It’s no secret that the incredible Cast Members at Walt Disney World are not only magic makers, but truly a part of the magic. From Guest relations staff in Animal Kingdom to desk staff at a Disney hotel, Walt Disney World Resort transportation operators, and water Park Cast Members, the Disney difference is evident across the board in interactions with Walt Disney World Cast Members. Disney theme parks are a cut above other theme park vacation destinations. The Walt Disney Company knows that excellent staff is a key part of the Disney experience.
As you might imagine, there is some major training that goes into becoming a Walt Disney World Cast Member. In addition to learning the ways of the Disney Company’s customer service model, Cast Members have lists of professional dos and don’ts. Every Cast member, even those you might not think of, must adhere to rules. Walt Disney World dining is a huge part of vacation for many Guests.
Have you heard of these rules for Disney World food service Cast Members?
Cast Members working in food service are not allowed to literally point Guests in a certain direction in quick-service restaurants. Because pointing with an index finger is considered rude in some cultures, you will always see Cast Members in food service and across the Disney Parks directing Guests with a two-finger point.
Coined “the Disney point” by some Guests, Cast Members direct Guests by pointing with both their middle and index finger instead of only their index finger. I must admit, I love the sleek look of this method, and it works well on the crowds in each Disney Park. It must also be habitual, as former Cast Members have made well-meaning jokes about accidentally deferring to the Disney point when directing people in the real world.
Food Taste Tests Are a Must
According to a former Cast Member on Reddit, Cast Members working in food service at Walt Disney World are required to taste everything on the menu at their job location. This sounds like a fun and delicious job requirement, if I do say so myself. But honestly, it makes sense that Disney wants Cast Members to be able to accurately explain the dishes, drinks, and snacks sold in a restaurant or on snack carts around Walt Disney World Resort.
Although we can’t speak for whether this training pattern is ongoing, the former Cast Member shared that Walt Disney World food tasting was a normal part of training when she was in her role at Walt Disney World around twenty years ago. Katiebug86 shared “I used to be a trainer for multiple locations on Main Street, U.S.A. back in the 2000s, this included the Dole Whip cart.” During the time that Katiebug86 worked in her role at Walt Disney World Cast Member training, food sampling was part of the training to ensure the Cast Members could give accurate explanations of how the food tasted when Guests asked.
No Eating In Public
This next rule doesn’t come as a surprise to many. After all, many public-facing jobs in society prohibit employees from eating during interactions with clients or customers. In this way, Disney is no different. Even food service Cast Members are forbidden from eating in front of Guests. This definitely makes sense. Plus, if you’ve seen lines at Disney restaurants you, like me, are wondering when a Cast Member would sneak a millisecond to have a chance to chow down on a snack. After all, Walt Disney World eateries and snack carts are usually pretty slammed. No surprise that Cast Members won’t be munching Mickey-shaped snacks on the clock.
Technically, this rule is not limited to Cast Members working in food service at Walt Disney World. While many of us love showing off our favorite colors, styles, or even our favorite Disney characters in our jewelry, there are limits to how much accessorizing Cast Members can do on the clock. Take a minute to think, you’ve never seen a Cast Member with eye-catching jewelry like long draping necklaces or dangling earrings because it’s against policy. Limiting jewelry is part of maintaining the clean-cut Disney look. Limiting jewelry not only helps Cast Members stay in character with their role, Park, or land they are working in, but also creates fewer distractions for Guests. Plus, it’s just plain safer when working in higher-risk roles like around ride vehicles or in food service in a restaurant or around a kitchen.
Speaking of the quest to maintain the Disney look, there are also notable rules about Cast Members not getting too crazy with nail or hair colors. Across the board, Cast Members are expected to have only natural-looking highlights or hair color. When it comes to manicures, Cast Members are limited to no nail polish, natural colors, or clear coat polish. Those growing facial hair are also under a bit of scrutiny to maintain facial hair that does not exceed a maximum of a quarter-inch in length. Although this is also a comprehensive rule that ranges from food service workers to ride operators and beyond, it’s sure to be more sanitary from a food service perspective.
The rules exist for a reason, and working at Walt Disney World in any capacity can be a fun and rewarding experience. Working in Guest Relations at favorite resorts like Grand Floridian Resort or Disney’s Wilderness Lodge or even being part of the magic in a theme park ,like working in World Showcase at EPCOT or at Animal Kingdom would be unforgettable. Even though working in food service at a Disney restaurant might not be your first choice, you may just reconsider after hearing about these job perks.
A huge perk of working in food service at Walt Disney World is, of course, free passes to the Parks. Attraction hopping in Magic Kingdom, hanging out under floating mountains in Animal Kingdom, and experiencing the magic of Star Wars for free at Hollywood Studios? Sign me up! Former employees weighing in on food service worker positions on indeed.com consistently named free passes to the Parks as a huge perk that they enjoyed during their time working at Walt Disney World.
Sure, hours get long, standing all day can be painful and Guests can sometimes get hard to handle. However, former food service workers at Disney World consistently mention in reviews how much they enjoyed coworkers and how much they enjoyed playing in the Parks for free when they were not on the clock.
Food Test Lab Selection
A literal dream for any foodie, who would not die to see the inside of the Disney Flavor Lab? Heading to the Disney Flavor Lab at Walt Disney World would be a lifetime achievement for us Disney Dining nerds. As it turns out, Cast Members that work in food service at Walt Disney World are sometimes selected to test new menu items and beverages as they are being developed.
After new foods and beverages are brainstormed and recipes are developed, Disney goes through a development testing and tweaking stage as they finalize recipes and give food and beverages that perfect magic touch. Naturally, they need expert taste testers to make suggestions about changes to new foods. That’s where food service Cast Members come into play.
Can you imagine having the chance to taste test small plates that are going to be served at the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival or the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival? Menu items that grace quick-service restaurant menus, festival booths, and eateries around the property at Walt Disney World are all first taste-tested in the Disney Flavor Lab. This is a pretty incredible work perk!