Robert Niles

Published: December 14, 2009 at 9:43 AM

I shouldn't overlook the subject of Christmas bonuses, either. When I was at Disney, we got two one-day park hoppers each year at Christmas. (We got another two at the Fourth of July.) CMs with families got more, one for each member of their family, but single, childless folks like me got the two.

The best part about these tickets was that they were good not only at Walt Disney World, but also at Disneyland. We always supposed, but no one tested (to my knowledge), that one could use one of these tickets to visit all the parks at Disney World, hop a plane, they go get in Disneyland on the same day, too.

Now *that* would be one heckuva Christmas present!

Between these tickets I collected, plus the freebies I picked up during the first year Universal Studios Florida was open, I was covered for wedding presents to give to my friends over the next decade.

Ted Heumann

Published: December 14, 2009 at 6:03 PM

Back when I was at Disneyland in the late 80s, early 90s, Disneyland did the same thing, but they did two nights so that way you could work one and go to the other.
We got the added bonus of getting all the Corporate, Studios and Imagineering cast members as well. Both working and attending. It was always weird to see some guy with long hair and a full ZZ Top beard working Haunted Mansion.
Michael Eisner famously worked at Coke Corner each year on one of the nights (Although he didn't actually do much work, he stood around and made the other cast members work).
I also LOVED the no rules part. You could sit on stage and eat popcorn. I would always try and guess where the people worked. That's how I got to meet most of the character voices (I don't remember much, but I do remember that Mickey's voice was NOT among them).
It was so fun attending too because everyone would say the spiels along with the attractions. Mansion has never been so fun, when EVERYONE is saying the stretching room spiel.

Published: December 14, 2009 at 10:09 PM

I was a CM in TDA until my position fell victim to the reorganization this Spring. My wife and I were decorating the Christmas tree this year and came across our ornament that was given out to all the CMs attending the Christmas party last year. That sure made me miss my old job. We had a blast at that party. Working at Disney provided a lot of cool opportunities for Disney nuts like us (attraction previews, free admission, food and merch discounts, etc) but the Christmas party topped them all. There was just so much cool special stuff going on. It wasn't just a night in the park. It really was a special party. At my new job we have two Christmas events: a lunch for just the people in the office (no families) and an event for our clients that I was able to buy tickets to. Times like this make me really miss my time as a CM.
Joshua Counsil

Published: December 15, 2009 at 1:18 PM

It's a shame that they compromised their employees' Christmas party for this crap. The whole park to yourselves for a night? Amazing. What a nice gesture. But, of course, it didn't make them any money.

Damnit, Disney can be frustrating sometimes.

Robert Niles

Published: December 15, 2009 at 2:21 PM

To clarify, Disney World held its cast party on multiple nights, for the same reason as Disneyland - so people could have at least one of the nights to attend.

I, however, was a greedy young man and worked 'em all. To me, working the Disney party was a better experience than going to any of the other company Christmas parties I've ever attended.