These Are the Best (and Worst) Things About Working in Disney Parks, According to Employees

Disney World is the happiest place on earth. However, the saying isn’t always true for park employees who work long hours in the sweltering Florida heat. Learn what employees have to lie about and why they can’t have any visible tattoos. Plus, what perks are available to Disney employees. Keep reading for the best and worst things about working in Disney parks.

Worst: Working the Magic Kingdom toll plaza on Christmas Day

'Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade' Special Taped At Magic Kingdom

Christmas at Disney isn’t so fun for the employees. | Matt Stroshane/Disney via Getty Images

It turns out, lots of people spend major holidays at Disney World. According to Cracked, people drive from as far as Canada to experience the magic of Disney World. It’s not uncommon for parking lots to fill up early in the morning. It’s the toll worker’s job to turn families away and suggest other Disney parks.

Best: The perks

Mickie poses with Sleeping Beauty's Castle

At least the employees can visit the park for free. | Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

Every Disney employee gets an annual pass for themselves and day passes for friends and families, according to reviews on the job site, Indeed. During the holiday season, employees get discounts. Occasionally, employees will get free snacks, Indeed reviewers said.

Worst: Mandatory overtime

Mickey in the Walt Disney World Parade

Disney is very demanding of its employees. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Overtime isn’t optional at Disney World. The Greatest Place on Earth requires lots of their employees’ time. One reviewer on Indeed said, “Not just, an hour here or there if you can but 10 hours at a time and it can go on for months.” Another review said, “they just do not seem to understand that people have lives outside Disney.”

Best: You believe in the magic of Disney

Mary Poppins dances at Disneyland

Even employees think Disney is magical. | iStock.com/Smckenzie

Disney employees put up with a lot. Yet somehow, they still believe in Disney magic, even after they’ve learned what it takes to run the happiest place on earth. One reviewer on Indeed wrote, “there really is a desire to create wondrous, magical experiences for all involved.”

Worst: Epcot is full of drunks

Drunk guys at a bar

Unfortunately, some people don’t drink responsibly at Epcot. | Polka Dot Images/iStock/Getty Images

The same people who arrived at the park to full parking lots end up at the Epcot Center. Epcot is full of educational rides and lots of alcohol. “Every night we find people passed out in the bathrooms, littering the bushes and trees, dropping in the street,” according to Cracked. The same Cracked article says the Epcot Center has a reputation for being “the drunk park” where people attempt to drink around the world at all the bars.

Best: Your co-workers become family

parade during the taping of the Disney Parks "Frozen Christmas Celebration"

The hard work brings castmates closer together. | Mark Ashman/Disney Parks via Getty Images

A comment seen over and over again on Disney World’s reviews as an employer, is how close the staff members are with one another. Employees bonded quickly because of the amount of time they spent working at the park. Former employees make sure to stay in contact with their co-workers after they’ve left Disney. In some cases, people make lifelong friends.

Worst: You have to lie

Walt Disney characters Mickey and Minnie Mouse

There are multiple Mickeys walking around the parks. | Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images

Disney’s official position is that there’s only one person in the park dressed as each character, Cracked says. If you ask a Disney employee how many Mickey Mouse’s are walking around the park, they’ll say “one.” This is a lie. There’s actually multiple people dressed as Mickey. The park is too big and receives too many guests to only have one employee dressed as Mickey.

Best: Helping families create happy memories

“Your whole day is creating these wonderful family moments for people,” Cracked says. Making memories that will shape a kid’s childhood is sure to make any Disney employee proud of what they do. When any employee is having a bad day, they can look around the park at the happy children and remember what’s so great about their job.

Worst: The rigorous interview process

It takes a lot to become a Disney employee. First and foremost you must be able to mimic Disney characters and dance well. One of the harder things required of employees is being able to sign a character’s name with both hands. According to Cracked, the character’s signature should always remain the same, no matter the year of the autograph. For Disney employees, not looking to play a character, they have to fill out an online questionnaire, then do a series of in-person interviews, according to Indeed reviews. The “Disney Look” is taken very seriously. Employees can’t have any visible tattoos.

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