Getting a job at Walt Disney World requires candidates understand the hiring process from start to finish, and be prepared with the right skills and insider insights. Anyone interested in working for the worldwide leader in family entertainment will benefit from the following tips.
Programs vs Employment
When you’re thinking about working for Walt Disney World, there are plenty of ways to do it. First, see if there’s a program that you’re able to apply for. This may include a Professional Internship, Cultural Representative Program, International College Program or the Disney College Program. Each has their own set of criteria, program length and perks/restrictions that may come into effect. If you’re planning a more permanent move, then you’ll want to consider full-fledged employment.
Plan to Move To Orlando
Outside of the professional internship programs, the majority of employees at Walt Disney World are from the Central Florida area. Anyone who wants to pursue a career at Walt Disney World will need to move and settle into the Central Florida area, including:
- Winter Park
Be aware that the cost of living in Orlando and the competition for jobs is fairly high, so it’s recommended to have other potential jobs lined up. Like any other company, Walt Disney World is very unlikely to hire someone who currently lives in another state and they are even less likely to pay for relocation expenses.
Understand the C.A.S.T. Acronym
Walt Disney World refers to employees as Cast Members and they also use the acronym C.A.S.T to describe the four basic hiring factors.
First, compensation refers to the many tangible and intangible benefits of working for Disney, which pays just slightly higher salaries for similar positions in other industries. The pay is average, but there are excellent work and personal benefits, including merchandise and resort discounts, Main Gate entrance passes and exclusive Cast Member rewards.
Second, appearance refers to dress and grooming guidelines. Disney expects employees to not only appear pleasant and professional but also family-friendly. There is a code of conduct that all employees agree to upon being hired, and this includes a dress code.
Third, schedule means that employees must be flexible and fully committed. Disney may be a family oriented company, but their business model requires that new employees often work late, weekends and on holidays. Most folks who want to work for Disney think that it’s a 9-5 Monday to Friday, but the tourism industry is a different business altogether.
Fourth, transportation means that employees must have their own reliable transportation because Orlando lacks an effective mass transportation system. If you don’t have a vehicle, you’re going to spend too much time waiting for buses to create a solid work-life-balance.
Try to Get a Cast Referral
Disney is a special place to work, which means that although the official line from the company is to apply online (just like everyone else). However, you may want to take a separate route and realize that they unofficially rely on networking and referrals to fill positions. Disney follows legally mandated employment laws, so there are systems to stop favoritism and preferential hiring practices. Still, the best ways to increase the chances of getting a job at Disney is through having a current employee, or cast member, submit a cast member referral card to HR. This card will explain why the candidate will make a good hire. In order to accomplish this, you will need to know current employees of Walt Disney World.
Ace The Interview
Just like any opportunity that relies on quantity over quality, it’s important to stand out. In order to truly ace the interview within The Walt Disney Company, you have to do your homework and research the position. Prepare questions that show the interviewer that you understand the role. Be sure to offer your own take on effective and pro-active solutions to day-to-day issues. Have informational interviews with current and former employees to get valuable information about the position, department and job requirements. During your interview, make the conversation about how you’re able to play a “role” within a company that focuses on family-friendly experiences and creating long-lasting memories. This will show that you understand the dynamic of the company.
If you’re interested in getting a job at Walt Disney World, you should research specific job functions and focus your academic and employment time on building the transferable skills for these positions.
Questions to Prepare For During your Interview
- “Why do you want to work at Disney” – This will allow the interviewer to gauge your interest, your motivation, and your goals.
- “Do you see yourself in a specific role?” – This showcases your knowledge of the layers of the company, and whether or not you’re interested in an “on-stage vs backstage” role. Never go in without knowing what your strengths are!
- “What’s your favourite Disney character?” – It’s usually one of the first questions, as it allows for the interviewer to break the ice and ask a fun question. Everyone has a different response, so as long as you’re brushed up on your Disney knowledge and trivia, you should be good. What not to say? Harry Potter!
Interested in knowing more about the Walt Disney World recruiting process?
Disney Auditions – (Also known as Disney Parks Talent Casting) https://disneyauditions.com/
Disney International Program – (Also known as the Cultural Representative Program) http://ip.disneycareers.com/
Disney College Program – http://cp.disneycareers.com/
Disney Careers Homepage – https://jobs.disneycareers.com/
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If you’re interested in learning more about working for the Walt Disney Company, connect with me on Linkedin! I’d love to help share insights and ideas about the best way that you can work for TWDC!