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Anyone's kid done the Disney College Program?


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If so, how was their experience?

 

A friend's daughter is currently doing this and I've been following along and asking questions. It's not anything like I'd imagined!

 

DD2 will most likely want to apply eventually, and so I'm curious to see if others' experiences are similar to my friend's dd's experience. (She's having a GREAT time... it just wasn't what I was expecting it to be! So I'm wondering if there are variations or if I just originally imagined something vastly different from the actual experience)

 

 

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Not yet, but I have hopes for second dd applying, lol. 

 

disboards.com has a forum for it called The College Board. 

 

Facebook has an official page and I think a couple of unofficial ones. 

 

There are vastly different jobs available, so I'm sure the experience does vary. I too want to know what is surprising you!

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My oldest ds was in the college program for a full year back in 2010, and it was an excellent experience.  

 

He worked Tomorrowland attractions (meaning rides) at Magic Kingdom (D-World). He was guaranteed 35 hours a week, though of course during peak seasons would work overtime. It was more than enough money to live on. He auditioned for entertainment positions, but his height wasn't right for some of the costumed characters. Most of the Disney "face characters" I know -- Belle, Ariel, Elsa and etc, are not in the college program but got in through the big audition process. (It usually takes multiple auditions.) Those young ladies have really worked all over the world -- Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo.

 

The housing was excellent. They ran a really tight ship with the housing -- spot inspections, zero alcohol and drug tolerance, zero party tolerance. The housing was also incredibly secure -- guards at the gates with guests having to sign in and out, with no over night guests allowed.  My ds did not have a car his entire time on the college program, but the program's transportation was sufficient for getting to and from work, getting to and from Walmart or other grocery stores.  My ds recently told me that they are putting more people into those apartments, that there are now bunk beds so that 4 are sharing an apartment instead of 2, which I think would kind of suck. 4 people getting ready for work with one small bathroom?! Or the one who has to get ready for the 4am bus when the roommates didn't get back from their shift til midnight? 

 

He made some really good friends, both domestic college program kids and international employees. My favorite text message was from him on Christmas Eve, something like he would call us later because he was at Applebees with "The Brazilians".  Everyone was missing family at the holidays so the group from Brazil that worked with him just took him in for their Christmas Eve dinner. 

 

The one caveat to the whole thing is that college program employees get NO benefits. Yes they are working full time but they do not get health insurance. This was pre-Obama care, so don't know how that would work now. My ds came down with walking pneumonia that year and had to take a taxi to a store-front urgent care, all of which was paid for out of pocket. 

 

But they get other employee benefits like being able to get a certain number of friends and family into the parks for free. We had a great family trip to visit him, and he was able to get us nice hotel rooms with the employee discount, used his dining discounts, and got us into all the parks for 3 days in a row, I think. He also bought himself a Universal annual pass and had fun going there on his off days.

 

He finished his degree and is now a full time employee at the parks here in California doing specialized stage technician work. The lights on the castle at Christmas? That's my boy!

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Very cool @JennW in SoCal!

 

My surprise is that I'd thought the program was more focused on "academics," whereas my friend's dd's experience seems focused on the work-experience and the behind-the-scenes experiences - which seems to be in-line with JennW's son's experience.

 

I'd honestly thought the program was: job-shadowing or interning some of the "desk jobs" or "career jobs" during the daytime hours with classes held in the evenings! I'm not sure where I got that idea... but that's what I imagined! So when friend told me her dd's job (lifeguarding) I was surprised - because that's just "a job" that any college kid could get ... if that makes sense? I know this girl's college major and just didn't see what lifeguarding has to do with it, so I was confused. I obviously misunderstood the purpose (dd will want to apply in either case!).

 

@katilac I'll visit the disboards! I haven't been over there in a decade and never would've thought to check. Of *course* they have a forum for this! :lol:  There's a forum for everything over there! lol

 

 

 
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My oldest ds was in the college program for a full year back in 2010, and it was an excellent experience.  

 

He worked Tomorrowland attractions (meaning rides) at Magic Kingdom (D-World). He was guaranteed 35 hours a week, though of course during peak seasons would work overtime. It was more than enough money to live on. He auditioned for entertainment positions, but his height wasn't right for some of the costumed characters. Most of the Disney "face characters" I know -- Belle, Ariel, Elsa and etc, are not in the college program but got in through the big audition process. (It usually takes multiple auditions.) Those young ladies have really worked all over the world -- Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo.

 

The housing was excellent. They ran a really tight ship with the housing -- spot inspections, zero alcohol and drug tolerance, zero party tolerance. The housing was also incredibly secure -- guards at the gates with guests having to sign in and out, with no over night guests allowed.  My ds did not have a car his entire time on the college program, but the program's transportation was sufficient for getting to and from work, getting to and from Walmart or other grocery stores.  My ds recently told me that they are putting more people into those apartments, that there are now bunk beds so that 4 are sharing an apartment instead of 2, which I think would kind of suck. 4 people getting ready for work with one small bathroom?! Or the one who has to get ready for the 4am bus when the roommates didn't get back from their shift til midnight? 

 

He made some really good friends, both domestic college program kids and international employees. My favorite text message was from him on Christmas Eve, something like he would call us later because he was at Applebees with "The Brazilians".  Everyone was missing family at the holidays so the group from Brazil that worked with him just took him in for their Christmas Eve dinner. 

 

The one caveat to the whole thing is that college program employees get NO benefits. Yes they are working full time but they do not get health insurance. This was pre-Obama care, so don't know how that would work now. My ds came down with walking pneumonia that year and had to take a taxi to a store-front urgent care, all of which was paid for out of pocket. 

 

But they get other employee benefits like being able to get a certain number of friends and family into the parks for free. We had a great family trip to visit him, and he was able to get us nice hotel rooms with the employee discount, used his dining discounts, and got us into all the parks for 3 days in a row, I think. He also bought himself a Universal annual pass and had fun going there on his off days.

 

He finished his degree and is now a full time employee at the parks here in California doing specialized stage technician work. The lights on the castle at Christmas? That's my boy!

 

 

Your son definitely has a unique job. Congrats.

 

My oldest had two friends (that I know of) that did the Disney college program. I think they were 4 to a room, but I never heard any complaints. One worked around the front gate and I can't remember what the other one did.

 

I have a friend whose student was part of the program, who wanted entairtainment also and ended up working a ride also.

 

After my oldest graduated, she spent some time visitng a college friend who worked near Orlando. He had a friend who was about finish with the program, and let her use his left

over admission passes since they would soon expire. She was very appreciative.

 

 

Very cool @JennW in SoCal!

 

My surprise is that I'd thought the program was more focused on "academics," whereas my friend's dd's experience seems focused on the work-experience and the behind-the-scenes experiences - which seems to be in-line with JennW's son's experience.

 

I'd honestly thought the program was: job-shadowing or interning some of the "desk jobs" or "career jobs" during the daytime hours with classes held in the evenings! I'm not sure where I got that idea... but that's what I imagined! So when friend told me her dd's job (lifeguarding) I was surprised - because that's just "a job" that any college kid could get ... if that makes sense? I know this girl's college major and just didn't see what lifeguarding has to do with it, so I was confused. I obviously misunderstood the purpose (dd will want to apply in either case!).

 

@katilac I'll visit the disboards! I haven't been over there in a decade and never would've thought to check. Of *course* they have a forum for this! :lol:  There's a forum for everything over there! lol

 

 

In addition to those students, my sister's college roommates did the program back when they were in college. At least one was a lifeguard. A longtime friend's student recently did the program and worked in a restaurant.

 

I have never heard of anyone having an academic job through the Disney College program. However, Disney does have academic internships. I know my daughter went to a conference where the had a booth at the career fair. Search here for internships: https://jobs.disneycareers.com

 

For some reason I think one of my sister's roomates did not like the program, and came back early. The others all loved it. One even chose to go back and work there after graduation.

 

More things to consider are how the program will impact your student's college class schedule and housing.

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My friend's dd did the college program at Magic Kingdom. She loved it so much, she signed up for a second go-round, and then a third! Now she works there. It was an amazing experience and really helped her grow into her own person. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I thought of this thread today, as several people in WDW have suggested the DCP to my daughter.  We're here for her Spring Break (her request--she LOVED the Mouse when she was younger and wanted one last hurrah before she goes to college), and she's wearing a pair of mouse ears on a headband with a little mortar board and tassel in the middle.  Her headwear has prompted no less than three (today) cast members to tell her about the DCP.  One is an active participant here from Ohio State and loving it.  I DON"T GET IT!  The college student we were talking to is working in a counter service restaurant in MK. This does not look fun to me, and not because I have anything against food service (my favorite job ever was waiting tables at a Mexican restaurant for 5 months between college and law school), but because you can do that anywhere.  No???  Why would I do it in the Magic Kingdom when I could scoop fries and dispense soft drinks in any other city in the country?  So, all that is to say that, although I don't get it at all, the participants we've met seem thrilled to be here.  

Carry on. . ..

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4 hours ago, plansrme said:

 Why would I do it in the Magic Kingdom when I could scoop fries and dispense soft drinks in any other city in the country?   

 

 

Isn't' the question, why wouldn't I do it in the Magic Kingdom?? 

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10 hours ago, katilac said:

 

Somebody needs some pixie dust! 

So true!  I've never not liked Disney before, but after years of going at least once (and sometimes twice) a year, this was our first trip since 2010.  It just about zapped the love right out of me.  I'll go back, but NEVER again during spring break or any other peak time.

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