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9 Strange Things Disney Cast Members Learn to Do

5. Understand the Unique Language of Kids

If you’ve spent much time around small children, you’ve probably recognized that there are many things only parents seem to understand. What’s gibberish to an outsider often makes perfect sense to Mom or Dad…or to a seasoned Cast Member. The more popular words like characters’ names and certain attractions are easiest to pick out. The best Cast Members also know how to communicate with tots right on their level as well.

4. Count the Number of People in a Group in Seconds

Sure, you always ask “how many,” but you also go into the grouper position knowing that a lot of people will get the answer wrong. Guests also like to answer with math problems, like “two here, and three behind me, and then a kid.” Needless to say, it’s handy to have a good eye for figuring out which groups are together and determining how many are really with the guest in question.

3. Guess What a Guest Will Ask Before he Gets the Question Out

In certain positions, a Cast Member’s whole job is to answer questions. Cast Members in guest relations, the greeter position of an attraction, front desk areas in the hotels, or stocking shelves in a gift shop tend to get lots and lots of questions. After a while you pick up on what the guest is asking long before the question makes its way out. This is especially useful in cases where the guest himself doesn’t actually know what he’s asking. The literal answer to “Where’s Disney World?” is “Right here…all around you…you’re IN IT.” But most guests are actually referring to the Magic Kingdom when they ask this, which changes things drastically.

2. Speak in Acronyms

Cast Members love acronyms, particularly those with three letters. Many popular acronyms assume the word “ride” is tacked on to the end of an attraction to get the right number of letters. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is “DAK” (pronounced like it rhymes with “pack”). Kilimanjaro Safaris is KSR, Dinosaur is DTR (adding “The” as well as “Ride”), and The Great Movie Ride is GMR. Since these don’t make pronounceable words, you just say the letters. If you work in the rotation that includes Aladdin, the Enchanted Tiki Room, and the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, you’re at ATT. String enough of these together and it’s almost incomprehensible to someone who’s not in the know.

1. Scoop Trash up Without Missing a Step

Picking up stray pieces of trash on the ground is an essential Cast Member skill that goes all the way back to Walt. The man behind the mouse was known to pick up litter in the streets of Disneyland to keep up the flawless appearance of his park. Naturally, Cast Members are expected to follow suit. This skill is really handy anywhere, but it does get you some strange looks from your friends when you keep falling behind at the mall because you’re reflexively picking up every crumpled napkin you see.

Useful or not, the skills and habits you pick up as a Cast Member are many. If you’ve been looking for an immersive way to pick up a few new talents it may be as simple as working for a mouse.

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There are 56 comments.

This list made me smile! I am not, and never have been, a cast member… But I can certainly tell time in the evening by the fireworks show, and which direction it's coming from. Having stayed in Fort Wilderness most every year for the last 15 helps to make one in tune with the show schedule.

I worked for Disney almost 20 years ago and I still stop and offer to take pictures for people!! It hasn't faded yet!

I'm a cast member. When I come into the park as a guest with friends, guests will sometimes ask me questions. I'm wearing people clothes! I look nothing like a cast member! lol

I think we give off a vibe.

Alabama Splash Adventure expects similar skills from employees, as does Holiday World.

Don't forget crowd surfing! Getting from point A to point B in the shortest time possible during the busiest seasons. It's a fine art.

I always think of it as the live version of the video game "Frogger".


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