Top 10 Dark Stories About Working at Disney World

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Top 10 Dark Stories About Working at Disney World

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
They say that anything is possible with a little imagination. And that's something that employees of the Magic Kingdom know all too well! For this list, we'll be looking at a variety of not so magical things that reportedly happened at Disney World or other Disney theme parks.
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10 Dark Stories About Working at Disney World


They say that anything is possible with a little imagination. And that’s something that employees of the Magic Kingdom know all too well! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for 10 Dark Stories About Working at Disney World

For this list, we’ll be looking at a variety of not so magical things that reportedly happened at Disney World or other Disney theme parks. For the record, all of this should be taken with a grain of salt. Since most of these anecdotes, first-hand accounts and shocking stories come from anonymous Disney employees sharing their experiences online, none of them can be verified.

#10: Guests Get REALLY Handsy

We get that every person has their own unique kinks, and hey, zero judgement here for furry culture. The thing is, there’s a time and a place for everything, and above all a concept called “consent”. Unfortunately, not every park guest respects the personal space of Disney Cast Members. Those whose faces are obscured by full body costumes get it worst, with people often grabbing them in inappropriate places while posting for photos. One ex cast member even recalls being hoisted up in the air while dressed as Minnie by guys who wanted a photo with the character’s underwear. In 2019 several employees ended up filing police reports. Disney cast members famously never break character, and some guests take advantage.

#9: Codes for Dangerous Situations

Disney World isn’t just an assortment of rides and attractions, it’s the “happiest place on earth”. And for cast members and behind-the-scenes staff, that means going to extreme lengths to maintain a constant state of good cheer in the park. When you’re dealing with tens of thousands of excitable people however, accidents and minor emergencies are unavoidable, and so, not unlike at a hospital, the cast members need codes to communicate situations without inciting panic. For example, one cast member explained that code “Baloo” signals that blood needs to be cleaned up, while a runaway child might be called “piglet”. Some are a little more direct -“Code V” signals vomit, while “Pooh” (with an h), well… we’ll get to that later.

#8: Training . . . or Indoctrination?

Anyone who’s worked for a large corporation has likely had to sit through one or more training videos. While these tend to be dull, Disney does its best to make the process as “magical” as possible. After all, employees have to remain dedicated to guests’ happiness, while dealing with hot, stuffy costumes; low pay; and shifts that can last 20 hours. In an emotionally-charged class called “Traditions”, you’re taught the history of the company, its parks, and the ways in which it’s a unique and magical institution. You’re also trained to only point with two fingers or whole your hand - what’s become known as the Disney Point. This training is incredibly effective. Many a summer employee has found themselves becoming lifers.

#7: Inappropriate Bathroom Habits

So remember how earlier we were talking about “Code Pooh” - as in Winnie the Pooh? Well, it turns out bathroom-related problems are far more commonplace at Disney World than you might imagine. Despite an abundance of conveniently located bathrooms, there’s a shocking number of guests who opt to relieve themselves (both numbers 1 and 2) wherever they choose. Employees have spotted guests heeding nature’s call all over the place: in the bushes that line the paths, and in the dark corner of an attraction’s pre-show. In 2019, it was reported that a woman was splashed with urine when a man relieved himself in the long line for Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom. The park has since installed mid-queue bathrooms.

#6: People Ditch Their Kids

Disney isn’t just the happiest place on earth, it’s also widely considered to be one of the safest places for families to visit. The cast members are extremely attentive and so when a child goes missing or loses their parents, it’s only a matter of time until a staff member notices and takes charge. Unfortunately, according to former cast-members, some opportunistic parents take advantage of that commitment and treat the parks as one big daycare - intentionally leaving their children unsupervised while they enjoy themselves. The logic, apparently, is that nothing bad can happen at Disney! Even if that’s true, talk about having messed up priorities!

#5: Irresponsible Parents

Of course, you don’t need to literally ditch your child at Disney World in order to blow your chances of winning a “Parent of the Year” award. This is something that Disney cast members know all too well. There’s nothing quite like having to approach a parent who’s endangering their child and politely asking them to stop... but it’s part of the job for Disney World employees. One cast member reportedly saw drunk parents lift their infant up into the air while on the Dumbo ride, so their friends could take photos - prompting their arrest. Parents also regularly get caught trying to sneak their kids onto rides for which they don’t meet the minimum height requirement - which literally exists to keep children safe!

#4: Violence in the Park

You can easily go an entire day at Disney without seeing so much as one angry or violent incident. In such a crowded place and with emotions running high, that’s impressive - and a testament to how skilled the cast members are at crowd control. But work there long enough, and it’s only a matter of time until you see something you’d rather not. According to one Disney employee, a group of young adults were play-fighting during the fireworks one night, and wound up accidentally punching a 12 year old. When the child’s father realized what had happened, things got ugly fast. Security intervened, but by the time they broke it up, the dad had allegedly beaten the offender to a “pulp”.

#3: Airing Dirty Laundry

Bumps, bruises and cuts heal with time. But there are some emotionally scarring moments that are far harder to forget. One Disney cast member claims that they had once witnessed the complete dissolution of a family during their visit to the park. While working the kitchen at Cinderella’s Royal Table restaurant, the employee watched in horror as a father in a family of four stood up and made a speech. What’s so bad about that, you might ask? He was announcing to his family and everyone present that his wife had been cheating on him. And then he paid the bill and left with the kids. That’s one way to take the magic out of Magic Kingdom!

#2: A Popular Final Resting Place

Death is just about the last thing anyone wants to be thinking about when they visit Disney - except maybe when visiting the Haunted Mansion! It would seem, however, that many dedicated guests feel that Disney World lives up to its reputation as “the happiest place on earth” and that there’s nowhere that they’d rather spend eternity. Shocking though it might sound, Disney employees are frequently catching people trying to dump the ashes of their loved ones in various places around the park, from the front gates and green spaces, to water rides like It’s a Small World and Pirates of the Carribean. But Haunted Mansion apparently remains the fan-favorite.

#1: Covering Up Dark Incidents

A trip to Disney is, for many, a once in a lifetime experience. It’s by no means an inexpensive vacation, and people’s expectations are sky high. Cast members are tasked with making the experience as close to perfect as possible. When something goes wrong, they fix it, cover it up, or distract the guests. For some employees, that means forming a human barricade to hide puke until it’s cleaned up. For others, it’s putting up maintenance signs and throwing together a character meet and greet to draw attention away from a hotel room where a man took his own life. At Disney World, they are truly committed to maintaining the magic.
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