Theme parks hiring, sign-on bonuses offered at Disney

It’s more than a summer job, it's time take on a new career with a good living wage -- and a big sign-on bonus to boot! 

Thousands of jobs are up for grabs at the theme parks. And this is a great time to apply if you’re in the market for a new job that offers some generous bonuses and benefits.

Economists report that there are more people than ever visiting the theme parks and with the expansion at the Orlando International Airport, so Central Florida is in for a busy summer of tourism.  

The theme parks are gearing up to meet the demand. One way Walt Disney World is looking to fill 3,500 positions fast is by sweetening the deal. They are offering as much as a $3,000 sign-on bonus for certain jobs and there are thousands that need to be filled.

“I think the bonuses are a reflection of the state of the labor market here,” economist Sean Snaith said. “Orlando has been leading the state in growth. It’s one of the leading areas in all of the United States. So in order to get the workers that they need, bonuses are one way to sweeten the pot.”

A housekeeper can receive a bonus of $1,250 for a job that pays $10.50 an hour. Full-time or part-time lifeguards can get a $1,000 bonus. Bus drivers can get a $500 hiring bonus. Culinary chefs can receive a $3,000 bonus. 

All of the bonuses require training completion and at least 30 days on the job.

“I think it’s a smart move,” Snaith said. “They need the employees, they have to meet the demand at the parks. You have to do what you have to do.”

Disney isn’t the only theme park hiring, Universal Studios is also looking to fill 3,000 positions.