View Full Version : Why and Why NOT to become a Cast Member?

09-25-2003, 10:53 PM
I'm actually dropping off an application tomorrow for Disneyland, and I'm hoping to get some responses from current and past Cast Members...

What is/was the WORST thing about working at DLand?
What is/was the BEST thing about working at DLand?

I am a student at IVC, I do small office computer consulting, and I go to DLand 4+ times a month, AND I'm a big history fan of the park. I love taking people and showing and sharing interesting facts and information about the park.

So, my ideal position would be a tour guide... I love talking to people when I'm there, so any help would be appreciated.


09-26-2003, 02:36 AM
The people
The benefits

Why not:
The people
The pay

09-26-2003, 09:38 AM
Im interested.... What benefits do you get?

And I have a stupid question but ohh well... How much education do you need to get a "higher up" job? What are some good postions (fun with good pay :) )???


09-26-2003, 10:51 AM
I considered working at DL as a CM when I was younger but I was afraid that if I work at my favorite place on earth then I may get jaded from it. I was afraid it will lose its magic if DL just becomes another "job" for me and I will probably see things behind the scenes I don't want to. I didn't want to see the ugly side of DL, which every job has. I wanted to preserve the magic for myself so I decided against getting a job at DL.

09-26-2003, 11:36 AM
I'm a former CM, worked from '87-'92 in Fantasyland Restaurants.

What is/was the WORST thing about working at DLand?

1. During my experience, there was a definite feeling from hourly CMs that Manangement undervalued their roles. Working as a Lead, I felt it too. DL had a tendency to bring in to our area Managers/Supervisors from outside TPO that maintained little or no Guest contact and appeared to view our location as just a glorified Mickey D's.

2. The hours. Working a Grad Nite and then coming back in for a closing shift is tough. And working holidays. All of them.

What is/was the BEST thing about working at DLand?

1. The people you work with. CMs are special people. It's not too difficult to get hired there, much harder to keep the enthusiasm and drive to stay there. Most long-time CMs stay because they really love the Park and understand they do help make it *magic*. Do I sound brainwashed by all the Disney University classes? :D But truly, I met my hubby of 12 years while we worked there, and others who I know are lifelong friends. We take our kids into the Park together and celebrate each others weddings and birthdays.

2. Guests. Of course I had my share of Guestzillas in my years there, but it really is great to be a part of someone's experience during a day at Disneyland. Especially if it was their first visit or they came from far away. And I enjoyed AP holders, they were always quick to share the latest Disney info. If on occasion one came off as a little bit nitpicky, I always felt is was because they loved the Park as much as we CMs did.

3. Benefits vary depending on your status. I believe CTs could only gain their own entry and purchase discount admission tix when I worked there. CRs received admission passes after three months (I think they no longer have to wait) CR-25, RPT, RFT all received health & dental benefits which were really good, lots of options to choose from.
-Things of course may have changed from then to now.

09-27-2003, 02:08 AM
I defiantly agree with what has already been said by the other CMs in previous posts. I would however like to add that, for me at least, the best and worst parts of CM life tend to change on a daily basis. What was the worst part one day could become one of the best parts the next day. It's up to you to decide if that's a good thing or not. ;)

Today’s list of why/why not to be a CM (in no particular order):

Why not:
Defective equipment that takes forever to get repaired.
Cast Members that should never have been hired to work at DL.
Managers that have no clue how to run a theme park nor effectively handle their employees.
Ridiculously severe lack of communication.

It's truly a unique work experience. It's hard to explain it exactly, but there are definitely few other jobs that can even compare.
The people you work with make even the worst jobs great. It's like being part of a big, happy (although somewhat dysfunctional at times) family.
It's fun meeting guests from various places. As a CM you can easily talk for 20 minutes with a complete stranger as if they were your new best friend.
Benefits. Free admission, discounts galore, sign-in pass, CM events, CM merchandise. I think I’d rather give up an arm than some of this stuff.

09-27-2003, 02:37 AM
Okay, so when I am sitting in an interview (I understand there will be at most 2 other interviewees there) I would expect to do the following:

Be outgoing and friendly
Talk to the other interviewees as if they were guests
Look the interviewer specifically in the eye when speaking to them
Be excited about working at DLand

So - that seems like obvious stuff - if I want to get into guest relations (specifically a Tour Guide,) is there any other tips? What will make me stand out and make the interviewer leave says "WOW - that guy is gonna great to work with!" ?

And of coarse anything else anyone would like to add...

09-27-2003, 08:30 AM
Why: Because you will meet a new set of friends.
Why not: Because it will ruin the Magic of Disneyland for you (oh never mind, if you read the internet, the magic is already ruined)

09-27-2003, 03:16 PM
As much as I love DLand, am I am computer and business guy, so seeing how things work I think will be more interesting than being a regular guest.

I used to be a move projectionist, and although it isn't the same kind of "magic", I still love movies...

09-28-2003, 12:30 AM
Like most CMs have already posted, meeting new people is a nice plus - I met one of my very closest friends while working there, plenty of more friends, and my first love. I know I'll find it hard to part with my almost unlimited admission, the perk of getting in family and friends for free, plus the special cast events/free stuff we get.

However, like a million other jobs, you'll find that there's a lot of favortism occurring, especially when they're looking to make new leads and what not. And just favortism in general. And to chime in with Polar's post, you can find that you work with a lot of people who put little or no effort into their jobs while you have your whole heart into it and get absolutely no recognition or thanks. You might also find that while you're asked to be flexible, your schedule or duties may not be flexible to you (I know that sentence sounds odd, but hopefully you get my point - I'm trying to avoid saying "they" when it could be a variety of persons).

I'm kind jaded in the sense that I don't find the things that are done conducive to efficiency, productivity, or just general logic. I don't have the same bright shiny eyes when I think about Disneyland, but there's still a tiny pocket of magic somewhere for me.

10-02-2003, 09:43 PM
I'm just curious as to what kind of personalities they look for? I wouldn't mind working at Disneyland, but my personality is very passive and laid-back. And, yes... I'm a very happy person who always smiles. What kind of area would work for people like me?

10-03-2003, 01:50 AM
Hmmm...well, to get into Guest Relations you have to transfer in from another department, minimum six months with current department with no attendance problems, safety violations, etc.

So, before you transfer to GR, try for a department that you might enjoy, you might actually stay there.

Oh, and if you actually want to talk to people and not be shunned due to a stereotype, don't go to GR. People don't talk to ODV cuz we're loud and rowdy, and we act like we own the park (which we do :) ) , people don't talk to GR cuz they're stuck up and arrogant, and they think like they own the park. Of course, these are only stereotypes, but you'd be amazed at the lack of attention you'd get even from friends in your old department if you transferred.


10-03-2003, 03:54 AM
What is "ODV"?

Kevin Yee
10-03-2003, 05:20 AM
I know of people who hired into Guest Relations directly (this was in 2001, and I think is still theoretically possible today).

CarGarxCM, you must remember the Lead Cathi L at Village Haus?

10-03-2003, 08:24 AM
Originally posted by davidtav
What is "ODV"?

At DLand its "Outdoor Vending" and at DCA its "Outdoor Ventures."

Basically its the dept. that runs the outside carts (ie. popcorn, churros, ice cream, etc...), excluding the pin carts..

:geek: :geek: :geek:

Gemini Cricket
10-03-2003, 08:34 AM
Here's a reason to be a DL CM: Working the Mansion. That would be ideal. I love that costume.


10-03-2003, 12:34 PM
Originally posted by Kevin Yee
I know of people who hired into Guest Relations directly (this was in 2001, and I think is still theoretically possible today).

CarGarxCM, you must remember the Lead Cathi L at Village Haus?

I think they stopped hiring people into GR, they were so shorthanded back in 01 that they couldn't get enough transfers to fill in their open spots. As of at least a year ago it's transfers only.

10-04-2003, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by Kevin Yee
I know of people who hired into Guest Relations directly (this was in 2001, and I think is still theoretically possible today).

CarGarxCM, you must remember the Lead Cathi L at Village Haus?

Hi Kevin,
Sure, I remember Cathi. I pretty much stayed at my "home" location, but sometimes worked at VH, Yumz or BTRBBQ when Car Gar was down for rehab. It's sad now to walk by CPG and see it all sectioned off. :crying:

10-04-2003, 06:49 PM
Okay, a few original dos and don'ts that may or may not be true...

Reasons why:

1) You may or may not get to drive a huge bus down Main Street. This always seemed like fun to me.

2) You get free admission to the park; even though you have to work, it's still a rarity and be proud of it.

3) You can misguide people who are looking for bathrooms and have a great time at the expense of others.

4) You have an excuse to use CM lingo (e.g., "guest", "cast member", "backstage", etc.). The rest of us just have to BS our way out of it upon being asked what that means.

Reasons why not:

1) You have to memorize pretty much where every bathroom in the park is.

2) You automatically become ineligible for Millionaire- Play It! for the rest of your CM life.

3) If you lose your name tag, you get in a lot of trouble.

4) If you lose your one-year pin to put on your name tag, you get in twice as much trouble.

5) You can't play Millionaire in the Hot Seat anymore. Do you now realize the seriousness of this? No more Millionaire pins! Ever! This is not good. You then have to pay for a cruise if you really want to take one. That's not good.