Disney sucks you in really powerfully...
When you get hired, you have to go through what we called a "Disney indoctrination course," where you're shown endless films about the history of Disney, the parks, and the feeling the word "Disney" evokes in people. Typically if you've signed up to work there, you already have an emotional attachment to Disney, and the indoctrination course pulls hard at those heartstrings. Like a Disney Princess, you're encouraged to dream your way to improving your situation. But you pretty much sign your life away, agreeing to work whenever and however long Disney wants -- and you're happy about it. Like somehow getting to work 80 hours a week in a 120-degree costume for $6.90 an hour is the greatest thing you could possibly be doing for humanity.
But some people get sucked into it for life. There are the ones who were born and raised with the sole life goal of working for the Mouse. Then there are those who come to Disney as a College Program intern, or as a seasonal employee, and then come to the realization that they'd rather get free park admission for the rest of their lives than continue pursuing their education. Last are those who get wrapped up in the wishes, hopes, dreams, and "making people happy" mindset, and eventually they find themselves having invested so much time at Disney, that at some point, they no longer have the desire to leave. Why do they get "so into it"? My guess is Pixie Dust.
... and then demands your maximum commitment
When you make $8 an hour, 40 hours on the clock isn't gonna pay your bills. So we worked 10- to 18-hour shifts in order to make overtime. And if you worked a shift of more than 20 hours, you got double time. So people would actually COMPETE to see who could work more 20-hour shifts. The majority of people I knew there were workaholics and would sign up for all the OT they could get. They'd work 80-hour weeks and love it. And as a full-time cast member you were expected to work overtime, any shift, 24/7/365.
We actually looked forward to working those endless shifts. Sure, we liked the excitement of making $16 an hour, but most of all we just wanted to be part of the magic for longer -- and that trade-your-life-away commitment was probably why Disney didn't mind paying out the overtime.
The thing they did mind was giving people days off for anything. And I mean ANYTHING. I knew a woman who alerted Disney to her wedding nine months before it happened, and they gave her one day off. And it wasn't even her wedding date. They told her you can either get married and quit, or work around our schedule.
You must always be portraying the magic of Disney and carrying on Walt's legacy, no matter what goes on in, what's left of your personal life. It really takes a special breed to work there.