Disney World is the top choice for many to spend their holidays, yet most are unaware of the things required to keep it operational. 

A user asked the forum, “Those who have worked at Disney World, what behind-the-scenes stories do you have that the public doesn’t see?” Here are the top responses. 


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“If you hear an announcement over the park-wide sound system looking for a specific person, it is essential. Announcements like that have a chain of approval before Disney will allow the ‘magic’ illusion to be broken.

But it’s not always bad news like informing families of a death. I’ve made several park announcements to find someone to tell them an organ donation was matched, a medical courier was on their way to Orlando, and they needed to get to the hospital as fast as possible.”


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“I’ve left a similar comment before but briefly trained for Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney World. At one point on the ride, you go over a bridge with crocodiles underneath. As I was riding with no one in the truck other than my trainer, she felt free to tell me that if anyone were to stand up and fall into the crocodile pit, I was to drive away immediately so that others wouldn’t have to see the carnage or try to rescue the person. 

The crocodiles are fed from that bridge, and anything that drops from there is food for them, and they are surprisingly fast.”


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“Everyone in the call centers is given a ‘stage name,’ so no two agents have the same name as the guests. The most unique stage names I remember are Cotton, Casper, Arizona, and Lucinda. 

When you’re in training, they give you a selection of 20 names to choose from, so you better hope you’re one of the first to pick so you can get a normal name and not get stuck with Cotton.”


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“I worked on The Great Movie Ride in Hollywood Studies for a while, and I can tell you all 22 minutes of your friendly tour guide’s speech is scripted to the last letter. 

You get three days to learn your monologue (and all the speeds/controls/stops of the actual ride) before going ‘live’ as a tour guide. Most of those three days are spent in a room with your trainer, reciting your script until you get every word right. 

If you accidentally say the word ‘okay’ instead of ‘alright,’ you start over from the beginning. Most tedious three days of my life. There’s also one button on every car that gets you fired immediately despite being close to buttons you must always touch if pushed.”


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“I worked at a cash register in Tomorrowland. A guy had a heart attack and died about 10 feet from me. I called it in when I saw it, but they already knew about it. I went on break shortly afterward and saw the family, literally ‘behind the scenes,’ crying their eyes out.

That never happens. Guests are never allowed behind the scenes except when somebody dies. It’s heartbreaking. On a positive note, they all got lifetime passes.”


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“I went on a ‘Keys To The Kingdom’ tour once and got to go down into the utilidors. It smells like rotten ketchup in a lot of places.”


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“As a character, you are supposed to throw up in your mask if you are sick. Taking it off is not an option. You cover one eye with your hand and raise the other arm to alert maintenance that you are not well. 

Also, if there is another character (same as you), you cannot, under any circumstances, be seen with them. You also must take a course to match the signature style for autographs.”


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“A friend of mine told me that the European Disneyland workers’ rules were so strict that they called it Mouseshwitz. When management got wind of this, they were told that anyone found using that name again would be fired. It was only a few hours before they called it Duckau.”


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“My cousin worked at Disney in the 90s. I haven’t heard a lot about his experience, but I have been told that the cable that Tinkerbell ‘flies’ down to the castle once snapped, and she got a massive settlement, and Snow White gave him crabs. I need to talk to him more often. Interesting guy.”


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“I used to work as a candy maker at Disneyland. The candy store was on Main Street, and there was a little pot of vanilla scent with a fan behind it to waft it out onto the street where people were walking by.

Once, I saw a massive rat by the trash compactor while taking out some cardboard.

Another time, my manager wrote me up for accidentally dropping like $1000 worth of caramel apples because a feral cat came up and scared me. There’s a cat and mouse turf war backstage, and they lure you into the candy store with a pot of vanilla.”


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“Secret police, computer systems to track unruly behavior at any point in your life, extreme intolerance for trouble-making dissidents. Disney is running a highly efficient, skillfully veiled fascist state.”


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“You cannot and will not say under any circumstances that you have seen a cockroach, pest, or other nuisance in the park. You also can’t say ‘died’ over the radio, an example would be, ‘My radio battery died.’ I got chewed out pretty hard about that one from my managers.”


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“I worked at Disneyland in college. It’s oddly weird seeing a mouse character without a head. It is even worse when the mouse character is the boy mouse, but the person inside is a young female. If I remember correctly, she was smoking, too. It was odd since I didn’t think those in a costume could smoke in them. 

Backstage at Disney can ruin all the normal fun of the park. It was a great experience, though.”


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“My ex-friend used to work there and would tell us about the ghost in Pirates of the Caribbean. ‘Jeffery?’ I think his name was. When the whole place was empty at night, shadow figures would haunt this part of the ride. It was creepy.”


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“I was an intern once for Disney. Around Jan, May, and August, the housing department does a ‘purge.’ They will over-accept people into the program, knowing that they will terminate ‘bad kids.’ 

The term ‘bad kids’ is very vague. It can be anything from a kid whose roommate doesn’t like them to an actual bad kid who is underage drinking. They look at the numbers and terminate interns where they please.”

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