Everyone can agree that Disney is the most magical place, something the Walt Disney Company strives hard to maintain. Despite extreme confidentiality agreements, tidbits leak out. Sometimes you get lucky and meet a rogue cast member who opens up and tells you all about what it is like at the happiest place on earth. Last week, that someone was me.
Before we dive right in, by no means do I think I’ve become an investigative journalist with some breaking story. I was simply riveted by what I was being told. I asked a lot of questions, made lots of notes, then took to the internet to see what I could find in supporting evidence (which lead down a rabbit hole of google searches that probably have me on some very sketchy watchlists now). All of the information I could support has been linked. Though I enjoyed the scandalous tidbits, there is a lot on inside park info for the everyday reader. Here we go!
For the sake of my delusion that someone somewhere is going to read this, we’re going to call the former cast member Peanut Butter & Jelly (PB&J).
I know, you have the same questions I had. Everyone loves Disney! Why would PB&J talk to you? Maybe things have changed since PB&J’s summer at Disney. You’ll probably end all of it the same as I did with a big, “no way.” We’ll cover all of that.
PB&J spent a summer as a cast member at Walt Disney World. PB&J assured me that he still has friends in employment who verify that it isn’t much different and are having the same experiences he did.
PB&J had originally wanted to be Tigger only he fell short of the 5’9”-6’ height requirements. At a height of 5’8” he played the role of 5 different characters: Buzz Lightyear, Eeyore, Rafiki, and Green Army Man.
Fun Fact: Due to the height requirements of Mickey & Minnie about 90% of the actors are female.
PB&J also served as a character escort and a backup for Mickey Mouse. Character escorts are just that, they guide the characters around, do the talking for them, etc. Character backups are not stand ins for the suit, they are backups for the voices. At all times Disney has character backups on staff in the park. In the event of a technical difficulty, the show can be delayed while a cast member is pulled in to read off script.
Originally, I was impressed with the thoroughness of Disney’s planning with a small part of me being a little weary of how they really have thought of everything. This is obviously a well oiled machine. The more I learned, the more I realized how powerful that well oiled machine runs.
Being a Disney employee does grant certain perks like free access to the parks and adoration of visitors from all around the world. It does come with a tiny paycheck and a great deal of stipulations.
According to Glassdoor, cast members pretty much all fall under the $9.50 an hour mark, that is about a dollar over Florida’s minimum wage. Unless you’re a stunt actor (or a princess in some locations) there is no union. Disney really has the upper hand here. Everyone wants to work at Disney, they have unlimited employment options.
Really though, how much would it take for you to wear a fur costume during the summer in Florida? Now underneath that, add a fat suit. Sound hot? Yep, especially when your only ventilation comes through your eyepiece. Factor in that the happiest place on earth attracts weirdos of all kinds who you can’t do anything about without losing your job.
Kids are disrespectful, teenagers are the worst, and the families encourage it. When dressed as Eeyore, kids pulled PB&J’s tail. As Pluto, his tongue was the constant target. You just have to suffer in silence. Speaking while in costume is grounds for immediate firing. According to PB&J, his is why characters and their escorts have silent communications for when a guest needs to be handled.
Ever see a terrible child get a hug from the character they’ve been terrorizing? They’re not hugging it out. Chances are that Disney character has leaned in close to lay down the law. For extra terror they use the child’s name that they’ve probably heard used or the child is wearing it.
Have you seen a parent take a solo picture with a character? You’d be surprised how often they’re slipping the character notes. It seems there’s a lot of women slipping Mickey notes that Minnie would not approve of, but remember that fun fact? 90% of the time, that’s a girl. PB&J, our former Pluto, says keep an eye on the hands especially when they take pictures sitting down. People have their hands all over his crotch.
Relations with guests is strictly forbidden with immediate grounds for firing while on or off the clock, on or off the property. That’s right, you read that right. ON the property.
But, what? Where? How? A simple Google search of “sex at Disney World” brings on a plethora of hits. I’ve read through them. Meh. Mostly they’re stretches and have lots of warnings of cameras. PB&J gave me the lowdown. When asked if he ever made use of the spaces, he told me no then added that they are great people watching spots. From there you can see people all but getting it on.
The “go to spot” for getting it on is inside Planet Earth at Epcot. Also favorable places: Rocking Roller Coaster, Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Starship Earth, and Tree of Life, and the green rooms.
I cannot even imagine what would happen if you got caught in the green rooms. Breaking any law on property is punished by being banned for life, what would they do if you snuck off with a cast member to the tunnels? The tunnels referred to as “Sacred Ground?” It is well documented online that cast members get it on among themselves a ton. I’d say not to be judgmental, but I’m going to be judgmental. I would think if you’re making less than $9.50 an hour you can’t have that many responsibilities. Probably a lot of college kids living it up. Euroweb shared a story from just last summer about it.
I digress. No one cares about college kids getting it on. And there is definitely some interesting getting it on to discuss.
Let the kinks come out to play! No, I don’t mean furries who get off by costume boinking. I mean people who want to hit it with a character just for the character. They want Woody’s Woody, to get it Pluto style, to bop a storm trooper, and a particular dark round of kinks who want to be choked by Darth Vader.
Stories? Rumors? Disney keeps close track of all their costume parts even though it seems all they really want are the head, the shoes, and the gloves. Except one Buzz Lightyear managed to sneak his out. Every year there is a beauty line that won’t be named who rents out the entire park. One particular year at Planet Pizza, Buzz had a woman slip her his room key with the instructions to make sure to bring the head.” He just might have managed to get his costume out where he was rewarded with a “great deal of money” for a perfectly timed “to infinity and beyond!”
Unbelievable, right? How could things like that happen at Disney? Because Disney keeps that machine tight and in house. They have their own EMS and Fire Department, that means no outside authorities on the grounds.
Sounds like a lot of conspiracy theories? Maybe. Disney would never hide something like that, right? Not like how no one talked about the two phases of an undercover sting operation that made 100 arrests of pedophiles included Disney cast members. PB&J told me and sure enough CNN and Washington Post covered it. Orlando Weekly too. Makes you wonder.