Disneyland (and Florida's Disney World) are the happiest places on Earth. Filled with Disney's famous soundtracks, magical whimsy, and our favorite movie characters, guests are transported into their favorite Disney movies. It's a place where we can see Cinderella's castle for ourselves and a chance to see Disney's princesses come to life.
However, is Disneyland (and the other associated parks) as happy as it seems? According to multiple former employees of Disney parks, life may be magical in front of guests but it's a dark world backstage (and underground). After breaking one of Disney's many rules, these employees were let go, but not without causing a scene in front of one of Disney's billion guests. When someone works for Disney, they have to look and act a particular way, and if that way is crossed, then their job is in jeopardy. And for these 20 employees, they lost their jobs for crossing Disney.
20 HEY, THAT'S NOT RAPUNZEL!
There seems to be a strong no fraternizing rule for the Disney actors and actresses but there's not much Disney can do when it happens outside of work. For this former employee, however, his transgression happened in front of guests. "I work at Disneyland. I made out with one of my co-workers once. A family of five little kids walked by and one said, 'Mom, why is the prince kissing Flynn Rider?' We both got fired."
19 G-RATED IN FRONT OF GUESTS, R-RATED BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
According to History Garage, the Disney prince and princesses that have come to life are part of what makes Disneyland so special. Imagine watching Snow White for the first time and knowing there was a chance to rub shoulders with her! Well, according to one former employee, these princes and princesses are all stunning and polite in order to play their role in front of guests but behind the scenes, things can get R-rated.
18 A PIECE OF POPCORN ISN'T WORTH IT
A few former employees told Reddit silly reasons why they were fired from the prestigious company. One person, in particular, was working the popcorn cart when a piece of popcorn fell down their shirt while on their shift. Instead of throwing it out, they ate the one piece that fell down their shirt and later found out guests saw them eat the popcorn and was thus fried for eating on the job...
17 DRINKING ON THE JOB IS A NO-NO
It's pretty common that drinking on the job is a no-no, and it's a justifiable reason to be fired. Back in 2010, seven Disneyland workers decided to have a few drinks in the company ar after work and were caught. Considering they were drinking on company property inside company property (especially a car), all seven were fired.
16 GOOFY VS. DONALD DUCK
Goofy is one of the sweetest characters attached to Disney. As one of Mickey's best friends, he has a pure heart and a goofy attitude. Donald Duck, on the other hand, is a little sassier. In real life, a former employee who played Goofy at Disneyland got into a brawl with another man who was dressed as Donal Duck and both were fired for it. "Disney didn't really appreciate me dragging the costume on the carpeted floor so they terminated me," the Redditor said.
15 INJURIES DON'T FIT THE MOLD
There aren't too many Disney characters who are injured, so when Disney hires an actor or actress for the role of a character, having an injury really hinders the entire look. One Redditor stated a friend was fired at Disneyland for breaking her ankle. Wearing a big cast doesn't really fit the mold of a character, sadly. Something tells us guests wouldn't care if their favorite character had a cast on though...
14 AND CHARACTERS CAN'T MAKE A PEEP
It's a known rule that the characters with masks/heads on can't make a peep when they're in view of the guests. They're playing a role and have to act like the character they're portraying. However, according to one Redditor, after their mom showed up to Disneyland in a fur coat, Alice in Wonderland's White Rabbit said through the mask, "Mommy! Mommy! is that you?". It's safe to say the White Rabbit was replaced after speaking.
13 THE KITCHENS AREN'T ALWAYS THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH
To accompany the millions of people that tour through Disneyland, the park always has to have a wide display of foods in all areas. But because the food is delicious doesn't mean it was made with love. One worker of Disney World's Frontierland foods noted that food workers spew insults to one another all the time. One worker even threw a metal cooking sheet at another worker's head!
12 THE GUESTS MAY NOT KNOW A WORKER MESSED UP BUT THEIR MANAGERS SURE DO
One Reddit user told readers that the guide at The Great Movie Ride in Hollywood Studios has their speech memorized word for word. There is no adlibbing. Before being hired, the guides have three days to learn the entire script word for word. Messing up in front of a live audience and pressing the wrong buttons for the cars on the ride is an easy way to get axed.
11 RATS ARE NO EXCUSE TO ACT UNPROFESSIONAL
One former worker at Disneyland was fired for doing something so many of us would do. While working as a candy maker, they saw a massive rat (and no, it wasn't Mickey) by the trashcan which caused them to react in disgust. Things got worse for this former employee when they dropped "$1,000 worth of caramel apples" on the job.
10 CHARACTERS CANNOT POST ABOUT THEMSELVES ON SOCIAL MEDIA
An important rule for Disney characters to follow is they can't post backstage images or information about their jobs on social media. Doing so is grounds for termination. In one instance, there were a few sightings of alligators by Magic Kingdom's lakes. A Disney employee made a sign telling other employees not to warn guests of possible alligators as it would scare them. Knowing that guests' safety is a priority, one employee tweeted the sign and warned guests that alligators were a very common occurrence. Due to them tweeting about their job, they were sadly fired for trying to protect thousands of people.
9 FREE CHURROS GOT THIS WOMAN FIRED
Disney's parks may be one of the happiest places on earth but they're also one of the most expensive. Food, for starters, is quite pricey and can set a family back a hefty amount. Knowing how expensive food at the park is, one worker gave free churros out to her friends. But those must have been some pretty expensive churros because the worker lost her job for it.
8 FIRED FOR TAKING PICTURES BACKSTAGE
Many guests are curious about what the other side of Disney looks like. What does backstage look like? What do all the characters do while on break? Well, it appears as we'll never know because posting about life backstage can get a worker fired instantly (and it's happened more often than you think).
7 NEVER BREAK CHARACTER (EVEN FOR CELEBRITIES)
Being in character as one of Disney's stage performers is incredibly important. Disney wants to preserve as much magic as possible for its guests, no matter their ages. Sadly for one employee, she lost her gig as a character after she asked N*SYNC's Joey Fatone for a picture. Disney was not amused by her unprofessionalism, especially in front of a star like Joey Fatone.
6 RULE #1: DON'T STEAL FROM THE CASH REGISTER
Knowing how much money Disneyland and Disney World makes is enough to make even the sweetest person try and take what they can. Disney is also a very busy place, making some employees feel like no one will even notice when bad things happen. But people always notice. One employee was actually fired after it was found that he was taking money from guests who were staying at Disney World Hotels.
5 MICKEY IS THE FACE OF DISNEY
As the face of Disney, Mickey Mouse is one of the biggest roles to take on at Disney's parks. One Redditor explained that a small girl played the role of Mickey and for whatever reason, a guest attacked her (Mickey) into a lake! "She couldn't breathe and the head was heavy so she took off the head," the Redditor said, however, she was fired for doing so!
4 CAUSING A PANIC IS A GREAT WAY TO GET LET GO
Knowing how large the Disney parks are, causing a panic for no reason is a lousy thing to do. It ruins the day for many guests, workers, and is a huge safety issue. One day, one worker noticed policemen and dogs circling the park and was nervous about a possible bomb situation. After sending out a few texts, Disney caught wind and fired the employee for spreading a potential rumor on information she didn't have.
3 IT'S SMART NOT TO HIT OTHER CHARACTERS
Sadly, whoever plays the Beast from Beauty and the Beast has a very hard job. The costume is over $100,000 and weighs a lot. There's not much ventilation inside the Beast's head, causing the costume to get up to 115 degrees! However, actors prevail and do it for Disney. For this story, the Beast in question was only supposed to work a short shift (with other workers helping him throughout the park and letting him know when his shift was over). Unfortunately for him, no one told him and he was in his suit for an hour... This caused him to become furious and attack another member. And yes, he was fired.
2 WHEN OLAF AND ELSA AREN'T BFFS ANYMORE...
One of the best parts of whisper.sh is Olaf. His relationships with Princess Anna and Elsa is what brings comedy to the film. However, at Disney Hollywood Studios, it appears Olaf and Elsa weren't the best of pals. Dressed as Olaf, they punched Elsa's character in the face after getting into a disagreement. Both were terminated.
1 CAN YOU FIRE SOMEONE FOR USING CBD OIL?
While CBD was once very confusing, it is now widely taken and praised by those needing clarity or to reduce anxiety and inflammation. It's also legal in the US where both Disneyland and Disney World are. However, one employee stated that they were fired for having CBD in their bag while at work in a pretty embarrassing way. Following her termination, guests who brought CBD into the park were also stopped!