LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It takes a village -- 59,500 cast members
to be exact -- to keep the show going at Walt Disney World Resort.
With more than 3,000 different job roles available, it's hard, if
not impossible, to find a more diverse group anywhere.
Whether an individual's expertise is in exploring the big blue world
at The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilion at Epcot or guiding guests
through Disney's very own highway in the sky, there's a place for a
staggering array of skill sets within the 40-square-mile Vacation
Kingdom. Here are some of the more unique roles:
- Life is a song at Harmony
Barbershop in Magic Kingdom, where licensed cosmetologists
perform basic haircuts with a sprinkle of pixie dust. The shop
specialty is the first haircut -- a ceremony commemorated with
special "First Haircut" Mickey ears and a certificate with a
placeholder for a lock of hair -- which barbers perform about
300 times a month. Basic cuts are standard for the older set,
but with giant-sized neon scissors and combs on-hand, the
barbers guarantee that even a basic 'do is far from ordinary.
- Three times a week, two cast
members from the animal programs team at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Lodge transform into safari guides, leading club level resort
guests on the Wanyama Safari, a three-hour tour and dinner
experience that recreates a true African afternoon game drive.
Guides receive in-depth training on the 200 animals housed at
the lodge before leading the hour-and-a-half trek through the
resort's three savannahs. While leading the tour, they dispense
insider knowledge about the natural history and management of
the animal collection, pointing out as many of the resort's 30
species as possible.
- Only at Walt Disney World Resort
can you drive a 364-passenger monorail straight through the core
of a deluxe resort hotel. In addition to gliding through
Disney's Contemporary Resort, monorail pilots are trained to
safely operate the twelve color-coded trains over three routes
-- express to Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney resorts. And with
14.7 lane-miles of elevated beamway and 30 million guests
utilizing the transportation system each year, the 200 monorail
pilots play an integral role in the day-to-day operation of Walt
Disney World Resort.
- Blooms and blossoms abound for
topiary artists and designers at Walt Disney World Resort. The
creative process begins with a "maquette" -- a wire and clay
sculpture of a Disney character -- which is used as a reference
for a full-size steel frame created by the team's welders.
Designers then stuff the frame with moss, choose the plant
material (common choices are Ficus pumila, Moneywart and
Alternanthera), and decorate with small individual plants called
plugs. Completed topiaries are irrigated, manicured, trimmed,
fertilized and transported to locations throughout Walt Disney
World property where they grow over time before guests' eyes.
- It's better down where it's
wetter -- or so say the Walt Disney World animal care aquarists,
a team of marine scientists who monitor the day-to-day care of
the resort's many species of fish, turtles and sea life. The
main marine environment, found in the heart of The Seas with
Nemo & Friends pavilion at Epcot, contains 5.7 million gallons
of seawater and is home to sea turtles, sharks, stingrays and
small fish such as neon gobies and peppermint shrimp. The
aquarium team rotates between systems, also working with the
leopard sharks, bonnethead sharks, parrotfish and southern
stingrays who call Typhoon Lagoon Shark Reef home.
- There's no concierge experience
like that offered at Cinderella Castle Suite where "no request
is too extreme." Each morning, concierge cast members greet the
previous night's guests while preparing the space for the next
lucky group. Afternoons are filled with meet-and-greets with
that day's winners and an in-depth tour where they reveal the
heritage and secrets of the exclusive room suite. Three
concierge members rotate throughout the day to provide the
utmost in guest service around the clock.
- At the fingertips of 180 Walt
Disney World seamstresses are no less than 1,000 fabrics, 75
shades of thread and more than 800 kinds of buttons. Each day,
these materials combine to create and maintain the 15,000 unique
entertainment costumes and 15,000 operational garment pieces
worn by members of the Walt Disney World cast. And every piece
is built from scratch -- one of the most impressive being the
"parfait" hat worn in "Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage,"
which took more than 58 hours of handiwork to create.
- The 55 Fairy
Godmothers-in-Training at Downtown Disney's Bibbidi Bobbidi
Boutique have one goal in mind: turn as many little girls as
possible into princesses. The process involves providing
head-to-toe makeovers for guests, including Disney-inspired
up-do hairstyles, makeup, nails, and for some, full imperial
regalia including princess dresses, crowns, wands and shoes.
Fairy Godmothers-in-Training must also coach guests in the art
of royal behavior, instructing proper technique in the princess
wave, curtsy and walk.
- Adrenaline rushes, pounding
heartbeats and full-throttle action are part of a normal workday
for the precision drivers at "Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme
Stunt Show" at Disney's Hollywood Studios. More than 20 drivers
rotate through a schedule where they perform up to three shows
and two tracks per day in one of five European chase cars or
three hero cars, all outfitted with a special motorcycle engine
for stunt-precision driving. Among the maneuvers the drivers
perform are spectacular 180s, 360s, sliding 90s, two-wheel
driving and fly-through-the-sky jumps.
- Cinderella once said, "A dream
is a wish your heart makes, when you're fast asleep," but as
part of Disney Parks "Year of a Million Dreams," cast members
have come together to make dreams come true while guests are
wide awake. Members of the Dream Squad receive in-depth training
on company heritage and culture, then split their days creating
personalized guest interactions -- like setting up a coloring
station for little ones near a height-restrictive attraction --
or randomly awarding prizes -- such as a return trip to Walt
Disney World Resort or a Dream FASTPASS -- as part of the Disney
Dreams Giveaway. These high-energy cast members are empowered to
create Magical Moments and share their passion for Walt Disney
World Resort with guests of all ages.
The Walt Disney World Resort has a
variety of guest service roles available in the theme parks, water
parks and resorts throughout the year. For more information on
employment opportunities, call the Walt Disney World Jobline at