16 Eye-Opening Secrets And Stories From People Who Worked At The Disney Parks
"Protein spill outside Space Mountain. I repeat, protein spill outside Space Mountain."
We recently asked former Disney Park employees of the BuzzFeed Community to share their wildest secrets and stories from the job. Here are some of the most eye-opening submissions:
Disclaimer: Obviously, we can't 100% confirm these stories, but these people are supposedly speaking from their own experiences as alleged former employees.
1. "I worked as a custodian at Epcot in 2007 and we had to use code words over our radios for certain types of cleanups (so that we wouldn’t gross out any guests who might overhear). For example, if someone threw up in the park, we called that a 'protein spill.'"
2. "They pump bread-flavored air out of hollow rocks on the food-adjacent roads to encourage eating. It’s not the baking that smells that good."
3. "My brother dressed up as Tigger, Goofy, etc. in the early '90s. He said it was as hot as you could imagine, and people even threw up in the costumes..."
4. "I was working in the kitchen at the restaurant inside of Cinderella's castle when a family of four came in for dinner. About halfway through the dinner, the husband politely stood up and tapped his glass for attention. He announced that his wife of 15 years had been cheating on him for over a year. The entire place stood still in shock. He motioned for his kids, paid the waitress, and left the wife crying at the table."
5. "I’ve never been as well-trained for a job as I was at Walt Disney World. On day one, we all went to Disney University for general orientation. Day two was another day at Disney University that was just on how to be a custodian (my position there). Day three was all about Epcot itself, which included fun facts, a tour, and getting on rides. After that, I shadowed for about two weeks before being allowed to work on my own during a shift."
6. "Disney University — where we had our work orientation — was in a very discrete location in Orlando. They don't want tourists accidentally stumbling upon it, so it's intentionally difficult to find and it looks like a warehouse from the outside."
7. "Overnight cast member here. Please, PLEASE, leave your cremated loved ones at home. Stop dumping them in the Haunted Mansion. They just get vacuumed up and disposed of."
8. "I was a Disney employee for a summer. I was sitting with a group of guys by where Mickey and Minnie got dressed. When they came out, the guys started catcalling Minnie. The guy that played Mickey said, in a perfect Mickey voice, 'If you look at my girlfriend again, I'm gonna pop ya!'"
9. "I did a college program at Animal Kingdom in 2012. Backstage, we have bikes! The backstage area of Animal Kingdom is super big, and it isn't connected with Utilidoors like Magic Kingdom. If I needed to go from Dinoland to Discovery Island, I would have to take a golf cart all the way around the park. Depending on where I was going specifically, I might have parked the golf cart and rode a bike to complete my errand. It was a nice break from dealing with guests!"
10. "I worked at Disneyland years ago as a character, and it wasn't just any old randos slapping on a costume. We had auditions with callbacks. First audition, we had to learn a choreographed dance routine, and then had to do a bunch of improv as multiple characters. If we got called back, we had to do the same dance routine in costume..."
11. "It was a blast to work as a character. So many fun coworkers because everyone (except me) wanted to be an actor or performer. Because I was the right height to play some of the most popular characters (Mickey, Minnie, Pinocchio, Winnie the Pooh), I got treated like a rock star by the guests. It was so fun to make a kid's day during meet and greets. The pay sucked though."
12. "At closing, you would 'cycle guests out.' That meant you’d close the entrance to the attraction, then continue running the ride until all the guests were out..."
13. "I worked at Disney World, and one day when I was walking through the Magic Kingdom tunnels, I came across a costume room with a bunch of characters' heads on sticks. Nothing is weirder than seeing Mickey’s head on a stick!"
14. "I worked there in the early 2000s as a college program employee. This basically equates to working long hours, with little pay, while living in Disney-owned apartment complexes..."
15. "I worked at a few restaurants in Walt Disney World. Once, when I was walking through one of the parks with a friend, I was approached by some random guy who asked for directions to a steakhouse..."
16. And lastly, "I was a safari driver at the Kilimanjaro attraction in Animal Kingdom. We had this elephant named Willy, who was an exhibitionist. I was driving a safari one day, spewing out facts about elephants, when I heard a tiny voice from the back of the truck yell, 'MOOOOM! HE HAS FIVE LEGS!!!' I turned, and sure enough, there was Willy, standing with his 5-foot-long dick just swaying in the Florida breeze. I had to turn my mic off, I was laughing so hard."
Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.