While not many of us like to be told what to do, rules exist for a reason. Otherwise, the world (and our daily lives) would be in a constant state of utter and total crazy chaos. When you have a place as orderly (and in my eyes almost perfect) as Disneyland, then it’s totally obvs that some pretty strict employee rules exist in order to keep it the “happiest place on Earth.” Think about those infamous carnies at the county fair, then think about those who work at Disneyland — big diff right?!? While Disney keeps their in-house rules and regulations totally on the down low, here are 21 that are rumored and/or known to be true.
1. They’re not called employees. Disneyland workers are always referred to as cast members. Think of Disneyland as the stage — these folks are the players and guests are the stars of the show.
2. You won’t see any tats on cast members. While tattoos on guests are everywhere (and this is the perf place for your Disney-centric tattoo inspo), you won’t see any skin art on cast members. If they have them, they must be well covered.
3. And no extra jewelry, either. Cast members can’t be seen sporting a nose, lip or tongue piercing. And earlobe expansions are a total no-no. Their earring rules state, “One earring in each ear is permitted. Earrings may be clip-on or pierced, post, hoop or dangle and must be worn on the bottom of the earlobe. Earrings may not exceed the size of a quarter.” And they can only wear one ring on each hand (unless they have a wedding band set). Ankle bracelets are totally NSFW.
4. Eyeglasses must be simple. If a cast member has impaired vision and wears glasses, the pair they sport must be of a conservative hue and can’t have any large logos. So those hot pink Chanel logo specs will have to stay at home.
5. There is no Mr. This or Ms. That. Every cast member is on a first name basis. This is something that came directly from Walt Disney himself. At the parks, his film studios and offices, he was always Walt, never Mr. Disney.
6. Men can have a beard, but it’s gotta be well-groomed and tidy. For decades, cast members weren’t allowed to sport facial hair at all while employed at the park, but this strict policy was changed a few years back. Now they can — but with conditions. Facial hair can’t be a work-in-progress; mustaches and beards must be fully grown (which means they’ll have to spend their vacay growing out their ‘stash). Additionally, facial hair must be trimmed, well-kept with no wack-a-doodle shaping and must, as Disney states, be “well-maintained at no longer than a quarter of an inch in length.”
7. Nails must be tamed. While long nails with images of the cast of Beauty and the Beast or a tribute to Minnie Mouse might be tempting, a Disneyland employee can’t go there. Nails must be simple. As Disney states, “If polish is used, it should be an appropriate, neutral color. This includes deeper, richer shades of polish. Polishes that are not permitted include black, gold, silver, multicolored or neon. Also, nail charms or decals aren’t permitted either. (Photo via Nailed It by Chelsey)
8. Hair must be tamed too. For women, hair must be “neatly combed and arranged in a classic, easy-to-maintain style.” And those “extreme styles”? They’re a no-go. As for hair color — think natural. “The Disney Look does not permit extremes in dyeing, bleaching or coloring. If the hair color is changed, it must be natural-looking and well maintained. Subtle highlighting or frosting is permitted as long as it creates a uniform look over the whole head.”
9. Use two fingers. When pointing, say giving directions to the nearest Churro stand, cast members must do so with two fingers, not one. Pointing with one may be considered rude in various cultures and, since Disneyland is a melting pot, they don’t want to offend anyone.
10. There is no such thing as “I don’t know.” If you have a question that pertains to the park, cast members can’t answer with an “I don’t know.” They must either ask another cast member or call someone who’ll know. But remember, this is for real questions. They can’t help you with “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” or “Is there life after death?” Well, at least we don’t think they can.
11. They can’t Snapchat their day as Elsa. Or, for that matter, they can’t talk about their Princess gig anywhere outside of work — like on their YouTube channel or at an open mic night. Their job as a Disney character is not unlike being a spy. There is, indeed, a veil of secrecy.
12. The size of their body matters, if they’re a character, that is. There are size constraints for certain character roles, and while it might be an odd job requirement, it totally makes sense. Disney princesses such as Cinderella, Snow White and Aurora are usually in the 5’4” to 5’ 8” range, while a character like Alice is usually under 5’2”. And they’re all pretty fit and trim.
13. No free costume rental for you. Have a pal who works at the Haunted Mansion and you think that you can ask them to borrow their costume for Halloween? Think again. Cast members (and their friends) can’t wear the Disneyland costumes for any sort of personal use.
14. They also need to be able to write “in character.” Those who are livin’ their day as a Princess, Pluto or Peter Pan (among many, many others) will need to learn to properly pull off the character’s in-character signature. That way, when the kids go home and compare the John Hancock from this year from two years ago, it appears that the autographs are one and the same. Each character has their own style, like Minnie Mouse puts a heart over the “I,” Daisy Duck puts a flower over her “I” and Woody adds a star to his lasso-like “y.”
15. They need to learn and use code words. Not-so-magical things can happen at the Magic Kingdom. And instead of saying, “We need to clean up that vomit outside of Space Mountain,” it’s “We have a Code V.” Other codes include Code P or Code U (for urine) and Code H (for horse poop on Main Street).
16. If they see trash, they have to pick it up. Everyone, from execs to a roaming Alice, must pick up any litter they see. And they can’t pick it up by squatting, rather one must embrace their inner ballerina and gracefully swoop it up.
17. No photos, please. While we’re all used to taking (and sharing) photos everywhere, cast members aren’t allowed to take photos backstage, like ever. No one wants to ruin countless childhoods by seeing Mickey without his head.
18. They can’t make guests feel stupid. “If someone asks you ‘what time does the 3:00 parade start’,” a former cast member stated. “You can’t laugh. They may be serious! Actually, they are most of the time! You have to say ‘3:00′ with a smile that doesn’t suggest to them that you think they are a big stupid and should go learn something.”
19. Celebrities LOVE Disneyland, but you have to treat them like any other visitor. It’s said that asking a celebrity for a photo or autograph while you’re working is grounds for termination.
20. There are lots of little things a cast member can’t do. There are plenty of mundane little things that are off limits. They can’t be seen chewing gum, checking their cell phone while on “stage” or eating while on the job. And since Disneyland has a ton of Pokestops, that also means you can’t play Pokemon Go while at work (no matter how tempting).
If you worked at Disneyland, which rules would be the hardest for you to follow? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know!