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Does Disney Hire Felons in 2021?

By Last update June 11, 2019
jobs for felons, company profile, Disney, Walt Disney, mass media, entertainment

Maybe you’re a kid at heart and just love animation! Have you ever asked yourself: Does Disney hire felons?

At Relaunch Pad, we reach out directly to companies. Our research is second to none. As ex-felons and people who care about helping them resettle in the community, we do everything we can to find reliable information about companies you’re interested in.

If you’re curious about the company, keep reading as we answer the following:

  • How does Disney do background checks?
  • Does Disney hire people with misdemeanors?
  • What kinds of jobs do they have?

Does Disney hire felons?

jobs for felons, company profile, Disney, Walt Disney, mass media, entertainment

Official company policy for hiring felons

When we contacted the company, they told us there was no department to answer our questions but that we could find all our answers on their careers page. However, the website was unclear about if you can get a job at Disney with a felony.

Has Disney hired felons in the past?

We’re not sure. Surprisingly, there was very little information about this online and the company doesn’t outright say on their website.

Does Disney hire people with misdemeanors?

Unfortunately, we don’t know.

Is Disney on the Ban the Box list?

No, Disney is not on the Ban the Box list. If they were, it would tell us that they’ve taken the criminal record checkbox off their application form. Companies on the list do this to show they’ll only look at your record once they review your job qualifications.

Furthermore, the company hasn’t taken the Fair Chance Business Pledge. This means they haven’t publicly pledged to treat applicants fairly, whether or not they have a criminal record.

Does Disney have special programs for hiring felons?

The answer is no, the company has no such programs.

What are the odds someone with a felony will get hired?

Uncertain likelihood of being hired with a felony

Unfortunately, in our opinion, the odds are uncertain. We don’t have any firsthand information one way or the other about their hiring practices. Our research didn’t give us much more clarity, either.

What are some entry-level jobs?

We’ve found examples of some entry-level jobs at Disney. Keep in mind that for some you’ll need a high school diploma or equivalent. You may also need some related experience.

At Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, most jobs involve entertaining guests. For example, you could work as an Actor/Cast Member in a theatre production, or participate with children in activities and games as a Host/Hostess. Other jobs support the park’s operation. These include driving park-goers around as a Transportation Bus Driver, booking reservations and tickets as a Guest Service Agent or selling merchandise as a Sales Associate.

If you’re interested in working on a Disney cruise line, or in a theatre or store, there are a few other entry-level positions you can look up on their website.

On the other hand, if you’re more tech-savvy, you could apply to their customer service and tech support departments!

How to get hired at Disney with a felony

Begin by going to the Disney careers page. In addition to job listings, this page has some links that help explain how to get hired at Disney. For example, you can find out how to audition for a cast member role or work on a Disney cruise line.

Use your resume to apply online to the postings you’re interested in.

One of the best ways to get hired at Disney is by referral. Do you know someone who works there? If not, ask people you know if they can give you the name of someone who already works for Disney. Then, reach out to ask the employee if they’ll give you a referral.

To get ready for an interview, it’s a good idea to practice. One way is to find a friend who can play the part of the hiring manager and ask you questions. If there’s no one to do this, then play both roles by yourself. Hearing yourself answering the questions will boost your confidence ahead of the interview!

Try practicing these typical interview questions we learned online that Disney asks:

  • Why do you want to work for Disney?
  • Do you like people?
  • How would you handle a difficult guest?
  • When should you call your manager for assistance?
  • What makes you a good employee?

Most of all, remember that you have unique skills and life experiences to offer! Be prepared to talk these up to improve your odds to get a job at Disney with a felony.

Does Disney do background checks?

Yes, they do. We say this based mainly on researching online comments from Disney employees. On the Disney Discussion Forum DISboards, staff confirmed that background checks are done during onboarding. You’ll be asked to provide details about your criminal record at this point. If you pass the background check, the job offer stands.

The company website gives very little indication of what’s included in a background check. The online application says only that a job offer may rely on passing a medical exam and providing honest information. The focus on providing honest information leaves Disney open to verifying anything you put in your application.

Each state does background checks a little differently. Here’s what you need to know:

These states only look at the last seven years of your criminal record:

  • California
  • Colorado*
  • Kansas*
  • Maryland*
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire*
  • New York*
  • Texas*
  • Washington*

(* sometimes certain pay or salary bracket positions require one.)

And you’ll be happy to know that some states don’t care about charges if you were found not guilty:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana (limited check)
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New York

Beware, however, that most states will check your whole criminal record:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • DC
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana (extensive check)
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Company ratings

Do you want to know how happy Disney employees really are? Then check out this article about their employee survey. It’s a smart move on the company’s part to ask for staff’s input and then publish the results!

We also looked at comments on both Glassdoor and Indeed.

On, the company gets 3.8 out of 5 stars based on 3,900 reviews. Also, Disney has received a number of awards from Glassdoor. The most recent was making the Best Places to Work list in 2018.

The company is rated 4.2 out of 5 on, based on feedback from more than 6,000 people. Employees say they like Disney most of all for its culture, and 80% approve of the CEO.

What felony convictions might have a hard time getting hired here?

Charges involving minors will be a no-go for Disney in any customer-facing positions.

Convictions for assault may make it harder to get a job at Disney with a felony or, for that matter, a misdemeanor. Most jobs involve working closely with others, so being able to show an even temperament is important. The company has a family-oriented image to preserve. Disney is a place where people come to have fun, so the customer experience is critical.

Theft-related offences may also make it more difficult to get hired. Disney wants to ensure you’re not a risk to steal any merchandise or customers’ belongings.

Finally, you may also find drug- or alcohol-related convictions make it more challenging to get the job. Basically, the company wants to know you’ll show up when scheduled to work and are not under the influence.

Does Disney drug test?

Yes, they do. According to online staff comments, this is part of the hiring process.

Have you applied for a job or worked here? Share your experiences!

Now this is your chance to answer the question: Does Disney hire felons? Give us the benefit of your experience. Your comments really are worth their weight in gold!

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Sandy Bell-Murray
Reentry Educator

Sandy Bell-Murray worked for more than thirty years for the Ontario public service, mainly in adult and youth justice. She began as a Probation and Parole Officer, then became a policy analyst, program supervisor and manager. Currently, she delivers workshops focused on building personal resilience and managing stress. She is an active member of Toastmasters International.