Disneyland® Paris was in London on 10 and 11 September for a major recruitment session focusing on Entertainment positions. With 400 hectares dedicated to tourism, Disneyland Paris is the largest stage in Europe. And its inherent needs match its size. Britain’s Daniel Harding is Casting Director for Disneyland Paris. He knows the company well, having originally auditioned in London in 1991 for the resort opening, before moving on to other roles! He kindly accepted to answer our questions.
Why do you actively recruit in the United Kingdom?
We carry out approximately 4 casting sessions a year in the UK. Each one is a great success with hundreds of great candidates turning up. It’s no secret that English and Irish Cast Members are an important part of our Entertainment team. Our company has around 400 Cast Members from there – half of whom work in Entertainment.
Historically, the United Kingdom has also greatly inspired our company and the stories it tells. Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and Mary Poppins are part of the British culture and of the experiences we offer in our parks.
What reasons push British candidates to want to work at Disneyland Paris?
Our resort is Europe’s number one tourist destination and it presents franchises that are well-known and beloved around the world (Frozen, Star Wars, Marvel, among others). It offers young candidates a magnificent opportunity to develop their know-how and their skills by performing on a daily basis in that setting. It also lets you strengthen your CV. So you could start performing at Disneyland Paris and then maybe move into the West End when you have stronger skills. You could also join a touring production, work on a cruise ship or do something completely different. Our Cast Members interact with colleagues from around the world, as we have more than 100 nationalities and 20 languages spoken by our employees. This gives them the experience of living and working in a foreign country in an international environment. And to top it off they are helped and supported by Disneyland Paris! Our teams are there to accompany Cast Members from the moment they arrive.
I would also add that Paris is not far from home, and neither British nor Irish employees need a visa to work there.
We also invest significantly in our talent. When we recruit it is with a long-term vision. 80% of Managers and Senior Managers at Disneyland Paris have been promoted internally. In fact, we have around 25 Cast Members from the United Kingdom and Ireland who are in leadership roles – from Manager to Vice President.
What types of positions do you offer?
We’re currently in London for open auditions, looking for performers. However, in the Entertainment and Costuming department alone, we have 1,400 Cast Members with different job classifications: artists, musicians, puppeteers, show directors, costume makers, make-up artists, wig specialists, decorators etc. Given the fact that our resort is open 365 days a year, we need to constantly seek great talent to join our teams. So, our Talent Casting team is almost constantly on the road.
When will you next be in London looking for performers?
If you’ve missed your chance to audition for us this time, then don’t worry. We’ll be back in London before the year is out, and you can check those dates on our website.
But we’ll also be at London Move It, which is the UK’s biggest annual dance event (18-20 March 2016 at ExCel London). We’ll be there to highlight our entertainment jobs, especially Parade Performers. The event is an opportunity for dancers of all levels to come together in one gigantic celebration of all things dance: classes, performances, career route advice, workshops, and more.