Monday, July 4, 2011

Disney World Secrets from a Cast Member, Part 2

Taken at my CP graduation in January!

Have good walking shoes. You'll be walking miles every day.

Ask yourself if you really want to pay the extra money for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (in September, October and November on select nights), and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (in November and December on select nights).
Yes, there are special characters (Tarzan! Princes! The hag from Snow White! name a few), special fireworks, and a special parade. It's all very special. It's fun. I thoroughly enjoyed the Halloween party-but I don't think it's worth $40-some dollars per person.
At Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party with the Mad Hatter

You can always see Magic Kingdom fireworks from the Polynesian, Contemporay, and Grand Floridian Resorts.
I loved going to the Polynesian, getting a giant self-serve pineapple vanilla from Captain Cooks, sitting in a hammock on the white sand beach, and watching Wishes (regular, Halloween, and Christmas) away from the crowds.

You can also see Epcot's Illuminations fireworks from the Boardwalk. It's still gorgeous, and much less crowded.

However, if you're in Magic Kingdom, Wishes was designed by Imagineers to be watched on Main Street.
To be exact, equidistant between Casey's Corner, where you buy hot dogs, and the ice cream shop. I also liked watching it from the Swiss Family Robinson tree house in Adventureland.

Do the full loop around the World Showcase. 
I like to start in Canada (well, really, I bypass Canada to start in the UK pavilion), and end in Mexico. The full loop is 1.2 miles, so you can get some exercise, and meet CPs from all sorts of continents and countries! On my college program, I would literally go into the UK pavilion and say "Hi, I'm Anna. I'm a CP too-do you want to hang out sometime?" It worked surprisingly well, and that's how I met my best friend Ruth.

Some definitions:
Cast Member:
Any person that works for Disney World. There's over 60,000 employees.
I was a Cast Member. The topiary Tigger in Crystal Palace is not.

The cast member's job description.

What we have to wear for my 'role'. For as attractions in Fantasyland, I wore this:
Green shorts with a jaunty red stripe, white embroidered shirt, red belt, and black shoes with white socks. Disney sizing is weird; I was a size 14 in shorts (real life size: 5). I had to button every shirt button except the top one. In my last month, I also got a straw fedora with a red stripe around the brim.

What Cast Members call the the visitors to the park. That's why we have Guest Service Fanatic cards!

CP: College Program
It's a semester-long program for college students from all over the world. Disney guarantees you 30 hours a week (at least), gives you an apartment (you only pay rent, but you have to have 2 people per bedroom), and a bus system. I worked in Attractions, on the rides; but you could be anywhere from working in the restaurants, custodial, resorts, be a character...that sort of thing. More information is here.

Protein Spill:
Someone vomited. Ick. Custodial has to clean it up.

The ride broke. Or, CM's say that "the ride's gone down". For how long, we don't know. Please stop asking. Go meet a Princess while you're waiting.
I hear Snow White is always welcoming and willing to debate over favorite dwarfs.

Special tickets that you get out of machines that make your wait time less for certain rides. They're free, use your park ticket. Also, you can show up at any time AFTER it says on the ticket, and Cast Members have to honor it. For example, you got a Fastpass for the Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh for 9am. If you show up any time after 9am, we will let you through the Fastpass line.
Disney Point:
Every cast member points with the index and middle fingers 'glued together'.
Disney point!

The 4 Disney Basics are:
I project a positive image and energy
I am courteous and respectful to all guests, including children
I stay in character and play the part
I go above and beyond
Santa Goofy is going Above and Beyond!

When a Cast Member gets 'fired'. But Disney doesn't use the word 'fired'. Ever. Instead, you got 'terminated', or 'termed'. A lot of CPs get termed for underage drinking. They have to be out of the apartments by the next day and have a way to get home. Once you're out, you're out.

"Have a magical day!"
What Cast Members like/are trained to say to guests.
I hope you have a magical time, please let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment! I promise I'll respond.
 Br'er Fox proposing!


  1. Its so cool how you were in the CP! I love WDW ( Hence my username)
    And I also love HP i might see Daniel Radcilff on broadway soon!

  2. Aw, thanks! I had the time of my life.

    If you can see 'How to Succeed', you should. I saw it in May, and it was one of the best shows I've ever seen. I also got to meet Daniel Radcliffe after the show!

  3. I was a CP this past fall advantage program. I was QSFB at All Star Music. I really had an amazing time and I would love to go back soon!

  4. I love the blog. I desperately want to be "friends with a princess" (or fairy... I am borderline height) and hopefully do the college program. I just got home from Disney World and am having withdrawls at 2am.. Yep! :) One question though.. When you enter the college program how do you go about getting the job you want in Disney? Do they say,"Hey you could be a face character!" or "Hey you are going to be a waitress!" or do you get to have a preference?

  5. Love your tips and all. We are doing a Dream Trip for my little one recently diagnosed with a second terminal disorder. Her dream is Disney WOrld and getting all the autographs and rising as many rides as she can. Your "tips" are very helpful! What can you tell people who use wheelchairs? We have 2 in our party, myself and my 9-year old daughter!

  6. Are you still around? Thanks for this great info!
    I am taking my husband to DW in the fall to celebrate his recovery from a very serious illness. What can I do/where can I take him/who can I get involved to make it special for him? I appreciate any information you can give to me.
    my email is THANK YOU