Negotiate your Disney Salary

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Disney Salary Negotiation Guide

Do we like negotiating with Disney?

Disney is decent to negotiate with (not our favorite but not the worst either). Disney has historically paid tech employees more in-line with the media industry vs. the tech industry (i.e. lower total compensation). However, comp started to improve in late 2021. Negotiations are quite important at Disney to ensure you're not being paid below market. You should expect some aspects of the negotiation to be more similar to media negotiations vs big tech negotiations.

Disney's compensation structure

  • Base Salary
  • Disney Equity Package (see Disney's vesting schedule below)
  • Disney Signing Bonus (not included in all initial Disney offers)
  • Annual Bonus
  • Stock Refreshers

Disney's approach to stock refreshers is quite unique. They are very upfront about the target number during initial negotiations (unlike many companies). They also vest over three years (same as the initial grant) rather than the standard 4 years. And finally, they are sometimes quoted as % of base vs. the typical % of initial equity grant.

Disney performance bonus targets

Disney's total compensation includes cash bonuses. These are almost guaranteed - historically pretty much everyone has hit their target number. It is also possible to get more than anticipated as Disney uses an individual performance multiplier (we've seen people get 1.6x, 2x, etc.). We've listed some of the bonus targets below:

  • (P3) Senior Software Engineer – 7%
  • (P4) Staff Software Engineer – 20%
  • (P5) Senior Staff Software Engineer – 20%

Disney's approach to remote pay

Disney has a decent number of remote roles in engineering  (outside of the parks division), but still isn't as remote-friendly as other tech companies (e.g. Airbnb, Spotify). The good news is that for remote roles Disney does not typically apply a large geography discount. This means they are often more competitive for remote positions vs. comparing to competing offers in SF/NYC.

Disney's relocation package

Since Disney might require you to move, they do provide relocation assistance. The specific number changes by level. However, they generally offer a relatively small relocation package.

Most negotiable component

Equity is the most negotiable component of the Disney compensation package, which is relatively standard. Signing bonuses are typically the second most negotiable, especially at senior levels. It's worth noting that large signing bonuses are often split over a two-year period. Base salary is the hardest to negotiate at Disney.

For more information on how to negotiate with Disney, check out our email negotiation guide, salary negotiation script, and start-up equity and stock options guide.

Does Disney require written offers?

Disney rarely requires proof of competing offers in writing. That said, the more info you can share (without sharing anything negative) the better positioned you will be for the negotiation. Recruiters do often ask for details like offer breakdowns, location, level, etc.

Will Disney go above band if I have a strong competing offer?

It's very rare for Disney to go above band.

Is my hiring manager relationship important at Disney?

It is always beneficial to have a strong relationship with your hiring manager (and also your recruiter). However, hiring managers at Disney do not have as much control during the negotiation vs. at companies like Amazon and Apple.

What does the hiring process look like at Disney?

Disney's hiring process typically has four stages: online assessment or screening call, hiring manager interview, onsite, and offer stage.

Note: You can find articles on our blog comparing different interview prep resources: AlgoExpert vs Leetcode vs Interview Cake.

Does Disney pay well compared to Apple?

It should be no huge surprise that the total compensation at Apple is higher than Disney. Comparing ICT3 Apple SWE to the equivalent Disney Software Engineer level, the top of band base at Apple is $170k/year, and at Disney it is close to $150k/year. The top of band equity at Apple is $100k/year, and equity at Disney it is ~$65k/year. Signing bonuses are similar.

What kind of benefits does Disney offer?

Generally, benefits are a bit worse at Disney than at other tech companies, and the unique benefits like "Disneyland free access" do not have a particularly large monetary value.

Disney Equity Vesting Schedule

Year 1
33%
Year 2
33%
Year 3
33%
Year 4
%
Year 5
%
Year 5
%

Disney Levels

Disney Level

(P1) Associate SWE

(P2) Software Engineer

(P3) Senior SWE

(P4) Staff SWE

(P5) Senior Staff SWE

(P6) Principal Engineer

=

Equivalent Level at Google

L3

Junior L4

Between L4 and L5

Junior L6

L7

L8

Why use us?

Our Clients Love Moonchaser

Coming from a non-FAANG background, I was shocked to find out how much I could be earning. Before I signed up with Moonchaser, I made the mistake of telling Amazon my current compensation. Thankfully, Moonchaser knew exactly how to fix it and ended up getting me an offer that was 2.3X what I previously made and more than $600K higher than Amazon’s initial offer!

Through several weeks of interviews, Ganesh was always available to make sure I knew what to say for each conversation. I interviewed with start ups, Google, Facebook and Amazon and was really impressed that Moonchaser knew the comp ranges and were able to give me tailored advice for each – even the start ups.

There ended up being two particularly complex moments in my negotiation. One of the start-ups I had a personal relationship with and I wasn’t sure how it would affect the negotiation. I like that there was a focus on my individual circumstances and that they were leveraged to get me a higher offer. The other situation is that Amazon made a mistake on my written offer and initially wouldn’t rectify it. Ganesh was able to guide me through a challenging conversation to get it resolved.

Steve Commisso
L7 Principal Software Engineer, Amazon

Thanks to Wilson and the team at Moonchaser I got a ~$250K increase on my remote Facebook offer! I was initially worried I wouldn’t have much leverage because Facebook reached out to me, and I wasn’t interviewing anywhere else. Moonchaser introduced me to an Amazon L7 recruiter and helped me get that process started. I didn’t even end up needing to finish the Amazon interviews, since we were able to use some early compensation conversations to justify our numbers to Facebook.

At one point I was also considering pushing for an E7 role, and they wrote up a great script for me to broach the subject with my recruiter. She ended up giving me the option to do an additional interview to be considered for the higher-level position.

The whole process was very smooth, and I wouldn’t hesitate to use the service for any future negotiations. I found the regular calls with Wilson where we walked through strategy and discussed the scripts to be extremely helpful. Not only did it help with this negotiation, but I also learned a lot of useful negotiation tactics that I’ve already started to use in other situations.

Chris Jones
E6 Software Engineer, Facebook

As an engineering leader with decades of experience and having now gone through the negotiation with the team at Moonchaser, the only thing I can say is — get the help. Whether you realize you need it, or even if you think you don’t. Just because you have done well in engineering doesn't mean that you understand the tactics and limits of the recruiting process.

Moonchaser helped me get a $200K increase on my original Facebook offer without any competing offers.  It was clear that Moonchaser was deeply familiar with Facebook's negotiation playbook. I’d honestly give the experience an 11/10.

In addition, Moonchaser guided me on how to get the position switched to a revised remote role which was a huge deal at a personal level. They showed me how to redirect FB’s questions so that I could explore the possibility of not relocating, without ever having to say no to my original offer.

E7 Hardware Engineer
Facebook

This is my first FAANG role and I'm so happy I worked with Moonchaser (thanks again Annie!) for the negotiation. My goal was to increase my Google offer, but I was in a tricky situation where I only had 1 other interview (no offer yet) at a small startup. With their guidance, I managed to get a $240K increase on my Google offer, despite Google's policy of requiring cross offers in writing to justify an increase.

The mock negotiations were a big part of why I was able to get this increase. Going into the negotiation, I assumed the key factor was what to say but I quickly learned that how you say it is equally if not more important. This was clear when over the course of the call"no" turned into "I'll see what I can do" and eventually"I think we can make this work". A big part of this was also having someone with me on the calls to provide real time guidance. This took a lot of the stress out of the situation. I can't recommend this team highly enough!

Andrei Gorbushkin
L5 Technical Program Manager, Google

After receiving several job offers, I needed to make a decision within a few days. I wanted to make sure I was getting the best offer possible, so I decided to use Moonchaser. I was very pleased with their service. My coach, Sameer, was well prepared and had information about what compensation increases were likely possible. He provided detailed scripts covering a range of scenarios, and he did practice negotiations with me that helped me feel confident when I had the actual conversations.  

With his help I was able to increase one offer by $45k per year plus get a $50k signing bonus and then use that to increase my offer from Square, which was my first choice. All throughout he was very responsive as I was dealing with some tight deadlines and looking to wrap things up quickly. Moonchaser's fee was only a tiny fraction of the increase they helped me negotiate, and even though they would have made more money if I had taken the highest offer, Sameer always put my goals first and never pressured me to do so. I highly recommend Moonchaser!

L6 Software Engineer
Square

My friend introduced me to Moonchaser and I’m so glad they did. I initially did some calculations to see if working with them would be worth it - my final increase ended up being ~3x higher than what I had estimated to be possible!

Their data is much more accurate than anything I found online. Without Sameer's guidance, I would have never known (and would have probably been too nervous) to ask for >$800K for anAmazon L7 offer. Of course, it's not just not enough to throw out a big number, you also need to be able to justify it. Sameer guided me through negotiating an up-level at another company, which I didn’t even know was possible at my level. With their scripts, I was able to leverage my competing offer to get exec approval for my Amazon offer. They also knew all the tricks Amazon would play (e.g., assuming 15% stock appreciation) and exactly how to counter them.

My total 4-year compensation increased by $570K. I don't think I've ever had a higher ROI – I’m very thankful that this service exists!

L7 Principal Software Engineer
Amazon

Maximize your Disney Offer

Disney

has a unique set of negotiation policies. If you don’t have experience negotiating with them, you risk losing out on large amounts of money because of very small mistakes.

There are many of these rules you need to know to get the highest

Disney

offer possible.