If you’re like me you can spend hours watching Disney videos on YouTube! Despite my experience as a cast member, I love hearing other’s opinions too! When I was making the decision to work there, I really wanted to weigh the pros and cons. Although it is the most magical place on earth, not every moment will be filled with pixie dust. Here are some of the BEST and WORST parts about working for Disney.
1. You Create Magic!
It sounds cheesy (pun intended), but it’s so true! In any role you have the ability to make a difference in someone’s life! Whether it’s giving them a sticker or hugging their favorite character guest will leave with memories that last a lifetime. It might just be another day on the job in your mind, but it might be the trip of a lifetime for the guests you meet. Working for Disney was one of the most satisfying jobs because I knew was making a difference in other people’s lives!
2. All-Access Pass to the Parks
Not gonna lie, being able to go to the parks whenever you want is a huge perk! You could go to watch a parade, ride a few rides or even just to grab a bite to eat! As a kid I dreamed about this luxury and it was something I fully took advantage of. Going to Disney can be kinda stressful when you have a limited amount of time there (like most guests). But when you have the freedom to go whenever you want it can be much more relaxing. Plus, you’ll have the chance to fully explore everything Disney has to offer!
3. Not everyone is Having a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Day Day
It’ll happen, more often than you think, where you’ll encounter angry guests. Oddly enough a lot of them seem to come out during the shows and parades. Although Disney will teach you how to handle unhappy guests in your specific role, it’s still not fun to have people screaming at you. It doesn’t happen all the time but you won’t be able to avoid it. My advice – try to understand what’s causing them to be angry. It helped me not take it so personally when I could relate to what they were going through.
4. The BEST Cast Member Discounts
You wouldn’t believe some of the great deals associated with being a Disney Cast Member! It was one of my favorite perks about working for Disney! You will normally get a 20 percent discount on merchandise (and sometimes a discount on restaurants – but you’ll have to check in advance). During the holiday season (mid-November through mid-January) you’ll get a bonus 20 percent for a 40 percent discount on merchandise and a coupon book full of freebies!
There’s also a glorious place called “Cast Connections” which is like Disney’s version of Costco. Plus there’s a Cast Member only section where you can score some major deals! Outside of Disney other companies will offer Cast Member discounts too. So it never hurts to ask!
5. Making a Profit > Creating Happiness
Some people were outraged when I talked about this in my “The Not So Fun Side of Working for Disney” video. They seemed to zoom right past the overall idea and focus on how silly it sounds to say “Disney is not a non-profit”. Yes Disney wants to make a profit. Of course the price of park tickets are correlated with crowd control. But does paying $10+ for a hot dog help pay the wages for the custodian? What about waiting two hours to meet Anna and Elsa only to be shuffled through the actual interaction? All I’m saying is it seems like the spotlight that used to shine on the guests is getting dimmer. I noticed this as a cast member when it appeared that intentional magical moments (like escorting a family to the front of the line to make them feel special) seemed to be dying out. Maybe I’m crazy. This was just my observation in talking with cast members who had worked there for a few decades.
6. Instant BFFs with Your Coworkers
Ok, maybe not ALL of them. But you will have something big in common to unite you – your love for Disney! If you’re anything like me you’re probably used to being the major Disney geek in your friend group. You’re the one that knows all of the lyrics to every Disney song and there’s no competition when it comes to Disney trivia. So when you get to Disney you finally get to meet people just like you! They’ll sing along with you to all the Disney songs and they can match your Disney trivia skills. So meeting your coworkers is like meeting long-lost siblings who can completely relate to your insatiable love for all things Disney! You have this commonality that instantly bonds you and will keep you friends for years to come.
7. Extra Magic Hours
The term “extra magic hours” will bring guests joy but will take on an entirely different meaning for cast members. When the park closes at 2am it means you may have a shift that doesn’t end until 3am. If the park opens at 7am you may have to arrive at 5am. It depends on your role, but cast members in entertainment have to get to work at least an hour before their first shift. So while getting to the park extra early or extra late might be fun for the guests, it might not be so magical for you as a cast member.
Would You Want to Work for The Mouse?
Now that I’ve listed some of the best and worst things I found about working for Disney, I’d love to hear from you! If you’ve worked for Disney, what were some of your favorite/least favorite things? If you were thinking of working for Disney, would you still want to? I’d love to get your thoughts!