Secrets From An Ex-Disney World Cast Member

The wonderful world of Disney is filled with magic, pixie dust, and secrets. In order to keep the magical realm secure, there are certain things that Disney employees have to keep quiet about. From code words to Disney tunnels to fake bakery smells and beyond.

Do you think you’re ready to learn about the best kept Disney World secrets? If so, take a look at these secrets of Disney World revealed by a former Disney cast member. If you don't want some of the magic of Disney ruined for you, this is a good place to stop reading. You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube, as they say. You might never be able to see Disneyland or Walt Disney World in the same way again.

Be prepared for your next trip to the Magic Kingdom and make the most out of your stay with these Disneyland secrets.

  • There Are No Sad Kids At Disney
    Photo: / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    There Are No Sad Kids At Disney

    It’s not great publicity to have kids crying in the parks, but sometimes, children cry. They might drop their Dole Whip on their T-shirt, they might trip and bang their knee, they might do a lot of things that can cause tears.
    For this reason, any Disney World employee can invoke the No Sad Kids rule to make a child smile. This could be something as simple as giving them a replacement ice cream or they could provide a Doc McStuffins toy to kiss the boo-boo better that the child can then keep.

  • We Aren’t Allowed To point The Finger
    Photo: Pogrebnoj-Alexandroff / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    We Aren’t Allowed To point The Finger

    Cast members are taught to use an open palm or two fingers to direct guests.

    There are two reasons for this: 1) Pointing with one finger is considered rude in some cultures and Disney has visitors from all around the world. 2) These methods are easier to see.


  • Even our fingernails have to adhere to the Disney Look
    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Even our fingernails have to adhere to the Disney Look

    While we’re on the topic of cast members’ hands, there are special rules regarding fingernails. All fingernails are required to be neat and clean. A man’s fingernails cannot be painted with nail polish and a woman’s fingernails must not be longer than ¼ of an inch.

    Looks like you'll have to save the nail art tutorials for another time.

  • There’s A Disney University

    Every cast member has to attend a course called Traditions at Disney University. They learn the history of Disney, the parks, the role they play in the show, and about preserving the magic.

    It should also be noted that some hospitality and management students can receive college credit while working at Disney World and take extra courses at Disney University.

  • It’s A Small World, After All

    The Disney Universe is very insular and their characters don’t know about anything outside of Disney. Belle hasn’t read Harry Potter and Cinderella hasn’t worn Jimmy Choos. Cast members playing the characters are expected to "preserve the magical atmosphere," so if you ask them, they’ll say they "haven’t heard of it."

    Sometimes, it’s fun when guests test our commitment by asking about NASCAR or Beyonce.

  • Cast members aren’t allowed visible body modifications
    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    Cast members aren’t allowed visible body modifications

    As you can imagine, Disney employees must abide by a certain set of guidelines for how they look. It’s all to ensure that park guests do not get drawn out of the atmosphere. Cast members are characters playing a part, and you must look in character.

    Body modifications are a big no-no for Disney staff. They aren’t allowed to have any visible tattoos, piercings (except for one set of earlobe piercings for women), or other body mods, including forked tongues and scarification.