Does Disney Hire Felons? A Detailed Guide

For ex-offenders looking for a fresh start, a job at the iconic Walt Disney Company may seem appealing. However, Disney’s strict background check policies often eliminate felons from consideration for employment.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Due to Disney’s family-friendly brand image, they rarely hire felons. Exceptions may be made for lesser offenses if enough time has passed.

In this comprehensive 3000-word guide, we will examine Disney’s background check policy, share advice from HR managers, highlight positions ex-convicts could still obtain, discuss steps to improve your chances, and answer additional common questions on Disney’s felon hiring policy.

Disney’s Strict Background Check Policy

When it comes to hiring, Disney has a strict background check policy in place. They understand the importance of maintaining a safe and secure environment for their guests and employees. As a result, they have implemented thorough screening procedures to ensure that only qualified and trustworthy individuals are hired.

Policy Covers All Applicants

Disney’s background check policy applies to all applicants, regardless of the position they are applying for. Whether you are seeking a role as a cast member in one of their theme parks, a corporate employee, or even an intern, you can expect to undergo a comprehensive background check.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that individuals with a criminal history or questionable background are not given access to Disney’s facilities, where they interact with guests and work alongside other employees.

Checks Criminal History Nationwide

Disney’s background checks are not limited to a specific region or state. They conduct nationwide checks to get a complete picture of an applicant’s criminal history. This means that any charges or convictions from any state will be considered during the screening process.

Disney partners with reputable third-party background check companies to conduct these checks. These companies have access to a wide range of databases and resources to verify an applicant’s criminal record.

Even Minor Offenses Can Disqualify

Disney takes their background check policy very seriously, and even minor offenses can disqualify an applicant from being hired. While each case is evaluated on an individual basis, any criminal history that raises concerns about an applicant’s ability to perform their job duties or maintain a safe environment will be taken into consideration.

It is important to note that Disney’s background check policy is in line with industry standards. Many other companies, especially those in the hospitality and entertainment sectors, also have similar policies in place to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees and customers.

If you are considering applying for a job at Disney and have concerns about your own criminal history, it is recommended to be honest and transparent during the application process. Disney values integrity and will appreciate your honesty, even if you have a past offense.

Remember, everyone deserves a second chance!

Exceptions Are Rare But Possible

When it comes to hiring felons, Disney has strict policies in place to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees and guests. As a family-oriented company, Disney prioritizes creating a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone.

While the company generally does not hire individuals with felony convictions, there have been rare cases where exceptions were made.

Factors that Disney Considers

Disney carefully evaluates each candidate on a case-by-case basis, taking into account several factors before making a hiring decision. These factors may include the nature and severity of the felony conviction, the time that has passed since the conviction, and the applicant’s behavior and conduct since then.

For example, if an individual has a felony conviction for a non-violent crime that occurred many years ago and has since demonstrated rehabilitation and a commitment to leading a law-abiding life, Disney may consider giving them a chance.

Positions That May Be More Forgiving

While it is challenging for felons to be hired by Disney, there are certain positions within the company that may be more forgiving than others. These positions typically involve minimal interaction with guests and lower levels of responsibility.

For instance, janitorial or maintenance roles might be more accessible for individuals with a criminal record.

However, it is important to note that even for these positions, Disney still conducts thorough background checks and assesses the potential risks involved. The safety and security of their employees and guests are paramount, and Disney takes this responsibility very seriously.

How to Improve Your Chances

If you have a felony conviction and are interested in working at Disney, there are steps you can take to improve your chances. First and foremost, focus on rehabilitation and personal growth. Getting involved in community service, pursuing further education or vocational training, and maintaining a clean record are all positive steps that demonstrate your commitment to change.

Additionally, it may be helpful to network with individuals who already work at Disney or have connections within the company. Networking can provide valuable insights and recommendations that may increase your chances of being considered for a position.

Remember, exceptions are rare but not impossible. It is essential to be honest about your past and demonstrate genuine remorse and a commitment to making positive changes in your life. Disney values individuals who show character growth and a dedication to personal development.

For more information on Disney’s hiring policies and to explore other career opportunities, you can visit their official website at

Jobs Ex-Offenders Could Still Obtain

While it is true that finding employment as an ex-offender can be challenging, there are still several industries and companies that are willing to give individuals a second chance. Disney is one such company that has been known to hire felons, although the hiring policies may vary depending on the nature of the offense and the position being applied for.

1. Hospitality and Tourism

The hospitality and tourism industry is known for being more inclusive when it comes to hiring individuals with criminal records. Hotels, resorts, and theme parks like Disney often have various positions available, such as housekeeping, maintenance, food service, and customer service.

These roles may not require extensive background checks and can provide ex-offenders with an opportunity to start fresh and rebuild their lives.

2. Construction and Skilled Trades

The construction industry is another sector where ex-offenders can find employment opportunities. Companies in this field often prioritize the skills and experience of applicants over their criminal history.

Positions such as carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and welders are in high demand, making it easier for individuals with criminal records to secure employment.

3. Non-Profit Organizations

Non-profit organizations are often more lenient in their hiring policies and are dedicated to helping individuals reintegrate into society. These organizations focus on various causes such as community development, social services, and environmental conservation.

They offer a range of positions, from administrative roles to outreach and advocacy work, providing ex-offenders with a chance to make a positive impact while rebuilding their lives.

4. Small Businesses

Small businesses are more likely to consider hiring ex-offenders due to their flexibility in hiring practices. Many small business owners understand the struggles faced by individuals with criminal records and are willing to give them a chance.

Whether it’s a local restaurant, retail store, or a start-up company, these businesses may be more open-minded and willing to focus on an applicant’s qualifications and character rather than their past mistakes.

5. Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship

For those who want complete control over their employment situation, self-employment and entrepreneurship can be viable options. Starting a small business or offering freelance services allows ex-offenders to create their own opportunities and build a successful career on their terms.

With determination and the right skills, ex-offenders can carve out a niche for themselves and prove that their past does not define their future.

It is important to note that the hiring policies of companies, including Disney, can change over time. It is always recommended for ex-offenders to research and directly inquire about their hiring practices.

Additionally, individuals with criminal records should focus on rehabilitation, acquiring new skills, and demonstrating their commitment to personal growth to increase their chances of finding employment.

Improving Your Chances at Disney

If you have a criminal record but still dream of working at Disney, there are steps you can take to improve your chances. While Disney does conduct background checks on all potential employees, they do not have a strict policy against hiring felons.

However, certain factors will influence their decision, such as the nature and severity of the offense, how much time has passed since the conviction, and whether you have shown rehabilitation and a commitment to turning your life around.

1. Be honest and upfront

When applying for a job at Disney, it is crucial to be honest about your criminal record. Disney values transparency and integrity, so hiding or lying about your past will likely result in your application being rejected.

Instead, be upfront about your convictions and use the opportunity to explain how you have changed and grown since then. This will show Disney that you are taking responsibility for your actions and are committed to making positive changes in your life.

2. Showcase your qualifications and skills

While having a criminal record may present some challenges, it does not define your entire identity. Focus on highlighting your qualifications, skills, and relevant experience that make you a strong candidate for the position.

If you have received any certifications, completed training programs, or have relevant work experience, make sure to include them in your application and during the interview process.

3. Volunteer or seek additional education

One way to demonstrate your commitment to personal growth and rehabilitation is by volunteering or pursuing additional education. Engaging in activities that show you are actively working towards self-improvement can help sway Disney’s decision in your favor.

Consider volunteering at community organizations, taking relevant courses or workshops, or participating in rehabilitation programs. These experiences can show Disney that you have taken steps to better yourself and are dedicated to building a positive future.

4. Network and build connections

Networking can be a valuable tool when seeking employment, regardless of your background. Attend career fairs, industry events, and join professional organizations related to the field you are interested in.

Building connections within the industry can open doors and provide opportunities for you to showcase your skills and qualifications. Additionally, having someone within Disney who can vouch for your character and work ethic may increase your chances of being considered for a position.

5. Consider starting in a different role

If you are having difficulty securing a job in your desired role at Disney due to your criminal record, consider starting in a different position. Disney offers a wide range of job opportunities, and gaining experience within the company can help you prove your dedication and work ethic.

Once you have established a positive track record, you may have the opportunity to move into your desired role.

Remember, each case is unique, and Disney evaluates candidates on an individual basis. While having a criminal record may present challenges, it does not automatically disqualify you from working at Disney.

By being honest, showcasing your qualifications, demonstrating personal growth, networking, and considering alternative roles, you can improve your chances of landing a job at the magical world of Disney.

Answers to Common Felon Hiring Questions

1. Does Disney hire felons?

Yes, Disney does hire felons, but their hiring policies vary depending on the nature of the crime and how long ago it occurred. Disney takes into consideration the severity of the offense, the time that has passed since the conviction, and the applicant’s rehabilitation efforts.

They also conduct background checks on all potential employees to ensure a safe environment for their guests.

It’s important to note that while Disney does consider hiring felons, they also prioritize the safety and well-being of their employees and visitors. Therefore, certain positions may have stricter requirements and may not be available to individuals with certain criminal backgrounds.

2. What types of crimes are disqualifying for employment at Disney?

Crimes of a violent nature, crimes involving children or vulnerable individuals, and offenses related to theft or fraud are generally considered disqualifying factors for employment at Disney. These types of crimes pose a higher risk to the safety and trust that Disney aims to uphold.

However, it is always best to be honest and transparent about your criminal history during the application process. Disney values honesty and may consider individual circumstances and rehabilitation efforts on a case-by-case basis.

3. What steps can felons take to increase their chances of being hired by Disney?

If you have a criminal record and are interested in working for Disney, there are a few steps you can take to increase your chances of being hired:

  • Focus on rehabilitation: Show that you have made positive changes in your life since your conviction. This could include completing education or vocational programs, participating in community service, or seeking counseling or therapy.
  • Highlight relevant skills and experience: Emphasize any transferable skills or previous work experience that would make you a valuable asset to Disney. This could include customer service skills, teamwork, creativity, or problem-solving abilities.
  • Network and seek referrals: Utilize your personal and professional networks to connect with individuals who may have connections to Disney. Referrals from current or former employees can often help increase your chances of being considered for a position.

4. Are there any resources available to felons seeking employment?

Yes, there are several resources available to felons seeking employment. One helpful resource is the Federal Bonding Program, which provides insurance to employers who hire individuals with criminal records. This program helps alleviate concerns employers may have about potential liabilities.

Additionally, there are organizations and websites dedicated to assisting individuals with criminal records in their job search. One such organization is the National H.I.R.E. Network, which provides resources and support to help individuals with criminal records navigate the job market.

Remember, each case is unique, and hiring decisions are ultimately at the discretion of the employer. It’s important to remain positive, persistent, and focused on your personal and professional growth.


In summary, while Disney makes very few exceptions for employing felons, your offense level and time elapsed could still allow you to obtain certain jobs. Maximizing other strengths in your application and being completely transparent about your record can further help.

We hope this guide provided the depth of detail you were seeking on Disney’s policy for hiring ex-convicts. Let us know if you have any other questions as you explore employment opportunities.

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