Want to work ‘where dreams come true’?
Whether it’s always been your childhood dream to work for one of the best-known names in American cinema history, or you just want to see what it’s like working in the ‘happiest place on earth’ – for some, getting a job at Disney is like nothing else imaginable.
But what’s it really like to work there, and how hard is it to get involved?
To help you ‘imagineer’* it, here’s everything you need to know about working for Disney – wishing on a star not necessary…
The interview process
The exact interview process depends on the type of position you’re applying for, but you’ll always need to show a love for the brand and everything it stands for – whether you want to work at Disneyworld, in a Disney store, or at one of their corporate offices.
And, because Disney are never short of staff (or aspiring members of staff), you’ll have to stand out to beat the competition.
Most interviews will cover the basics (e.g. why you want to work there, your relatable skills, and your knowledge of and what you can do for the company), but Disney also use a range of other techniques to test candidates on their capabilities.
For example, if you’re interviewing for a position in design, you’ll usually be tested on your drawing ability – so brushing up on your Disney character art is a must. And, for in-store positions, prepare for communication-based quizzes, which aim to show off your upbeat personality.
Aspiring Disneyworld park workers arguably have it the toughest – especially if you want to become a Disney princess or a ‘fur character’. In this instance, interviews may involve ‘rigorous dance competitions’, and various other roleplay tasks.
So, make sure all accents and mannerisms are matched flawlessly. Essentially, you have to be Mickey Mouse (see also: every other Disney character).
N.B. No matter what role you interview for – always send a thank-you message to follow-up.
The roles at Disney are as varied as the workplaces.
Aside from 14 Disney parks, 4 Disney cruise ships, 28 hotels, and hundreds of Disney stores located all over the world (with 57 in the UK), there are also a variety of opportunities based at their many corporate offices.
Designed with bright and vibrant colours, and decorated with a range of Disney memorabilia, their Hammersmith-based UK office is everything you’d expect from the global leader in family entertainment. They even have an in-house cinema.
So whether you want to be surrounded by themed rides and all your favourite characters at a Disneyworld resort, working in-store selling Disney products, or designing, building, and marketing the magic at a corporate office – there’s bound to be a workplace to suit you at Disney.
And you don’t even need to travel abroad to find it.
With 166,000 employees based in more than 40 countries, there are a range of opportunities on offer at Disney – many of which are available in the UK.
Disney parks and stores offer positions in:
Disney’s offices offer positions in:
– Marketing, sales, & PR
– Structural architecture, engineering, & design (or ‘imagineering*’)
– Business development & planning
– Finance & accounting
– Human Resources
Internships and graduate schemes are also available – where you’ll be able to take on a large amount of responsibility, and get exposure to lots of exciting projects. You may even get the chance to work overseas (in a resort) as part of the process.
The employee benefits
There are a range of exclusive perks on offer for Disney employees, or ‘Cast Members’.
These include everything from free screenings of new film releases, and early finishes in the summer, to 40% off at Disney stores, and even 50% off cruises.
Free access to Disney parks (arguably the best perk) along with free passes for friends and family for Disney resorts, are also available. In other words, you’re getting paid to go to Disneyworld.
But it’s not just recreational benefits that Disney offer.
Past and present employees also cited they got a generous pension, health, and dental scheme and a ‘great holiday allowance’ – alongside a range of available training and development courses.
The company culture
The Walt Disney Company prides itself in 90 years of outstanding storytelling – and working for them means you could become a part of it.
And in line with the generous benefits, it’s no surprise that the culture at Disney is famously fun (although that’s not to say it doesn’t come with hard work…)
According to internal reviews, Disney’s workplaces have a ‘great atmosphere’ and an ‘amazing working environment’, filled with highly skilled people. If you’re passionate about the product, you’ll fit right in. And if you’re working at a resort, making children happy is all in a day’s work.
Additionally, with employees citing supportive teams, an open, flat, and relaxed structure, and tonnes of opportunity to get involved with projects and campaigns – working for Disney is a great way to learn and grow within your career without sacrificing your entire life.
In fact, one reviewer was so happy with their work-life balance, that they said Mickey Mouse would probably match the dictionary description.
It’s a bold claim, but we’ll take it.
*At Disney, Imagineers ‘make the magic’ – designing and building everything from castles and mansions, to mountains and firework shows.
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