Working at Disneyland sounds like a lot of fun, but it's important to remember that it's a job. Every job comes with rules. Disneyland crew members have plenty of rules to follow while they carry out their duties. These employees represent the theme park, of course, so since Disneyland is marketed as the "happiest place on earth," it's not hard to understand why Disney managers ask their crew members to follow the highest standards.
This family-friendly amusement park is a place where visitors will see staff members smiling frequently and bending over backwards to please customers.
Anyone who's curious about the behind-the-scenes aspects of Disneyland operations will enjoy this list. It's filled with fascinating facts and rules that Disney staff members have to follow. The rules make sense in light of the park's family-friendly image and wholesome vibe, but that doesn't mean it's easy.
It takes a lot of rules to keep a theme park like this running smoothly. People who work at the park are really just playing the roles that visitors want them to play, whether they are dressed up as Disney characters or not.
At Disneyland, visitors are supposed to feel a sense of Disney magic, just as though the Disney movies came to life. Staff members do their part to create authentic Disney magic, by making sure that they never (or hardly ever) break the rules.
20 They Must Refer To Themselves As Cast Members
Disney crews aren't supposed to refer to themselves as employees or staff members or any of the usual terms for people who are being paid to work. They are supposed to refer to themselves as "cast members," according to Readers Digest.
When Disney members think of themselves as part of the cast of a grand production, it reinforces the concept that they are playing roles to please visitors. It also reinforces the concept that working at Disneyland isn't just your typical paying gig.
Disneyland is part of The US's history and legacy. It's also a place that people come from all over the world to visit. People who visit want magic and the cast members deliver.
19 They Can Never Say 'I Don't Know'
Park visitors want answers to their questions and this is why Disney cast members cannot say "I don't know" while they're working. They have to do their best to find the answers that guests are looking for, according to Readers Digest, by contacting other staff members or management, to get the answers.
This is smart from a customer service perspective. Customers don't like hearing that employees don't know the answers to their questions. Disney management protects the park's good reputation by making sure that cast members go the extra mile to answer every single question. Just think of how many questions there must be on a typical day in the park!
18 There Are Strict Rules About Facial Hair
Disneyland isn't the right place for employees who want to get really creative with facial hair. A clean-shaven look is prized here. In fact, it used to be mandatory. In 2012, Disney execs took a long look at the facial hair rules and relaxed them a bit, according to Disney Programs Blog.
The revised guidelines allow goatees or beards for male employees at all Walt Disney Parks and Walt Disney Resorts in the USA. Suffice to say that goatees and beards must be very well-groomed.
A ZZ Top look might not go over well with management, but Disney is changing with the times (at least, a little bit)...
17 Eyebrows Can't Be Shaved
If you want to shave your eyebrows while you're working as a cast member at Disneyland, you may want to change your expectations because this just isn't permitted. You'll need to leave your eyebrows intact, according to Guff. Maybe you can pluck or wax them a bit, but you'll need to go for natural and subtle results.
In general, old-fashioned grooming is prized at Disneyland. A clean-cut look that's totally non-threatening to visitors from all walks of life is what's required. People who want a more extreme look while they work could always try to get cast as Disney villains. Otherwise, they're going to need to look wholesome.
16 Men's Hair Needs To Be On The Shorter Side
Some male Disney cast members don fairly long and luxuriant wigs, but those who don't wear wigs for work need to keep their hair consistent with Disneyland management's stringent guidelines. According to Guff, male hair can't go past the ears or past the collars of shirts.
Braids are permitted for theme park staff, but beads can't be used to adorn braids.
If these hair rules don't bother you, you may want to try for a new job as a Disneyland cast member. If the idea of working in the park piques your imagination, it might be time to make it happen.
15 Women's Hair Has To Be Neatly Groomed
Women are permitted to have longer hair, according to Guff, but they have to brush their hair to give it a neat and groomed appearance. Disneyland cast members need to look fresh and polished, rather than sloppy. Part of that is about having every hair in place.
Of course, some women who work at the theme park wear wigs because they are portraying beloved Disney characters, such as Alice from Alice in Wonderland or Wendy from Peter Pan.
Women who don't wear wigs for work brush their hair to keep it looking as tidy as possible. Visitors expect staff to look just like their cartoon half, so this is kind of a necessary point to make.
14 Autographs Need To Look The Same Every Time
Kids, and more than a few adults, love collecting autographs from cast members during Disneyland "character encounters." I've had a great time at Disneyland, watching my son react to the commotion and excitement that occurs when a beloved character appears.
When these characters make an appearance, they are immediately swarmed. It's fun to watch.
When Disney cast members give out autographs, they have to ensure that each and every autograph for their particular characters looks exactly the same as the last. There is actually specialized training for this, according to Reader's Digest. Employees learn how to create uniform autographs, day in and day out.
13 Princesses Have To Be A Certain Height
If you dream of playing the role of a Disney princess at Disneyland, and you're not between five-foot-four and five-foot-eight in height, you will not be able to make your Disney dream come true. There is, sadly, a height restriction which puts a lot of women out of the running, according to Reader's Digest.
Women who are shorter or taller than the princess rules dictate are welcome to go for other parts at Disneyland. For example, women who are more petite than five-foot-four can try and get cast as Alice in Wonderland.
Visitors want these characters to look like the real characters in Disney films and that's why these rules are in place.
12 Women And Men Can't Have Long Nails
If you want nails like Cardi B's, and want to work at Disneyland, you're going to have to choose between your extra-long talons and your job. You can't have both.
Women and men who are employed at Disneyland are not permitted to have long nails. It's flat-out against the rules, according to Guff. So, leave the Lee Press-on Nails or dip powder manicures behind. Clip your nails and then enjoy the novel sensation of being able to touch things!
Fingernails can't be longer than a one-quarter inch past the fingertips. It's always possible to scratch someone with long nails, even if you don't mean to. Plus, really long nails look a little bit extreme.
11 Women Can't Paint Their Nails Either
Nails can't be long and they can't be painted, either, according to Guff. Even the most sophisticated and subtle nail polish, such as Essie's Ballet Slippers (a nice pale pink) can't be worn by women who work in the park.
Of course, Disney cast members are free to paint their nails when they are off the clock. They just need to keep nail polish remover on hand, and they also need to remember to use it before their shifts. Taking nail polish off frequently can be annoying, so a lot of women who work at Disneyland probably keep their clipped nails bare most of the time.
10 Tattoos Are Not Allowed
Want to be a Disney cast member, even though you have tattoos on your face, like Post Malone? Forget it. It's not going to happen. Visible tattoos are not allowed!
You may be a great person who's awesome with people, from little kids to the elderly and beyond, but you just don't have the Disney look. You have an "alternative" look.
Even though tattoos are everywhere these days, you won't find them on Disney cast members, according to Guff. Tattoos which don't show in a Disney cast member uniform should be okay. So, a "secret" tattoo shouldn't stop you from getting hired.
9 Piercings Are Strictly Forbidden
Like visible tattoos, visible body piercings or face piercings don't cut the mustard with Disneyland management. It's that "alternative" thing again.
When you watch a Disney cartoon or live action film, you don't see a lot of piercings on the characters, do you? That should tell you something.
Guff reports that piercings are strictly off-limits for Disney cast members. Keep this in mind before you send off your resume and cover letter. If you're piercing-free, without tattoos, you're ahead of the game. There may be room for you at Disneyland. If you do have piercings, just find another place to work. Lots of employers do permit piercings these days.
8 Ear Gauges Are Off-Limits
Ear gauges may also be known as ear spacers and they aren't allowed on Disney cast members, according to Guff. This is sort of a common-sense rule. Most people wouldn't expect someone dressed as Peter Pan or Cinderella to be rocking ear gauges. That's something you'd expect from a WWE wrestler, such as Jeff Hardy, or maybe a rock star. Still, it's a rule that everyone isn't aware of.
Most people who visit Disneyland try to enter into the fantasy that Walt Disney created decades ago. They don't spend a lot of time thinking about the employees as real people, rather than Disney characters or other Disney cast members.
7 Eyeglasses Must Be Logo-free
Want to show off the Prada or YSL logo on your eyeglasses or "sunnies" while you work at Disneyland? You'll need to skip the status symbol glasses or sunglasses. Eyewear that does have logos can't be worn by Disney cast members, according to Guff.
A lot of eyeglasses and sunglasses do have logos these days, so Disney cast member may need to shop around for plainer styles to wear to work. Disney management doesn't want cast members working in Frontierland, Fantasyland, Main Street USA, or anywhere else in the theme park, to be wearing modern glasses that promote non-Disney brands. It spoils the magic, right?
6 Trash Must Be Picked Up Immediately
Visitors delight in the pristine cleanliness of Disneyland. It's just so lovely and clean. It appears fresh at all times, even though it's teeming with children covered in melted ice cream and things like that. It looks this way because Disney cast members are contractually bound to clean up any trash that they see immediately. No ifs, ands, or buts!
Most Disney cast members are probably happy to help keep the park clean. It is a beautiful place, after all, and special. I can't see a lot of visitors littering in the park. It would be like slashing a precious painting. But maybe it happens sometimes!
5 Pointing With One Finger Is Against The Rules
Did your mother tell you that it's rude to point? Mine did, so she's on the same page with Disneyland management. Staff members (sorry, I meant to type, cast members) must always refrain from pointing with single fingers. Even cast members doing musical performances which require pointing must point with two fingers instead of one! Why? Well, as Guff notes, it's because pointing is considered really offensive in some cultures, and visitors to Disneyland come from many different cultures.
That's fair enough. It must be hard to train yourself never to point the usual way, though. Cast members must have to rewire their brains!
4 Work Can't Be Discussed On Social Networking Platforms
This is a smart policy. The last thing that Disneyland management wants to see is a lot of behind-the-scenes posts from cast members. In the digital age, people overshare, but cast members are not allowed to share at all when it comes to their jobs. It's ultimately about maintaining the magic. All rules are created and enforced for this overarching purpose. Maintaining the magic and delivering caring and respectful customer service are key.
According to Reader's Digest, cast members don't need to eschew social media totally. They just need to be very careful about what they post. Very careful.
3 Some Cast Members Have To Use Different First Names
At the park, cast members are identified by their first names, according to Reader's Digest. If you want to be Ms. whomever, or Mr. something, you can't be. Also, if the company already has hired a cast member with your first name, you may need to use another first name for work. That's kind of funny. That would take some getting used to. It's just one more unique and interesting rule that Disney cast members need to follow.
If you get hired and need to use a different first name for work, make it fun by treating your new identity as a brand-new Disney character.
2 There Are Code Words For Certain Emergencies
Code words for certain emergencies are basically euphemisms. They are ways of making unpleasant things sound less unpleasant. For example, if someone vomits in the park–and you better believe that this has happened—a cast member may refer to the situation as a "protein spill." It's all about keeping everything in the realm of sweetness and light.
People don't come to Disneyland to deal with the gross and the mundane. There's plenty of time for that at home. So, the code system definitely has its place. The codes are pretty amusing, aren't they? A "code 101" means that a ride isn't running. That's not so hilarious, is it?
1 Cast Members Always Remain In Character
When Disneyland cast members are on the clock, they must remain in character at all times. There's no room for realness. Everything is about the customer's experience. It's about making the dreams of children, families, and singletons come true. As this list makes clear, there's a lot of pressure on Disney cast members. So much is expected of them.
According to Reader's Digest, lots of Disney cast members need to remain silent because they're playing Pluto the dog or some character that isn't supposed to be talking. Remaining silent at work would be a pleasure sometimes, but maybe not all of the time.
Sources: Rd.com, Disneyprogramsblog.com, Guff.com, Disneyfanatic.com