Today was my onboarding appointment for Walt Disney World. I’ve always wanted to peek inside the Casting Center across the street from Downtown Disney, and today I finally had the opportunity to explore!
I arrived 10 minutes early for my 1pm appointment. The interior of the Casting Center lobby was absolutely beautiful, and I felt like I was inside the castle of the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. I found Suite 140 and walked down a long, narrow hallway with picture canvases of different Disney characters and attractions hanging on both walls.
I opened a set of doors with the sign “Onboarding” and walked into a large gray room filled with cubicles and desks. Although it looked like a corporate office, it felt more like a waiting room at a health clinic. There were about 10 other people there (in many different shapes and sizes) waiting to complete their onboarding appointment to be a Cast Member for Disney. Some of the Cast Member roles include guest services, retail sales clerk, costuming, vacation planner, custodian… the list goes on forever.
I walked to the front desk. The receptionist asked for my forms of identification. Make sure you have these!! This includes social security card, passport, birth certificate, driver’s license, etc. If you do not have the identification about they WILL turn you away and make you reschedule. I gave her my forms, and she said someone would be with me shortly.
I sat down next to a girl who seemed to be my age. I worked up the courage to ask her if she was going to be working at Disney as well. She smiled and said she was going to be selling turkey legs in Magic Kingdom. We almost instantly become friends and in a span of 5 minutes, we were laughing and gabbing away about our move to Orlando and what we expect to happen in the next few weeks. We exchanged numbers and planned a time to go to the park together as soon as we get out Disney passes and ID’s.
I continued to talk to her (and another man who was going to be a Disney landscaper) until a young man named Ryan called my name and gave me instructions to fill out all the required documents. I sat in a cubicle alone. My head felt as if it was spinning as I looked through the stack of documents and signed my name, signature, and date on more than 15 pages of forms. After about 30 minutes of filling out documents, I turned them in to the receptionist.
“You have a big smile on your face.” The receptionist said. “I can tell you’re excited about your new job!”
“I am!” I replied. “This really is a dream come true.”
The recipient said the completed forms looked great and that I could take a seat while waiting for my background check. My new friend Cierra had already left, so I sat and read my book for awhile until another woman called my name. She took me into the back where I was fingerprinted and answered questions for my Disney ID (hair color, eye color, height, race, weight, etc.) The woman noticed my book in hand.
“It’s so nice to see young people read! I never see that anyway,” She said.
After talking about books for awhile, she lead me to a room with a camera, and I smiled for my ID picture. She also handed me my Disney pamphlet and the directions to Traditions (orientation/training) at Disney University, which cannot be found on a GPS because it is a private location.
“That’s everything!” The woman smiled and waved goodbye. “Good luck to you, princess!”
The whole process was relatively stress-free and took approximately an hour.
A couple of tips for those who will attend an onboarding session:
- Be prepared and bring your forms of identification!!!! This includes social security card, passport, birth certificate, driver’s license, etc. If you do not have the identification about they WILL turn you away and make you reschedule!!!
- Look nice. Wear a cute (appropriate) dress and apply makeup. You will be getting your picture taken for your ID, so look cute!
- Pack professional/business attire for Traditions! I found out that attendees of Traditions must be in professional business attire, so my mom and I had to go shopping for a dress I could wear… which took time and obviously money…
- Bring a book! Like an “old-school” kind of book… not your e-book on a Kindle or iPad. It looks a lot better than texting while waiting in a professional setting. It’s also a great conversation-starter!
- BE FRIENDLY. Introduce yourself. Talk to those around you. Learn from others. You may just make a new friend!