I was lucky enough to work at Disneyland for three years and I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. However, I'm also not sorry that I quit and I wouldn't be able to work there now. The reason is the parking situation. I think most people on here know where the CM's have to park, but I'm not sure you know just how far in advance a CM has to be at work before the start of their shift. Here is my experience:
When I was first hired into Disneyland cast members had better parking then the regular guests. There was an entrance off of Harbor Blvd and a parking lot that was right next to the main cast member entry way into Disneyland. There was a security guard shack that was called Harbor House (it's located on the far east side of resort and is part of the show building for the Grand Canyon diaroma -- you can see it from the monorail quite easily) that you would swipe your cast member I.D. to walk past, and then you would swipe you're I.D. again on a machine inside of a room behind the guard shack. I never totally understood this since we weren't clocked in yet, but supposedly it had something to do with insurance in case we got hurt in between entering the property and clocking in for work. We would walk over to costuming (large building behind Mr. Lincoln), check out our costume for the day, then walk over to the locker room (behind Star Trader and Space Mountain), change into our costume, and then walk over to our office and clock in. So all of that time that it took from parking to clocking in was unpaid. I was lucky when I first hired in. The outdoor vending office was part of the old America Sings building and so I was right next to the lockers. So I only had to be arriving at the park about half an hour or so before my shift starts in order to make sure I was "on time." We didn't get paid at all for the time it took us to get from the parking lot to our office, but we did get paid for 15 extra minutes of walking time at the end of our shift to get from the office to costuming. So overall I had an extra hour's worth of stuff that I had to do in addition to my 8 1/4 hour shift. I loved my job at Disneyland and so I was willing to overlook the extra 45 minutes out of my day that I had to spend in the process of getting to and from my office.
About three months after I hired in they started construction on the new Tomorrowland and so our office had to move. They opened a brand new Outdoor Vending office which was awesome and much, much larger, but it was located behind Spash Mountain, so it was a MUCH longer walk from costuming. The shortest route was usually cutting across Towne Square, from behind the Mad Hatter to over by the Fire Dept. You could expect to be stopped once or twice by guests asking questions, but overall I'd say it took an extra 15 minutes each way. So now I was up to an hour and fifteen minutes unpaid that I had to spend getting to and from my office. I could live with that too, so life went on.
Then, in 1998, they started construction on DCA and took away our parking lot. They moved it over to Katella and Haster, and you now had to catch a cast member shuttle from the parking lot over to Harbor House. The shuttles were fairly continuous, so I didn't have to spend a lot of time waiting for the next shuttle (at least, getting from the parking lot to Harbor House). However, to park your car, get on the shuttle, go through Harbor House, get your costume, change, and then walk to the office now took an hour when I was arriving. Leaving the park was even worse, and there would always be a very long line of cast members waiting to board the shuttle (we used to put up signs that said "Wait time is 30 minutes from this point" but management kept taking them down), and so it took an hour and a half to leave the park. Minus the 15 minutes of walking time, I was now at two hours and fifteen minutes out of my day that I had to spend in order to make my shift. I did it for a year, and eventually decided I just couldn't take it and so Halloween of 1999 was my last day working at Disneyland.
Of course there were other things that I didn't like dealing with, just as there are with any job. There were some good managers, some clueless managers, and some a-hole managers, but since I've moved on, I say the managers at Disneyland as a whole were better then the managers I've had since then. If nothing else, they generally didn't come into the park so you had most of the day to yourself. The pay was atrocious, but I loved working there so much I was willing to put up with that. Outdoor Vending is hard work, harder then say attractions or merchandise because you have to push the wagons through the park (and over the hill by splash mountain), and you have to clean them at night. But any of those things I was more than happy to live with. Today it is a little bit better because the cast members are now able to take their costumes home, and while I don't like seeing someone in costume outside of the park, I totally understand why and I support Disney's decision to allow cast members to take their costumes home because that saves probably 30 - 45 minutes each day of that unpaid time it takes between parking your car and getting to your office. But I still wouldn't be willing to work somewhere that requires you to be there an hour prior to your shift in order to be "on time."