Long time Disney fan and semi-frequent visitor to the park. (Been to both US Parks both as a child and as an adult)
My own family and I just visited The Happiest Place on Earth in March. (We just HAD to see Pirates one last time before the changes).
My son (4), and my wife and I had an amazing time and it was truly an experience I treasure. My wife grew up in California, (San Louis Obispo) and like any good Californian, worked as a Disneyland CM. When we visited, we saw some things that made us wonder.
Firstly, are cast members allowed to take their costumes home? We saw a few cast members off the clock, waiting to be picked up in the parking lot and they were still wearing their costumes from the rides/lands they worked in. We saw a Matterhorn bobsled CM smoking a cig and waiting for her ride. We saw an adventureland cast member also going home (getting in a car and driving away) still in her costume.
When my wife worked at DL years ago, the costumes stayed at the park and everyone changed in a locker room. It was all about the image and breaking the illusion of the show. Seeing a costumed CM outside of the park (smoking a cig) and/or just being outside the fantasy setting was a bit unsettling.
Has Disney relaxed it's costume/CM policy?