Cast Member Storiesby Shoshana Lewin, staff writer
Just in time for the holidays we offer a mixed bag of cast member stories. Some had strange or downright scary guest experiences, some had an incredible time and some are just looking to reconnect with friends. When we go to a Disney park, we sometimes forget the little things can mean so much: the warm smile, the friendly wave, the extra bit of whipped cream on a sundae, the perfectly displayed plush mountain, the CM who lets you ride in the last seat on Big Thunderor the one who lets you go on the Carrousel three times in a row. In this time of giving thanks, don't forget that while it is easy to complain about a bad experience, it is also important to acknowledge a good one. At City Hall/Guest Relations at any of the Disney parks you can fill out a comment card if a CM goes above and beyondand then send your stories to us!
WDW CM Tim
Hey everyone. I'm a bellhop at the Tower of Terror in Walt Disney World, and I absolutely love it. It's so much fun getting to work there, as I get to really play on a different role, and really get to mess with people's minds. Just wanted to share so fun stories that happened there.
I was the unload position, and a gentleman comes out of the elevator and asks me, Excuse me, where's the Tower of Terror?
I thought he was joking. Holding back laughter I said, Um, sir, you just got off of it.
He said, Oh the guys upstairs said it was the Hollywood Tower Hotel.
I said, well sir, that's the name of this hotel you are staying at, but yes this is the Tower of Terror.
Believe me, it was awkward.
We also get the occasional excuse me, do you work here? questions.
No ma'am I wear a purple and black bellhop outfit in the Florida heat for fun!
I've been asked if this is a walk-through attraction, what does the attraction do and so forth.
Some little things, but the things that really make the job worthwhile are transporting the guests back to the 1920s via our attitude and terms we use to describe our ride. We call our guests weary travelers and our elevators unpredictable"... it's a lot of fun.
Disneyland CM Melissa
Thank you for your Cast Place articles on MousePlanet. I am a cast member at Disneyland, and on most days it's hard work. We are underappreciated and often belittled by our guests. It's so wonderful to see that some guests are still impressed by CM involvement. We love this park just as much as the guest does for the most part. Seeing some of my fellow cast members able to lighten a guest's day brought tears to my eyes. I only hope that someday my actions as a cast member will become one of my guest's favorite memories at Disneyland.
Former Disney Store CM Larry
I started as a part-time cast member when store 513 opened in Evansville, Indiana, and was there the day it closed, 10 years later. Loved every minute of it. But since the stores closed, I am glad that it worked out the way it did.
Disneyland CM Jasmine
The most common character I play at the park is Pocahontas. If you don't know, Pocahontas wears a pretty short dress. One day, I was signing autographs over in Frontierland when a teenager walked behind me and pinched my butt. Then, he came by again and rubbed his hands down my hips, pretending he was trying to squeeze through a crowd. By this point, I was furious, but I couldn't break my character in front of the kids. Two minutes later, he walked past again so I threw my foot back and kicked him hard in his shin. I turned around and said excuse me sarcastically as he bent down and rubbed his leg in pain. Finally, he limped away to the shooting gallery. Just because I work for Disney doesn't mean that I'm going to let someone grope me and just giggle like the character that I'm playing!
I have recently been working at the load area in the new Space Mountain at Disneyland. One day, when I was directing people to certain rows, a teenager walked behind me and elbowed me in my back really hard. I think it was because I put him and his friend in the back of the rocket (big deal, it's not like you can see anything in the ride). Later in the evening, the same guy came back.
This time, when he walked past me, I stuck my foot out and tripped him. All of his friends laughed at him. I said, Excuse me in a sarcastic voice.
People can be really rude to cast members, but you can't always tell them off because they could easily get you firedit kind of sucks.
Former Disneyland CM Melissa
My name is Melissa and I used to work for Main Entrance in Guest Services from 2001-2003. I had a very scary situation. The incident happened while I was working at Guest Servicesand this was a few months after Sept. 11. There was a man who wanted to go in the park for a few minutes to make purchase. At the time, we were offering Shopper Passes. This allowed a person(s) one hour to go in the park and buy whatever they wanted. If they go over the time limit, a one-day ticket is charged on their credit card or the cash is kept. The man told me he was leaving on a flight in three hours and forgot to get his niece a present. He wanted to get her personalized Mickey ears but he used up all his days on his pass. He didn't bother to bring any of his credit cards but cash, just enough to buy the hat. After speaking with my manager I got an OK to escort the man into the park just to buy the hat. I walked back to the man to give him good news. But when I told him this, he got very angry.
You mean, you let people walk in here without paying. I should tell everyone it's free! He started to twitch in his eye at this point. Not only that, you people don't do searches on people's clothing, just their bags! How would you know if I had anthrax in my pockets and spread it in the park or even as knife!
He started to pound on my window. I was beyond freaked out by the guy. I yelled for my manager and luckily each window has a button for security and one for 911. I got scared and pressed both of them. And after that it was all a blur. Security and the Anaheim Police rushed to my window and he was taken away for questioning. That was my most terrifying experience at work. After that I went to scheduling and requested to work at the Plaza Pavilion Annual Passport Center or the Bank. And I didn't go to counseling but I should have, because after four years, every time I come to the park, I stay far, far away from the Guest Services building.
WDW CM Dorothée
Well, I started working at Epcot in the French pavilion in the bakery. Every cast member is on training for the fitst week so I had to sell the pastries and say Bonjour, hello, may I help you? all day long.
We all know that the guest has to be taken care of but at the end of the day, we all want to close the doors of the bakery.
A few days after I started, a young women ordered five or six pastries and I did not ask her of she wanted them on a tray or in a box so I put everything on a tray (the easiest thing). Well I gave her the tray and said, Have a nice evening, enjoy the fireworks.
A couple of seconds later, she came back to me and yelled, Put everything in a box! I was kind of upset and while I was picking up the boxes she needed, I said in French, Je le savais (which means I knew it). I know it's real bad to do that and she immediately told me in french, Vous avez dit (meaning Did you say ?).
I did not know what to do or what to say. Even the Mickey smile on my face couldn't solve my problem, so I apologized, confused. All my friends and colleagues were laughing and I felt so uncomfortable. Two buddies told me, Sweetie, you can start packing your stuff 'cause you're gonna be terminated if the woman goes to the Guest Relations.
Fortunately, she didn't and since then, I have not saidy a bad word (in French, Italian or whatever language) in front of Guests. I waited until I got to the kitchen.
WDW College Program CM Marcus
It was a dream come true to get to work at Walt Disney World (WDW). My first trip with my family was in 1985, and I joined the College Program in spring 2005. My experience on the Disney College Program was not all Spectromagic all of the time. Although I had more good days than bad, my Disney bubble almost went away. After one month of living at Vista Way, I moved out over to Chatam Square. Chatam Square saved my Disney living experience. Over at Vista Way, two of my roommates had drugs in the apartment, which made me cough for a month. My new friends at Chatam Square were true friends to have. I worked at Pop Century in Merchandise and Quick Service Food and Beverages. Merchandise is another thing that saved my Disney spirit on the college program. Three words to remember: Extra Hours Hotline! Because of extra hours merchandise, I wore more than 20 different costumes.
From Mission: Space gift shop to Deep Space Alpha, I worked all four parks, Blizzard Beach and four resorts including Pop Century. Some of us at Pop did not like being deployed to the All-Star resorts and Caribbean Beach, I was deployed for a total of four weeks all together, and that was for Quick Service. I have to thank Disney for letting me work at Pop Century. I was not only trained in Quick Service, but merchandise as well. I was really disappointed to find out I would not be working in a park, but in a resort. But thanks to Pop Century, I worked in all of my favorite places in the parks.
While I was on my program, I did the Epcot Aqua Tour, you have to do this, all I can say is Wow. After a hard day of resort work, a nice trip on Figment and Soarin' really makes you relax. I got to work at Main Street Watches and Pal Mickey, Splash Photo, Splash Gift Shop, Frontierland Candy Store, Liberty Square Christmas Shop and Liberty Shop, Haunted Mansion Gift cart, Mickey's Star Traders, Buzz carts, Mission: Space, Living Seas, Epcot Flower and Garden Gift shop, Epcot Pin entral, Epcot hat cart, Epcot strollers, Mambosa at Animal Kingdom, Star Tours, Prop Shop, Rockin' Roller Coaster, Beach House at Blizzard Beach, Everything Pop, All-Star Sports and Music, and the Caribbean Beach Food Court.
Former CM Diane
My name is Diane Ott and I was a member of the Disney Employee Choir and Disneyland Madrigals from 1979-1991. We are trying to get a reunion together.
Former CM Ernest
Hi my name is Ernest Coleman. I worked at Disneyland in the food serves area of Fantasyland from 1973 to around 1978 working at Fan1 and 2 as a cook and a lead foreman. I am trying to find out a good way to try and hook up with old friends who I worked with can you help thanks hope you can help
If you want to contact Diane or Ernest, please contact me and I will forward your e-mail on to Ernest or Diane.