Thousands of Disneyland Resort Cast Members work daily to bring the Disney Parks and Resorts to life. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and Theme Park reopening, they’ve adapted different ways to make magic.
Some of these changes have unfortunately been tumultuous for Cast Members. Some even described The Walt Disney Company as a “nightmare to work for” as recently as April 2022. Though not enacted yet, a proposed attendance policy change would make it incredibly difficult for Disneyland Cast Members to call in sick without consequences.
Additionally, Disneyland has increased block-out dates for free Cast Member admission into the Park and expected more out of each Cast Member, as the Park has been severely understaffed since it reopened in 2021.
Now, one Guest says that cracks are beginning to show in Disney Cast Members’ performance and attitude. u/acod1429 shared their experience at Disneyland Resort on Reddit, writing:
This was our first trip anywhere since 2019 and it seemed just…off? The cast members didn’t have much excitement, enthusiasm, etc. A very young population that side chattered a bit more I have ever seen. Seemed like a group that could have been anywhere – a retail store, a carnival, etc.
Whenever I see this, I always wonder what kind of crap they’re dealing with BEHIND the scenes. People treated well will show that they enjoy being there. I didn’t see that from anyone working at Disney.
The post received nearly 200 votes of support and dozens of comments. u/beastman_robert wrote the most popular response:
Pandemic layoffs, high turnover, short staffing, low wages, lack of support from upper management, insufficient training, frequent mistreatment by guests, etc. That’s what happened.
Former Cast Members also voiced their opinion, with u/Odd_Mess1991 writing:
When I worked at DL years ago we had a saying, “The Happiest Place on Earth, unless you work here.” Nowadays, so much is going on in the world, and people forget to leave the outside world at the door when they step onto property. It is difficult to be a part of creating magic when you are focused on other things.
Another former Cast Member, u/vanillabeanmini, worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios and said it’s easy to get burnt out quickly when Disney expects so much from its employees:
It was the same way working for the studio. The first few films were fun then working a ton of OT got old and sad
u/breado9 noted that between poor pay and the state of the world outside of Disneyland Resort, they could understand why it’s hard for Disney Park Cast Members to be all smiles and rainbows:
Disney doesn’t pay that well, so when you ask people, who have been through the wringer for the past couple years politically, financially, and socially; to SmIlE yOuRe aT DiSnEyLaNd, it’s gonna be hard for anyone to want to be cheery.
Have you noticed a change in Cast Members at Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure?
Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on a personal Disney Parks Guest experience. No two Guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Parks operations.