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Disney College Program

natty1988natty1988 745 replies11 threads Member
edited January 2 in Parents Forum
My S who is in the middle of his freshman year of college..got a brochure at school about the Disney College Program. He is interested as he has a good friend who goes to school in Florida and thinks this would be a good way to go visit him...
Does anyone know anything about the program? Or has anyone done the program or knows someone who has? Thanks!

Also, is it worth doing? Seems like a fun, interesting way to gain experience and add to your resume.

My D knew a couple of people in college who did it and they really liked it. These girls were just acquaintances, so my D hasn't talked to them in detail about it...
edited January 2
11 replies
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Replies to: Disney College Program

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23657 replies17 threads Senior Member
    My daughter did it. Twice. She did it as a sophomore in college and then again after graduating.

    It is a JOB, and not a particularly high paying one. That's the biggest thing she learned. She did the first one and was assigned to be a character attendant, where she controlled the line, told people to get rid of their ice creams and drinks before approaching the characters, answered questions. She lived in a dorm (for which Disney took about $130/wk from her check). She didn't have a car so took the employee buses to the park, which added about an hour each way to her day. The dorms are not that great and there is a lot of drama, much more than she ever had in her real dorm or sorority house. Fines for all kinds of things. One of her roommates kept accusing the rest in the suite of breaking her things (TV).

    The second time she did the program was after graduation. She had a fun job of driving the safari jeeps at Animal Kingdom but she again signed up for the dorms and her boyfriend went too, so he was in a different dorm/park/job. He hated it so they left after only 6 weeks.

    She liked it (obviously because she went back) but did learn it was just a job. She was told there would be lots of overtime but she rarely was scheduled for 40 hours, usually about 30. It really depends on what job you get, what park, and how much you are willing to work.

    There are more acting/parade/show jobs for males if he's interested in that.
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  • natty1988natty1988 745 replies11 threads Member
    edited January 2
    @twoinanddone Thanks for the response! Too bad about the drama...that's no fun. It does sounds like a regular job that also provides housing and transportation as needed.

    The two girls D knows who did it. One did it at Disneyland in Anaheim and the other at Disneyworld. They both really enjoyed it. According to D one of the girls loves all things Disney and went to Disneyworld for her honeymoon...so it sounds like a great program if you love Disney.

    I just wonder if he wants a summer job, he could come back to socal where we live and just apply for a job at Disneyland. We only live 20 mins away from Anaheim. H worked at Disneyland in college and we know a lot of people in our area who've worked at Disneyland at one time or another. May have to ask if they worked with anyone on the college program.

    S calls us on Thursdays, so I'll have to talk to him about this tonight and see what the deal is and how much he really wants to do this...if he wants to go to Florida and see his friend, that could be a spring break trip.

    He doesn't have any interest in acting/parade/show jobs as far as I know..but thanks for the tip. The Animal Kingdom seems like a cool park to work at...
    edited January 2
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  • jenericjeneric 254 replies0 threads Junior Member
    My Daughter is about to start the program. She already goes to school in Orlando, so she is staying in her dorm at school. It is a full time job working anywhere from 30-60+ hours a week. It also could delay graduation or mess up his schedule as it is hard to take any classes, unless they are online, while in the program. Lots of kids figure out how to stay on track, but it is something to think about.

    If his friend isn't in Orlando, I doubt he would see him much as his work schedule could only have days off when his friend has class. He should do the program because he wants to work at Disney, not because he wants to visit his friend. It does look good on a resume, and is a great experience.
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  • ChedvaChedva 18891 replies11684 threads Super Moderator
    If he wants to work for Disney after graduation, he should consider it. Many full time cast members are hired out of the College Program.
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  • FlaParentFlaParent 112 replies21 threads Junior Member
    My brother did it almost 20 years ago. He had a great time but expectations are key. You are essentially a cast member at Disney and are assigned a job. These jobs range from ride attendant to person taking orders at a fast-food spot.

    The academics are frankly a joke but that's not why you attend this program. You instead learn how to be a gear inside the mighty machine that is Disney.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23657 replies17 threads Senior Member
    sounds like a regular job that also provides housing and transportation as needed.

    That you pay A LOT for. Paychecks are tiny as they deduct all your housing costs and fines from before you see them.
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  • bester1bester1 1438 replies5 threads Senior Member
    I hate to admit this but I did the program in the late 1980's. Made amazing lifetime friends, did not have a car and rode on the shuttle(van) , lived in what was called Snow White village(no longer used but was a trailer park), graduated from what they called Disney University (family entertainment, Food & Beverage.....) and used it as an interesting resume discussion point. Helped me get my 1st full time position. Was not coddled as many college students are today. Graduated with Mickey ears. To this day, I send personal recommendations as I have a large part time college aged staff. Teaches young adults much about work, responsibilities and relationships.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9687 replies521 threads Senior Member
    Sorry to butt in, but this is kind of interesting and might suit my son. Is this a summer job? Or is it meant to be like “study abroad”, but at a Disney Park? Just looked at the application requirements and it’s not totally clear.
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  • itsgettingreal21itsgettingreal21 120 replies4 threads Junior Member
    It’s during the school year. I don’t get the popularity of a glorified minimum wage job that leaves students behind on graduating.
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  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3285 replies39 threads Senior Member
    Disney also offers professional internships for students in certain majors. They seem to be a very good experience.
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  • natty1988natty1988 745 replies11 threads Member
    @itsgettingreal21 If it makes students behind on graduating, then the program would get a no from me.

    @Lindagaf I think it is sort of like study and work abroad, but at Disney. I know you can do it at either Disneyland in Anaheim or DisneyWorld in Orlando. I don't know if you are able to do it at Disneyland Paris, Tokyo or Hong Kong...
    From what I see on the website, the programs that they're accepting applications for run from August to January and/or May/June to January. So, about 4-7 months. Doesn't look like there is a program for just the summer...

    I talked to S about it and he isn't super interested anymore...I think he was just mulling it over. I talked to a co worker at the school I work with during lunch and she did it back in the early 2000's. She said it was great to get the experience, but she said she also learned she never wants to work at a theme park. She also loves Disney, so she said that definitely colored her experience. My co worker and the girls D knows are the only people I know of who've done the program.

    I haven't seen the Disney College Program mentioned much on CC, so do feel free to keep the thread going. I'm sure there are people who would love more info or would like to share their experiences with the program.

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