Nine Questions Disney Cast Members Get Asked a Lot
You’ve dreamt of working at a Disney theme park, right? Everyone does at some point. Most of us do it as children, and then some of us never outgrow the desire. Being a Disney employee isn’t always everything it’s cracked up to be, though. Some customers can drive workers crazy with their inane queries. Here are nine questions that cast members get asked a lot.
Are You Single?
Let’s start with one of the uncomfortable ones. Singles head to Disney looking to mingle. And, yeah, some married folks do, too. There’s a running joke among cast members that some Disney outfits are sure to attract the attention of the opposite sex.
For example, the Tinkerbell and Pocahontas outfits show a bit of flesh. Some parents are known to get a bit frisky with the cast members wearing these costumes. While their kids are relishing character meetings, they’re shamelessly flirting. Yes, cast members think it’s gross.
However, the surest way to get asked if you’re single is by winning a royal gig. Competition is fierce to play Prince Charming at Disney theme parks. The reason why is that these men know they’ll get asked out a lot. In fact, a friend of a friend actually worked at Disney and married a former Prince Charming. She mentions (well, brags about) this a lot.
Can’t this Vehicle Go Any Faster?
Friends, let’s be clear about an important point. The Disney transportation that you take to reach the park isn’t a thrill ride. Logistics experts have diligently researched decades of traffic patterns and vehicle performances. They’ve done studies to identify the best and safest routes to and from the parks.
Disney trains its cast members to respect this research. Whether you’re on a tram, a bus, a boat, or even a monorail, you’re going the speed that Disney believes is best. Please don’t annoy your friendly cast member by asking them to go faster. They won’t, and they’ll be shocked that you’d even think they might.
Is Universal Studios Better?
When you’re a vacationer in Orlando, you want to have the best possible time. You know that Disney’s not the only theme park in town, and you’re understandably curious about the competition. You know what you shouldn’t do, though?
Never ask a Disney cast member whether Universal Orlando Resort is better. It’s like asking a Boston Red Sox fan whether the New York Yankees are better. To a larger point, a Disney employee would be doing a disservice to themselves and their company by saying yes.
What Is the Cast Member’s Name in That Disney Costume?
Okay, this one ties back to the previous question in a way. And I must admit that I’ve done this one.
Sometimes, the service that you receive at a Disney theme park is so exceptional that you want to praise the person. You know that Disney’s twitter accounts track #CastCompliment as a hashtag. But you need the person’s name to single them out for their customer service excellence.
Here’s the thing. Walt Disney wore a name tag, just like almost all Disney cast members. There’s an exception, though. Costumed characters don’t wear name tags because that would break the illusion. If you asked for Cinderella’s name, she wouldn’t tell you and neither would any of the other cast members working in that section.
Believe me on this point. I went 12 rounds on this one with a host at Akershus once. A Disney Princess had brought joy to the hearts of my immediate family members. Since my wife and I always maintain a list of cast members who deserve compliments, I asked for her name.
I never got it and had to send a compliment to “Belle at 1:15 p.m. on Thursday” instead. Disney guards the identities of its costumed cast members that carefully.
When Is the 3 O’clock Parade?
Yes, this one is a classic. And yes, it’s based in fact. Guests get so excited about the daily parade at Disney parks that they lose sight of the obvious. People legitimately do ask about the start time of the 3 o’clock parade every single day. And cast members must grit their teeth and answer as politely as they can muster, “3 p.m.”
Where Should We Eat?
Oh man, some cast members hate this one. Others don’t mind it, and so the quality of your answer will depend on the worker’s feelings on the subject.
Think about the conversation from a general perspective. Whenever you’re a group setting, what’s the hardest question to answer? It’s where everyone should eat, right? No two people on this planet share the same palate, and a plethora of options makes such discussions even more complicated.
Disney theme parks have scores of restaurants. When a cast member suggests something, they have no idea whether it’s a kind of food that you like. Don’t be surprised when Disney employees recommend places with huge menus. They figure that you can find compromise food options that way.
Will You Give Us X… (where X is basically anything)
When people start a sentence with “Will you give us X…,” X could be anything at Disney. Most park guests who ask this question aren’t super-greedy. They’ll request small stuff like FastPasses or a modest room upgrade or the like.
Some folks are a bit more demanding. They want meal vouchers or a suite instead of a standard room or to skip the entire line for an attraction. No matter the request, cast members aren’t supposed to say no. They’re trained to say, “What I can do is…” or a variation of that wording instead.
But all Disney employees hate when anyone asks for an unmerited favor. My best suggestion if you’re going to try this is a simple one. Kindness kills. Be friendly, polite, and honest about why you’re making the request. When you’re pushy, your odds of getting your wish are low.
Will You Overlook the Height Requirement for My Child?
People really ask this question! It’s the same as asking, “Hey, complete stranger, would you jeopardize the safety of my child?” Parents, you shouldn’t spend any time with someone who would answer yes to that question. And you certainly won’t find any cast member who would disregard the safety practices in place at a Disney theme park. Be grateful for that.
Will You Take a Picture for/with Us?
The preposition is an important distinction there. Most cast members will happily take a picture for you. They understand the importance of such family memories.
The quirk of Disney is that some park guests want cast members to be a part of the magic, too. Some visitors will ask workers to join them in photographs.
The answer to this question is usually yes. However, please understand that not everyone wants their picture taken. When you sense reluctance from a Disney employee, I beg you not to push the issue.
No one should ever feel pressured into taking a picture with a stranger. Also, years from now, you may not even remember who that person was or why you wanted them in a family photograph.