Disney Parks are magical for so many reasons–the attractions, the storytelling, the immersive theming. However, there is one piece of magic sometimes goes overlooked and it was a piece that we sisters had the great opportunity to experience first hand–becoming Cast Members. One of great things that makes Disney stand apart from the competition is most definitely the service that you experience from the highly-trained and helpful Cast Members. Being the Disney College Program allowed us to fulfill our dreams of becoming Cast Members and being able to spread that Disney magic through our roles and beyond! It also allowed us to pick up some of the quirks that all Cast Members possess while working for the Big Cheese himself. So the next time you are at Disney Parks, see if you can spot these common Cast Member quirks!
1. The Disney Point
If you talk to any former Cast Member, they will tell you that to this day they still use this to point! It’s TRUE! The Disney point, or the 2-finger point as it is commonly known, is a specific way that Cast Members point to give directions or gesture to something with either two fingers together or a whole hand. This is meant to prevent offending any culture that believes pointing with one finger to be rude or offensive. All Cast Members must point this way while “onstage” which is Disney speak for on the job but even offstage or former Cast Member, including myself, point this way all the time! It is just something you do without thinking but it was what you were trained to do for hours while on the job. So the next time you see a Cast Member pointing for whatever reason, see if you can spot them using the Disney Point.
2. The Disney Scoop
Another big giveaway for Cast Members is that they are constantly picking up trash--on and off the job. Disney parks have always been known for their cleanliness and that is mostly due to the amazing custodial staff who are constantly cleaning up messes and also all the other Cast Members who were trained that if they see a piece of trash they pick it up. That is regardless if there is custodial around or not. How cast members pick up trash is also unique to the job because they used something called the Disney Scoop. That is just fancy way of not bending over to pick up trash but instead walking and bending in the knees in a kind of lunge to pick up the trash. On your next trip, see how many Cast Members you can spot using the Disney Scoop!
3. Talking to Little Ones on their Level
One of reasons that Cast Members are so known for their service and friendliness is because they are always willing to strike up a conversation with guests or try to find ways to make extra magic for families while on their vacation which includes even the littlest guest. In my job as a Fairy Godmother-in-training, I was dealing with little ones on a daily basis and that is when I realized how important it was to get down to their level and talk face to face with them so that they felt heard and realized how important they were to me. That is the same for all Cast Members because no matter what height or age, all Guests deserve to be given that extra magic of your time and attention. I also just love interacting with little ones because they have such a wonderful way of speaking without fear of judgment and most kids just love to be talked to if you ask them questions about their day. I can’t tell how many magical moments I have had, as a Cast Member and just a regular guest, when I have gotten down to the level of little ones and had a chat with them about who their favorite character or ride was or about the Elsa shirt they were wearing!
4. Calling Everyone Prince or Princess
Another part of my role as a Fairy Godmother-in-training was the ability to realize that everyone is a prince or princess and should be treated as such! It was such fun as a Cast Member was to call a child Your Majesty or Princess and see their eyes light up as they realized that they WERE special enough to me to call them that! And it wasn’t just me who called people that! All Cast Members recognize that guests are special people and held to same standards as Princess Anna or Prince Philip and should be treated as such. This is especially true if you are celebrating a birthday or wearing a special pin to celebrate a special event. Be ready to hear yourself called princess or prince all day from Cast Members all over the parks!
5. Knowing Shortcuts, Trivia about an Attractions, Best Places to Watch Parades
Being a Cast Members is a very rewarding job but it also has its perks like getting into the parks for free whenever you want! The one BIG thing I miss about being a Cast Member is that ability to finish up at the Boutique, change out of my costume, and hop on a bus towards Magic Kingdom for the night! This ability to go to and work in the parks makes it really easy for Cast Members to know all there is to know about everything from shortcuts through the lands to your favorite attraction to interesting trivia about different attractions and to knowing the best places to watch parades with little to no crowds. Cast Members are a wealth of knowledge because that is part of the job to know all these details, in case a guest asks you one of those questions. I can’t tell you how many times I was able to use my own Disney knowledge to answer a guest question about the best restaurants in Hollywood Studios or what attractions to visit at night that have little to no wait. So the next time you have a random question about an attraction or parade, ASK a Cast Member! I guarantee you they will know the answer or point you to another Cast Member who does know!
6. Knowing the Choreography and Songs from Parades and Shows
Continuing with the mountains of knowledge that Cast Members possess, Cast Members have the uncanny ability to know the choreography and songs of almost all of the parades and shows from Disney Parks. I mean that is definitely true among the sisters! I can’t tell you how many times we danced along, with exact choreography and dance moves, to the Festival of Fantasy parade or sang along to intro song of Fantasmic! We even had dance parties in our apartment at The Commons to see who knew the most of the Wishes theme song! If it’s a Disney-related in the parks, chances are Cast Members can recite and dance to it from heart!
7. Knowing Where ALL the Restrooms are in Every Park
If you ask ANY current or former Cast Members what the most asked question is, EVERY TIME they will answer, “Where is the nearest restroom?” That is not a joke! Cast Members, no matter their work location or what park they’re in, know where all the nearest bathrooms are because that is what guests ask! I mean when you gotta go, you gotta go! Some Cast Members might even know where less busy restrooms are in the parks if you’re not looking to standing line for the always busy ladies room. Amaright?? Cast Members are always there to help their guests for even the nearest bathroom.
8. Knowing How to Talk to Characters
Part of going to the parks all the time, another quirk Cast Members pick up is the great ability to know how to talk and interact with character. Especially if you are like Disney Sisters Erica and Katelyn who spent most of their roles working with characters! Part of the fun of the parks is getting to talk with Ariel about the best type of dinglehoppers or to play hide and seek with Chip and Dale and being around the parks on and offstage helps that ease to develop! If you are looking for some good tips when it comes to interacting with characters, talk to your nearest Cast Member or go check out our blog post about our tips!
9. Overwhelming Love for Disney and its Parks
This last quirk seems a bit like an obvious one but it is worth talking about because it is SO true! Cast Members, in one way or another, have a HUGE love for Disney and that love shows in the way they care for guests, interact with characters, or just the way they radiate positivity and kindness while working! I know I can speak for all the Disney Sisters, myself including, when I say that the reason why we became Cast Members is because we LOVE Disney! We love the opportunity as Cast Members to spread that Disney magic and joy in our roles and that shows everyday! Even though we Sisters aren’t Cast Members anymore, we still have the overwhelming and abiding love for Disney! I mean we have this blog to prove it! So Cast Members are amazing for many reasons but the biggest is that love of this most magical, fun, musical, and heartfelt Disney!