08/13/2014 12:17 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Things You Have To Explain To People Who've Never Worked In A Theme Park

By Matt Meltzer

Credit: Flickr user Bruce Tuten

When you're a kid, the thought of spending the whole day in a magical world populated by superheroes and princesses seems like an impossible dream. Then one day you see a flier at the local community college saying Disney is hiring "summer interns" and you think: DREAM COME TRUE.

That is, until you start working there.

If you thought making a career at a theme park was all singing warthogs and fairy godmothers, think again. We talked to a bunch of current and former theme park "cast members" to get the inside scoop on what it's like to work in that mystical wonderland. After they were finished, we couldn't look at Mickey the same way ever again.

More: The 15 Most Annoying Travelers In The World

We can make your trip a lot better if you're nice
If your mouse ears break/you forgot to secure them when you went on the Tower of Terror/ your $11 cheeseburger was undercooked, tell an employee and be really nice about it. We can probably fix it. Guest satisfaction is actually our main job, so we get a lot of leeway to make you happy.

We get promoted if you give us good feedback
So if we DO give your kid a fluffy plush Minion toy because his ice cream cone fell on the ground, take 30 seconds and fill out a comment card. You're not diming us out for giving away free stuff.

Credit: Flickr user Loren Javier

The costumes are hotter than you can possibly imagine
So, yes, actually, I AM hot in here. And no, there's no fan. Thanks for asking.

Character shifts are only 30 minutes long
And it's the longest 30 minutes of your life. Put a treadmill in the steam room at your gym and crank it up to about 9. If you can do that for half an hour you MIGHT be able to handle a shift.

There are strippers who get groped less than Minnie Mouse
Why people think it's funny to grab a giant puppet's crotch is beyond us. But just remember there's just as good a chance that Minnie Mouse is a dude, and "The Crying Game" is probably not one of the movies you came here to relive.

Credit: Flickr user Jennie Park

The princess's hair is not real
But, you know, neither is Donald Trump's, and that didn't ruin "The Apprentice" for you, right?

We get in free, but never go
If you spent 70 hours a week losing your body weight in sweat at your desk back in the accounting department, would you wanna go there with your time off? No. No, you would not.

We have to point with two fingers
Apparently, in some cultures pointing with one finger is considered rude. We're not doing this because we like to imitate in-flight safety demos.

Most employees are considered "part-time" workers, but work 45-70 hours a week anyway
It's cool, though. Who needs benefits when you save 50 percent on souvenir cups and stuffed animals?

Credit: Flickr user Jason Riedy

Under no circumstances should you EVER eat the turkey legs
They're emu. No, seriously. They're emu.

Cinderella is a chain smoker
And no, she didn't pick the habit up from her wicked stepsisters. She picked it up in ballet school or dance academy.

Head over to to check out 10 more things you have to explain to people who've never worked in a theme park!

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