“It's whatever you make of it, whatever you want to take away. Because like all of the best virtual realities, Disneyland interacts with its visitors. It becomes what we seek, and we contribute." —Leslie Le Mon
Disney is a magical place; it’s a place where we can once again experience the joys of childhood. It appeals to just about anyone, from the Disney-obsessed superfan to the dad who’s just along for the ride. Who doesn’t get pumped about seeing their first glimpse of Mickey and the princesses? Or get that sharp nostalgic pang in the pit of their stomach standing outside the Magic Kingdom? Disney in all its forms truly is a magical place.
But it's also a massive dumpster fire of the worst humanity has to offer. People do bizarre, disturbing things in the Magic Kingdom, and the poor workers of Disney are here to share it with us.
25. An Unsettling Discovery
I did the College Program from May 2012 til May 2013 and worked Attractions in Tomorrowland. People would do a lot of dumb stuff, but the most bizarre was when I was working at space mountain I was on rotation in a position called "mountain 3" basically I stood by the handicap entry to the ride and helped people get on and took wheelchairs to the exit.
Anyway it was middle of summer and really busy when a lady wearing a big Disney hoodie was going through the normal line. I thought it was a little weird to wear a jacket during the summer, but whatever.
She then gets to restraint which is the last check point before the ride begins. At restraint they just check your lap bars and then press a green button. While there the cast members hear a whine coming from the ladies jacket and found that she was trying to smuggle her infant daughter on the ride.
So he calls me over because I have a radio and we kick her off the ride, call our managers, and security. She ended up getting blacklisted from Disneyworld.
24. What a Final Resting Place
Not an employee, but while riding Pirates of the Caribbean a few years ago, a lady in our boat pulled out a bag and dumped the contents into the water. She was crying and sort of laughing at the same time. Come to find out, she had dumped her husband's ashes in the water as his final resting place. She was caught on camera and got in trouble, but it couldn't be undone. Both creepy and cool at the same time.
I have a lot of stories; My favorite is:
While I was working on Dumbo, these dumb people removed their infant from the seat belt and held the baby like Simba outside of the carriage while the ride was up 18 feet in the air so their other dumb friends could take pictures of them doing it, we had to emergency stop the ride; they were taken away and I heard they got apprehended once outside the park gates.
It was very scary to witness.
Edit: Story two:
I was working a fantasmic shift, wearing that glorious yellow poofy jacket armed with my flashlight. I was by the pirates entrance working on getting people to leave their baby buggies in a semi-neat order to either go under the ropes to watch the show or go on pirates of the Caribbean, when one of my coworkers and I start to hear a baby cry. These people had left their baby in the buggy and went on pirates without it. Naturally, we called a lead and we had to stand there and wait for security; 20 minutes later the family showed up and told us that they didn't think the baby could go on the ride. They probably had been doing it all day. They weren't European.
Story Three: This one was as a guest. I went to the 24 hour Disney day, just to see what it was like; mistake. I was sitting by the security checkpoint to get into the area in between the parks, and this undercover Disney security stopped a guest. She ushered her to the side of the planter I was sitting at and says "what’s that plastic in your shoe." It was a baggy full of substances. She looked about 16, and started loudly arguing with security, who then radioed for others; security and then the authorities came. As soon as she stepped on the other side of the security checkpoint she was taken away by authorities.
Edit: this was at Disneyland in California.
22. I DON'T KNOW WHAT WE'RE YELLING ABOUT
No one's going to see this now, but I worked at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street. On Christmas day Magic Kingdom was PACKED, obviously. The fireworks were about to start and our shop was pretty much empty because everyone was more interested in getting a spot for the fireworks and all. A couple groups are milling about, pretending to be looking at the menu or discussing what to buy; not because they were actually going to buy things, but because they were looking for a less crowded spot to hang around in.
We kind of turned a blind eye to it because, whatever, they're not bothering anyone right now, not blocking anything, etc. I was on register chatting with some of my coworkers when in storms this man in a rage.
He starts screaming at all us, demanding to see our manager RIGHT NOW. We all stop and stare, having no idea what's going on or what's happening—most of us had just clocked in about an hour ago, so anyone who might have been in earlier and known what this man wanted has left for the night, since we all assumed he was an earlier customer come to flip out on something someone did earlier.
Turns out, not the case. He starts screaming at us that it's too crowded, he can't see the castle very well, he doesn't have a good spot for the fireworks, etc. etc. Just really letting it go (ha) at us. He ends his rant with, "ME AND MY FAMILY ARE RELIGIOUS AND THIS IS UNFAIR." He then turns around and storms right back out, leaving a totally silent, stunned ice cream parlor in his wake. None of us knew what to do and then the "what the f--- was that??" chatter broke out.
I'm still not sure what he expected the manager of an ice cream parlor to do about his situation.
TLDR Man not religious enough to not be at Disney on Christmas, but religious enough to use it as an excuse to try and get his way.
21. Not the Appropriate Response
Current CM [Cast Member] here. This just happened on Monday.
Backstory: Every year, WDW's Splash Mountain goes down for a major refurb. This particular year, the entire complex (ride, gift shop, restrooms) is down for refurb. As the Splash restrooms are the only restrooms near two of the three mountains in the park and are literally at the northwest-most point in the park, telling people they are closed is often cause for confrontation. During the day, we direct guests to Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn for restrooms. At night, however, during the parades, the closest accessible restroom is the Tangled restrooms by Haunted Mansion.
Story: Monday night, during the parade, a mom and her kid come running up to Splash looking for the restrooms. We (myself, 3 other CMs and two coordinators) tell the woman the restrooms are closed and direct her to the Tangled restrooms. She freaks. She starts screaming that her kid isn't going to make it that far and that we need to open the Splash restrooms for her. As the restrooms are currently gutted, this was not happening. She then screams, "Well he's just gonna pee HERE," and leads her kid behind a sign in front of the ride. One of the coordinators threatens to call security and the mom screams "DO IT!" as she's holding her kid's willy in her hand. Coordinator immediately whips out a radio and calls for security. You could tell the mom didn't think she'd actually go through with her threat; as soon as the kid was finished, the mom picked him up under one arm and literally booked it out of Frontierland towards Liberty Square.
All we could do was laugh.
20. Everybody Pukes
My husband threw up on the back of some people's heads on the Star Wars ride. Even they didn't seem to mind. Just walked to the water fountain outside and started washing off. I was apologizing for my husband (who was still barfing somewhere) and they just said "it's really not a big deal, happens all the time."
19. Lovely Baby You Have There...Oh
Cousin's old theater teacher used to be Peter Pan. They were doing a character breakfast and a couple had a baby wrapped up in a blanket. They ask if they can pose with the baby and Peter Pan. The teacher goes up to take the picture... THE BABY IS A DOLL. They brought a doll to Disney and were those whack job kind of people who treated it like a human. The teacher just had to play along as if it were a real kid.
18. Umm, Gross
I worked as a custodian there for about a year when I was 18 in 2008. A couple things happened to me while working there: Once while sweeping the line for the Finding Nemo subs and I noticed this Asian family secretly taking pictures of me and recording me on video. So when I confronted them about it I gathered from their broken English that their daughter thought I was attractive so they started taking pictures. I had a good laugh about that and took a picture with her as well. Another time I was sweeping the area for New Orleans Square and was behind the haunted mansion in an area where guests don't go and see this woman with her daughter. The daughter was squatting and peeing all over the place and when I stumbled across them I just said "f---" left and came back with a mop. Luckily I don't think they understood English. Being a custodian wasn't exactly glamorous but it was the best job I ever had.
17. Sounds Smelly
I drove the boats on The Seven Seas Lagoon (lake outside the Magic Kingdom) for my internship. I had a lady get physically sick on my cruiser while on our way from the Campgrounds to the MK. So we shut down at the dock. Thank god I got taken off my shift (no clean up), so I thought. I take the lady to the first aid station under the train station and take my 15 minutes. On my way out this lady is at our assignment station with my manager. Turns out she was not staying at a Disney Resort. So I am assigned to the van to drive her to her resort off site. I spent the next 20 minutes getting directions fed to me from my heavy accented Puerto-Rican co-cast member while this lady is periodically puking into the bag. Interesting night, but, watercraft assignment for college interns was usually interesting like that.
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16. Well, That Was Unexpected
I once had a lady who was waiting in line ask me if it was okay if her son went to the bathroom. I said sure thinking she was going to take him, nope this boy who had to be close to 10 pulled down his pants and started relieving himself in line. I did not know how to react. I just stood there and watched astonished.
Saw (smelled) on more than one occasion people getting high.
Heard about a woman who shoved her baby under her shirt to try and go on Space Mountain.
A lot of people lose their lives at Disney too...it’s weird.
I worked in the Magic Kingdom at Disney World in Orlando. Disney had a lot of odd secrets.
15. That Never Would Have Happened to Ripley
I enjoy a healthy dose of internet skepticism. I'm happy to report (lol, not that it's actually proof) but these things either happened directly in front of me, or to one of my co-workers. One of them I didn't post I never had actual confirmation on, but it's a great story, so I'll share it with you.
So, at the Alien scene, there's a point where the alien comes down from the ceiling and strikes at the guests. It's about 6 feet above their heads, strikes two or three times, then creeps back into the darkness above. So one day, the alien comes OFF of it's track, and flies directly into the lap of one of the guests. He gets a good smack on the face, and everyone around him is suitably terrified.
As was policy, before they could run around screaming about dangerous disney rides, the guests were ushered into a room full of guest services people, and showered with gifts and refunds and free tickets and all sorts of "please don't take this to the press" items.
Now I did get confirmation that all this happened. What I never got enough evidence of was that the man who was directly hit by the alien—all he asked for was the alien. He wanted it for his collection. According to rumor, he was given the alien, and sent happily on his way while they installed the spare one.
14. It's Probably for a Creepy Shrine
A friend of mine used to work at Disneyland and she told me this lady with a serious obsession with Alice would pretty much go everyday to Disneyland dressed up like her. Apparently one day she decided she needed a piece of Alice for herself and actually cut off a piece of hair from the actress at the park!
13. Disney Does Not Control the Skies
Picked up a shift in Magic Kingdom one rainy afternoon. A lady approached me and asked if I could “close the dome.” I said "excuse me?" to which she replied: "It's raining! Close the dome so we don't get wet!" I had to explain to her that there isn't a giant dome that covers Magic Kingdom to prevent getting wet from the rain. I then told her that the Dumbo ride is actually a lot of fun in the pouring rain.
Could come in handy!
12. New Dance Crew
Here's a cute one. So, occasionally the ride would go down, causing either everyone to wait, or everyone to have to leave and come back later. In this case, the pre-show room was full and we were all waiting for the ride to start back up again.
It had been a few minutes, and the crowd had seen the old-timey movie trailers play over and over again. The guests were clearly bored and annoyed, so just for fun I gathered up all the kids in the room and pulled them to the front of the show. In the "Singin' in the Rain" trailer, there's this part where everyone on stage runs toward the back with jazz hands, and I knew right where it was going to happen.
I had all the kids stand there, shaking their hands in the air, and right on cue, they ran toward the front of the room, in time with the people on stage. It was hilarious! The parents were laughing, the kids felt like they were putting on a show, and everyone had a great time.
There were moments like these that made working a difficult job at minimum wage worth it. I was able to help these folks have a fun time while waiting around, and hopefully they'll always remember goofing around while the ride was broken down.
11. That's a Good Work Out
Not a worker, but I saw a fella fall off the balcony in the Animal Kingdom hotel with the giraffes and run from wildlife for a good hour while they slowly got all the animals out of his way and got him out. No one got hurt and it was pretty funny to watch.
10. Easy There Tiger
Ok I'm a bit late here so this will probably get buried, but I thought it was worth sharing.
I'm not an employee, but a few years back I went to Disneyland Paris with my SO, brother and his wife. I happened to turn 21 while we were there so the morning of my birthday we went to "Café Mickey" for breakfast. The others had asked for a surprise birthday cake and when it came out it was accompanied by Mickey, Minnie and somewhat randomly, Prince John (of Robin Hood).
Mickey & Minnie were cool, we were dancing and celebrating my 21st birthday in true Disney style. But Prince John on the other hand... That guy is a complete jerk!!
All of a sudden he grabs hold of me and starts throwing me around. Then he pushes me onto the bench and basically starts dry humping me!
I imagine for the employees and our fellow diners this would have been a pretty bizarre thing to watch. A little different from the usual tame birthday celebrations they do for the little kids. In all honesty, it was absolutely hilarious and even now it makes me smile just thinking about it.
TL;DR - Got dry humped by Prince John on my 21st birthday.
9. Not a Cool Dad
Not an employee (Sorry), but I once saw a man get booked for being publicly intoxicated at the Aerosmith Roller Coaster in Disney World. He had his like seven year old daughter with him and it was really sad. They had to pin him to the ground and everything.
8. Get Back Here Comet!
The two best stories I have heard from former Disneyland employees:
- A security guard that had to remove three teen girls from the park for flashing the camera (shirtless).
- The reindeer at the barbecue place got loose and one got into the park. The employees were running through Disneyland chasing a live reindeer!
7. Is He Going to Be OK?
Not an employee, but last May my SO and I were on our honeymoon at WDW and enjoying the day at EPCOT, when my husband stops for a smoke break at one of the designated bench areas and a CM [Cast Member] sits down next to him and asks for a smoke! The CM was talking funny and eventually slid to the ground and was talking to himself. My SO went to Norway and told another CM but she didn’t believe him. Eventually, a supervisor was called to the scene and a wheelchair was brought out through a gate and the CM sort of pulled up into it. My SO and I just kind of stood around after that but no one said anything to us. The whole event lasted about 15 minutes, and aside from the other smokers in that section, it must have been largely unnoticed. Oh, there was also an armadillo in the newer Dumbo gift shop and a CM ushered it out with a broom.
6. What Else Happens Behind the Scenes?
Disney World college program former cast member here. I suppose the most bizarre things were what the guests didn't see. A man is found unalive in his hotel room. The room's windows and entrance are immediately concealed by those, "pardon our dust" renovation ply boards as costume characters/cast members have an impromptu meet and greet diverting attention away from the room as authorities arrive to process the scene. The lobby of the Grand Polynesian Hotel features a rather elaborate waterfall foliage atrium where a poisonous snake is found. In the utmost efficiency, dressed as janitors, animal control has captured the snake within a 15 minute window while the guests were once again distracted, this time by fire jugglers.
5. He Should Get Punched
Not Disney World, but I worked at Universal Studios Orlando for a few years.
At the Dr. Doom ride, they have these troughs next to where you get strapped in, where you're supposed to put your cell phone and wallet and jewelry and stuff like that. It's maybe about 4 inches deep and three feet long.
Anyway, some guy got off and immediately puked into that trough. And filled it. Sux for whoever had their phones in there, huh?
4. Worst. Day. Ever.
Man oh man, have I been waiting for a thread like this. Throwaway [username], for reasons that’ll become obvious very soon…
I used to work for Disney. I was a PhotoPass cast member, which meant I got to randomly patrol the park and snap pics of people next to iconic disney marks. I got to take people’s photos, give them a card, and then they could buy them after their vacation. It was an awesome job, people loved me, and I got to use the corniest lines to make people smile.
So one day I was wandering through the park, and I notice this kid. He wasn’t that old, maybe six or so, and he didn’t appear to be with any of his parents. Thinking he was lost, I walked towards him, when I realized he didn’t look that good. He had his hand on his stomach and was kind of hunched over and moaning. Now, an upset stomach isn’t that uncommon at disney (especially when you know what goes on in their kitchens—but that’s another story), so I could kind of sense what was about to happen. I called out for him to wait, but it was too late.
The kid proceeded to try to tug his pants down, when all of a sudden he starts violently pooing. I mean like furious, possessed, massive fire-hose style liquid poo. And he didn’t stay still, either. He started flopping around, doing this weird bucking style dance, trying to avoid the colossal amount of poo spraying every which way out of his pants, and his rear end. I watched in shock. He looked like a sprinkler system. And he just kept pooing, unrelenting. Did I mention this was right in front of Splash Mountain, as well? The kid was putting on a show for every boat that came sliding down the mountain, as the poo kept sliding out of his rear end.
Eventually the kid stops pooing, and I think everything’s over. It’s not. The kid’s bawling at this point, and I feel really bad for him. He tries to run away, but slips and falls face-first into a pool of his own poo. He doesn’t get up. I look around, praying there’s another cast member around for backup. There isn’t (probably all ran away, come to think of it). I step towards the kid, wading through his pool of liquid waste. It smelled AWFUL. I rolled the kid over, just so he wouldn’t drown in his own poo. “You OK?” I ask. He coughs, and then proceeds to puke ALL OVER ME. It’s horrible puke too, all red and foamy. At this point, all my senses are overwhelmed, so I vomit too, and fall into the devil’s brew of liquids on the ground. I panic, and struggle to get up, and that’s when I hear the click! of my camera wrapped around my neck.
And as luck would have it, the kid’s parents came running around the corner to find me laying on top of their son, covered in poo and puke, and freeze. I could only give them a grin before I fainted…
TL;DR: I’ll always have the poo-stained photograph to remember the moment by.
EDIT: Wow, this got more replies than normal. I have to go to work, but after that I'll try to find the photo for y'all!
EDIT 2: The kid was fine afterwards. I don't know if his parents tried to sue or anything (my manager probably gave them free visits for a year to convince them not to). And yeah, I was OK too. I woke up in the underground tunnels at the park, and Disney payed for my medical treatment (probably so I wouldn't sue them as well).
3. I'm Trapped in a Closet
My sister used to work at the Bippity Boppity Boutique (the hairdresser that makes little girls look like princesses). Tom Cruise brought his daughter there like the day after he and Katie Holmes got divorced. It was totally a sorry-your-parents-are-getting-divorced trip to Disney World. The thing is though that since he's a mega-celebrity, he obviously can't be hanging around in public, especially a small area like that store. So they ushered him, the daughter (I think her name is Siri or something close to that?), and my sister into a closet and she did the makeover in there.
Tl;dr: My sister was trapped in the closet with Tom Cruise. I f---ing love saying that!
2. How Not to Deal With Family Problems
I worked at the front desk of one of the Disneyland Resort Hotels, a lady, followed by another lady with like an 11 year old kid, walks up and asks if there is a place that people leave messages for their family if they are separated. I said, "not really" and inquired more into the situation, apparently the first lady was helping the other lady, who didn't speak good English, and her kid. The lady and her kid were in line for Indiana Jones when the father said he was going to the restroom, but never returned. They later went to the car, and the car was gone. They were hoping he left a message for them somewhere. Me and the lady while talking realized he left them, probably for good. The father was probably thinking, at least he left them at Disneyland. I spoke to my manager later about it, and apparently this happens every so often, a father decides to leave his family, and thinks if it's at Disneyland it softens the hit. Ruins Disneyland for the Family if you ask me. Ultimate Douchebaggery.
1. Pluto Didn’t Deserve This
Disneyland: 1997: Toontown Head Room: A family went after Pluto. Pushed her into the fountain. I didn't actually see the incident, just got to deal with the aftermath backstage. I got to dry all of pluto's costume and clean the head. Later Pluto told me the family was mad that she had to take her break after they had waited to get a picture. I think Pluto either broke her arm or her leg. I can't remember. The family was taken away by authorities.