If you gave me the choice between getting paid in peanuts or getting a cast members wages I'd have to seriously consider the peanuts.
Peanuts have protien, good fats, and some carbs. Plus there is the fact that you can make a sauce, butter, or eat them as is. They really are rather an amazing nut. On the down side many people are allergic to them.
Recently Disney posted an ad for face characters. If you were interested you could get paid a whoping 11.75 an hour (acctually it may have been 11.25). Now think about that. If you are attractive, in shape, happen to look like a Disney character, can put up with a ton of hot sweaty kids, abusive parents, obsesed fans, and have some acting ability, you can make enough to...buy some Juicy Fruit after taxes and expenses!
The sad part is (and I'm guessing here) face characters get paid more than the average cast member. For the rest of the cast members I bet they get pay checks that are great if you run out of toilet paper.
Somehow most cast members keep smiling. I personally think Disney drugs them but I haven't found anyone who will admit to that. Then again maybe Disney is holding a family member at gun point and they have no option except to be happy.
Sure if you work full time you get benefits. Benefits are great until you need to pay your rent.
I know cast members are not allowed to take tips but what if I hand out bags of peanuts? At least they'd have a nice snack.