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  • [Question] Moving Up As A Disneyland CM

    I am currently in the Disney College Program working at Disneyland Resort as a CM. Some of you might have seen me if you ride Luigi's Flying Tires. I decided not to continue on with the company at this point in time. As much as I love what I do, I never feel like doing anything on my days off and because of that, I don't further my skills as much as I'd like. Am I making a mistake? I want to work for Disney in the long run, but not in the parks. I have friends, though, who are staying on. How easy is it for a CM to rise within the company?

  • #2
    Re: Moving Up As A Disneyland CM

    I have a friend who is currently celebrating their 37th year with Disney. They worked hard and rose up through the ranks fairly quickly. They still absolutely love what they do and are in a position that they can still occasionally still make magic for guests. So if you stick it out, there are definite benefits.
    Originally posted by migo
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    • #3
      Re: Moving Up As A Disneyland CM

      Originally posted by Walt's Ghost View Post
      I decided not to continue on with the company at this point in time. As much as I love what I do, I never feel like doing anything on my days off and because of that, I don't further my skills as much as I'd like. Am I making a mistake?
      What does that mean exactly? Maybe I can help, but I'm not sure what you are getting at.

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      • #4
        Re: Moving Up As A Disneyland CM

        Originally posted by Walt's Ghost View Post
        How easy is it for a CM to rise within the company?
        John Lassetter can answer that.


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        • #5
          Re: Moving Up As A Disneyland CM

          Originally posted by Walt's Ghost View Post
          How easy is it for a CM to rise within the company?
          The only thing that is easy... is to quit.

          I don't imagine Disney Corp is much different than any other company, be it; Wal-Mart, Microsoft, Google, etc. There is no such thing as 'easy'.

          Although I live in Canada, we have the same basic economic and corporate system as the United States. The beauty of our corporate world, is that it is full of opportunities, for people that want to work hard. The downfall is that, it will quickly cast you aside, if you don't want to work.

          I apologize, if I've misread the intent of your original post... but if you're asking how easy it will be, then my only advice would be; "stick around, work hard, and find out".

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          • #6
            Re: Moving Up As A Disneyland CM

            Originally posted by JimmyDee View Post
            The only thing that is easy... is to quit.

            I don't imagine Disney Corp is much different than any other company, be it; Wal-Mart, Microsoft, Google, etc. There is no such thing as 'easy'.

            Although I live in Canada, we have the same basic economic and corporate system as the United States. The beauty of our corporate world, is that it is full of opportunities, for people that want to work hard. The downfall is that, it will quickly cast you aside, if you don't want to work.

            I apologize, if I've misread the intent of your original post... but if you're asking how easy it will be, then my only advice would be; "stick around, work hard, and find out".
            Disney seems to promote from within, which I personally think is great, however the climb from entry level CM to executive seems like it takes a LONG time at Disney vs. other companies. Not sure why, or if even accurate, just an observation. Of course, not everyone probably WANTS to be an executive I guess.
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            • #7
              Re: Moving Up As A Disneyland CM

              Get an internship...while you can make a decent living rising from an entry-level job in Attractions, it will take a longgg time and will not guarantee a job further than Area Manager. Youre going to college, right? Get an internship, learn how it works where the suits hang out, and then apply for a job with TDA. Thats my advice. Having experience on the front-line will really strengthen your resume, so it wasnt for nothing.

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              • #8
                Re: Moving Up As A Disneyland CM

                One of the best ways to advance in the company is to start as a CM. A lot of Disney "higher ups" started out as CMs in the theme parks. It might not be ideal for you but if you want to advance someday it would be in your best interest to stay.

                Like many jobs in just about every company, it's a lot easier to start at entry level and advance than it is to get hired in a higher position right off the bat. But it's your decision, of course.
                Merrily on our way to nowhere at all.











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                • #9
                  Re: Moving Up As A Disneyland CM

                  Usually I don't like to tell people to do "this" rather than "that" because I don't know what they're going through and I figure people know what's best for them.
                  I'm guessing you're pretty young (because of the college program), so...early 20's? I hate to break it to you but most jobs out there are going to leave you feeling a little drained once your day-off rolls around. Unless you are truly unhappy, I would not suggest leaving. To actually like your job is a rare thing.
                  If you really feel that this is what's best for you then go for it. You may be right! But it kinda sounds like you'd like things to be a certain way and because they aren't that way you'd rather leave. If that's the case then I'd rethink this decision if I were you.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Moving Up As A Disneyland CM

                    If you successfully complete DCP then you should be eligible for a Professional Internship with Disney when you get further in your education. I would highly recommend this. I've had a few college friends that went this route and now they have really good jobs in the company. They're all at WDW, don't know anyone that stuck with it at DL. But maybe a move to WDW could re-up your love of working as a CM?

                    Any job you have is going to be draining. I'm 23 and work full time in an office and wish I could just completely relax during my days off... but then you kinda have to realize part of being an adult is doing things you might not want to, like errands on your day off, and that the 40 hour work week is not going away anytime soon. I'm not trying to be harsh, I'm trying to be truthful.

                    I would definitely recommend staying in the program, because if you bow out of the CP program it can damage your future chances with Disney.

                    Good luck with your decision
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                    • #11
                      Re: Moving Up As A Disneyland CM

                      Never worked for Disney, but the large companies I have worked for, those who worked their way up the ladder have 100% commitment to the company, the job and company was top priority. If they were called to pick up an extra shift, stay late etc they always said yes. They live for their job, anything else came 2nd.

                      My last job at a large hotel chain, my manager spent 12-16 hours each day on property 6-7 days per week, he is early 30's, started entry level in college at 20, and now has his own hotel as general manager, took about a decade to get from entry level to general manager.

                      If you want to just work 40 hours per week, have your time off, then moving up might not be ideal for you.

                      It's very possible to find a job you like and enjoy, and if your finding Disney isn't a good mix for you, nothing wrong with exploring new companies and jobs to find one that is better suited for you.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Moving Up As A Disneyland CM

                        Thank you everyone, and here's just info to clarify.

                        I'm 24 and I graduated already with a degree in Computer Science.

                        I understand nothing is "easy," but I feel like I should be working on honing my craft, so to speak, rather than working an entry-level job. I mean, they do hire from within, but is it worth staying there at the bottom instead of getting other jobs that can help me apply to Disneyland in the future in a position I want?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Moving Up As A Disneyland CM

                          Originally posted by Walt's Ghost View Post
                          Thank you everyone, and here's just info to clarify.

                          I'm 24 and I graduated already with a degree in Computer Science.

                          I understand nothing is "easy," but I feel like I should be working on honing my craft, so to speak, rather than working an entry-level job. I mean, they do hire from within, but is it worth staying there at the bottom instead of getting other jobs that can help me apply to Disneyland in the future in a position I want?
                          Its generally easier to get noticed and move up from within, then from the outside.

                          Can you stay on with Disney part-time, and find a job in your field elsewhere to gain the experience your looking for?

                          Suppose it also depends on what your ultimate goal is with Disney.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Moving Up As A Disneyland CM

                            Like any company it is about hard work, luck, and the numbers. The challenge of starting in the parks if you want to be an executive is you're competing with 20,000 people at the same level and, by definition, the vast majority have more experience than you. Now, imagine you work in a group that has 100 people, your odds of being noticed and having promotion opportunities is much higher. Not saying it can't happen, but, pardon the expression, the odds are not in your favor.

                            Now if your goal is to be a lead, ops manager, etc. - than yes, it is the perfect way to get there.

                            The other dynamic about working in the park that can dramatically limit your value in the executive marketplace is that the parks operate like an efficient army - one soldier goes down, the next steps up. So even to the mid-manager level they don't have significant financial, marketing, or strategic decision making roles. It is the pure definition of "operator".

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