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  1. #1

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    Question for Current and Former Cast Members - Disneyland Visits on Your Days Off

    This question kind of dovetails with a couple other threads that are out there now, for which I apologize, but I’m new here, and I haven’t quite figured out how everything works. This is a something I’ve been wondering for quite awhile.

    When I graduated from high school a long time ago (ok, a long, long time ago ), I seriously thought about applying for a job at Disneyland. However, after much consideration, I made the decision not to, because I was afraid that it would become like any other “job”, and that Disneyland would lose that “magic” I had known as a kid growing up (and still experience now). I’m sure as a cast member, you have the same types of problems that the rest of us do in our jobs: scheduling issues; managers, supervisors, and co-workers you might not get along with; as well as obnoxious guests, and guests who do really stupid things. And you are exposed to the “not so glamorous” backstage areas of the park (which I find extremely fascinating on occasion, but which could become rather routine and not so interesting if exposed to them on a regular basis).

    I’m curious if any of you current cast members (or former cast members when you were working at Disneyland) ever have a problem feeling that “Disney Magic” when you visit the park as a “guest” during your off-work time. Or, has working at Disneyland enhanced your “guest” experience? How frequently do you visit Disneyland on your days off?

    Thanks for your input! I look forward to meeting you guys on July 17th!

  2. #2

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    It is different. Not bad, just different.

    CM-only doors are no longer mysterious portals to the unknown, but known pathways to mundane things, like trash compactors. You see your former work area as you experienced it, that is, it's sort of like when you work in an office... your mental perception of that office is more behind-the-counter than in front of it, you maintain no illusions about what is beyond-the-door, so in walking into your office, you hardly notice the front area at all, and see the office as a whole, whereas a customer, who never goes behind the counter takes in only that front area, and has a different feeling about the place than you do.

    Does that make any sense? Perhaps not. But you still like the park, and, if anything, care even more about the way in which it is maintained and run (and if you are/were a good CM, bad CMs will irk you like they never have before, because you know the expectations they're failing to meet).

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  3. #3

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    Knowing how things work behind the scenes gives you a whole new perspective when you are at the park. I don't think it ruins the experience but enhances it. It's also fun to share some of the details with friends and family that they normally would never know as guests. It's even more fun to tell them you know how a particular effect is done and then refuse to tell them how. Overall I think working at Disneyland gives you a new appreciation for the Park, seeing what goes on behind the scenes makes the resulting Magic all the more amazing.

  4. #4

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    Working there did ruin the magic for me and it took a while after I was gone for it to come back. I guess I saw all the politics in play when I was there (I worked backstage with management) and it seemed like everything "on-stage" was completely different from the entire backstage inner workings of the park. But once I got out it took a while for the magic to reappear. But I don't know about all the other former CMs but my husband (former CM as well) just can't walk past a trash dumpster w/o being reminded of the backstage smell of Disneyland. (oh..that's not a knock against the park)

  5. #5

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    Thanks, Morrigoon. That makes perfect sense.

  6. #6

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    it takes a long time before you even consider paying to get into the park again. I left in '94 and didn't actually pay for a ticket until well after DCA was losing it's first wave of corporate sponsors.

    It's still one of the best jobs i ever had.

  7. #7

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    Personally, I still feel the magic when I'm in the park as a guest. There are a lot of special memories from my childhood, and since I wasnt a frequent guest at the locations i'm working at now, there is still some mystery around the park. i love it though!

    i'm in the park about once every 2ish weeks as a guest. sometimes more. it never gets old for me.

  8. #8

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    I agree that the magic is enhanced. I feel it so much more, and I appreciate all of the hard work that goes into the park! It makes me even sadder to see a 'bad' castmemeber though.

  9. #9

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    I'm a former CM and honestly it did take me a while to get over all the drama I went through when I worked at the Park. Disneyland was my very first job and once I learned some of the inner workings and ugly politics it really did lose some of the magic. To this day I see it differently than before but I now have fond memories of those years. Although even now I would NEVER suggest anyone work at the Park. But that's just my personal opinion.

    One more thing, now that my friend has 4 kids of varying ages I can appreciate the magic in their eyes even more so. Nothing like being with kids to bring it all back.

  10. #10

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    *stabs mickey* lol Well I do have to say that I liked the park before I found out about all the behind the scenes drama that goes on *rolls eyes* 1/2 my leads were stoners that cared nothing for there cast members.
    Evil is lurking behind the matterhorn........ wait, that's just Mickey

  11. #11

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    Re: Question for Current and Former Cast Members - Disneyland Visits on Your Days Off

    In the 6.5 year career span at Disneyland, yes, I did visit the Parks on my days off. I wanted to enjoy them so that way I can share my experiences with guests. Of course, I'd run into bad apples along the way on my visits (especially when I was with dear associates). Also, my Main Gate Pass would NEVER get filled up. When we were overstaffed, I would ER or take an offered ADO to visit the Parks and/of do some shopping. Nowadays, I look back on those days and wish I were there with the discounts and free admission. Then again, dealing with all of the drama and etc, was it worth all of the trouble?

  12. #12

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    Re: Question for Current and Former Cast Members - Disneyland Visits on Your Days Off

    Disneyland never lost its magic for me while i worked there this summer. If anything, it added to it for me. I had a new appreciation for everything that the CMs do to make such a magical place for the guests. I was there pretty much everyday i had off this summer and had just as much fun as the first time i went.
    <o>

  13. #13

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    Re: Question for Current and Former Cast Members - Disneyland Visits on Your Days Off

    Ok..I know we are replying to old threads again... But I wanna say stuff too!

    I worked the Night Shift (Midnight to 8 am or something like that), so I didn't see the park with guests a lot. So, visiting the park while it was open was (is) still magical to me.

    While I worked there and had the free passes, I took a few dates to DL. Was never sure if they went out with me for me or to visit DL. But that was ok at the time..

    I still love DL. We visit everytime we travel to Cal to visit my parents. I now know where ALL of the public restrooms are..(I think I've cleaned them all at one time or another)

    Also, in just about EVERY job interview I've had since I've worked at DL, they ask me about working at DL.

  14. #14

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    Re: Question for Current and Former Cast Members - Disneyland Visits on Your Days Off

    I still love it. Your sense of magic is enhanced. Knowing what goes on gives you a different feel for the park and when you bring friends and family you can change their whole expierence here. On the downside though, I am completly spoiled and won't wait in lines less than 10 minutes long!
    Well Secluded, I see all!!!


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  15. #15

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    Re: Question for Current and Former Cast Members - Disneyland Visits on Your Days Off

    I've been working there since April, and I think that just about everyday I worked was a day I went to play in the park after my shift. My hire group has remained real close and there is not a whole lot of drama amongst the group. Its definately a privilege to have to ability to play in the park especially if you have close friends to enjoy it with you. Right now I am deployed to Cuba and definately miss the place. Just a few more months to go before I am back having fun.

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