Working as an Aussie at a Disney Park
January 5, 2019
Working as an Australian at a Disney park is perhaps the best rollercoaster around. More often than not, people assume that it is all smiles and dreams coming true. They are not too far from the truth. There are a lot of things to smile about when you work in the happiest place on earth, some really cool things. However, being across the world from Australia for an extended period of time, in a very unnatural living environment, for long hours, can also have a con or two. Without exposing too many secrets, below are a few thoughts on the pros and cons of working as an Australian at a Disney theme park.
One: You work at a Disney theme park… I’ll just leave that there!
Two: For some unknown reason, Australians have a fun reputation across the world. This seems to be especially true in the US. Americans love all things Australian. They are even baffled by our accents and how we managed to cross the world to get there. Being in a place where you are celebrated simply for being Australian is a wonderful feeling. You’ll find a nice sense of national pride and a joy for sharing our unique culture with any Aussie cast member you meet.
Three: There are so many things that we take for granted about Australia. Cast members from down under are an exception to that rule. If you start up a conversation with an Aussie cast member (you will, Australians tend to have some kind of magnetic effect in Disney parks), you will see that they love vegemite a lot more than you do right now!
“The List of pros could go on for days! Being an Aussie Cast Member should be something cherished and enjoyed”
Four: A new appreciation for Finding Nemo. It’s a film we all love, but perhaps Aussie cast members love Nemo the most – It’s our film, you can’t claim it. Mine, mine, mine!
The list of pros could go on for days. Being an Aussie cast member is a once in a lifetime experience and something that should be cherished and enjoyed. As with any job, there are always going to be slight downsides. These don’t spoil the experience, but do highlight that living away from your loved ones and being surround by thousands of families can be a little tricky. When interacting with your Aussie cast members, keep in mind that they are likely managing the below challenges.
One: Being surrounded by familes that are not your own can be really hard. Not sure if you know this, but Australia is far far away from any Disney park. The closest is still at least a 9hr flight (Tokyo). Loneliness and isolation are real issues for anyone living away from their loved ones. These feelings tend to be heightened when you are surrounded by families on holidays, having a blast. It can come and go in waves, but will still be on the mind of each Aussie working at Disney. It’s Natural!
Two: Any Aussie cast member will tell you that a number of guests have assumed they are British and made fun of their accent. It’s a classic Australian traveller situation, but for some reason it is even more evident in a themepark environment ha! Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that there are a lot of characters in the park. There are people with different accents (some more genuine than others ha) and guests can easily assume that an Aussie accent is a poorly rehearsed British one. Strange, but I get it.
Three: Nine out of ten guests will assume that an Australian cast member knows Crocodile Dundee and/or Steve Irwin. Why wouldn’t they, Australia is a small country, right?! It sounds silly, but after hearing the same joke multiple times a day, for months on end, it can get a little old. No sir, I don’t know them… But my friend does haha!
As you know, I could write for days about cast member experiences. These are just my own thoughts and memories. In fact, so many people have similar first hand experiences and have written about them too. The internet is full of insider looks into the cast member life. Some are genuine, others are dramatic. Take a look and a grain or two of salt with you and check them out.