Every Theme Park Tourist shares the same dream. You don’t simply want to visit all your favorite destinations, the ones with the best roller coasters and most ludicrous snacks. You also want to find a way to extend your vacations forever, a permanent summer. And since The Walt Disney Company dominates the theme park industry, working for them is the ultimate goal of countless people reading this.
Alas, with so many folks sharing the same aspiration, competition is brutally tough. Disney doesn’t give any random person a job. You’ll have to distinguish yourself from the rest of the crowd. Fortunately, current and former Disney employees are willing to drop clues and hints. They know from experience all the best ways to earn your dream job at a Disney theme park. Here are four tips on how to get a job at Disney.
1. Prove you're great at customer service
People who hire at Disney want a certain kind of employee. They have a reputation as the King of Customer Service, and they want to uphold that reputation. They can also afford to be selective. 180,000 people work for The Walt Disney Company, a third of them at Walt Disney World alone. They receive several orders of magnitude more applications than the number of positions they have available. Working at Disney is a bit like winning the lottery, only you get your job rather than quit it.
When Disney’s executives describe their evaluations of the company’s Parks and Resorts division, something stands out. They correctly view customer service as the brick and mortar foundation of their theme park empire. In order to achieve this, the entire corporation prioritizes employee engagement. They are looking for enthusiastic workers whose passion for coming to work each day is unmistakable. The thought process, supported by a great deal of data, is that the energy of workers will spread their infectious joy into all phases of the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland, and its siblings across the world.
Jody Sweet, Vice-President of WDPR Recruitment simply states that her company seeks, “…people who are passionate about guest service.” To place the spotlight on yourself, you’ll need to demonstrate that you possess selflessness to accomplish this. There are two ways you can strategize about this.
If you want to work at Disney within the next few months, stop what you’re doing and make a list. Think about every memorable moment of customer service you’ve performed during your career and in your personal life. Write them down. When you’re ready to interview, you’ll want to memorize every detail along with engaging anecdotes about as many as possible. If you have customer service awards, that’s even better. Don’t be afraid to take a picture of your trophy to show during the interview.
If you have some time before you’re ready to apply for your dream job, start strategizing. Come up with ideas about how to improve your resume, particularly with regards to customer service. Google some ideas and don’t be afraid to ask current and former Disney employees for suggestions. They provide wisdom on several sites such as Facebook, Reddit, and various Disney fan sites.
2. Stand out from the crowd. Be yourself.
Impressing Disney employers won’t be easy. Put yourself in their shoes. They’ve hired some of the most amazing people on the planet. Former Disney employees include Wayne Brady, Kevin Costner, Taye Diggs, Jennifer Hudson, Steve Martin, Michelle Pfeiffer, and the late Robin Williams. We’re talking about people who have dominated Hollywood, Broadway, and the music industry, winning Emmys, Grammys, Oscars, and Tonys along the way. One of them even came back home to reinvent Disney magic for the 21st century. John Lasseter, the founder of Pixar, once provided all the terrible jokes on The Jungle Cruise. I’m sure you’re awesome, really, but when you interview at Disney, you’re going to speak with people who are used to seeing greatness on a daily basis.
You should have a plan about how you will distinguish yourself. Fortunately, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do so. Sweet notes of the interview process, “I like to ask candidates to tell me about their experiences and interests. We are a storytelling culture, and questions like this let me hear their stories and passions.” Be ready to dazzle by telling the story of you.
My suggestion is to ask your friends for help prior to your interview. Poll them to discover the aspects of your personality that drew them to you, the strengths that you possess that make you unique and wonderful. In the digital age, it wouldn’t even hurt to have a few video recommendations loaded on your phone if you can find a way to sneak them into the conversation. Keep in mind that you’ll only have a few minutes to make your first impression, though. Be prepared to sell these strangers on the brand that is you.