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Donald Duck and Disney Cast Member

Theme parks around the world have begun recruiting temporary staff for the 2010 summer season - making this a perfect opportunity to experience working in a park.

As well as coveted attraction operator roles, a wide range of other positions are available in all areas of theme park operations. Seasonal roles are generally available from around March through October (though this varies by region and specific park), and while wages are often fairly low they can offer good opportunities for groups such as students to make money during the summer season.

Competition for the seasonal roles is likely to be hotter than ever this year due to the employment crisis gripping Western countries. Typical theme park staff roles include:

  • Attraction operators - the most coveted roles, operating rides and shows within the park and ensuring guest safety.
  • Ticketing - selling tickets at the park entrance.
  • Retail - working in souvenir shops and other outlets within the park.
  • Catering - working in kitchens or as servers in full-service and quick-dining restaurants.
  • Guest services - helping guests and handling complaints.
  • Cleaning - keeping the parks in good shape throughout the season.

Not surprisingly, major park operators such as Disney and Universal are inundated with applications for summer positions. Universal Orlando is currently recruiting for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which is set to open this summer - applications can be made online via Universal Orlando's job website.

Meanwhile, Disney will be hiring thousands of seasonal staff (or "Cast Members" as Disney prefers to call them) at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Walt Disney World accepts applications via its website or via a dedicated recruitment hotline (407-828-1000). Those looking for roles at Disneyland can also apply online or by calling 800-766-0888.

Dozens of other parks around the world are also looking for summer workers, with many planning to hold job fairs over the next few weeks. These include:

  • Six Flags parks - many of the chain's many theme parks across North America are planning recruitment fairs during February. These include Six Flags America, which holds its annual job fair on February 13 from 10am-4pm (positions are available for March through October), and Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom which is holding two fairs, on February 17 (12-4pm) and February 20 (9am-1pm). Before attending any Six Flags job fairs, job hunters should apply online at https://www.sixflagsjobs.com/.
  • Cedar Point - the "rollercoaster capital of the world" is currently running its 2010 College Recruitment Tour. It is also seeking applicants online for over 4,000 positions.
  • Drayton Manor - the UK park is looking for staff to help support its 60th anniversary season, and will be holding a recruitment day on February 7. The event starts at 10am in the park's Tower Suite.

Have you worked in a theme park during previous summer seasons? Do you have any tips for those looking to apply this year? Let us know through the comments section below.

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