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Disney University (DU) is the global training program for Disney employees, also known as Cast Members.
Disney Cast Members receive a range of opportunities including Disney heritage and traditions, personal and professional development, and on the job training. Although Disney University is not an accredited institution, courses are primarily designed, developed, and delivered by experienced learning professionals. However, in order to enroll, one needs to be enrolled in an accredited college that will allow him or her to take classes and work at Disney. Most colleges allowing it have internships available and give college credit to do the internship while taking Disney classes. Disney University has traditionally provided learning instructor-led classroom sessions, but has expanded delivery methods to accommodate Disney's diverse and growing audience (including Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Walt Disney Imagineering, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Disney Vacation Club including Disney's Vero Beach Resort, Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort, and new Aulani Resort & Spa) in recent years through the latest technologies and learning methods (e.g. eLearning, virtual classrooms etc.).
Disney University is also the name of the training locations where Disney Cast Members attend classroom sessions. Buildings are located at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida, Disneyland's Team Disney Anaheim, near Disneyland Paris, and Burbank's Team Disney Headquarters. The Walt Disney World building is located behind the Magic Kingdom, across from the Cast Member parking lot. It is also where newly hired Cast Members, Disney College Program student interns, and Walt Disney World International Program participants attend employee orientation, known as "Disney Traditions". Disney University does not have its own specific building at Disneyland, but the training classes are held inside of conference rooms Team Disney Anaheim.
All new Cast Members are required to attend 'Traditions' on their first day of work; this class imparts the importance of Disney culture, heritage, values, and policies through media and group activities. This is the day where new Cast Members get their first sight of backstage. One of the most anticipated moments during 'Traditions' is when Mickey Mouse himself passes out the name tags to the new Cast Members.
The two-story building at Walt Disney World houses several learning and conference spaces, computer classrooms, professional offices, building operation support (Production Services), the Disney University Library (formerly Disney Learning Center), Partners Federal Credit Union branch and ATM, a SodexoMAGIC cafeteria, and a Company D employee store, where employees can purchase discounted park tickets for family and friends.
- Lipp, Doug (2013). Disney U: How Disney University develops the world's most engaged, loyal, and customer-centric employees. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0071808078.
- Yearout, Steve; Weil, Gerry Miles, with Richard Koonce ; foreword by Audrey (2001). Growing leaders : a leader-builder handbook for HRD and training professionals, business executives and managers, executive coaches. Alexandria, VA: ASTD. p. 193. ISBN 1562862898.