Disney English Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Disney English Reviews

Updated 11 Nov 2019

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2.8
43%
Recommend to a Friend
54%
Approve of CEO
Disney English CEO Bob Igor
Bob Igor
61 Ratings
Pros
  • "Visa Process - Getting the paperwork to go to China is a nightmare, Disney English provide a lot of help with this process(in 28 reviews)

  • "Benefits (health insurance, pension)(in 24 reviews)

Cons
  • "There are other companies in China that will pay much more although they won't have as good of benefits as D(in 36 reviews)

  • "If you get crappy management your entire experience with Disney English is down the tubes(in 30 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (17)

    "you want to work with Disney English? YIKES."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Foreign Trainer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Disney English full-time

    Pros

    - support with Visa process - free entry to Disneyland parks (aside from Japan) - awesome health insurance - invaluable experience of living in a different country

    Cons

    - if you're not immediately 10/10 perfect with the "Disney Way" of teaching, don't expect support in getting better - unless you do some major ass-kissing - honestly, the management is incredibly unprofessional : if the company was in the States, the stories I have would leave them with several lawsuits on their hands - speaking of unprofessional, the constant miscommunications are astounding - if you're trying... to leave the company, they can make the process very difficult - creativity? not really a thing. you're a robot following a super strict teaching regime

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    Advice to Management

    it's important to remember that Disney English is not the same as The Walt Disney Company. in fact, it's nowhere near. I remember reading similar negative reviews and pointing them out to my interviewer back when I was considering the role. my interviewer told me: "things have changed since then, and we're growing stronger and better every day. but there will always be people who don't stick for the long haul, and... find negatives in their experience." her explanation seemed reasonable, so I decided to give the job the benefit of the doubt. but aside from the experience I gained from living abroad, I wouldn't recommend Disney English at all - unless, of course, you adapt to their style of teaching in a flash of lightning. if, like me, it's a challenge - they're not going to help you out. if anything, they'll sweep you under the rug. it's an awesome experience, living abroad... but be careful. Disney English, it seems, hasn't improved a bit.

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    Disney English2017-12-08
  2. Helpful (12)

    "Think carefully before taking this job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Foreign Trainer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Disney English full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Health insurance -this is definitely the best perk that disney offers! Free flight. Disney park perks - free pass into all Disney parks other than Japan. Help with the visa process.

    Cons

    I have so many things to say that I'm not quite sure where to start: 1. If you want to be a teacher DO NOT take this job I can't stress this enough. You are not a teacher at DE you are a robot and at times even a clown. All your lessons are pre planned you have no input, you have to sing songs in front of the parents and basically make a fool of yourself on a daily basis. You may not be a teacher but you are a... salesperson. You could be the best teacher in the world but if you don't sell classes you will be classed as doing poorly at your job. You will be told that selling is more important than the children which can be a hard thing to hear if you have any interest in teaching children. They will put children into the wrong level classes just to make money. 2. The managers are extremely unprofessional. 3. The hours you work are extremely unsociable. You will work from 1-9, 3 days a week and then on the weekends you will work something similar to an 8-8 and 8-5. 4. Last but not least if you do decide to leave the company be prepared to be made to feel like the worst person in the world. They may try and withhold your release documents to make it even harder for you to leave as without these documents you can not get another job in China. If you're wanting to take a job with DE please fully consider the pros and cons before making the move.

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    Disney English2017-08-20
  3. Helpful (5)

    "Foreign Trainer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Disney English full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits. The children are adorable.

    Cons

    The management needs improving. Horrible communication between different levels of employees.

    Advice to Management

    Stop promoting your friends who are unqualified for the position. Try hiring someone who is not only qualified but also going to do a good job.

    Disney English2017-05-22
  4. "Great opportunity for a fresh start and career development"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Beijing, Beijing
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Disney English full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Friendly and relaxed atmosphere Fun classes Career development Travel opportunities Comprehensive benefits

    Cons

    Some might not like the hours

    Advice to Management

    None

    Disney English2019-11-12
  5. Helpful (1)

    "Ok Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Foreign Trainer 
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Disney English full-time

    Pros

    -Pay rate -Free Admission to all disney parks around the world -Lots of holidays off

    Cons

    -Management could suck -ignorance/racism from parents

    Disney English2019-09-23
  6. "Great Experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Foreign Trainer in Beijing, Beijing
    Recommends

    I worked at Disney English full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Amazing 1 month training before you start teaching - Disney help settle you into China (Bank account, phone, social events etc) - Fun job, everyday is different - Disney perks - Great for a few years of fun

    Cons

    - Wage is low compared to other schools - Not much progression available

    Disney English2019-09-12
  7. "Good Intro to China"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Foreign Trainer in Shanghai, Shanghai
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Disney English full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Hold your hand through China's often hectic visa process and guide you every step of the way. A built-in community of like-minded people are there to enjoy the experience with. Disney's benefits are great. The insurance is top notch by China standards and you get to visit the Disney parks for free. Also, they put you in a hotel for three weeks which is much longer than most other companies. Plenty of... opportunities to climb the ladder if you're interested in doing so.

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    Cons

    You're kind of more of a clown/ entertainer than a teacher. Serious educators will get turned off quick. But if you don't take it too serious you'll be fine. Commercialized education will always have conflict between the academic side and the sales side which can be annoying. The weekends are LONG and draining. A lot of the management is inexperienced and incompetent. There are other companies in China that... will pay much more although they won't have as good of benefits as D.E.

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    Advice to Management

    Sales and education are never a good combo. Be mindful of that.

    Disney English2019-07-16
  8. "You get out what you put in"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Foreign Trainer in Beijing, Beijing
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Disney English full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    If you're a positive person, there are endless opportunities for growth, personally or professionally. Everyone is in the same boat, they all moved to a new country and started a teaching job. The vast majority of people rise to the challenge and have a wonderful time here, it's a lot more common for people to stick around than the '1 and done' attitude at other TEFL companies.

    Cons

    Like everywhere, the people who complain the most usually look everywhere but themselves to place blame. Moving to China is difficult, the company will help you but management are not your parents who are going to hold your hand while you cross the street. I heard people complain because their manager didn't offer to talk to their landlord for them when they weren't satisfied with their TV. Grow up.

    Advice to Management

    Don't let the words of the entitled few impact the way you manage the others.

    Disney English2019-07-14
  9. Helpful (9)

    "Beware of what you are signing up for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Foreign Trainer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Disney English full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The kids are the sweetest and most enriching part of the job, and getting to teach them is an honor.

    Cons

    The management is incompetent and gossips about employees behind their back. Coworkers gossip about each other constantly. There are days we had no classes but were asked to show up to work for 8 hours to literally do nothing. It is a completely dysfunctional work environment, and once you do start teaching classes the regional manager will come in and rip papers off your board if you didn't correct your student for... putting the tail of the p under the dotted line. The customer relations people would come into my class and stand around with a clip board peering and judging. The work environment was so negative and parents were so racist to one of my coworkers she was in tears. I didn't have a problem with parents, but with management. I felt awful for the kids most of all. l had a manager who never showed up for her one-on-ones, and in the time I was there the turnover was so high. I had two new bosses during the time I was there... neither were better than the first. One guy event went quit and went to work for a private school after two weeks. But being Disney English and all, the center won a trophy for lowest turnover rate. They are excellent at fooling you initially, but once you leave the hotel and the fun and games are over... once you start the job... it is truly a nightmare. The job has potential to be a wonderful opportunity, and it sounded like one to me. But poor management has really killed it. They really don't know what they're doing. I learned a lot from this negative experience, but if a positive experience is what you're looking for you may not find that. Some centers/cities are better than others... but please do your research. Talk to someone who has worked there on LinkedIn or something. Get their opinion.

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    Disney English2019-06-13
  10. Helpful (10)

    "Know what you're getting into..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Foreign Trainer in Guangzhou, Guangdong
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Disney English full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I read all of the Glassdoor reviews before applying, and still wanted to try it out. There were, unavoidably, many negative things with this company, but there were a few really great things about living in China with Disney English. --The students!! They work hard and are really cute. --The coworkers and people in your community who become life-long friends. --The visa process, although stressful and... tedious, is one of the best; great for getting you IN to China. --your typical Disney cast member perks (tickets, discounts, swag) --The allowance of creativity and imagination during EOTP (End of Term Presentations) and "graduation" ceremonies; these were my favorite moments. --Your weekends are in the middle of the week, so it's great for travel. You can squeeze a lot of trips in, if you plan it right and budget appropriately. China is picturesque, so there's lots to see and do around where you live, and traveling around by public transportation and/or trains is super convenient. --A lot of people seem to find their significant other (either local or foreigner) whilst working for DE, hahaha.

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    Cons

    For every pro, there is a reflected con to match. --The students are phenomenal, and the reason I got out of bed each morning, but the PARENTS... the parents can be a nightmare, as the "Course Consultants" (CC) often lie about what's entailed in the class package. I've had CCs tell parents that their child would be completely FLUENT within the first year, so they'd complain and not want to renew because what they... were promised didn't happen. Many of the parents considered us a full-fledged school, and wouldn't practice at home; they thought that the two hours a week at DE was sufficient for language acquisition (it's not). Also, many of the parents struggled with the concept of parenting, and couldn't manage their child's behavior and/or left an ai yi or grandparent to tend to them -- many of the kids were literal accessories. Or, they cared way too much, and made their children high strung/overly stressed. I often spent most of my PTCs giving basic parenting advice. I left because of the sinking feeling of unethical practice. What DE is selling (for an ungodly, ghastly amount of 26,000 CNY per child, per year), isn't worth its price tag. Many of the staff are under paid and under qualified or just plain bad at their jobs. DE claims to care about the students and their families and "education," but they don't. Not at all. I attended two round table discussions with the "heads", and was displeased at their vision and lack of care for the company and its subjects. All the big execs care about is money. Money, money, money. Literally every decision is based on $$$, and nothing is based on the needs of the employees or students... because, after all, it is just a business. A messy business with notorious communication issues. --DE work culture can be a nightmare, depending on what center you're placed in. Your managers really make or break your experience. My LLD was barely there, but my Center Manager was INCREDIBLE. For the most part, we did well as a center but ALL centers were causing various levels of juvenile, impudent drama. The regional leaders were very unprofessional and vacuous; they played obvious favorites and ignored blatant issues. Our poor local staff was egregiously overworked and underpaid and miserable (only 3000 CNY per month, with possible bonus if you make your goals --- 3000 CNY was less than what I paid for my monthly rent........). There tends to be segregation, where locals hang with locals and foreigners with fellow foreigners, but I refused to let that happen at my center. Again, I was fortunate in my placement. I could not have lasted a year there if I wasn't placed in my center. --The visa process going IN was great, but leaving DE will be a nightmare, especially if you leave but plan to stay in China. I had many colleagues who toiled and clawed their way out. I left China, so it wasn't too bad, but it still was a bit troublesome (mainly because of China's infamously ever-changing regulations). --the perks are great, no cons there! --EOTPs were the highlight of my time in the classroom, but they were super stressful. Our center was very small and didn't have the resources or space that others had. The content itself is a mess. As an actual educator with a degree in education and certifications in teaching ESL, I found the forced "Disney Method" to be completely fatuous and stale. The entire program, its materials, and its software are overdue for a massive overhaul. They need real educators to create and source their content and methodology. It's all on the basis of parroting and pony shows. --By the time your weekends come, you're extremely exhausted. My beloved LP and I had ten full classes, with an occasional demo or event thrown in -- more than any of my coworkers. Most had six to eight classes. I actually had a male coworker who, at one point, only had TWO classes (but got paid the same as me?). With ten classes, I worked all of my lessons back-to-back, with parent care afterwards and little to no break time in-between to prepare for the next class or use the restroom. So, when weekends came, all many could do was rest and drink to forget their woes, haha. I did travel to many countries and cities, though, as much as I could muster the energy for. --As for finding love, I must warn you: DON'T DO DISNEY. Just don't. Please. It gets weird, and lots of drama will ensue. I've seen many fall to their demise because of it, haha. --Also, for POC, be aware that living in China is very, very hard. Racism and racial crimes are disgustingly rampant, especially in Guangzhou, and Disney English didn't have a safety/legal plan to support my friends going through personal hardships. The police are very xenophobic and, at the time of my living in GZ, were finding any reason to detain and/or deport foreigners. Make sure you follow local laws and keep your head down. Carry your documents always.

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    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees and show them courtesy and respect. Learn to communicate effectively and efficiently. Hire and train professional, qualified managers, not just British white boys who stuck it out for two years in DE. Give more career opportunities to those who actually deserve it, and remove those who don't do the job at all. Create a plan of security and legality for your cast members, in the event... of an emergency. Give your local staff a break, and PAY THEM BETTER. Fix your curriculum and the package of the program itself. Overhaul how you sell it. Decide upon what you want the business culture and values to be.

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    Disney English2019-04-12
Found 138 reviews