The best and worst of working as a Cast Member
Working at Walt Disney World, more than likely, has been a dream of everyone who enjoys Walt Disney World at one point or another. We’re Disney nerds and this is the kind of stuff we dream of; dressing up as Goofy or asking how many people in our party wets our palette and makes us giddy. Of course, in all of our cast member delusions, none of us really ever envision ourselves pushing buttons and emptying the trash. Quite the contrary, we dream about riding Splash mountain over and over and over again to “test” the safety of the attraction or working in the candy shop with the modus operandi of two for the customer, one for me.
The reality is some cast member jobs are more fun than others. Time for some honesty; I’ve never worked as a cast member so this isn’t first hand experience by any means. This is my opinion looking in, so in fact I could have it all wrong. Plus, different folks find different things interesting. If you’ve ever been on the Internet then you know exactly what I mean. But back to a more G rated line of thinking, many people enjoy custodial work whereas me, I hate it. But I’m going to avoid those kind of softball answers and try to come up with my list and why of the best and worst attractions to work in the Studios (talking about Splash Mountain really does not have much place on a site called MGMStudos.org, but I do think “testing” Splash Mountain would be fun).
Let’s start with the fun stuff first.
- Tower of Terror cast member – You’re going to see very quickly that any cast member position that has any sort of creative thought behind it is going to be a good one and playing the role of a bellhop is quite fun. Many cast members do a great job of playing the role of the a un-dead (not in the Zombie way, more like Twilight Zone) bellhop. Perhaps the best cast member to pull this off is the now legendary TJ who I’m sure you’ve either seen in the park or in Disney publicity materials. TJ has such an uncanny character that is so weird and bizarre that it’s entertaining to nearly anyone who meets him.
Personally, I would love to come up with my own character. Rather than a character like TJ’s of eerily odd (which he’s perfected so no sense in trying to top him), my character would be a bumbling fool who would constantly be dropping something, breaking something or just fouling it all up. At the part where the cast member has to load guests onto the elevator and they ask for how many in their party, if the guest said “4” I’d respond, “Great, 6 people, please go to line 3” and of course just before the elevator doors close, I’d say something to the effect of “oops, I probably shouldn’t have done that...”
- Streetmosphere character – If you’ve ever seen a streetmosphere character, you’d know why I think it’s great. If you haven’t seen them perform, it’s like “Whose Line Is It Anyway” on crack. In fact, I think I envy their ability to come up with such funny quips so quickly more than anything so I suppose if I could be a streetmosphere character, I’d have that quick wit to come with it. There are different acts around the Studios, some more entertaining than others but there’s something about these highly talented performers that have me hooked. Unlike Tower of Terror, I haven’t come up with my character yet but deadpan comedy is generally up my alley.
- Storm trooper at Star Wars Weekend – There is such a high energy level during Star Wars Weekends and the characters that come out just for Star Wars Weekend are a lot of fun. The storm troopers have the most fun with their jobs. From the Storm troopers on the roof of the entrance to the Studios (click here to view the video, it’s absolutely hilarious) to the squads roaming the park during the day “harassing” park guests. There’s simply something cool about the Storm Troopers, especially the ones from the movies from the 70’s and 80’s. The clone troopers are nifty but the classic Storm trooper is where it’s at and I would love to be able to walk around in my armored suit posing for funny pictures with guests and otherwise goofing around. Of course, if I were to become a Storm trooper, I’d need some sort of self-contained air conditioning system for the suit because as cool as it seems to me to dress as one, I’d have to think twice about if I had to don the armor while walking around in the brutal Florida sun in May and June.
- Backlot Tour Guide – Those of you who know me, or at least anyone who read the previous three jobs that I envy, might wonder why I think this is a great job at the Studios. In addition to appreciating a quick wit, I also enjoy a good story and being a tour guide has always been a vocation I’ve enjoyed. There’s something about personally pointing out interesting factoids that appeals to me. Of course, a good sense of humor is important to me and being a Backlot Tour guide would have plenty of that. There’s some euphemism out there about being able to make fun of yourself so I would be quick to poke fun of the props that are from films a dozen years or so old as well as pointing out the effects of the Florida sun on these props.
So those are the best cast member jobs in my opinion. What about the ones I wouldn’t want to ever do? Stay tuned for next week when I examine the deplorable occupations at the Studios.