Walt Disney Employee Training and Development Process

Related Articles

Walt Disney employee training details can help you go one step closer and make your dream come true. So, if you’re looking to work for Disney, this post is for you.

About the Disney Institute

Who do you think stays behind the Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh costumes? Who do you think takes you around in the theme parks?

They are the cast members who receive proper training to make you feel the way you do. So, to know more about them, follow the article thoroughly.

Disney World is utterly lifeless without its cast Members. The members, in turn, are nothing without the Disney Institute.

Well, this might be the dreamiest of all the working places, but there are proper procedures in dreams too.

Disney Institute is the place where all the cast members receive their training. Michael Eisner founded the company on 9th February 1996. The main motto of the learning institute is to hone the techniques that produce magic.

It might sound like a Hogwarts version of Disney World. However, real humans receive training in this institute and channel their training, not inherent magical powers, to create magic and dream (well, it’s a metaphor).

Walt Disney Employee Training

Now, let’s finally talk about the thing that we are most interested in discussing – Walt Disney Employee Training. There are a few steps that Disney Institute usually follows to train its cast members.

The business tactic that the company uses is a top-down approach.

It first depicts the entire set of responsibilities, contexts, and concerns of Cast Members in general. After that, it lays down the specific contexts and duties of particular cast members.

Thus, in this way, each employee gets to understand the functioning of the entire company and get clear about their work.

It often happens that one employee gets shifted to the other department upon better performance. So, if the whole view is clear right at the beginning, these shifts are easier to handle.

Walt Disney Employee Training and Development process

Here is what you need to know to get started:

The initial training

The most important aspect of the Walt Disney employee training that Disney Institute provides revolves around traditions. This set of training helps in acclimatizing the Cast members to the history of Disney World.

Along with that, it also helps in understanding the machinations of the company that runs today. It’s as if working backstage to help a magnificently magical Broadway production see the light of day.

This set of instructions incorporated inside the Traditions rubrics is not as heavily loaded with conservatism as the word tradition usually means. It acquaints the Cast Members with the past to serve the present. It has a lot of presentations, group activities, and even games!

During the initial founding years, Traditions included a three-day course. Employees were taken on walking tours in the theme parks. The aim of this effort was also to kindle team spirit. Each day required the cast members to work for eight hours. However, most of these activities have now been shifted to the Park Orientation day.

Getting the ID cards

After the rubrics of Traditions gets over, one step of the Disney cast member training program is nearing completion.

Upon its completion, the Cast Members are given their employee ID cards and respective name tags.

This is the time when the cast members are given free access to the parks. Most often, the newly found friends make a group among themselves to go to the park in the evening.

Wardrobes visit

In the very beginning, a cast member will have to visit the Wardrobes to get their costumes. This is another fun part of the entire training program.

Your first visit might overwhelm you a little. All the facilities and techniques of each park are beyond one’s comprehension. So, if you are not used to that view (which you will not be), it might startle you a little.

The new Cast Members will receive a locker and try their new costumes to check if they fit them well.

You might also have little customization options in your costume. You can either opt for a hat or you can opt for shorts or long pants.

While the option to change your mind is always there, the dress you choose is your first-day-at-office uniform. Thus, choose your customization wisely. Afterward, you can head to the locker room and put your costume in your locker.

Cast Zooming is a fantastic opportunity that Disney provides. You can try at the best 5 costumes and take them away to wash. You can replace a dirtier costume with a fresh one! It’s entirely up to you.

Walt Disney Employee training

Park Orientation

Walt Disney Employee Training comprising Traditions gets over by the end of the first day. On the second day, it is your turn to get oriented to the park, to your new workspace. Just like the fancy names inside Disney World, the park orientation names of different parks are also fancily different.

The park orientation program at Animal Kingdom goes by the title DAKlimation while at EPCOT, one calls it Discovery Day. Well, it indeed entails discovery on your part, discovering the nooks and corners of the park to guide the guests better.

Cast Members go to their particular park, and they are required to roam around it paying attention to the details. The walking trail usually includes a trivia game or a scavenger hunt, getting to know the rides.

It might also involve a little familiarization with the park’s history. Along with that, you also need to know the key backstage spots for your avails.

Even if it might be the most exciting part of the Walt Disney employee training program, you must be attentive. You need to know the park, like the lines in your palm, to provide basic information to the guests.

If you encounter guest inquiries you are not equipped to answer; you must know which resource person to lead them to. You can never be rude to any guest, and “I don’t know” should be obliterated from your vocabulary.

Attraction orientation and specific responsibilities

The first two days include assimilative training for all the Cast Members. However, after the initial part is over, each Cast Member get their duties.

Depending on what role you have been assigned, the next part of the training revolves around that. For example:


If you are a merchandise employee, you will have to undertake a class titled “Merchatainment.” Unfortunately, Leonardo De Caprio will not come and ask you to “sell this pen.” However, you will get basic training in blending selling and entertainment for the guest.


Those who get spiel attractions, which require one to talk about or interact with the guest, require more rigorous training.

Usually, this training is longer and spans four to seven days. However, depending on the trainees’ performances and the attraction, this period may also vary.

This section of the Disney employee training program might remind you a little about your school, where you had to prepare speeches to deliver on special occasions.

Usually, two or three trainers are in charge of training the newly hired members. The first day requires you to grasp the entire training schedule and get a hold of the different positions.

Spieling Cast Members will get their spiel which they will have to recite at home and deliver later.


Those assigned the non-spieling positions receive more categorical training. These positions usually go by the name Land positions at Kilimanjaro safaris.

This might include Grouper, who asks the number of members in part, or a Greeter, who stands in front having a radio. All of these roles have their specificities and responsibilities. They will also have their things to memorize.

The trainers will also show you how to do your job, so you must try it. Also, don’t hesitate to ask questions. Clear all your doubts while participating in the training program itself.

Walt Disney Employee training

Vehicle Operations

If you join the spieling groups, you will also have to know how to operate vehicles. While a set of attractions might include automated vehicles, another set might need the Cast Member’s complete control. Cast members drive the trucks that operate in the Kilimanjaro Safaris tracks.

The pathways are narrow. Even though the speed is slow, one might fall into trouble if they are not well-acquainted. So, a considerable portion of your training will require you to drive an empty truck around, be familiar with the tracks and gain confidence to shoulder your guests’ responsibilities.

When you are more or less trained in regular machinations, you will also be given a basic understanding of emergency procedures. From emergency ride evacuations to spoiling fun due to rain or harsh weather conditions, you will learn how to deal with these.

The training will also expect you to know how to start your vehicles and make them online. Eventually, you will have to turn them off and shut them down during the night. So, the entire responsibility is vested in you, and the trainers will equip you to execute them properly.

Spiel training

If you are not very good at memorizing, the spiel job might not be for you. As part of the Walt Disney employee training program, those with spiel jobs need to memorize their narrative. The speeches are long, but thankfully you get enough time to memorize them and practice them before you start working.

At first, you will do your rehearsals away from the vehicles. Once you are comfortable with riding the vehicles, you will have to learn to multitask. What do I mean by that? You will have to drive as well as tell your story convincingly. However, for the initial run, your vehicle will not have any mock guests.

Apart from the main speech, Cast Members will also need to know a lot of extra information. This will help you to improvise whatever the situation at any point in time.

Putting everything together

Even though the number of days in the Walt Disney employee training program has reduced, the process is the same. So, after going through all of these stages, it becomes challenging to assimilate all the new information.

You must go through rotation, so you will have to try out every position. This will, however not include the more tricky positions like the control tower.

Here, the trainer will observe the trainees, and if someone faces any particularly challenging problem, they will help. Depending on performance, the trainees will now do spieling in the presence of the guests.


Just like any other job or internship, the Walt Disney employee training program also has assessments to understand what the trainees have learned.

Whatever the role, the evaluation is generally a three-part test. The first part includes a written test to test your knowledge about the park, areas, and attractions.

The second part is a practical test. Here, you will have to perform all the non-spelling tasks for a few minutes. You cannot ask your fellow Cast member or the trainer for help.

The third part usually is the most difficult one that most trainees dread. Here you will have to operate a vehicle with a lot of guests while simultaneously spelling.

The trainers who will assess your work have never trained you before. So, these trainers will have an unbiased judgment of you. However, if you have paid attention to your Walt Disney employee training, this part shouldn’t be tough.

After all, these phases of Disney employee training and development are over, it is time that you remove the “earning my ears” tags and get to the field!

Final Thoughts

So, it’s a wrap for the Walt Disney employee training details. If you are still interested, no matter your background, you can always opt for this incredible position!

More on this topic


Html code here! Replace this with any non empty text and that's it.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

DISCLAIMER: DisneyWire.com is NOT associated nor affiliated with Walt Disney World nor the Disney company in any formal way. ALL registered trademarks and Disney images listed are the intellectual property of Walt Disney World and the Disney company. Please contact us with any removal requests or DMCA and we will respond immediately. We make no claims to own the rights to any Disney property.

Popular stories