Tips and Tricks for Applying to the Disney College Program

Have you ever dreamed of clocking into work, looking up, and seeing Cinderella’s Castle? Well, if you're a college student or recent graduate, that could become a reality with the help of the Disney College Program. The DCP is a four to six month internship program where you get to live, learn, and earn at either Walt Disney World or Disneyland. Participating in the program has always been a dream of mine, and I was so excited to find out that I was accepted to the program! I will be spending Fall of 2019 at Walt Disney World Resort working as a character attendant, or the person who facilitates character meet and greets, and I could not be more excited. As someone who is now a successful applicant, I thought I would pass on some Do’s and Don’ts about applying to the DCP, as applications are still open for another few weeks. What are you waiting for?

 

The Application:

The first step in the application process is to, well, fill out an application. You will need to fill out basic personal information, education, work experience, and your preferences for roles and programs.

Do: Include any experience that you think may be relevant.

This includes babysitting, volunteer work, and after school, minimum wage jobs.

Don’t: Worry about “keywords.”

Some alumni will insist your application will go through faster if you use specific keywords that the computer that initially reads your application can pick up on. The truth is, no one who is an applicant knows what the computer is looking for. Just write about yourself, and you will shine through.

Do: Only put interest in roles you would actually want to do.

You will have the opportunity to rank each potential role as high, medium, low, or no interest. If you put any interest in a role, including low, you may be considered for that role. I knew I did not want to work with food or custodial, so anything that had to do with either was an immediate “no interest.” While the thought of wanting to look open and flexible is good, you are not going to enjoy a job you hate, even if you are doing it at Disney.

Don’t: Stress out and constantly refresh your email once you hit submit.

Some applicants move onto the next step within an hour. For others, it takes weeks, maybe months. While it is great to make friends with others also applying, don’t compare your progress to theirs. Everyone proceeds at their own pace,  

The Web Based Interview:

If Disney likes your application, congrats! You will be asked to complete a Web Based Interview, or WBI. This is essentially a personality/work ethics assessment to see if you would be a good fit with the Walt Disney Company.

Do: Answer honestly.

If you are trying to trick the WBI into thinking you are someone you are not, it will know. If you are meant to work at Disney, you will pass with genuine answers.

Don’t: Pick neutral or no opinion.

Most of the questions will have a scale for possible answers. For example, the prompt could be, “I am never late,” and your options would be very true, somewhat true, neutral, somewhat untrue, and very untrue. Disney is looking for people who are strong in their beliefs and opinions, so if you pick neutral for every question, you may not come across like a strong candidate. I think I only chose the middle option for a few questions, and they were mostly about whether I like to work on my own or with a team, which I like both!

Do: Give yourself the time and space to succeed.

This is a timed based assessment, and you get about 30-50 seconds to answer each question. Take the amount of time given to answer each question, so don’t rush, and make sure you find a solid 20-40 minutes where you won’t be interrupted or distracted - the WBI cannot be paused, and you cannot do it again.

 

The Phone Interview

If you pass your WBI, you finally get to talk to a recruiter! You will schedule a Phone Interview, or PI, with a member of the Disney recruiting staff. It will last about 20 minutes, and you will talk about everything from tattoos to roommates to possible roles.

Do: Know how to describe any piercings or tattoos.

While you can have tattoos or piercings (other than the traditional earlobe piercing) and work for Disney, they cannot be visible while you are working. For costuming purposes, you will need to describe, in detail, any visible tattoos or piercings that could be seen outside of a tank top or shorts. Having tattoos does not affect your chances of being accepted (I have one!), but being able to easily describe them will give you more time in your interview for other questions.

Do: Be prepared.

Many past DCP members have actually filmed their interviews, and you can watch them to get an idea of what to expect. You can also talk to alumni of the program, or find lists of potential questions online. You are going to want to know everything about the roles you put interest in, some basic aspects of working for Disney, and also have a few questions ready for the recruiter at the end. However…

Don’t: Sound rehearsed.

While you want to be well researched and prepared, you don’t want to sound tense and rehearsed, like you are ready off a script. The recruiter wants you to succeed as much as you do, so just be yourself!

 

And finally…

Once you have completed all three steps, it is just about waiting. Be patient, and have a little faith, trust, and pixie dust! Best of luck to you, and may you find yourself someday at the happiest place on earth!