“Low Pay and Long Hours,” Disney Cast Member Shares Employment Woes

in Disney, Disney Parks

mickey mouse in front of cinderella castle

Credit: Disney

“Low pay, long hours, ungodly temperatures.” wrote one Reddit user when asked about their Disney Cast Member employment experience. “High cost of living in the area and bad traffic,” they added.

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A 22-year-old from the United Kingdom is looking to make the leap to the United States to Orlando, Florida in hopes of becoming a Disney Cast Member. Before doing so, he took to social media in search of Cast Members with honest opinions about working for the Mouse.

Reports have been conflicting as of late when it comes to Disney employment experiences. Some Cast Members appear to love their jobs, like Sheila who fought for her life against a deadly Covid-19 infection to one day be able to return to her role as a Fairy Godmother’s Apprentice at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

Sheila BBB
Credit: Instagram/sheila616

While others, like Kadejha Reid, are fighting for their rights in Union battles, per a Florida Politics article published on August 8.

“I’m hoping we can get some relief,” said Kadejha Reid, who works at a quick service restaurant in Animal Kingdom and struggles affording rent, child care and groceries as a single mom. “We need to see some changes.”

Guests share conflicting experiences with Cast Members as well, with some park goers noting that they seem overworked and others reporting that everyone they encounter appears thrilled to be employed by “The Most Magical Place on Earth.”

The reviews on the Reddit thread are similar in nature, with some complaints and some praises when it comes to working for the company.

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The first person to respond shared that they were a former participant in the Disney College Program. “It was fantastic, but I don’t know that I’d want to do it as a career,” user cooldude_4000 wrote.

The next commenter, also a member of the Disney College Program Alumni, advised the poster to soak up the experience and keep an open mind.

“When I was doing the DCP I was basically working full time over 60+ hours a week,” the commenter wrote. “I loved working there and it was a thing I always wanted to do since I was little.”

The next user corroborated the experience of the previous one. They also offered more information about additional programs like the Disney International Programs in an effort to share ways in which the original poster can make their dreams a reality, should they decide Disney is a good fit.

aladdin characters at disney parks
Credit: Disney

“If you come in prepared to work and make the most of your time, a Disney program can be a very cool experience,” the user wrote.

User Bkbee chimed in with their history as a Cast Member in which they dealt with “the angriest of people and then the sweetest people.” They said their employment experience left them feeling numb over the years.

Bakedpotato286 added that future plans should be considered while deciding what Disney role is best.

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Credit: Disney

“Working inside the Parks is good if it’s your first job but it’s not worth it to work there as a career,” they commented. “Working off-site in an office is better if you want to work there long term.”

The last commenter brought the feedback full circle with an obvious theme and a “harsh truth.”

“You have to really love Disney because of the low pay and long hours,” Im_Negan wrote. “And if you’re ugly, you won’t be a Princess.”

Tiana, Merida and Cinderella ready for Princess week at disneyland paris header
Credit: Disney

More on the Disney College Program

Disney Careers describes its college program as follows:

Magic Is Within You
Discover a unique living and working environment with participants from all over the world. This program allows you to gain on-the-job experience with a world-renowned company, providing uniquely Disney learning experiences, all while preparing for your future, building transferable skills, including networking, problem solving, teamwork and effective communication.

disney college program Cast Member
Credit: Disney

More on the Disney International Programs

These programs are separated into three offerings. Their official descriptions read:

Academic Exchange Program
Through an exchange partnership with U.S. colleges and universities, this program provides students with the opportunity to learn directly from professionals in the industry, while taking academic courses. Build friendships and create lasting memories as you learn about the different cultures and experiences of co-workers from around the world.

Cultural Exchange Program
Immerse yourself in different cultures from around the world, connect with industry experts and build lifelong relationships in a program that provides the opportunity to enhance your customer service knowledge and communication skills.

Cultural Representative Program
Imagine interacting with people from across the globe and creating an immersive experience that transports guests to your home country. Our program offers participants the opportunity to authentically represent their homeland while gaining leadership and business skills from seasoned professionals.

Disney College Program Cast Member
Credit: Disney

Do you have experience as a Cast Member? Would you recommend it to the original poster? Let us know in the comments.

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