What's the Disney College Program?

Have you ever wondered or dreamed of what it's like to work at one of the world's most famous theme parks? This past year, I got the opportunity to become a part of the magic at the Walt Disney World Resort down in Orlando, Florida. I did something called, the Disney College Program.

So what exactly is the Disney College Program you might be asking? The Disney College Program is a paid semester long internship program open to currently enrolled, or just recently graduated college students, who will get the opportunity to live in company sponsored housing, and work in the theme parks or resorts in either Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida or Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

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Now the application process for the program is simple, but it’s also not at the same time.

 

The First Step of the application process is just filling out basic stuff such as your name, where are you from, what college you go to, major, past work experience, and selecting what roles you would be interested in working if selected to become a participant. You do also get to pick what coast you would like to work at.

 

The Second Step of the application process is what is called a web-based interview or WBI for short. The WBI is just a personality questionnaire to see if you are “Disney fit”. There’s nothing really scary about the WBI. I will mention that most of the questions are timed, but just be yourself and be honest, and it won’t be hard at all. (My tip: put either “strongly agree” or “strongly disagree”, and maybe a few “neutral” answers.)

When I got my WBI it took me a month long to receive the email. It honestly varies from person to person if and when they get the opportunity to take the WBI. Someone could receive the email saying to take this next step 10 mins later, or it could take a person up until the last day of the application window being open to hear back, or they may not actually hear back at all. Finding out if you get to proceed to this next step is a huge mystery and I wish I could tell you how Disney does things, but I don’t even know, I don’t think anybody knows.

 

The Third and Final Step of the application process is the phone interview. With the phone interview, you will sign up for a day and time, and a Disney Recruiter will contact you and ask you questions regarding a few of the different roles you have selected. You will be mainly asked role based questions. For example, one of the questions I got asked was, “You’re a hostess in a restaurant, and a family comes up to you and says they checked in, and have been waiting for their table for a while now. What would you do?” The phone interview will last about 15-20 mins, and it will honestly go by super-fast.

Now, in order to proceed to the phone interview, you do have to “pass” the web-based interview. When you complete the web-based interview, your computer screen will tell you immediately at the very end if you will be moving forward, or if you have been placed no longer in consideration (NLIC).

 

Waiting for that last email to see if you have officially been accepted into the program is the MOST stressful part. Again, people could hear back within 3 days, or they may not hear back till a month later. I personally received my acceptance email exactly one week after my phone interview, and once I saw that “Congratulations” in the subject line, I did cry of happiness because it was official. I was going to be moving to Orlando, Florida to work at the happiest place on earth, and create magic for people who come from all over the world.

 

When I got accepted, I got offered to be a seater (hostess) in a character dining restaurant called Chef Mickey’s in Disney’s Contemporary Resort. My program originally was supposed to go from August 2018- January 2019, but then I got the opportunity to extend my program until July 2019, and then I got another opportunity to transfer and work in the Magic Kingdom theme park on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

The Disney College Program truly is a unique once in a lifetime experience, and it will also look amazing on your resume if you fully complete your program. I recommend this program to anyone, especially if you have a passion for Disney, or if you just have the need to get away and want a new adventure in life.