The perks of being a DCP cast member are pretty good for a paid internship program. They can save you thousands of dollars while you are working at Disney.
1. The first day working for Disney, you take the Traditions class. Afterwards, you’ll get your Company ID. Your Disney ID allows you unlimited entrance to all US Disney theme parks in Florida and California.
There are some Blackout Dates dates throughout the year, mainly effecting the Magic Kingdom guest passes. 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 Disney Family Holiday Celebration period (Oct. – Feb.), the CP merchandise discount goes up to 40% off. The discount is good at all Parks, Disney hotels, Disney Stores, Disney online, on Disney cruise ships, and at Disney Ports.
3. After working 150 hours, you’ll be mailed the first set of 3 One Day Park Hopper Disney Guest Passes to use to get friends and family into the Parks for free! You’ll also have opportunities to receive additional free passes through volunteering with Disney VoluntEARS and at other company events.
4. At many Disney table service restaurants, you can get 20% off your meal. At some restaurants, it’s a 40% Dining Discount for cast members! The catch is that it’s hard to remember 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 Disney Park and the two water parks, currently $20/day at Disney World.
6. If you work during the Fall internship, you’ll be mailed a Family Holiday Celebration coupon booklet filled with 60% off coupons for Disney hotel stays, 50% off Disney table service dining, free holiday ornament coupon, and 6 free soda coupons and 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.
7. DCP Housing is a bargain. Let me repeat that: It 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, wifi internet, cable, phone, sewer and trash/recycling) included. Washer/dryers are in your apartment or onsite. 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, and some have hot tubs, tennis courts, basketball 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 Housing Events 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 Disney 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: You must be employed by Disney for 90 days prior to booking cruise.]
12. Cast members get to shop at Disney’s private Cast Connection where overstocked or slightly damaged clothing and merchandise is sold for 50-75% off retail, plus then you can use your 10-20% cast member discount on top of that.
13. If you need extra Park passes for visiting family and friends, CMs can purchase discounted tickets (10% off) for them at the Company D Store. 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!
14. The AMC Theater at Disney Springs gives CMs a 10% discount on movie tickets.
16. 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).
17. You’ll be invited to private, after hours cast member only parties at the Parks, with unlimited rides with no lines and free food! So much fun!!! 🙂
18. You get into the private Disney club, Mickey’s Retreat, right across from the housing complexes for free!
19. If you’re into Costumes, which is what Disney calls their work uniforms, each work location has a different costume to wear! They are free and Disney cleans them for free too! How cool is that!??!!
20. Free stroller (single or double!) at any of the parks! Just show your ID. Also, free locker rental too!
21. 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 worked merchandising at Downtown Disney/Disney Springs (Elly) and the Animal Kingdom (Caroline). But, we could 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! Never a dull day at WDW!
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 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.
Book link on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale