The secret language of Disney cast members and what all these strange words mean


Full disclosure: I was a Disney World cast member for three years of my life. I used to use these terms every single day of my life, and they became like a second language. Since leaving Disney, I’ve tried to use all of the below multiple times. However, turns out most people in life are not former cast members, and have no idea what the heck I’m talking about whenever I sprinkle in one of these odd words.

Here are some of the best ones I still try to use on a daily basis, and if you hear a cast member at one of the parks speaking them, here’s what they all mean decoded — in terms of Disney, and in terms of real life, too. Learn them, study them, memorize them, and then let me know when you want to talk.

1. ER: Short for “early release,” meaning that you get to go home early. This is the most coveted of coveted things at Disney. An ER is basically like a golden ticket, but instead of going to the happiest place on Earth you get to go HOME and lie on your own couch and watch Netflix.

“I know that we have an important meeting later, but I need to ask for an ER today, because I need to go home and binge watch all of Kimmy Schmidt.” 

2. Rotation: The process of moving from one designated position to another. Notice how you might see a cast member at the entrance of an attraction, and then see them again when you’re loaded onto the ride? That’s a rotation.

“I’ve been staring at this same spreadsheet for fifteen minutes, I’m going to need to rotate somewhere else now.” 

3. Bump out: It’s like a pre-warning that you’re about to go home, usually 15 minutes before you can clock out.

[clock strikes 4:30 p.m.] “Ah, it’s time to bump out, clean out my coffee mug, and start packing up to go home!” 

4. ROS: Short for “release of service.” This is a ~fancier~ name for an ER, and usually granted when you’re sick or something, and you HAVE to go home and can’t wait around for an ER to come strolling your way.  

“Hello, I’m having awful cramps, so I’m going to need to ROS.” 

5. Drop position: In short, stop what you’re doing, and find something else to do instead.

“I was working on getting that report done by the end of the day, but then I dropped the position and went to lunch instead.” 

6. Delayed start/delayed open: When you’re supposed to start something at 9 a.m., but it doesn’t start at that designated time, for a variety of ~reasons~. Or, you’re just late.

“Sorry, had a delayed start this morning. I slept through my alarm.”

7. Bank out: A cool way to say “pack up and go home.” It really refers to the process of closing out your cash till (if you’re in a position that uses cash). You bank out by closing out of your money program, and then counting all of your money. It’s the SECOND TO LAST thing you’ll do before you go home.

[Someone asks you to do one last thing before the end of the day] “Can’t, sorry! I just banked out!”

8. Drop your fund: Also refers to someone in a cash-handling position, when you actually deposit your money. But really, it’s the actual act of packing up and going home and G’ing-T-F-O. It’s like the real world equivalent of turning off your computer.

[Someone asks you to do one last thing before the end of the day] “Can’t, sorry! I already dropped my fund, BYE!” [and then you leave]

9. [insert something/someone here] assist: Do you ever wish you had someone standing next to you, helping you do your shit? Basically the [insert your own thing here] assist like an assistant but not really an assistant. They’re like your helper. It’s someone to assist you with your work because you’ve gotten so busy you need an extra set of hands (and/or someone to help you with your troubles and woes).

“I’m having such a day, I think I’m going to need someone to be Rachel Assist for the afternoon.” 

10. E-Stop: short for “emergency stop.” That means, all movement/action has to stop immediately, and usually pertains to rides and shows. Can also pertain to real life.

“The date was so bad, I needed to E-Stop it fifteen minutes in.”

11. 101: A term used to describe when something is not functioning/closed at the current time. I.E., when a ride breaks down it is considered to be “101.”

“I can’t go out today, I’m 101 with a bad cold.” 

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