Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

what's it like to be a cast member

Collapse

Ad Widget

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • what's it like to be a cast member

    I am seriously thinking of leaving my job (after securing a few months of finances) and getting a job at Disneyland. I'd hope to work my way up over time to a modest position (I don't plan on being a bigwig), but I figure I'd start at the beginning like anyone else running a ride, a gift shop, etc...and just make a career of it. I'll save my story and get to my questions:

    I'm hoping some of you can help me - past or current cast members:

    1. What are your experiences?
    2. What's the good and the bad of working at the big D?
    3. What's salary/hourly range?
    4. What's the structure of possible advancement (ie are there still area managers for the lands?)
    5. How much vacation do you get?
    6. What other benefits are there - health? retirement? other goodies?

    thanks to all the micechatters that have been so cool in responding to a few other rookie threads I've started!

    For anyone still reading and curious - I work as a Hall Director at a university in SoCal. It's a roller coaster, but a cumbersome part of my job is dealing with serious emergencies - life/death situations. There's little room for advancement without taking on more headaches and the challenges of dealing with students and parents in their living environment.

    In some ways, that should prepare me for complaining guests at D-land! But at least they leave at the end of the day! I also live on campus so I'm pretty much always at my job.

    On the other hand, I've had a passion for Disney since I was young. You'd think I was lifelong SoCaler who grew up going to Disneyland, but I grew up in Ohio. In my high school yearbook I wrote that my ambition was "to someday work for the Disney company" (I'm intensely creative and thought I'd be an animator). But, I lived in Ohio and working for Disney never seemed too realistic.

    Fast forward 10,12...hmm, a few years - I moved to SoCal b/c I wanted to be a surfer - my Disney fascination planted somewhere in the recess of my memory as a childish fascination. I lived here a year (in which I did become a surfer and do a lot of it) until I finally took my free passes I got while working at the Disney Store a dozen years ago and visited Disneyland. And I felt alive again. ha ha sorry to get all melodramatic.

    Anyway, my dream is still alive to work for Disney but I am an artist/surfer and have no desire to don a suit and work in an office - I do enough of that now. But to work in Disneyland, hands on - that I might still be able to do. Plus, all I can think is someday my kids will say "my dad works at the university" or they could say "My Dad works at Disneyland!" Now how cool would that be? And I just think I'd be happy.

    So, what is it? the good and the bad? I know some of it from working at the Disney Store...I still, to my dismay, know way too many lyrics to "Colors of the Wind" but I've got to think there's a unique difference to working at The Disney Store in Ohio and working at the real deal. Lay it on me - thanks to all you micechatters - you've been so cool in my previous few posts and threads!

  • #2
    Re: what's it like to be a cast member

    I can't answer (yet...), but I'm told it's not a fantastic job unless you really have a passion for the park--in which case, of course it'll be fantastic.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: what's it like to be a cast member

      1. What are your experiences?

      I have done two jobs at Disneyland. My first job was working stores on Main Street. I loved being a Cast Member, but I didn't enjoy working the stores. I love to work with people, but my experiences working the store at 1:30 am with a guest who is yelling at me because there isn't a shirt in her size is less then appealing. I wish I could say this was a rare happening for me, but it happened all the time. Then I auditioned for the Electrical Parade and have been working in Parade of Dreams and EP ever since. I love working the parade department. Making a child smile is the warmest feeling. I suggest just going into something that you think you would love doing. I only picked stores at the time because I wasn't able to work attractions being a minor.

      2. What's the good and the bad of working at the big D?

      I would say the good things are getting into the park free, having a CM discount (you also get discounts on cell phone plans, bills, etc!), special CM events, getting to meet TONS of people from all different backgrounds, and just being apart of something that Walt created. The downside is selling your soul to the scheduling department for about the first year or so you work there. This is unless you constantly talk with your managers and schedulers.

      3. What's salary/hourly range?

      Heres a site with information http://disney.go.com/disneycareers/d...ome/index.html

      4. What's the structure of possible advancement (ie are there still area managers for the lands?)

      Not sure about that one, but advancing in any area is possible. I'm getting my BA so I can advanced to a professional career in the company.

      5. How much vacation do you get?

      I'm a CT so no vacation here. I believe it varies and is only available base don hours and if your full time, someone correct me if I'm wrong here

      6. What other benefits are there - health? retirement? other goodies?

      There are retirement benefits, health if you work so many hours.


      I hope that I have some information that is helpful. Working at Disneyland can be such a great opportunity, but you do need the right attitude and perspective to make it last.
      Jeff Wayne






      Comment


      • #4
        Re: what's it like to be a cast member

        Originally posted by GhostHostJeff View Post
        I didn't enjoy working the stores. I love to work with people, but my experiences working the store at 1:30 am with a guest who is yelling at me because there isn't a shirt in her size is less then appealing. I wish I could say this was a rare happening for me, but it happened all the time.
        I worked Stores too. I had only one experience at Emporium. It was awful! Stupid people waiting until the last minute to buy EVERYTHING at one in the morning.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: what's it like to be a cast member

          1. What are your experiences?

          I'm currently an attractions Cast Member in DCA (hollywood attractions) and for about the year i have worked here.. its been way fun, it doesnt feel like a job to me because i actually enjoy what i do, but there is some strict rules but following them isnt that hard.. working attractions is very interesting and exciting to see how the rides actually work and helping make the magic for the guest is something i love to do everyday at work.

          2. What's the good and the bad of working at the big D?

          Good things- making new friends, getting to know the park, free entrance into either park whenever you want, signing people in, discounts, and "working at the happiest place on earth" well i guess i would be in the second happiest place on earth

          Bad Things- angry guest, rude guest, annoying guest, code "V's and U's", when it is so busy u cant even get to your area in time, points for being late, people asking you to sign them in all the time

          3. What's salary/hourly range?

          all depends what line of business your in, stores, attractions, custodial, odv all average around the same (9.10 an hour i think?) but it goes up. you dont make too much though if your part time, full time will get you the money.

          but other lines of businesses will pay way more. and i'm not quite sure what starting salaries are for GSM's


          4. What's the structure of possible advancement (ie are there still area managers for the lands?)

          goes up by becoming a trainer, lead, possibly Emerging leaders, then if you make it you'll land a low level GSM, yes there are area managers one of my leads recently became a manager in Adventureland/frontierland

          5. How much vacation do you get?

          only if you're full time. u build up vacation hours.. i'm not full time so i wouldnt know.

          6. What other benefits are there - health? retirement? other goodies?

          all those go along with fool time again...
          Last edited by Rocknroltkover; 02-20-2008, 01:31 AM.
          “Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.”

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: what's it like to be a cast member

            Being a CM is fun but unless you come from $$$ it won't pay the bills. For college/high school kids it's a great job. Bad parts is working long hours and getting extended. Working most holidays and New Year's eve.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: what's it like to be a cast member

              1. What are your experiences?
              I'm currently a Stores CM on Main Street. I used to work in Foods scooping Ice Cream but most definitely enjoy Stores much better. I love the interaction you can have with a Guest in our merch locations. Sure we have angry guests -- not too many people are all that happy at 12:30am -- but for the most part its a lot of fun. I would tell you though that if you DO NOT want to get off at 2:45am during our busy season then MS stores is not for you. The Emporium can be a wild place, but time sure does fly in there!

              Pin trading is another bonus, at least for me, which is a large part of our dept. I do know a lot of CM's do not like wearing them because of overzealous guests but if you can look past them you can see a form of interaction that is unique to Disney resorts. Nothing brightens my day more than when a child see's a pin they really want or someone finds the pin they have been looking for.

              Also I've found that when Guest Servicing, especially during a slow period, you are free to roam and just mingle with guests. Your essentially getting paid to just walk around and visit with people about their day... something I personally enjoy.

              2. What's the good and the bad of working at the big D?
              The good: it's Disneyland! Honestly it doesn't getting any better than that. We have the best Annual Pass around (which includes ALL of the parks except for Tokyo) and a bunch of other little things.

              The bad: CDS! I hate it with a passion. The Shuttle ride can get tiresome but is necessary and the Cast Cafe's aren't really all that worth it. Of course there's a ton of politics and drama that comes with a large beauracracy but I won't get into that. As long as you keep your head up and steer clear of problems you'll be fine.

              3. What's salary/hourly range?
              Starting wage is $9.05 and in my dept. there is a $.15 premium if you start after 8pm and a $.75 premium if you start after 10pm. I was told today that sometime in March we are due for another raise. Whether that is true or not I don't know. My hours are so-so. One week I can pick up 30 and the next I'll barely get 15. Naturally busy periods are when the most hours are delt out.

              4. What's the structure of possible advancement (ie are there still area managers for the lands?)
              Haha, we have so many managers I'm sure anyone who asked to be one gets to be. Their are programs for leads to be placed into manager positions and a whole bunch of other advancement capabilities -- baring you have absolutely nothing on your attendance or performance record.

              5. How much vacation do you get?
              I don't qualify for this since I'm only a CR -- or so I think I don't.

              6. What other benefits are there - health? retirement? other goodies?
              Tuition reimbursement. Medical for FT etc. Pretty much your full slate of benefits if your FT. Of course you get the free parking, free park admission, and 16 sign ins. 20% off merch and food and 35% if you've been there long enough. Company D is a pretty cool place but good luck finding something in your size!

              Bottom line is working at Disneyland isn't like working anywhere else in the world. It's a unique experience each and every time you clock in. You'll always be working with new people, dealing with happy guests, upset guests, and downright pissed off guests, to everything in between. You'll think you've seen and heard it all and the next day something new and exciting will happen. It's a pretty cool place...
              Class of 2005...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: what's it like to be a cast member


                1. What are your experiences?



                2. What's the good and the bad of working at the big D?





                3. What's salary/hourly range?


                I work for a non-union location. (though they are trying to bring the union in) so my pay is a bit higher than that previously mentioned, but not BY MUCH! And getting a pay increase isn't easy from what I've been told.

                4. What's the structure of possible advancement (ie are there still area managers for the lands?)



                5. How much vacation do you get?










                Good luck.
                My new motto for 2008 - "If you will live like no one else today, later you can live like no one else." - Dave Ramsey.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: what's it like to be a cast member

                  Here's a direct link to the salary info for many CMs
                  http://disney.go.com/disneycareers/d...y/hourly2.html
                  Kenny the Pirate
                  AKA Bad Mood t' Blackhearted
                  Disney Dream Job Pirate Winner 2007
                  Full WDW character and show schedules: www.kennythepirate.com
                  Follow my adventures on twitter: www.twitter.com/kennypirate

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: what's it like to be a cast member

                    wow - thanks to everyone for all of your time and insights. Definitely lots of good things to keep in mind. Of course, if you're reading this for the first time and have more to add, I'd love to hear more

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: what's it like to be a cast member

                      Originally posted by Datameister View Post
                      I can't answer (yet...), but I'm told it's not a fantastic job unless you really have a passion for the park--in which case, of course it'll be fantastic.
                      Have you ever tried applying?
                      You should it's a great opportunity for your Disneyland in 3-D project.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: what's it like to be a cast member

                        Originally posted by PrincessY View Post
                        Stupid people waiting until the last minute to buy EVERYTHING at one in the morning.

                        I think you just Described EVERYBODY WHO HAS EVER VISITED DLR


                        All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them. - Walt Disney

                        Comment

                        Ad Widget

                        Collapse
                        Working...
                        X