mickey mouse and cinderella at Disney Parks
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Ex-Cast Member warns Guests about the ONE THING to NEVER do to a Cast Member at the Parks

Cast Members are the backbone of Disney Parks operations.

They are far more than just employees. Cast Members work in every facet of Disney Park operations. That monorail pilot–he’s a Cast Member. The young girl who handed you a map at Guest Relations–she’s a Cast Member. The young man who reminded you to fasten your safety belt and remain seated during your Space Mountain experience–he’s a Cast Member.

Cast Members work in food service, housekeeping, rides operations, Guest Relations, retail services, the list goes on. Cast Members even play the roles of Mickey, Minnie, Kylo Ren, Darth Vader, Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Mr. and Mrs. Incredible, Frozone, and every other Disney, PIXAR, Marvel, and Star Wars character you see in the parks.

Photopass - Disney's Hollywood Studios - Art of Animation - Mr. Incredible,  Mrs. Incredible and Frozone | Hollywood studios disney, The incredibles,  Disney

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Each Cast Member performs necessary functions at Disney. But some just seem to go above and beyond, and it’s a natural response to want to show your appreciation to those Cast Members for making the magic so real for us and for our families.

But an ex-Disney Princess in the parks says Guests have to reject that natural response when it comes to tipping Cast Members. Sarah Daniels is a singer and an actress and used to work as a Cast Member at a Disney Park. She was a face character–a princess, in fact. She has almost 164,000 followers on TikTok and uses the platform to share videos in which she talks about her time as a Disney Princess.

sarah daniels ex cast member

Credit: TikTok/@sarahdanielstv

She once shared a video in which she explained that when she played Tinkerbell, she routinely had married men offering her keys to their hotel rooms, among other indiscretions. In this video, she pleads with Guests to refrain from tipping Cast Members for a number of reasons.

“When you try to tip a Disney character you are putting them in a horrible position,” Daniels explains in the video. “Either you do it in front of Guests and you hand someone some money, and then they have to figure out a way to get out of that situation in front of a bunch of Guests and ruin the magic. Or you tip them in a muffin or a seashell or you hand them a water bottle that has $20 in it–all of it is bad.”

Daniels says that if a Guest tips a Cast Member, and the Cast Member keeps the tip, he or she can be fired. She also points out that even if no one ever finds out that a Cast Member accepted a tip from a Guest, that Cast Member will still have to deal with the guilt of doing something expressly prohibited at Disney.

“Yes they don’t make enough money, yes they also understand they’re not making enough money,” Daniels explains. “But they’re there making magic for kids, they’re doing it willingly, they’ve accepted the job, they’re showing up and they’re doing their job.”


Reply to @ericdrew704 tip characters by being nice. #castmember #disneyprincess #facecharacter #disney

♬ original sound – Sarah Daniels

Daniels’ video has been viewed more than 14,000 times, and many viewers have responded with questions about ways Guests can show appreciation to a Cast Member without tipping.

“Head to Guest Relations with the time and place you saw a character,” she explains. “You can leave a Guest comment. You can give small gifts that aren’t money. Kids love to give drawings or small toys etc, but money is a huge no.”

Other Cast Members responded to Daniels’ video by sharing their own experiences with Guests who attempted to tip them.

“I used to be a Cast Member,” responded one viewer, “and it gave me so much anxiety when people would try to trick me into taking a tip. Risking my job is not worth your $5.”


About Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!