23 Secrets Disney Employees Won’t Tell You
Disney cast members spill their best insider secrets about the Happiest Place on Earth!
Think before you ask a question
There is no such thing as a “dumb” question, but at Disney, we have been asked a few notable ones. The most common one we get asked is, “What time is the 3:00 parade?” “One guest told me they couldn’t find Cinderella’s Castle,” said a former guest relations cast member at Disney World. “I sarcastically said, ‘Did they move it on me?’ We walked outside and the castle was right there at the end of the street.” Make sure you never bring anything from this list of 15 banned things from Disney parks.
Don’t lie to us to get free stuff
Lying like Pinocchio never bodes well in Disney, but some Disney guests have stooped to some low levels in an effort to score free perks. “One time a woman told my manager that I said her face looked like a Halloween mask,” says a former guest relations cast member at Disney World. “There were always people making up things like that to get something for free.”
Halloween and Christmas Party tickets are a bargain
If you book in advance, the tickets for Mickey’s Halloween Party (offered at both Disneyland and Disney World) and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (only offered at Magic Kingdom) tend to be cheaper than day pass tickets by up to $20. “My favorite thing in Magic Kingdom is Mickey’s Halloween Party,” says a former Disney World College Program participant. “The coolest thing is you’ll never see the special Halloween fireworks or Halloween show outside of the exclusive Halloween party.” Plus, the earlier you go, the more money you save because the parties are thrown for several weeks leading up to Halloween or Christmas. Don’t miss out on how to spend the holidays in Disney World while beating the crowds.
Mind your manners
We deal with irate and irrational guests on a daily basis. It’s unfortunately the nature of the beast, no pun intended, which is why being kind may pay off for you. One former cast member gave a little girl and her father free ice cream and balloons because the little girl sweetly said her dad’s breath smelled like Skittles. “The nicer you are, the more people will want to listen to you and figure out a solution for you,” says a former guest relations cast member at Disney World.
Catch rare character appearances at EPCOT
Disney characters sometimes train at the International Gateway in EPCOT located between the United Kingdom Pavilion and France Pavilion. “It’s a cool way to meet characters you wouldn’t get to see normally,” says Amanda, a former seasonal cast member at Disney World. “I saw Flynn Rider once. He usually only comes out for the Halloween or Christmas parties.” Another, surprisingly, lesser-known character hang out is in EPCOT’s Character Spot where you can meet Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Goofy. Plus, you don’t have to stand outside under the beating sun for an autograph or picture because the Character Spot is inside.
You’ll never see two of the same characters at once
The last thing Disney wants to do is ruin the magic of the theme park. Each and every character has a set time throughout the day to prevent two Mickeys from showing up at once. “Disney wants to maintain the integrity of its characters and keep that magic alive,” says a former quick-service employee at Disney World. Check out these secret spots people don’t know about in Disney parks.
Go to guest relations in the morning for the most accurate information
“If you go before noon, they’re going to be super helpful because you get the full-time cast members who have been around the longest,” says a former Disney World College Program participant. “Later in the day, you typically get the college students who are either not as knowledgeable or haven’t been there as long to know the park well enough.”
Nighttime is prime time for Disney visits
The lines for rides typically die down at night, especially during the fireworks display. We always take advantage of visiting the park at night because of cooler temperatures and fewer crowds. Here are the cheapest and most expensive times to visit Disney World throughout the year.
Beat the crowds with Extra Magic Hours
Guests staying in select Disney Resorts can access any theme park before or after operating hours with Extra Magic Hours. The Magic Hours vary by day, time, and theme park, but they typically occur anywhere between the hours of 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. or 9 p.m. to 12 p.m. “I’ve never had to wait longer than 15 minutes to get on a ride during Extra Magic Hours,” says a former Disney World College Program participant.
The cast members give the best recommendations
Think of us like a Yelp review for Disney. Unlike most 9 to 5 office jobs, we actually love visiting the place we work on our days off. When we try out different rides, restaurants, and shows throughout the parks, it gives us an opportunity to provide you with only the best recommendations. “Also, the more people you know at different parks and resorts, the more you find out about what places are good,” says a former guest relations employee at Disney World. Check out these new things coming to Disney parks this year.