The perks of being a DCP cast member are pretty good for an internship program. They can save you thousands of dollars while you are working at Disney.
1. The first day you are at the Traditions class, you’ll get your company ID. Your ID allows you unlimited entrance to all Disney theme parks worldwide (except Disneyland Tokyo) and the Disney water parks. There are some black-out dates throughout the year, mainly effecting the Magic Kingdom on holiday weekends. As those times are when the Parks are at peak capacity, you don’t want to go then anyway. Why go to a Park when it’s mobbed with people when you can enjoy the Parks anytime?
2. You get a company discount of 20% off all merchandise. During the Holiday Celebration period (Nov. – Feb.), the CP merchandise discount goes up to 40%. The discount is good at all Parks, Disney hotels, Disney Stores, Disney online, on Disney cruise ships, and at Disney Ports.
3. A few weeks after you complete the Traditions class and start working, you’ll be mailed a Blue Main Gate Pass for yourself and then 3 Guest Passes to use to get friends and family into the Parks for free. It will come loaded with 6 day park hopper passes. (3 x 6 = 18 free Park Hopper passes, a perk worth over $1,000!) You’ll also have opportunities to receive additional free passes through volunteering with Disney VoluntEARS and at other company events. Read more about it here.
4. At some Disney table service restaurants, you can get 20% off your meal. The catch is that there isn’t a published list of exactly which restaurants are currently giving the CM discount and sometimes, even if a restaurant gives the discount, they may only honor it at non-peak hours, i.e., dinner after 9pm. Again, the only way to know is to always ASK!
5. Your company ID gives you free parking at any Park or waterpark, currently $17/day at Disney World.
6. If you work during the Fall internship, you’ll be mailed a Family Holiday Celebration coupons booklet filled with 60% off coupons for Disney hotel stays, 50% off Disney table service dining, and 6 free soda coupons or free popcorn coupons. If you take advantage of all of these coupons, especially if you have family members visiting you during your program, you could save thousands of dollars. You will also receive another 3 Guest Passes for friends any family! You can use those with your original guest passes (letting in 4 people) or you can use it individually (letting in 1 person) and save your original guest passes for later!
7. Disney CP housing is a bargain. For about $100/week, taken directly out of your paycheck, you will get a fully furnished apartment with all utilities (A/C, heat, water, cable, internet, phone, sewer and trash/recycling) included. You won’t have to pay any deposits to turn on the electricity, etc. like you would renting a regular apartment. At Disney World, free bus transportation to and from work is also included. All apartment complexes have 24 hour gated security and roaming security guards (important if you’re getting off a 2am shift or going to a 6am shift!) All apartment complexes also have a large pool, hot tubs, tennis courts, and other recreational opportunities like billiards.
8. If you chose not to stay in Disney housing, many nearby apartment complexes offer 10% rent discounts to cast members. If you’re not sure, ASK!
9. Disney CP housing hosts monthly themed character parties with free food, great DJs, and character meet & greets. They are a blast! Go to all of them!!!
10. Many local area businesses give cast members discounts of 10% off. Both our favorite Chinese restaurant and our nail salon give us 10% off our bills. Many businesses advertise the CM discount on their doors or menus, but, if not, ASK! You might be surprised at how many businesses say yes.
11. One of the best perks are last-minute discounts for cruises from any of the ports (Cape Canaveral is the closest.) As a cast member, you can get 40-60% discount off of Disney cruises. The available cruise dates, ships, and ports are listed about 3-4 weeks out on the company Hub page. Your CM discount (20%) works at all the Disney ports and onboard ship! 🙂 [Note: Must be employed by Disney for 90 days prior to booking cruise.]
12. Cast members get to shop at Disney’s private Company D store where overstocked or slightly damaged clothing and merchandise is sold for 50-75% off retail, plus then you can use your 20-40% cast member discount on top of that. The first ten days of the month, the Company D store also does pin trading, limited to 2 pin trades per day per cast member. They usually have several unusual or unique pins on their pin board. Always worth a look!
13. If you need extra Park passes for visiting family and friends, CMs can purchase discounted tickets for them at the Company D store.
14. The AMC Theater at Downtown Disney gives CMs a 10% discount on movie tickets.
15. You’ll be invited to special cast member only previews (we got to see “Saving Mr. Banks” at the Hollywood Studios premier before it opened nationwide). The next special preview we hope to attend is for the opening of the Snow White and Seven Dwarfs mine ride.
16. You’ll be invited to private, after hours cast member only parties at the Parks, with unlimited rides with no lines and free food! 🙂
17. And, finally, something that we think is a pretty good perk: flexible scheduling with the ability to trade or giveaway your shifts if you need time off or would like to see what working at other WDW locations is like. We work merchandising at Downtown Disney (Elly) and the Animal Kingdom (Caroline). But, we can trade or pick up open shifts at any of the four Parks, the two water parks, or any of the hotel gift shops at Disney World. If you’re into costumes, each work location has a different costume to wear! How cool is that!
Two Girls and a Mouse Tale
by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins
Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???
We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program (Fall 2013/Spring 2014) and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.
We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.
Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.