Hey Explorersaurs! I recently set up a Disney Instagram account. I bloody LOVE Disney and have so much to share and talk about on the subject, but I also don’t want to alienate anyone on my normal/travel accounts. So my new Disney-mad hub has been born! You can follow my Disney Instagram here @adatewithdisney ! Since creating this new account and sharing some Disney finds and ventures, I’ve been talking to people about working in Disney World and answering lots of questions. In honour of this, I thought what better time than to sit and log down how to work in Disney World Florida from the UK. With many many ups and downs (you can read those on the Disney section of the blog!) it is definitely worth taking the leap and buggering off to work in the Disney bubble for a while.
Here are the ways you can work in Walt Disney World from the UK:
**Disclaimer ** At the time of writing this, international programs in general have been paused due to the crazy times we live in. They are hoping to resume in the future, and I think there’s something behind researching the things we’d love to do in the future that is good for the soul!
First up, I need to give you a little background on Yummy Jobs. As Disney have three interview stages in place for working abroad, they have outsourced the first two to this company. The first stage is a simple online form, where you answer a set of questions and add your CV. The second is a group interview at the Yummy Jobs headquarters in Epping, and the third and final is in the Disney headquarters in London; with Disney this time.
Yummy Jobs has a whole bunch of information on their website about each of the programs, including programs across the USA and with other companies too. They also help you sort all the documents (visas etc) you will need for travelling, so it’s really handy to go through them for all the information and help you get, too.
Option 1 – The cultural exchange program
- Must be studying (or have just finished) at a UK University
- 18 years +
- Able to travel/full passport
- Fluent English
This is the program I took part in. It lasts for three months from June to August, and your visa allows for one extra month of travel on the end of this period. (So you can stay in the USA for four months total.) The brilliant thing about this program, is that you can work in almost any role across the parks! This could be: attractions, lifeguarding, merchandise, food and beverage, custodial and entertainment. I worked on attractions which include the rides and/or shows, and worked in Epcot on Mission Space. Alongside this, some of my shifts would include roping off the park at close during the fireworks, which was always a really beautiful show and highlight of my working day!
As with all of the programs, you have to live on Disney property. On my program there was a really old, pretty gross housing option (the one we unluckily got haha!) but now they’re redoing their housing and you should be much better off than us. (Trust me, no one should have to live with an army of cockroaches!)
This program will cost you near enough £2,000 to do, when you have factored in the visa costs, travel costs, first couple of weeks of housing etc etc. You will not save a bunch of money on this program – Disney don’t pay their staff a crazy-high amount. However, you will have an absolute whale of a time and it really is soo worth looking into. If you’re at Uni, you’re eligible to apply for a small time so I would absolutely recommend going for it! No harm in applying – ever!
Option 2 – The cultural representative program
- 18 years +
- Able to work for a full 12 months
- Able to travel/full passport
- Fluent English
This program is the “everyone program” in my opinion. You don’t have any extra requirements as far as experience, work or study situations. The main hook on this, is you need to be free for a full year. Whilst you can technically leave the program early if needed, it invalidates your visa and can make it awkward to work for Disney again in the future. If you can commit a whole year, it could be bloody epic. (Plus, who wouldn’t want to see the beautiful Disney World across every single event of the year!)
If you opt for this program, you will only be able to work in the United Kingdom pavilion of Epcot, and no where else in the parks. This is the main downside to me, as although it is a lovely little piece of land, there isn’t a huge amount going on here in terms of the rest of the parks. You will most likely be working in Merchandise or Food and Beverage here. (Which could still be SO much fun, but I personally loved the option of being on a ride or something random and awesome.)
You’ll also be working surrounded by English people – which is great as you’ll be likely to have a lot in common, but obviously you’ll get less of a chance to meet people from around the world. With that being said, there are lots of cast member events where you can meet lots of people. I met two of my best friends at Disney just around the housing complex – they were from Mexico and New Zealand.
Option 3 – The academic exchange program
This program is very limited to a few participating Universities. If you are eligible it would be a CRACKER of a time, where you can work in a variety of different areas in the parks/hotels AND have it count towards your studies at Uni. As this is pretty niche I thought I would mention it, but let you go and explore it yourself if you are in a participating Uni. Read all about this program here.
Also look into:
I can wholeheartedly say working abroad is such a brilliant thing to do, if you get the opportunity. You can search the Yummy Jobs website to see working opportunities in loads of epic places, such as Vegas, Miami, California, New York and more. You can work in resorts, events, hospitality and more. Check it out and see what works for you. If you’re ever on the fence at all I say – GO FOR IT! There’s no harm in applying and going along with the journey whilst you decide!