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  1. #1

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    Question Do CMs at WDW get treated BETTER than at DL?

    I hear so many bad things about the turnover w/ CMs at DL and how low the pay is and how badly they are treated.

    Are things better at WDW? I hope to be a CM one day and really have a career w/ the Disney Co.

    Is moving up w/ the company as hard as I have heard. Is it really not fun to work in the theme parks???

  2. #2

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    Re: Do CMs at WDW get treated BETTER than at DL?

    There are more CMs working for a much longer period of time at WDW than at DL. It's a lot cheaper to live in Orlando and you can make for a relatively short commute if you live close by than you are likely to have in Orange County or the area.

    You still end up dealing with some of the same problems though. Having to show up well before your shift to be able to clock in, be in costume, etc. There can be a lot of politics and back-stabbing when it comes to moving up. Some areas that might be considered career-oriented just about require you to be sleeping with or related to the person making the decisions. Openings are rare for many positions. I worked mostly in Monorails, but just in our area we had lower level assistant managers who had been in the positions for 10-15 years...constantly making sideways moves in position, but not moving up.

    Essentially, if you have a degree, military background, management background in retail or restaurants, etc. you are a dime a dozen. If you don't have any of these things, then it's even tougher. I've known others who were essentially told by the HR folks they'd be better off quitting, working in a PR firm for 10-15 years, then coming back in eight years or so and working attractions and praying for an opening to come up in PR/Marketing in a few years.

    Now, I'm sure there are plenty of stories of people who have moved up and done something else, but you definitely have to accept the very real possibility that you may spend a long time there not really making a climb up the career ladder.

    Working there is fun for the most part. I hate being in an office, so it beats that. Still, loading or unloading an attraction every single day, being asked the same questions over and over again, working all holidays, not getting days off that you need for family or such...it definitely wears on you. It can definitely be a fun job, I have a lot of great memories of working there (I did eight years at WDW). Still, it's not the magical fantasy job that many people think it will be.

  3. #3

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    Re: Do CMs at WDW get treated BETTER than at DL?

    I'm trying to talk my husband into getting us stationed in Tampa...I SO want to work in Disney World. Is it hard to get a job there? I'm very simple...I have no desire to move up or get promoted, or even really have a career with Disney. I'd just like to have the experience of working there. We move around alot, being in the military, so, a career isn't really possible anyway. Is it hard to get a job on one of the rides? I'd LOVE to work in the haunted mansion.




  4. #4

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    Re: Do CMs at WDW get treated BETTER than at DL?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stitchy-poo
    I'm trying to talk my husband into getting us stationed in Tampa...I SO want to work in Disney World. Is it hard to get a job there? I'm very simple...I have no desire to move up or get promoted, or even really have a career with Disney. I'd just like to have the experience of working there. We move around alot, being in the military, so, a career isn't really possible anyway. Is it hard to get a job on one of the rides? I'd LOVE to work in the haunted mansion.
    You do realize that on a good day with no traffic from the start of I-4 to the gates of MK its an hour drive right?

    I think it's fabulous you want to work for Disney, so would I actually. but I just didn't want you to think that Tampa and WDW were within a half hour of each other.

    Good luck with you job hunting and welcome to Tampa! I personally love living here.

  5. #5

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    Re: Do CMs at WDW get treated BETTER than at DL?

    oh, yeah...I know it's a trip. It took us around 45 mins last time we were there. But, I think it'd be worth it. The main problem is talking hubby into moving there. He's sick of hurricanes and southern heat. I'll probably end up in Alaska.




  6. #6

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    Re: Do CMs at WDW get treated BETTER than at DL?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stitchy-poo
    I'm trying to talk my husband into getting us stationed in Tampa...I SO want to work in Disney World. Is it hard to get a job there? I'm very simple...I have no desire to move up or get promoted, or even really have a career with Disney. I'd just like to have the experience of working there. We move around alot, being in the military, so, a career isn't really possible anyway. Is it hard to get a job on one of the rides? I'd LOVE to work in the haunted mansion.
    As mentioned, depending on where you live in the Tampa area, you may be as much as a 90-minute drive from WDW. With rush hour traffic, that could be a bit longer. Then you'd have to consider arriving early enough to park, getting to your area, etc.

    Now, assuming that the above is not really an issue or you would work CR (only a few days a week or such) or CT (working as little as a few days a year - just know you only get your admission benefits during the periods you were available to work)...it's really not hard at all to get a job there. They always need some quality people. If you come in dressed appropriately, with a smile and express a willingness to be flexible with schedules, work holidays, etc., most people shouldn't have trouble getting hired. The interviewers may try to steer you toward an area of need, but you can ask what openings they have in attractions, merchandise, resorts, or whatever you are interested in doing. Worst case, you can always transfer after a few months to another area if they have openings then.

    Good luck. It's not the fantasy many imagine it would be, but it sure as heck beats a regular old 9-to-5 job most of the time. Few have any interest in any office stories I have, but friends and family LOVE the stories I had from working at WDW and currently with the airlines. Something wacky is always happening. As much as I loved Disney going into the job, the biggest thing I enjoyed about it was the people I worked with. Older folks, younger folks...we really enjoyed working together and always had a good time - no matter what management BS we were unhappy with at one time or another.

  7. #7

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    Re: Do CMs at WDW get treated BETTER than at DL?

    I live in Clearwater and it takes me about 2 hours to drive from here to WDW (on a good day). Construction around the I-4/275 junction is an absolute nightmare... takes me nearly an hour to drive from Clearwater through Tampa (again... on a good day). From there it's usually smooth sailing since the construction on I-4 in Lakeland & Haines City is finally done.... but then can be a bit of a mess again once you get to Kissimmee.

  8. #8

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    Re: Do CMs at WDW get treated BETTER than at DL?

    if you have a college degree you work in the parks? i thought you would be working in management not in operations.

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    Re: Do CMs at WDW get treated BETTER than at DL?

    Just because you have a college degree does not automatically put you in management. Several of my co-workers have college degrees and what are they doing, front desk clerk, lobby concierge, one is a photo pass photographer and another is a clerk in a gift shop, yes a clerk. Another is a ride attendent at Soarin and yet another on Expedition Everest. So having a college degree does not guarantee a management position.

  10. #10

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    Re: Do CMs at WDW get treated BETTER than at DL?

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster
    I live in Clearwater and it takes me about 2 hours to drive from here to WDW (on a good day). Construction around the I-4/275 junction is an absolute nightmare... takes me nearly an hour to drive from Clearwater through Tampa (again... on a good day). From there it's usually smooth sailing since the construction on I-4 in Lakeland & Haines City is finally done.... but then can be a bit of a mess again once you get to Kissimmee.
    That's why I said from the "start" of I-4.

    My best time from largo...an hour (no traffic 85MPH)

    My average time: An hour and 20 minutes.

  11. #11

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    Re: Do CMs at WDW get treated BETTER than at DL?

    We are also a military family and always joke how we are going to work at wdw when dh gets out. What are the hrs like what do they make you work? How cheap is it to live down in wdw area? We just came from California and would love to work at disneyland but its way to expiscvie.

  12. #12

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    Re: Do CMs at WDW get treated BETTER than at DL?

    Quote Originally Posted by lovegrumpy
    We are also a military family and always joke how we are going to work at wdw when dh gets out. What are the hrs like what do they make you work? How cheap is it to live down in wdw area? We just came from California and would love to work at disneyland but its way to expiscvie.
    Clermont and Kissimmee are pretty reasonable places to live cost-wise. Clermont's been growing quite a bit, too. The closer you get to Orlando, the more expensive things may get...or at least you'll be dealing with more traffic. Of course, if you're driving in with the tourists in the morning to the parks, you'll have some traffic anyway from Clermont and Kissimmee.

    Hours depend on what's available. Some aspects may have changed, but when I was there we moved from the "guy/computer making out a schedule and you see what you get each week" method to bidding on shifts by seniority. The more senior you are, the better chance you have of picking the regular shifts you want. If you're a new hire, you may be likely to work nights and weekends. It depends on the area you're working the needs of the department, what the senior people in your area want, etc.

    New folks are going to be expected to be available weekends and holidays. It kept me from traveling to visit family when I worked there, but my wife and I would work very early shifts or late shifts on holidays and just do our holiday in the morning or at night - opposite our shifts. So that wasn't a big deal. Once you've been there a couple of years, you can generally get what you want schedule-wise. You won't get rich working in the parks/resorts, but if you have a two-income household you can live ok.

    A few people can get hired into lower management positions from outside the company, but it's tough. Even from within, there's a LOT of competition. During my time in Monorails and Merchandise, I'd say at least 75% of the people I worked with had degrees, were former military or retail/restaurant management. I wish I could say great job performance would help you move up, but it's really a lot of politics. Lower level managers in our area had been shifting sideways for 10-15 years. They're all jockeying to move up to something else. I saw far too many people with MBAs or leadership experienced get passed over for a management position because they weren't part of a clique with certain other managers.

    If you're looking to move up, that can be really frustrating, but if you're comfortable with riding the waves and see where they take you, it won't bother you as much. Plus, the company's always changing in one way or another. Who knows how some of these things might evolve in a few years?
    Warning: Portions of this attraction are intense and may not be appropriate for younger children.

  13. #13

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    Re: Do CMs at WDW get treated BETTER than at DL?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cmash95
    if you have a college degree you work in the parks? i thought you would be working in management not in operations.
    Let me add to ti2gr's comments here...You might be shocked to know that a good percentage of the Puerto Rican CMs who work at WDW *DO* have college degrees, such as accounting, languages, management, clerical, teaching and the likes (some with actual experience in their fields), and yet they end up in Housekeeping at WDW because there are simply no oportunities in Orlando at all.. Some become distraught and end up returning to PR or NY simply because they can't find work in their chosen professions. I could name at least 10 people I know who went thru this dilemma.

    Now my opinion on this... I believe the CMs at WDW are definitely treated better or at the least...not managed at all. I see some CMs get away with so much. One Fantasyland CM who verbally attacked me a couple of years ago in the Pooh Ride was still working there months after the incident, and that was after having a manager deal with the situation..
    I see a lot of slacking off on stage, questionable body language that speak volumes about the attitude towards their work...etc etc. I actually wonder how many of them are there just for the benefits and not so much for being part of the "magic"... It's so apparent that I can actually separate them just by observing their behaviors with guests.

  14. #14

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    Re: Do CMs at WDW get treated BETTER than at DL?

    Quote Originally Posted by lovegrumpy
    We are also a military family and always joke how we are going to work at wdw when dh gets out. What are the hrs like what do they make you work? How cheap is it to live down in wdw area? We just came from California and would love to work at disneyland but its way to expiscvie.
    Explicit?

  15. #15

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    Re: Do CMs at WDW get treated BETTER than at DL?

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN
    Explicit?
    That and it's expensive.

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