Lonely Planet Writer

Shanghai Disney Resort hires 10,000 people to make the magic happen

Do you have a top-notch singing voice? Are you a hero inside? Or are you just a bit goofy? Your Disney dream might just be able to come true as Shanghai Disney Resort are hiring 10,000 people to make the new theme park a reality.


The hiring is in its final stages with the last roles being filled before the park’s grand opening on 16 June. This has been a huge enterprise for Disney, with the first specialised jobs being filled way back in 2012 in preparation and an almost permanent recruitment drive since then.

The main bulk of hiring has been in the hospitality industry as Disney seeks to fill its hotels, restaurants and shops and theatres with staff that continue to provide the full experience to guests throughout the entirety of their stay. The director of recruitment told Bloomberg that Disney “had no limitations on experience or background. What they wanted was the attitude: the friendly, open quality that would fit into their culture.”

It’s also a huge opportunity for those in the entertainment industry who see the chance to play an iconic Disney character in front of a live and unpredictable audience as their first step towards stardom.

This could be you (if you're under 5"7)
This could be you (if you’re under 5″7). Image by Disney Auditions

Magical character interactions are one of the most memorable experiences of any Disney trip so getting the right lookalikes is a crucial step, with auditions constantly taking place all over the world. Hopefuls attempt to win a place at one of the parks or cruise lines with their acting and  dancing skills, as well as outgoing personalities of course. There is one strict guideline for playing characters however; female characters can only be up to 5”7 (with Princess Tiana an exception at a stately 5”8), while male performers can be up to 6”4.


Despite Disney’s brand recognition, the theme park will face stiff competition for both workers and guests. The latest estimate is that 59 new theme parks will open by 2020 and DreamWorks Animations are planning to open their own entertainment complex in Shanghai in 2017, envisaged as China’s answer to Broadway. However, with opening day tickets selling out in a number of hours and with the recent release of spectacular drone footage of the park under construction, the hype is real and here to stay. Must be all the pixie dust.