staff to do security for Disneyland after Bush left office.
- Disneyland has to be 60% full for the park to break even financially.
- There are very few doors leading to back stage at Disneyland so if a guest wanted to walk back stage if they acted like they knew where they were going they could go backstage all they wanted.
- Disneyland is still very conservative and strict about employees appearance.  No tattoos can ever be showing. (Which shockingly is a huge deal for most people in southern California.)
- There is a hotline a cast member can call to find out when and where a character will make an appearance in the park.
- If you drop your ice cream/food/toy and it breaks, tell a cast member and they can give you a voucher called No Strings Attached to replace the product.

- Jungle Cruise Tour Guides cannot use their own material unless it is put into the permanent collection of jokes.
- There are secret security in normal clothes all throughout the park.
- Technically no one has ever died in Disneyland because they don't declare someone is dead until they are outside the park.
- When a ride has to make an emergency stop like because someone had a selfie-stick or took off their seatbelt, the ride has to go through a huge long process that takes up to an hour.  Hence rides shut down from time to time.
- Selling balloons is a lot more difficult than they make it look.  Of course if you pop your balloon somehow you can get it replaced, and if you want a picture with the balloons just ask!

- Pirates of the Caribbean is the dream of the old guy sleeping in his rocking chair in the bayou as the ride starts.  I HAD NO IDEA.

Disneyland tries to do good:
- All the produce grown in Tomorrowland is given to a homeless shelter.  (All plants in Tomorrowland are editable or editable producing plants.)
- The train is powered by used oil that cooked french fries.
- To conserve water especially with the CA drought all melted ice water is reused to clean.
- All coins collected in water is given to different charities.

But the bottom line is...... seeing the whole place.  The ins and outs.  The good the bad.  The nasty and dirty and smelly....... just made me love and respect it so much more.

1 comment:

Emilee Keele said...

I just spent the summer with my Sister in Orlando; her husband is a castmember at Disney as well. It's true about selling your soul, but there is a LOT that goes on I never knew about. What a neat experience, even if you could have made more flipping burgers.