I Worked at Disney. These Are the Secret Codes Cast Members Use to Deal with Real World Problems.

One of the best parts about taking a trip to Disney is being able to fully immerse yourself in the magic. No one wants to worry about “real life” things when going on vacation, and at the parks, it’s very easy to become enveloped in the Disney bubble.

A major reason you’re able to do this is because Cast Members work hard to ensure that “real life” doesn’t get in the way of your experience. To keep you from overhearing something gross or stressing about something going wrong, Cast Members use a series of codes that only they are trained to understand.

Disney Cast Member Secret Codes

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We’re going to break that barrier and teach you some of the insider lingo that Cast Members use when dealing with less-than-desirable situations. Keep reading to find out 10 secret Disney Cast Member codes and what they mean!

The Code V

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Probably one of the most infamous and well-known Cast Member codes is the Code V. This code is called when someone can’t make it to the bathroom on time and “spills their lunch” in a public area. Even though a lot of guests are aware of what it means, it’s used so guests who don’t know what it means aren’t grossed out.

When dealing with a Code V, Cast Members will typically block off that spot and cover it up with rags or towels until the custodial team can get there. This way, they can ensure no other guests have to interact with the mess before it’s cleaned up, especially those who might have a Code V of their own after seeing it.


Photo Credit: Walt Disney World.

Just like Code V, the AFR code is used to keep guests from finding out that something gross has just happened. AFR stands for “accidental fecal release,” and whether it was accidental or not, Cast Members use the acronym to inform their coworkers that the area needs to be closed or blocked off until the custodial team is able to get it cleaned up.

This one is mostly used at the resorts and waterparks when a guest doesn’t make it to the bathroom on time and all guests need to exit the pool so it can be cleaned. Sometimes, it’s only a short while that the pool needs to be closed before it’s fresh and good to go again, but depending on the situation, the pool can sometimes stay closed for up to a few hours while the chemicals reset and balance out to ensure it’s safe to swim in again.

The Signal 25

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There are a lot of different reasons Disney Cast Members use secret codes when speaking about certain things around guests. Sometimes it’s to keep guests protected, sometimes it’s to keep them from being grossed out, and sometimes it’s to avoid causing them to panic. Signal 25 is one that falls into that final category because it means that either smoke or flames have been spotted.

If a Signal 25 has to be called, it’s usually due to firework debris or a serious malfunction with an attraction. Cast Members use this code to make each other aware of what’s going on while keeping guests from finding out, with the goal being to extinguish the fire as quickly and safely as possible without causing alarm amongst the crowds.

The Alpha Unit

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Another very serious code Cast Members use is calling for an Alpha Unit. If a Cast Member says that an Alpha Unit is on its way, it really means that emergency services are on their way to provide medical aid to a guest or Cast Member.

In addition to using this code to avoid worrying the other guests, Cast Members also use it to ensure the person who needs medical care has some privacy. A lot of people want to know what’s going on or even try to help when they see someone who’s injured or sick, so to keep the guest or Cast Member from being overwhelmed by strangers trying to figure out what’s going on, Cast Members use the secret Alpha Unit code.

Pool Whistles

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If you stay at a Disney Resort hotel and spend some time swimming in the pool, it’s possible that you will hear the lifeguards blow their whistles from time to time to communicate to the rest of the lifeguards and recreation Cast Members working on the pool deck.

When a lifeguard blows a One Whistle, it means that they are preparing to jump into the pool because they spotted a guest struggling in the water. When the rest of the lifeguards on duty hear the One Whistle, they know to immediately jump into their Emergency Action Plan and cover the area of the lifeguard who is in the pool helping the guest to ensure all of the water is still being watched. They’ll continue this process until the lifeguard is out of the pool, has dried off, and is ready to get back to their position.

If you hear the lifeguards at a Disney resort blow a Two Whistle, it means they have some sort of announcement to make. At the end of every night when it’s time for the pool to close, one guard will tweet their whistle twice and the rest of the lifeguards know to start asking guests to exit the pool. A Two Whistle will be blown to announce other things as well, usually asking the guests to get out of the water for a different reason.

This will happen if there is lightning in the area and the pool needs to be closed to keep the guests and Cast Members safe. A Two Whistle may also be blown if a Code V or AFR has happened in the pool and the water needs to be cleaned, or even if the chemical levels in the pool are slightly off and they need to balance out again. Regardless of the reason for the announcement, lifeguards and recreation Cast Members know that if they hear a Two Whistle, something important is about to be said.

The Three Whistle doesn’t happen very often, but if you ever hear one blown at a Disney resort pool, you will immediately see the lifeguards and recreation Cast Members spring into action. That’s because a Three Whistle means that either a guest or Cast Member is seriously sick or injured and needs immediate medical attention.

The Three Whistle is an important secret code for recreation Cast Members to be aware of because if they are on the other side of the resort and hear over the radio that a Three Whistle has been blown, they must stop whatever they are doing and run to the area where the situation is happening to assist. They will also usually call for an Alpha Unit to be sent to the resort so that emergency services can take over if needed.

Signal 70

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The Disney theme parks are massive spaces that are almost always crowded, which makes it very easy for children to get separated from the rest of their group. This is a very scary experience for both the child and the adults they’re with, but it’s something that Cast Members are well-trained on and know how to handle. The code that Cast Members use to inform other Cast Members in the park that there is a missing child is Signal 70.

If a Cast Member comes across a child who can’t find their family, the Cast Member will call over the radio that there is a “lost adult.” This language is used so the child isn’t made to feel like they’re the one who got lost, which is a very frightening feeling.

Code 101

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There are a lot of different reasons why an attraction, show, or area of a park might need to be closed on any given day. A thunderstorm might pop up, causing outdoor rides and entertainment to be temporarily shut down, or an attraction may malfunction and need to be turned off and checked by maintenance to keep everyone safe.

No matter what the reason is, if an attraction at the Disney parks needs to be closed, the Cast Members will let each other know that the ride is a Code 101. In some cases, the ride may need to be evacuated, so this code will quickly be shared with the rest of the team operating the attraction so they can assist with escorting all the guests out.

Code 102

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If a 101 is called to close a specific area of a Disney theme park, it only makes sense that Cast Members would use a similar code to inform the rest of their team that the area is ready to be opened again. Once the weather has cleared up or the ride mechanics have been fixed, Cast Members will call a Code 102 to signal that everything can begin operating as normal again.

Why Are These Cast Member Codes Used?

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The primary goal of Disney Cast Members in using all these different codes is to ensure guests are truly able to relax and enjoy their vacation. Cast Members want everyone to have a fully magical and immersive experience without worrying about the “real world” situations that inevitably come up in the Disney theme parks and resorts every day, and they’re able to do so with the use of these secret codes.

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