Many people believe the 12 Disney Parks across the world to be the happiest locations on the planet. Of course, Disney employees work really hard to preserve that image, which must result in a lot of circumstances that aren’t “suitable for the general public.”
Reddit user u/memezdankton wanted to know more about these stories, so he asked: “Former Disney theme park employees of Reddit, what are some dirty secrets or stories you can tell us about your time there?” People began to spill the juicy and dark tales of what goes on behind the gleaming façade. We’ve put up a selection of the most intriguing. Have a peek…
You have to be in specific height ranges to play the different characters. Because Mickey’s height range is so short he’s usually played by a woman. Likewise for Donald, although the most successful and best known Donald that I knew while I worked there was a little person
via: thistakestoolongtodo,Jennie Park mydisneyadventuresReport
My mom was working in the nurses’ station and got a call for a costume character who had heat exhaustion (the costumes get extremely warm, especially in summer). He was advised to remove the costume and walk to the nurse building to recover, but wasn’t allowed to. They were so busy trying to make sure that nobody saw him out of costume that they literally risked his health.
People sexually harass the characters super frequently. I was working with Ariel and cast members will always count down before they take a photo so people have time to get into position. I counted down and this teen boy decided to try to rip off one of Ariel’s shells. I had to open his camera and expose his film so the photo didn’t get developed and passed around. I found out later that I was supposed to take it to the Kodak shop to have the film developed and that one removed – but I’d always heard the rumors about ruining the film and nobody really trains you on that so I just went with it. The little a**holes deserved it.
My Sister-in-law got a the role of Cinderella at Disneyland Paris.She had to practice Cinderella’s autograph over and over because although different actresses play her all over the world, the signature of the character has to be identical anywhere it’s signed for consistency.
I used to occasionally work at one of the outdoor carts in front of the castle at Disneyland. There’s water in various areas of the park, so we got lots of ducks, and in the springtime, the babies would hatch and walk around with their mothers. People don’t always pay attention to where they are going and sometimes step on one of them, usually killing them. If I was able, I would step away from my cart to escort a family of ducks to safety.
6. via: onearmedmonkey,Jennie Park mydisneyadventures
I had a friend who was a gorgeous red head in her early twenties. She got cast to play Ariel at Disney World. She returned home after a few months saying that they were pressuring her into getting breast implants. To quote her (quoting her manager), “There is no way Ariel has such small boobs.”
7. via: nerdmoot,Backattaxk251
A friend of mine worked at Disney World. According to her Epcot is the best place to work. When she was at the Magic Kingdom she said she went home crying all the time because the moms were so mean.
8. via: gnomzy123,Bair10
Ever heard about people spreading ashes of their loved ones in the POTC or Haunted Mansion ride? It’t true!
Of course, these are just some of the stories, and most employees love working there. When Disney closed the parks in 2020 due to the pandemic, close to 43,000 people were abruptly laid off. Many of them mourned the career of their dreams at ‘the most magical place on Earth.’
9. via: PropofolPopsicles,Jennie Park mydisneyadventuresReport
Both hands had to be visible in photos (e.g. one outstretched and the other on someone’s shoulder). The biggest no-no is hands behind backs not visible due to the possibility of someone saying you grabbed them inappropriately.
This question came to u/memezdankton’s mind after watching a show on YouTube. “It’s called Defunctland, and they basically review failed theme parks and theme park attractions, and I saw an episode on Disney,” the Reddit user says.
“That got me thinking as to what is going on inside these parks and what secret dramas and intrigues happen behind closed doors,” they explained. “Plus, I really like reading stories on Reddit.”
u/memezdankton visited Disney parks twice. “Before the thread, my opinion has always been that there must be a lot going on behind the scenes for the ‘magic’ to happen, like everyone being in character with guests.”
The “secret” tunnels under MK and Epcot. They smelled so bad. It’s where all the garbage went to. We had a subway and another restaurant just for cast members. They would close down cast parking without telling the cast members in appropriate time. Mandatory overtime when needed without double time. I can keep going.
Professor Tom Morrow was originally a spacecraft missions director who oversaw spacecraft travels from Earth to the moon, notably with the Moonliner space-ship. In later attractions, Mr. Morrow is the mayor of Tomorrowland and a promoter of the latest technological advancements.
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