Teased, Overworked, and Cleaning Puke: A Cast Member’s Horror Story

castle storm
Credit: Disney Parks/Canva

Cast Members are often the unsung heroes of a Walt Disney World vacation. Many of them are harassed by Guests, underpaid by Disney, and sometimes work 14+ hour shifts.

RELATED: Guest Tries to ‘Catch’ Cast Member Being Rude…Fails

Cast Member

Credit: Disney

Samantha’s Story

Enter former Disney Cast Member Samantha Tetrault.

Recently, she shared her horror story of working in a Walt Disney World theme park. And although her story may not be the everyday experience of all Cast Members – she’s definitely not alone.

As with most adult Disney fans, Samantha grew up loving the Walt Disney Company. It was a bright spot in her childhood, and when she graduated college, she decided to pursue a career working for the House of Mouse.

Former Cast Member Samantha with Mickey Mouse shirt on

Credit: Samantha Tetrault

At the time, she could only secure a part-time position – which, naturally, at Walt Disney World Resort meant 12 hours a day and sometimes working for ten days straight.

Her Cast Member Role

She was assigned to work at Hollywood Studios in the Animation Courtyard / Star Wars Launch Bay area. While there, she had a trainer who teased her for not having an encyclopedic knowledge of Star Wars before laughing at her and never scheduling her to work at the Launch Bay again.

Star Wars Jedi Training at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Credit: Disney

Most of her job afterward was waving bubble wands around the Animation Courtyard for an entire shift (this was pre-COVID).

hollywood studios entrance

Credit: Disney

During this time, she felt her love for Disney fade as she realized that the magic Guests received didn’t necessarily apply to the Disney Cast Members.

After two weeks of being overworked (often past Park closing and then opening the Park the following day) and cleaning up puke off of toys, she decided she had enough.

Her Departure

twilight zone

Credit: Disney

She cites the experience as troubling her so much that she had to wait half a year before returning to any Disney Park (despite living in the area). Samantha also knew that by leaving so abruptly, she risked being put on Disney’s blacklist – never to be allowed to work for the company or any of its subsidiaries ever again. But it was worth it for her. Because, in the end, she’d rather save her magic and Disney fandom than let it rot.

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Her story can be read in more depth at Insider here.

About Steven Wilk

Steven has a complicated relationship with Disney. As a child, he visited Walt Disney World every few years with his family. But he never understood why kids his age (and older) were so scared of Snow White or Alien Encounter. He is a former participant of the Disney College Program (left early…long story), and he also previously worked in Children’s publishing, where he adapted multiple Disney movies and TV shows. He has many controversial opinions about Disney…like having a positive view of Michael Eisner, believing Return of the Jedi is superior to The Empire Strikes Back, and that Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge should have never been built (at least not at Hollywood Studios). Every year for the past two decades, Steven has visited either Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani or went on a Disney Cruise. He’s happy to share any and all knowledge of the Disney destinations (and he likes using parenthesis a lot…as well as ellipses…)