Things we’re used to hearing in the workplace are different in Walt Disney World and Resorts, as they are in all Disney parks. Here’s a little guide to prepare you for those differences.
The main thing with the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is that you are a part of a production, one that gets put on every single day and night, and has for years. When you go to work, you have to keep that in mind. Your workplace (no matter where it is) has two main types of areas; onstage, and offstage.
Onstage is where guests can see you. This is most of Disney Parks and Resorts.
Offstage guests can not. These are break-rooms, control rooms, and the tunnels.
Utilidoor is the underground tunnel system in the Magic Kingdom. EPCOT also has a smaller tunnel system.
Costumes are our work uniforms. Since we are a part of a production though, they can’t be called uniforms.
Cast Members are workers. This includes everyone from Guest Show (janitorial staff) to the Big Cheese himself.
Guests are the customers. “Customer” sounds too sterile, but we want them to feel welcomed, so they’re our guests.
Each park has certain things about itt too. No matter which park you work at, you’ll learn the terms.
Spaceship Earth is the large sphere that EPCOT is known for. Not the big ball, not the golf ball. Spaceship Earth.
Cinderella’s Castle is the main castle in Magic Kingdom, but there are now others (Eric’s, Beast’s, and Rapunzel’s tower are now a part of the New Fantasyland, along with the Dwarves’ Cottage).
CSpot is EPCOT’s Character Spot. There are other characters around the park, but here guests can see multiple with one line.
Studios is Hollywood Studios.
Fantasmic is the Hollywood Studios nighttime show.
Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is EPCOT’s firework show.
DAK is Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
EPCOT stands for “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.” This is the only abbreviation you should use with guests.
There are more, and there are things specific to each park, but I don’t know them all. I suggest that on your off days, if you’re a Disnerd like me, you go and check out the shows and rides. This will make it easier to assist guests. They’re always asking which rides are best, and how to get to certain characters. If you have experienced it yourself, your advice and directions will flow more comfortably, and you’ll be more confident in helping people.
And as silly as it sounds, don’t use the abbreviated terms with guests. It’s a no-brainer, but you’ll be living and hanging out with people who use the abbreviations all of the time, and you don’t want to speak to guests the same way you speak to friends.
All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners.