10 secret rules of working in Disney’s Magic Kingdoms
1.There’s no ‘I don’t know’. Ask a member of the Disney World cast a question, and they have to supply an answer. They are not allowed to simply say ‘I don’t know.’ While staff members are given extensive training to be able to give correct answers, there will of course be a number of occasions when they simply will not know – in which case they are required to phone an operator to help find the answer, according to Entertainment Overload.
2. Never break character. Each character has his or her own personality, voice, likes, interests and background story – and each actor must never deviate from the part they are playing. This inevitably means actors playing the parts of the likes of Snow White or Aladdin are unaware of anything that does not fall under the Disney realm. As an extension of this, cast members must also be able to sign autographs in the style of whichever character they are playing, and are again given training to be able to do so.
3. Never point with just one finger. Employees at Disney World are not allowed to point using just one finger for two reasons. The first is because in some cultures pointing with one finger is considered rude. The second reason, according to ahfunny.com, is using two fingers makes it easier for children to see.
4. The only way to pick up trash. Every employee at Disney World is required to pick up trash whenever they see it. But they are not allowed to just stop, bend over and pick the rubbish up – they have to gracefully pick it up using what is described as a ‘swooping’ motion.
5. You have to look the part. While you may think looks aren’t that important for an actor in a large costume, at Disney cast members are required to even look the right way in order to play their character. This means part of the audition process is making sure the actors are the correct height – Disney Princesses are traditionally around 5’4″ to 5’8″.
6. No Tweeting. While employed by Disney, cast members are not allowed to use social media sites to discuss their roles. In a Reddit AMA two years ago, a poster describing herself as a former Disney Princess explained the restrictions placed on employees. She said: ‘Social media is a big problem there, we weren’t allowed to post or talk about the things we did as a character, or even to tell people what character we were.’
7. Be on your best behavior. While every company has its own set of rules for how to behave while at work, staff at Disney are required to abide by a number of behavioral rules which other workers probably don’t come across, including no frowning, no bad posture and no mobile phones.
8. The Disney Look. All employees at Disney’s parks and resorts have to stick to the organisations ‘appearance standards’, or as it is also known, the Disney Look. This encompasses a range of rules, from how to wear your hair to how long your nails are allowed to be. For men, hair must be ‘neatly cut on the back and sides, forming a smooth, symmetrical appearance so that it does not extend beyond or cover any part of the ears or the shirt collar’, according to the Disney website. Women meanwhile should neatly comb their hair and arrange it ‘in a classic, easy-to-maintain style.’ Both men and women are required to keep their nails clean and must keep them cut to a certain length.
9. No tattoos or body piercings. In keeping with Disney’s strict rules on appearance, any kind of body alteration among staff members is not allowed. This includes tattoos, body piercing, earlobe expansion and disfiguring skin implants. The guidelines on its website, however, says tattoos are allowed, so long as they are ‘discreetly and completely covered at all times.’
10. How to wear glasses and shades. While staff members at Disney parks and resorts are allowed to wear glasses while at work, there are definite rules to make sure they fit in with the Disney Look. Employees are advised that glasses and sunglasses should be of a ‘conservative color and style’, while they must also contain no other brands or logos. The company’s website states: ‘Eyeglasses and sunglasses should not detract from the costume or contradict the theme of the show.’
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