Think You Want To Work At Disney? Check Out These 11 Unconventional Rules First

Just when we were kids, watching Disney films and discovering there’s a park displaying our favorite characters, many may have been curious about scoring a job at the happiest place on Earth. But it’s not all pixie dust and magic. Disney, a front-runner in creativity, has a distinct work culture backed by some unconventional rules, as discussed by men and women on an Internet forum.

1. Restroom Rules

American bathroom stalls kzlobastov
Image Credit: Deposit Photos – kzlobastov.

So let’s imagine your application was successful. Great! However, there’s one peculiar rule; the ‘throne’ situation. As a cast member, you’re not allowed to share toilets with our royal guests. Compared to guest restrooms, there are significantly fewer stalls for cast members, as one commenter recalls. So you better lace up your sneakers and dash to the cast member restroom praying for an empty stall. That’s probably not what Walt Disney meant when he said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

2. You Can’t Say What Is Wrong or I Don’t Know

Have no idea, maybe. Portrait of confused girl shrugging shoulders in bewilderment, doubting and feeling uncertain, don't know answer. Indoor studio shot isolated on white background
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sklo Studio

A former employee shares a strange rule followed at the parks. “The weirdest thing for me was that if something goes wrong, you aren’t allowed to say what is wrong – but have to keep it in theme. Obviously, it makes sense. For example, if I tell you that a boat stalled, you have no idea what that means or how long it’ll take (and telling someone anything turns into an escalating game of telephone – a stalled boat turns into a dead body).

So instead, I’d smile and say that the wildebeest are stampeding. Or if the lights were off at the Tiki room, I’d joke that we just couldn’t wake Jose, so we were calling in experts. And if pressed, I’d say that we couldn’t disclose why, but it wasn’t anything serious and to check back in a bit,” she writes.

3. Facial Hair 

An image of a man with a beard
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sahara Prince

This rule has been updated to allow clean-shaven, even facial trims, but before 2000, Disney cast members were prohibited from growing out facial hair, although Walt Disney donned a mustache.

4. Pointing

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I’m adding this one as every visitor chuckles at the infamous two-finger pointing technique. Some cultures take offense to one-finger-pointing, so Disney members tend to use a two-finger system, although one worker mentions the rule books don’t say you need to use two fingers, just not one. This means a cast member can wave with their entire hand, two fingers, three, or four. 

5. No Social Media

Woman taking selfie in theme park
Image Credit: Canva

If you’re lucky enough that Disney hires you as a cast member, you cannot post about your profession on social media. One person shares their son’s past with working at the theme park. 

After earning a full-time position with Mickey, an employee, “Took a photo of the Disney water tower with Mickey’s ears and posted it on Facebook saying “View from my new parking spot.” He was terminated the following day. So apparently, you either disclose all of your social media accounts, or Disney’s spies scour the web for violations,” someone claims

6. Trash Collection

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What would you do if you saw a discarded Dole whip cup on the ground of Adventureland? Pick it up and toss it in the garbage, right? Sure, if you’re a visitor, but if you work for the mouse, you must swoop and scoop.

While strolling through the park, cast members glide over trash and scoop it up while walking to help keep the park tidy. The idea behind this rule is if cast members assist with cleanliness, so will visitors.

7. Stay in Character

Vanessa Hudgens at the World Premiere of 'World Of Color,' Disney's California Adventure, Amaheim, CA.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Character actors must stay in character at all times. When lining up to ride The Haunted Mansion, the character actors meet you with glum faces and unbreakable straight faces. They make puns about the ride, encouraging you to fill in all the “Dead space” in the room, which frightens kids and amuses adults. They threaten their job status if they smile.

8. Outfits Stay on Property

Orlando, Florida. January 11, 2019 Entrance Arch of Walt Disney Theme Parks at Lake Buena Vista area .
Image Credit: Shutterstock/VIAVAL TOURS

After a magical shift, workers turn in their costumes and uniforms to keep the Disney atmosphere within the bounds of Disney. This way, no one besides Disney workers uses or sells a Disney uniform. 

9. Underground Tunnels

person walking in tunnel
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

The rumors are true! Disney is equipped with an underground transportation system for its workers to maintain the magical spirit and allow cast members to travel quickly and efficiently between stations. 

10. Everyone is Equal 

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Of course, we learn this in grade school as an anti-bullying lesson, but Disney reinforces this tactic, especially regarding celebrities. You are forbidden to geek out over celebrity visitors or ask for photos or autographs. They are visitors just like everyone else, and cast members must treat them as such.  

11. No Extravagance

woman relaxing and meditating in nature, during sunset. Peaceful zen.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / christinarosepix

Aside from staying in character, personal expression and accessories are highly regulated within the parks. Cast members cannot have extensive jewelry, dyed hair (highlights are allowed if blended well), visible tattoos, or glasses with eccentric designs or dark shades. Disney is all about universality through conformity.

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