Bonjour tout le monde,
Bonne année!! I hope that you’re all enjoying your new year. May it bring happiness, peace and health for yourselves and your families.
This post has been somewhat difficult to write. While it may seem like a relatively simple account of my personal experiences at a job, I am conscious (and moderately worried) that it may slightly implicate on people’s decisions to work at Disneyland. I also must confess a slight embarrassment at even voicing these feelings of discontentment- I know that many of the people I worked with at Disneyland enjoyed every single minute of it, unlike myself. That said, it is a personal experience and with this comes personal preferences. I have worked as a “cast member” during a Summer and Christmas season and welcome any questions about my experiences there. I urge you to again consider that these are only slight issues with working at Disneyland Paris and certainly shouldn’t discourage you from considering working there. It will be followed up with a post detailing the things I loved about working there for some balance and perspective!
- The Accommodation situation
I’ve written about the accommodation situation in another post that you can find here. In a nutshell, you pay around €300 a month to share a tiny studio apartment with another employee. Internet is not included but can be bought at an added price. I found it difficult to share a tiny amount of space with someone that I had never met before. I was very lucky that I had lovely roommates that I am still in contact with today, but the lack of personal space proved relatively difficult. Often you will have clashing employment hours with your roommate which may involve getting accidentally woken up at ungodly hours of the morning and night! However, there are ways around the shared room issue- some employees rent apartments in nearby areas such as Torcy and Val D’Europe, but I do understand that this can be quite expensive.
- The heavy work uniform dilemma in summer!
As it’s Disneyland most of the jobs involve elaborate costumes. This is certainly a novelty- where else will you get to dress up as a cowboy and not get fired? Unfortunately, some of the uniforms are quite heavy- many involve heavy skirts and jumpers. I did find this rather difficult to work in during the summer season given that the temperatures are always pretty high. Irish girl problems! 😉
- A sometimes clash of cultures in the workplace:
Again, this can definitely happen in any workplace. Meeting people from different cultures, while usually a pleasure, can often result in clashing personalities and beliefs. I did find this particularly in my second job at Disneyland- the manager did (understandably) seem to have some impatience towards her constantly changing team of staff with varying levels of French. That said, I met many other wonderful people from all sorts of cultures.
- The work itself:
This in particular is entirely personal to my own experience- I know LOTS of people who thoroughly enjoyed their job. During my two seasons working at Disneyland I worked in a fast food restaurant and in a kitchen. Personally, I did not find the job itself enjoyable. I have worked in various jobs since I was sixteen and Disneyland was definitely the most difficult of jobs that I worked in. Given the popularity of Disneyland, working is often extremely stressful, fast paced and has little room for error. Understandably, there is an intense drive towards customer satisfaction which often results in stressed managers and supervisors, and exhausted staff. I would emphasise to anyone working in Disneyland that you must be a hard worker. Expect to be exhausted after every shift. That said, there are arguably easier jobs available- my friends working in boutiques and kiosks in particular enjoyed it. The working hours depends on your establishment but can often be quite punishing- 7am starts are normal, as are 11.30pm finishing on other days.
I hope that this has not came across as overly negative- it was my intention instead to provide a realistic personal account of my experience working there. I will follow up with a more positive post soon! 😉