Do you think you’re ready to learn about of the best kept Disney World secrets? If so, take a look at these secrets of Disney World revealed by a former Disney cast member. If you don't want some of the magic of Disney ruined for you, this is a good place to stop reading. You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube, as they say. You might never be able to see Disneyland or Walt Disney World in the same way again.
Be prepared for your next trip to the Magic Kingdom and make the most out of your stay with these Disneyland secrets.
It’s not great publicity to have kids crying in the parks, but sometimes children cry. They might drop their Dole Whip on their t-shirt, they might trip and bang their knee, they might do a lot of things that can cause tears.
For this reason, any Disney World employee can invoke the No Sad Kids rule to make a child smile. This could be something as simple as giving them a replacement ice cream or they could provide a Doc McStuffin’s toy to kiss the boo-boo better that the child can then keep.
We aren’t allowed to point the finger
Cast members are taught to use an open palm or two fingers to direct guests.There are two reasons for this: 1) Pointing with one finger is considered rude in some cultures and Disney has visitors from all around the world. 2) These methods are easier to see.
There’s a rumor that the "Disney Point" pays homage to Walt Disney who used to smoke during meetings and would point with two fingers clasping a cigarette.
Even our fingernails have to adhere to the Disney Look
While we’re on the topic of cast members’ hands, there are special rules regarding fingernails. All fingernails are required to be neat and clean. A man’s fingernails must not be longer than their fingertips and a woman’s fingernails must not be longer than ¼ of an inch.
Looks like you'll have to save the nail art tutorials for another time.
There’s a Disney University
Every cast member has to attend a course called Traditions at Disney University. They learn the history of Disney, the parks, the role they play in the show, and about preserving the magic. It should also be noted that some hospitality and management students can receive college credit while working at Disney World and take extra courses at Disney University.
It’s a small world, after all
The Disney Universe is very insular and their characters don’t know about anything outside of Disney. Belle hasn’t read Harry Potter and Cinderella hasn’t worn Jimmy Choos. Cast members playing the characters are expected to "preserve the magical atmosphere" so if you ask them, they’ll say they "haven’t heard of it." Sometimes it’s fun when guests test our commitment by asking about NASCAR or Beyonce, but remember that Disney is a family place... Don’t be the guy who waits in line to get Belle’s autograph and then asks her about 50 Shades of Grey.
Cast members aren’t allowed visible body modifications
As you can imagine, Disney employees must abide by a certain set of guidelines for how they look. It’s all to ensure that park guests do not get drawn out of the atmosphere. Cast members are characters playing a part, and you must look in character.
Body modifications are a big no-no for Disney staff. They aren’t allowed to have any visible tattoos, piercings (except for one earlobe piercing for women), or other body mods including forked tongues and scarification. All mods must be declared when you sign your contract and must be removed or covered whilst on shift.
There are hidden tunnels beneath the Magic Kingdom
There’s a network of tunnels (called Utilidoors) underneath the Magic Kingdom so that everything can be kept backstage that needs to be backstage to preserve the atmosphere of the park. From employees taking their breaks, to parade vehicles waiting to make their entrance. This originates from a time at Disneyland when Walt saw a cowboy strolling through Tomorrowland, which took guests out of the moment. These tunnels also allow Disney to play some estate-agent tricks on you by pumping sweet bakery smells to the front of Main Street.
If you play a character, you have to eat, sleep, and breathe that character
Costumed cast members have to invest heavily in their characters and are expected to be able to mimic the voice, personality, and autograph of their character. There are a lot people that play Mickey, and they all have to play Mickey the same way. Because there's only one Mickey, right?