LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Some 2,000 prospective employees attended
the Disney Career Premiere recruiting party at the Disney-MGM
Studios Theme Park on May 11.
Coincidentally, Disney World had some 2,000 vacancies to fill,
most of them entry-level positions.
The park's New York Street back lot was closed to the public
from 7 p.m. to midnight to accommodate those seeking a Disney
Normally, that area would have remained accessible until 9:30
p.m. This is the first time that recruitment has taken place at a
Disney theme park and with the added incentives of food and
In the past, recruitment has been confined to the "casting"
building, (the human resources area), a spokeswoman for that
Disney World currently employs 55,000 people in full-time,
part-time and seasonal posts, and it succeeded in convincing more
than 1,000 applicants to sign up for interviews.
Some applicants were hired on the spot, according to the Disney
spokeswoman, who described the applicants overall as "high quality"
in terms of Disney's goal of hiring employees dedicated to
delivering a high level of customer service.
Walt Disney World's entry-level wage is $6.35 per hour, with
health insurance and vacation provided. Food service is among the
categories where such positions exist.
The spokeswoman said that 100 representatives from Disney
World's human resources department were on hand to accept
applications and make on-the-spot hiring decisions.
Also on hand was a cross section of employees from various job
categories, who answered questions from prospects interested in
working in their areas, such as food service, hospitality, finance
and human resources.
Walt Disney Attractions' travel industry marketing department,
which works with agents and tour operators, has had no problems
filling positions, a spokeswoman for that department said.
Because Orlando's unemployment rate is only 2.5% and other theme
parks and hotel firms are seeking employees, recruitment has been
more of a challenge over the past few years for Disney and other
companies. To help overcome labor shortages, Disney World operates
low-cost employee housing, subsidizes off-site education related to
jobs and recruits at college campuses and local high schools, and
even in Puerto Rico, the human resources department spokeswoman
noted. Disney also offers some on-site training.
In addition, there are 6,000 internships offered per year, with
2,000 different interns accepted every four months.
Part-time and seasonal employees have the option of becoming
full-timers, the spokeswoman noted.
Such flexibility is in Disney's favor, she said. Because this
Career Premiere was so successful, Disney most likely will stage
another innovative event for recruitment next year, she said.