Top Ten Things You Need to Know if You Want a Job at Disney World

Disney World is known as the most magical place on earth for good reason. It’s what dreams are made of!

If you’ve always dreamed of working in Disney World, you’ll want to check out the information in this article!

1. Wanted: Current College Students

Disney’s College Program (DCP) is one of the most popular, prestigious, and coveted internships in the world. Every semester, hundreds of 20-somethings descend on Orlando to live, work, learn, and play.

If you’re still enrolled at an accredited college or university, you can apply for the DCP. If you’re accepted, you’ll live in an apartment with a few other College Program participants (“CPs” as they’re called), take classes, and maybe even earn credits all while working for Disney World.

Unfortunately, this program is not for graduates no matter how recent your graduation was, so be sure to apply before matriculating!

If you want to experience the College Program, make sure you do so before you graduate.
If you want to experience the College Program, make sure you do so before you graduate.

2. Move to Florida now

As they say, “location, location, location.” Although you’re eligible for a job regardless of where you live, it seems that hiring agents are more likely to offer positions to people who are in close geographical proximity to the Orlando-based park. This isn’t surprising since there are complicated logistics and expenses involved with moving for a job that may pay only minimum wage.

3. Make sure you have a savings

If you are planning to hold out for a job at Disney World, you may be waiting for a while. Especially if you’re uprooting your life and moving to the area, you should be sure that you have a decent savings.

After all, you’ll have moving expenses, and you’ll probably want to buy everything Disney once you arrive. What’s more, it’s important to have a car to get around. (More on this later!) Whether you have one now or you’ll have to buy one, you’ll need savings for expenses.

4. Be prepared to wait

Disney World gets boatloads of applications every day. Regardless of how impressive your resume is, it’s likely that there are others just as qualified as you. The good news is that Disney needs a lot of employees. At any given time, Disney World employs more than 60,000 people and that number can rise as much as 10-20,000 during the busiest times like the summer months.

Even still, there’s often a waiting list. If they like you, you’ll make the list. However, there’s no rhyme or reason as to when you’ll get the call, and you have to be available when they need you. If you have to give a two week notice at another job, move across the country, or aren’t willing to work shifts, they’ll find someone else.

5. Be prepared to work shifts

Let me reiterate: you have to be available when they need you.

You’ll have to work your way up the ladder, and that may mean working late nights and weekends. You know how you LOVE that Magic Kingdom stays open until 3AM when you’re on vacation? You might not love it so much when you have to work the closing shift (i.e. 4AM!).

Be prepared to pay your dues.
Be prepared to pay your dues.

6. Mind the weather

Central Florida is hot and often rainy. There’s just no avoiding this sometimes-tropical climate. It may not always be ideal especially if you have to work outside. Depending on your job, you may have to deal with extreme weather changes like a cool morning, a downright scorching afternoon, an early evening downpour, and a chilly night. The smorgasbord of weather is all part of the fun of Florida.

7. Getting the job you want

When the call does finally come, they’ll give you a location. Even though this might not be your first or even third choice, take the job. Once you get your foot in the door, you’ll have to work this job for three to six months. After that, you can apply for a transfer. Once you have some tenure, you’re more likely to get the job you want.

8. Becoming a friend of a character

If becoming a friend (meaning playing the role of) of a princess or a performer, dancer, or singer is your dream, disregard everything you’ve just read.

Disney regularly holds open auditions worldwide. I’ve known people who were denied a friend or performer role but given a job at another location in the park.

Disney needs plenty of people with talent.
Disney needs plenty of people with talent.

9. It’s always crowded

If Disney employs over 60,000 people, that means there are going to be a lot of people anywhere you go especially when you figure out the amount of guests who visit on a daily basis.

Remember I said that you’ll want a car? It’s not exactly easy to get around Disney World, but relying on Disney Transportation when you have to be at work at a certain time can be disastrous. If you have a car, it will be easier, though not simple.

Whatever your commute is, add 45 minutes at least. Remember that you’re driving through one of the largest and most popular tourist destinations in the world. You’re bound to share the road with people who don’t know how to get around the already complicated landscape.

In addition to the roads, restaurants, stores, shops, and other tourist attractions will also be crowded. Know this and be prepared.

10. There are perks

Don’t let these truths scare you away. Disney World is a magical place to work. You’ll experience new things every day, and you’ll gain invaluable knowledge. You’ll meet many new people and probably make life-long friends.

Beyond these things, there are some monetary perks. You’ll get free admission to the parks and some extra tickets for your friends and family. There are also exclusive merchandise, food, hotel, and cruise discounts available only to Disney employees.

Besides this, you’ll have something to add to your resume that is recognized worldwide. That’s not something you can put a price tag on.

Would you like to work for Disney World?