Random Advice

  • Pack at least four different business casual/professional outfits.  Often you will have training for 3 days or more after traditions. (Vacation Planners more like 8 days)  Dresses are acceptable if they hit just above the knee and have straps more than three fingers wide, dress pants or dark wash jeans are acceptable if they are not skinny fit.
  • Make sure that you check how much Disney is withholding for federal income taxes on your pay stub.  I realized when I got home that they didn’t withhold any federal tax and I had to pay a TON in taxes.
  • Request off dates you think you will want off (holidays, special events, family visits, restaurant reservations, birthdays) ASAP.  I went on and requested off as much as I could as soon as I got access to the hub.  Many people were surprised at how many important dates I got off, but hey, it is worth it to plan ahead!
  • Join the Facebook page for your DCP program.  It is not managed by Disney but it can be very helpful if you have a question, want to find some roommates ahead of time, or if you want to stay up-to-date with DCP information.  Just do not be inappropriate on the page or start drama, Disney does watch the page and has fired people because of harassment or inappropriate comments.
  • Never ever ever ever ever say “I will do that later”.  Believe me, you won’t.  There were so many things I had on my bucket list that I wanted to do and instead of just doing it when I had the opportunity, I just thought “oh, I’m here for seven months, I’ll do it later”.  Guess what?  Chances are slim you will actually do it later because you get busy.  So take advantage of the opportunity and do everything you can when you have the chance.  (I mean everything…from booking a trip to waiting in line to meet Snow White)
  • Network and get to know your leaders.  It is easier in some locations than in others, but ask for a one-on-one with your leader or take extra time to talk to them and get to know them.  Although you can’t use them as a future reference, you can use them to network and learn how to move up in the company.  They have a lot of knowledge about Disney and can be very helpful to you. Don’t wait until the last day to talk to them, build a relationship.
  • Budget.  I cannot stress this enough.  When you get your first couple of paychecks you will feel like you are rolling in money as most of us are students and are used to working part-time.  However, Disney merchandise, food, and housing rent are expensive.  Your paychecks can disappear awfully fast if you are paying for experiences.  Looking back, I wish I would have spent less money on groceries as I hardly ever ate full meals at the apartment.  You can really just get by on the basics of cereal and sandwiches at home because chances are you will be eating out multiple times a week.
  • Go out.  If you are over 21, (and in some places over 18), go out and have fun!  There were so many nights where I was “too tired” to do anything after work, but you know what, you can sleep when you’re dead!  Make all of the memories you can and meet people from all over the world, just stay safe.
  • Plan out your week and commit to it.  If you wan’t to go to the parks, or a dinner show, or a restaurant make a plan! If you don’t make a plan, it won’t stick or you will pull a Kaitlyn and end up sleeping away the day.
  • Take advantage of special offers and discounts.  Disney has a lot of discounts for cast members and unexpected discounts that pop up during certain times of the year.  For example, Sephora in Disney Springs has a special discount a couple times a year and sometimes dinner shows or guided tours will have extra discounted tickets for cast members during slow periods.
  • If you know anyone back home that has never been to Walt Disney World before because they can’t afford it, this is the time for them to go! As a cast member you get a certain amount of free tickets as well as a 40-60% off of rooms discount depending on the season.  It makes Disney much more affordable for family and friends and it is fun to have company.
  • Try not to go to the same places multiple times.  Yes, you are going to have your favorite things to do and things to eat but Walt Disney World has SO many options that I couldn’t even explore half of them in 7 months.  Try new things and do as much as you can.
  • Explore outside of Disney.  Orlando is a tourist city and has a lot of neat things to offer.  Take a day trip to the beach, go to Universal, ride the Orlando Eye, drive to the Kennedy Space Center, or just go experience downtown.
  • If you are home during a housing event, and you don’t want to go… just go get the free food and leave.  You’ll thank me later.
  • Don’t let your laundry go for over a week.  Trust me, it is not fun if you live on the third floor of Patterson to drag 20 baskets of laundry to and from the laundry room.  Trust me.
  • If you live in a wellness apartment, don’t drink alcohol in your wellness apartment. If you are over 21, don’t drink alcohol in a wellness apartment.  It is a super easy way to get termed on the spot, and it is NOT worth it.
  • Don’t order packages (or have friends/family ship packages) through UPS or FedEx unless you know for certain that you will be home at the time it is delivered.  UPS and FedEx deliver to your door which is lovely, except for the fact that people will steal your packages if you’re not home.  It is horrible that fellow cast members would do that, but sadly it is the reality of it.
  • Don’t overpack.  I say this because I always overpack.  You will want a couple of fun going out outfits and maybe a sweatshirt or two but overall you just want shorts and t-shirts/tank tops and a really good pair of walking shoes.  Believe me when I tell you that you don’t need to bring your whole closet.  Especially if you’re like me and from a cold state like Wisconsin.