The Language of Disney

The Language of Disney

Episode 36

In this week’s podcast we are talking about languages at Disney, what works, what doesn’t, and how it affects the culture. I also talk about the language of Disney itself in an accompanying post to this one at and in our podcast which can be can be found here on Podbean and here at iTunes.

As a business, Disney has its own vernacular which it uses among its employees or Cast Members. Here are some terms unique to Disney:

Referring to Customers


Customer Service

Customer Area

People who are Blind

People in Wheelchairs


Guest Service


Guests with Visual Impairments

Guests with Mobility Impairments

Guests in queue waiting to enter Shanghai Disneyland. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Referring to Employees


Front Line Employee

Crowd Controller

Midnight Shift

Third Party


Employee Orientation

Grooming Standards

Employee Only Area

“I play Alice in Wonderland”

Host or Hostess

Cast Member


Third Shift

Operational Partners


Disney Traditions

Appearance Guidelines


“I’m best friends with Alice in Wonderland”

Alice greeting a young guest. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Referring to Products & Services

Disney World


Amusement Park




Fast Food


Time Share


Walt Disney World

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Theme Park


Motor Coach


Counter Service

Animated Feature

Vacation Club

Value Resort

Archway to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Other Phrases

The Disney Look. Appearance guidelines set by Disney.

Green Side Up/Everyone Picks up Trash. Referencing the concept that everyone pitches in regardless of their familiarity in doing that assignment.

We Work While Others Play. Disney is a 24/7 operation, and employment often dictates working when it is inconvenient in order to provide for the Guest experience.

Cross U. Being capable of working in areas of the operation other than yours.

Safety First. A reference to Disney’s Four Service Keys, and that the first Key of Safety is more important than any other thing Disney does in terms of Courtesy, Show and Efficiency.

Good Show. A compliment that everything is looking just right for the guest experience

We Create Happiness. The ultimate mission of every Disney Cast Member

Souvenirs for Your Organization

Ask yourself the following:

  • What are the unique words and expressions in your business or industry?
  • How can language make your culture and brand unique?
  • What words and phrases create a negative image of your industry? How can you turn those words to something much more positive?
  • How can these be taught and incorporated from the day a new employee begins employment?
  • Are you offering language that builds on what you value or on the brand you are delivering, or is it just politically correct speech?

Be sure to check out our companion post at Disney at Play, where we talk about how language is used in attractions like Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge and Pandora: The World of Avatar.

Photos by J. Jeff Kober

I also referenced a story of Dick Nunis riding the Jungle Cruise and how the phrase, Good Show, came to be. Be sure to check out this story as well.

A Story of How “Good Show” Came to Be. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

J. Jeff Kober

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