Comments: 144 • Responses: 42  • Date: 

dandan78413 karma

Have you ever, or are you currently enrolled in the Disney College Program? I'm an avid Disney fan and have joked about wanting to work there for a few years, until last year I realized I truly do after visiting for grad week and I had a conversation photographer who told me "The mouse finds everyone" after thinking I was a worker on a day off, him saying that has stuck with me now for over a year, and I was wondering about the cons of living down there working in the parks? I've done quite a bit of research, but it never hurts to hear from a current employee.:)

caerul13 karma

no no no no no

Do not. Disney College Program is horrifying, your pay is shit, your hours are shit, you share a bedroom with a kid with brain problems who hides all of his underwear in a safe and makes noises all night long (okay maybe that last one was just me).

There's so many willing applicants that you are extremely disposable. They'll kick you out for pretty much any reason you can imagine.

quick edit: Apply for a seasonal position if you want to work there. The job itself was actually pretty rewarding, aside from random guests being assholes. It's the college program that is a complete nightmare.

dandan7842 karma

Oh wow, sorry for you sucky roommate. he sounded strange to say the least.

I don't live anywhere close to the parks, so I if I we're to apply for a seasonal position would it be enough for rent somewhere?

vornadowdw7 karma

the problem with taking a seasonal position is that you are not guaranteed any hours working. you might work 40 hours one week and 6 the next.

dandan7843 karma

that could be an issue...

caerul3 karma

Dunno, as the OP said, seasonals aren't guaranteed hours. From what I've seen, CP's sometimes barely make enough to pay rent though, since you aren't "guaranteed" hours either. And your paycheck comes with rent already deducted, so on a short week you get a paycheck of a whopping $10 or something ridiculous like that. The apartments are anywhere from 4-12 people in them, and being in a larger group of people does not lower your rent cost whatsoever. Everyone pays the same, extremely-expensive-considering-the-shoddy-accommodations, rate. You will very likely not be able to afford groceries/food without a secondary form of income of some kind as a CP, especially if you feel the urge to eat at the parks sometimes (and of course you do, you work there, the restaurants are admittedly fantastic).

There are also an obscene amount of rules. If you're found at someone else's apartment past 1 AM (yes, they go knocking on doors if they suspect), you can be terminated. Doesn't matter if you're married, dating, engaged, whatever. On that note, there are no coed arrangements -- not even if you and your spouse are both going. And good luck getting any time together, since each of you have a literal roommate sleeping 10 feet away from your bed. They know everyone's schedules, since they make your schedules, so they'll know an exact time when everyone in your apartment is working. They'll send someone to "inspect" while you're all gone. He'll knock, as they are required to knock, but of course no one is there so in they go to look around for anything suspicious. Suspicious includes obvious things like alcohol, bongs, drugs, etc... But also includes women's clothing in a men's apartment, and vice versa. Someone I knew swapped rooms (him and his roommate both had girlfriends who were roommates, so each swapped eachother to share a room with their SO), and they found a drawer full of bras, questioned him, and terminated all involved.

It's a shithouse. I highly recommend avoiding it.

vornadowdw4 karma

great post, thanks. i guess my opinion is skewed because the only people im hearing from are the ones who have done the cp and then went full time. they think its a great springboard to getting a fulltime position at wdw. but based on your post, i dont know if its worth it

vornadowdw11 karma

i have not done the DCP so i cant give you much info on that. I can say that everyone i have met who has done it has loved it! a lot of them end up coming back and getting full time positions here. the cons of living here while on CP is that you are going to live in a dorm and most of your paycheck is going to go to rent for that dorm. The pros are that you will have a huge advantage over other potential employees if you decide to apply for full time work here. again, i dont know much about it but most cps dont regret their experience. so, do it!

optik889 karma

Remember.... SafeD begins with me...

Are you part of the CP/CRP and if so which building are you in at VW...

vornadowdw8 karma

im not part of the cp but safeD still begins with me. it also begins with you. safeD begins with us. four keys for life yo

Sick-Nurse6 karma

Have you ever ridden the Small World ride after closing, with the lights off? I just gave myself the creeps.

vornadowdw11 karma

that would be the most terrifying ride ever. i know they do space mountain, tower, and rock'n with the lights off. but small world, too many nightmares

t3rrapins6 karma

What's the coolest secret about Disney World that people who don't work there do not know?

vornadowdw18 karma

i dont know if i can pick just one but i will say that most guests overlook the thought that is put into the theming at wdw. this is probably the best example i can give

nelson1805me6 karma

What is the best way to get a job at Disney or Universal Orlando?

vornadowdw10 karma

apply for a seasonal position online and tell them you have full time availability. they love seasonal employees because they are cheap and dont need to give you benefits. however, if you are a good worker there are opportunities to move up to part time or full time. also, dont worry to much about what position you are applying for. i applied for monorail but they had no intention of giving me that job. they use a popular position like monorail to get you down there and interview but persuade you to do other jobs.

vornadowdw4 karma

im reading this and it sounds like im not! im glad i took the job i did

epileptic_pancakes5 karma

Can you comment on the underground tunnel system?

vornadowdw10 karma

sure! i think other amas have gone into it in more detail than I can though. I only went into the tunnels under magic kingdom during my orientation. i hear that they exist because walt didn't want fantasyland cast members walking through tomorrow land or visa versa, it would ruin the theming. in general, the tunnels are mostly used for transporting stuff on golf carts around the park.

mufasaisdead2 karma

The Utilidor also has a cast member cafeteria that sells some pretty tasty and cheap food.

vornadowdw2 karma

utilidors! thats the name i was looking for. that cafeteria is pretty awesome. i went there during my traditions orientation. are you still a cast member?

lilguy785 karma

Is the experience for cast members the same as Swoozie06 described it?

vornadowdw6 karma

hahaha, this is awesome. thank you for that. i do relate to this somewhat, mostly the way he was treated by his managers. I think most cast members are passionate, enthusiastic and busting their asses for minimal pay. We are all trying our best to create an awesome experience for our guests. Unfortunately, our managers are only concerned with the bottom line and making sure we are clean shaven. they aren't around to see how hard all the cast members work, they dont see their interactions with the guests. i suppose that goes with working for the biggest single site employer in the US, but i understand his frustration

[deleted]4 karma


vornadowdw1 karma

ha, i cannot speak to that. i mostly work at the marinas and have seen no cats. im sorry i cannot confirm or deny the colony of feral cats

Mrs_OldManBalls2 karma

So do you get to drive the ferry boats?

vornadowdw1 karma

i have but i mostly rent out the personal motorized boats. guests can take out pontoons, montauks and sea raycers. they are really fun and i think most guests overlook them when they are staying at wdw

Mrs_OldManBalls2 karma

The sea racers are the one or two person boats? My kids looooooooved those. As they get older they are realizing the fun doesn't begin and end in the parks.

vornadowdw3 karma

awesome! the sea raycers fit two people but the weight limit is 320. they go really slow if you are anywhere near that weight limit. I think they are great for an adult and a small child but i hesitate to recommend them to 2 adults. on the other hand, i dont mind that they go really slow, its a great way to see the property, i dont need a speedboat

NeonFights2 karma

I just got back from Disney World with my SO. One of the best thing we did was rent out a sunfish sailboat for an hour. I haven't done that in 15 years... felt like a kid again.

vornadowdw1 karma

nice! did you rent from the contemporary?

RealAtheistfakegod4 karma

What is the hardest part about your job?

vornadowdw14 karma

guests who simply cannot be pleased. if i sense that a guest is having a bad day, i try my best to turn it around for them. it sucks when i feel like a guest walks away having a bad experience

emtemtemtemt3 karma

ever been to disneyland here in cali? if so... any big differences?

vornadowdw4 karma

i haven't been there but i am dying to go. guests who have been to both seem to really appreciate the "intimacy" of main street at DL. I guess WDW can feel huge and overwhelming. Also, I hear that the DL fantasyland blows WDW's fantasyland out of the water. Guests also like how walkable DL is. You can walk to DL and California Adventure from any on property resort. I can't wait to go, have you been to both?

rolfraikou4 karma

I do feel some rides are done especially better at DL than WDW. It's a small world has a higher ceiling at DL which makes it feel a little more immersive. DL I had an annual pass for and I went there and walked the entire park while taking pictures for fun pretty often for a while. The last annual pass I think I went there almost 40 times in that year. I saved all my parking passes, I could get a count.

It feels small compared to WDW, but to me, from my visit there in the early 2000s, it felt like WDW just didn't get as much TLC as DL. I felt like I was at a theme park and not immersed. The only exception to that was maybe Epcot Center. I feel that was done very very well, and at times I wish they'd done that instead of California Adventure. (they were supposedly considering doing that after they didn't do the massive Dick Tracy ride that they had wanted to do.)

vornadowdw3 karma

which resort do you recommend at DL?

JackXDark3 karma

I'd heard that the Toy Story cast will drop and freeze when anyone yells 'ANDY'S COMING!'

Any other cool things like that which most people don't know about that the characters and cast will do?

Alxa9 karma

This has come up in past AMAs and it's always said not true for safety reasons. This rumor just won't die :)

JackXDark3 karma

Hmm... What do they do when it happens then?

Anyway - question still stands. Any cool 'secrets' that kids can be in on that the cast will respond to?

snowwwhite9 karma

To answer your "what do they do" question, the character attendant typically plays it off as a joke and say something along the lines of "oh Woody/Buzz/Jessie, they're trying to fool you again!" and the characters will look around, as if looking for Andy, and then mime laughing. Either that, or they will ignore it altogether. The parks are loud, and the attendants and characters don't always hear everything said to them.

Source: I am a former character attendant.

vornadowdw3 karma

do character actors also work as attendants?

sutters3 karma

Do you enjoy it? Whenever I go to theme parks and see characters walking around I can't help but feel as though that behind the happy exterior lies a very hot, tired and annoyed person.

vornadowdw7 karma

I can't really speak to how the character actors feel. I can tell you that they have 20 minute shifts and then have a break for 40 minutes, even though that still seems dreadful. From the few character actors i've met, they love their job and really do get off on trying to make people happy.

SmokeorPass2 karma


vornadowdw3 karma

Yes! I was working with at risk youths in afterschool programs and high schools. It really wore on me. I loved doing that kind of work but it is draining. it is so refreshing to be in an environment where the kids and their parents are happy, together and excited.

Rocketsponge2 karma

I heard that the cast members staying in the Disney dorms made it a thing to use these Epcot Center beer coasters as a challenge item when it came to sexual conquests of the international cast members. The coasters had a pic or list of all the countries, and one would X out the country for the guy/gal they shagged. It was a big deal to get all of the countries, especially Morocco which was reportedly pretty difficult. Any truth to this and how many coasters have you filled up?

KeithSkud8 karma

I'm currently living in said "Disney Dorms" and I find this all believable. Except Moroccans are actually sexual deviants. Them and those damn French.

mufasaisdead2 karma

On my college program I had sex with two French men (not at the same time ) and honestly those damn French know what's up. The DCP is one big orgy because it's even more anonymous than college. I like you, let's hook up, enjoy the rest of your life in Bordeaux.

vornadowdw1 karma


magicalrubixdude2 karma

I read this as, "Hi, IAmA Walt Disney Reincarnation." Well I know I read it wrong, but it begs the question, "Are you?"

vornadowdw11 karma

i cant confirm nor deny. i can say, in the words of walt disney himself, "we make magic happen, yo"

vornadowdw6 karma

also, i'm walt disney's frozen head

n_reineke1 karma

So the new wife and I want to plan a trip there this December. Any advice on how to do this/ how to get all the awesome hookups?

vornadowdw2 karma

i think this is by far the best site for getting wdw info. also check out

these guys are awesome and will give you way better advice than i can

amateur-proctologist1 karma

What's been the most frustrating part working at Disney?

vornadowdw4 karma

it seems like most promotions are strictly based on seniority. i work with extremely talented, charismatic, and just awesome cast members who i cant believe are not working in upper management. on the other other hand, there are lots of coordinators and trainers who are jaded but have been promoted because they have worked there a long time

thombudsman1 karma

What's the most interesting experience you've had while working at Disney World?

vornadowdw10 karma

this! a few years ago, some guys swam out to discovery island where the old river country water park used to be. they took a bunch of pictures and posted this blog. a couple months ago,i was out of costume and hanging out on the beach at fort wilderness when i heard a couple guys talking about how some crazy people swam out to discovery island. I started talking with them and they were thinking about doing the same thing! they were planning on swimming out through bay lake at 2 in the morning and camping out on discovery island. eventually, i told them that i was a cast member and that there were deadly parasites in the bay lake. i strongly advised them not to go forth with their plan. i dont think they did

kilroyishere892 karma

Shane actually did this about 10 years ago. He waited until 2009 so the statute of limitations expired.

If you check there are more pics there from another group that did the swim more recently than Shane.

vornadowdw1 karma

thanks for that!

I_Ask_About_IceCream1 karma

Of all the ice cream sold in the parks, which is your favourite?

Which is your favourite place to buy it?

vornadowdw6 karma

the dole whip float at magic kingdom is a massive favorite. my personal fav, and not sure if it qualifies, but the peanut butter and jelly shake at the prime time cafe in hollywood studios is fantastic

I_Ask_About_IceCream1 karma

Awesome - I know the cafe! Although its been a good 5 years since I was last there...

Final thought: If you had to pick one spot in all of the parks to romantically eat an ice cream with a love one, where would it be?

vornadowdw3 karma

wow, great question. Personally, i love seashore sweets at the boardwalk. you can get some awesome ice cream to go and romantically stroll along the boardwalk. if i had to pick a park, i would go to epcots world showcase and get some gelato at the italy stand. there are a bunch of tables near the lake and you can watch the fireworks. if that doesnt get you in the mood then i dont know what will

limbodog1 karma


And is it true about the insides of those costumes? Are they gross?

vornadowdw10 karma

i submitted my proof confidentially to the mods, hope they will approve soon. we can drop off our dirty costumes at costuming and pick up new ones. they are usually very clean but some of them are pretty old and ratty. once you find a good costume, most people hold on to it and clean it themselves

guannabislounge1 karma

  • Which area is the best/worst of the park ?
  • How many days would you recommend to stay in the park ?
  • And, what hotels are the best/worst ?

vornadowdw2 karma

really depends on personal preference but for me... best areas are main street usa and new fantasyland at magic kingdom, world showcase at epcot. im not really a fan of dinoland at animal kingdom and the entire right side of epcot (captain eo, the land, innoventions. soarin is great though.

i would say you can hit all four parks in 3 days. there are also two water parks, downtown disney, and the boardwalk. you can experience most of the property in 5 days.

all of the deluxe resorts are fantastic. for moderates, people seem to enjoy Caribbean beach or coronado springs. i think coronado is very underrated. for values, art of animation is by far the winner. i have not heard great things about all star movies, music and sports

mufasaisdead2 karma

I was a cast member at one point who also worked in recreation. OP can feel free to correct me.

  1. Best area: NEW FANTASYLAND. It has Belle's Cottage, Gaston's Tavern, the Beast's Castle, Eric's Castle, and Ariel's grotto. As a 90's kid, these are the movies that I personally love the most. Worst: no such thing.

  2. Seeing as there are four parks, I would stay four days at least. Animal Kingdom doesn't require a full day, so I would use that extra time for further exploration of Magic Kingdom.

  3. The fanciest hotel is the Grand Floridian, but if you have money, I would stay at the Polynesian. It is still deluxe but has a more laid back, fun atmosphere compared to the Grand. These were the two resorts I worked at and I liked the Poly more. If you want to save money, which I recommend seeing as you'll be spending your time in the parks, I would stay at the new Art of Animation resort.

vornadowdw1 karma

nice mufasisdead! i think i avoided guannabislounge's comment because i could write a novel answering those questions. you did it very succinctly, ill think about it and get back to you guys

imppbalr1 karma

Do you guys still trade the pins? Last time I was there I accrued a pretty wicked collection (or so I thought at least). Out of my whole family, it turned out that my dad was the most into collecting the little pins...not my 11 year old self or my 6 year old sister.

vornadowdw1 karma

absolutely. anytime you see a cast member with a lanyard you can ask them to trade pins.i work at the marinas and most locations have boards of pins inside where the cashiers work.

snowbleie1 karma

Which park do you work at? Which park is your favorite?? Which park have you heard is the best to work at?

vornadowdw1 karma

i actually work at the resorts. recreation mostly includes renting out the bikes, watercraft, fishing gear, guiding segway tours, etc. my favorite park is epcot, i love hanging around world showcase and trying all the different foods and drinks. dont think i can say which park is best to work at but the cast members at animal kingdom seem the happiest

expulsus1 karma

Fort Wilderness! My family and I will be staying there in September. Any chance I may see you around?

vornadowdw1 karma

possibly! the fort is awesome, have you stayed there before?

expulsus2 karma

Yes! We stay there every time we go, which is about once a year. We really like having a kitchen, and it's so peaceful.

vornadowdw1 karma

awesome! just wondering, do you rent the golf carts? it seems like most guests are surprised at how large the campground is. then they feel obligated to rent the carts which are expensive

credy1 karma

Is it true that behind the scenes, Disney has security with law enforcement authority (arresting power, detainment, etc.)? As I understand it, Reedy Creek is its own municipality and has all the authority of a local government.

Zycarious1 karma

Security does work for the Reedy Creek Improvement District, however they usually leave arresting/detainment to the ever present Sheriff's Deputies. WDW property spans two counties (Orange and Osceola) both counties always have a presence in every park. There is also a large contingent of Florida State Police on property for traffic enforcement.

vornadowdw1 karma

are there sheriffs in the parks?

Colonel_Manders1 karma

I work water parks, what part of rec are you in

vornadowdw0 karma

i mostly work at the resort marinas, renting out the motorized watercrafts.

kirbysdownb0 karma

Heard that after hours there's quite the drinking and sexcapades (possibly in character). I don't think you'll answer straight perhaps would you just be able to comment if you've heard these rumors from colleagues?

vornadowdw12 karma

that seems to be the case with the college program. they live in dorms and i imagine its quite similar to any college dorm experience. i have not heard about in character role playing though. it must happen though. i am now thinking about mickey banging cinderella. i need to shower


Have you ever punched any of the guests while in costume?

vornadowdw-1 karma

no and surprisingly I haven't felt the urge that often. most guests are awesome. once and awhile you get a guest who you know just can't be pleased. in those cases, i give them terrible directions and tell co workers to spit in their food


When I went to Disney Land someone dressed as goofy stole my wallet then Cinderella beat me up
It was awful

vornadowdw12 karma

shit. at least you have an awesome story to tell for the rest of your life. we make magic happen yo