If you are anything like me, you probably have heard so many rumors about the Disney College Program (DCP) from “as long as you’re a real Disney fan you’ll get accepted” to “you need to know all about the different parks for your interview.” When I started applying I had no clue what I was actually in for besides the fact that a couple of my friends had previously done the program and loved it. The good news is I applied and got accepted on my first try – and you can too!
Here are some terms you might need to understand:
DCP – Disney College Program
CP – College Program (participant)
PI – Disney Professional Internship OR Phone Interview
NLIC – No Longer In Consideration (if you were not accepted)
The steps of the process:
The application (pretty straightforward, just follow the application)
The Web Based Interview / WBI (a series of timed multiple choice questions about yourself and your experience)
Phone Interview (your actual interview with a recruiter)
Offer (your acceptance letter will be on your dashboard!)
- Be careful when ranking your roles
I had no clue what different roles were offered for DCP, but I knew someone that was stationed in a parking lot and I was nervous because I didn’t want to do that. My advice is to only put down roles that you would accept because Disney can give you a role even if you rank it “low interest.” It’s a difficult decision because if you don’t select a lot of roles you are interested in, then it might lower your chance of getting accepted. But you also don’t want to put down a role you really wouldn’t be happy with. Above all, research all the roles before ranking and choose what is best for you! There’s no right or wrong way to do it.
- Edit your resume
The Disney portal allows you to upload multiple job descriptions and resumes. Although uploading a resume is optional for the DCP application, I personally recommend it because it allows the recruiters to get a bigger picture of everything you do. And like every resume, you should tailor it to the company you are applying for because a computer looks at your application and scans it for relevant words. Try to add words you see in the DCP description and words used by Disney. For example, Disney says “guests” instead of “customers” and “attractions” instead of “rides.”
- Wait patiently
One of the hardest parts about applying is that everyone moves through the process at different paces. I moved on to the Web Based Interview the day after my application was submitted and then moved on to a phone interview the day after I passed my WBI. But this was only because I applied as soon as applications opened. Some of my friends who applied later in the process didn’t move on to the WBI until weeks after their application was submitted. This does not mean you won’t get accepted!! That is one of the biggest things I learned from this process. Just keep checking your dashboard because that is the first thing to be updated throughout your process.
- Do your research
This sounds obvious but one of the most helpful things throughout the application process was looking up YouTube videos about DCP and the application process. Hearing other people’s experience is so helpful. There are also a lot of people that record their full phone interview which is helpful to hear as an example. Just remember that every single interview is different and they ask different questions for everyone, so just be prepared for anything!
- Stay connected
One helpful way to get over the nerves of waiting is by staying connected with the DCP community. There are usually Facebook pages for everyone who applied or has been accepted to the program such as my current group “Disney College Program Fall/Fall Advantage 2020.” This is a great place to see how other people are moving along in the process and ask any questions you may have. I also recommend following some of the Disney recruiters on Twitter. The most popular one is Christy (@ChristyRecruit) because she will often tweet when they send out waves of interviews or acceptances.
- Be prepared
Especially when it comes to your phone interview, I found it so helpful to be prepared! There are lists online of possible questions asked in DCP interviews. Look through this list and get an idea of what kind of questions they could ask you. Be prepared to talk about the different roles, your related experiences, and why you want them! And if a recruiter doesn’t ask about your favorite role, don’t be afraid to slip it into the conversation. It’s also important to be prepared for questions like “Why do you want to work for Disney?” and “Why do you want to participate in the DCP?” And while many people (like me) make index cards with key points, don’t sound like you’re reading off of a script! The recruiter just wants to have a conversation with you and see your personality.
- Remember your recruiter’s name
Disney is really big on making everyone’s day magical and using people’s names in the parks. A great way to give you that extra boost on your interview is by using your recruiter’s name in the interview. You may want to write it down in the beginning. You can then reply with something like “Hi ____ ,I’m great today! How are you?” or end your call with “Thank you so much _____, I hope you have a magical day!” Put your own spin on it! And if you forget their name it’s okay, it’s not a deal breaker! They know how nervous you are for the interview and just want to hear your personality shine through.
- Don’t be afraid to apply again
Just because you didn’t get accepted the first time doesn’t mean Disney doesn’t like you! They get over 50,000 applicants every year so don’t get discouraged. I had a friend that did not get accepted on her first try, but then she applied again and got accepted as her first role choice of a character attendant. So don’t be discouraged!
The biggest takeaway is that everyone moves through this process at different paces and in different ways so don’t get discouraged. Just remember to smile and let your personality shine through to show why you would be a great Disney cast member!