Working at Disney through the Disney College Program

The Disney Look Book 2003

Can’t believe it’s been 9 years since I have worked for the mouse at Walt Disney World. Just yesterday I found my “The Disney Look” book that I received at my orientation at the Disney Institute. At the Disney Institute, I went through three days on training. After passing those three days of training, I got to enter Magic Kingdom with my “Training Ears” on my name tag. Disney placed me in Liberty Square and over time I got to branch out into other Lands in Magic Kingdom.

 I was a little nervous about the Disney Internship at first, but over time, felt like I had always been part of the Disney team. All my co-workers and coordinators were wonderful and friendly to work with at Magic Kingdom. I guess you can say that over the four and a half months I “Grew” with my experience learned at Magic Kingdom.

Have you ever thought about working at Walt Disney World? Do you have a son or daughter that is going or still in college that grew up loving Disney and would love to work for the mouse?

Here are some reasons I wanted to work at WDW…

  • A FAN OF DISNEY. Since I was little, I can remember wanting to work for Mickey Mouse. I wanted to be close to the castle, work with others from all over the world, help spread the magic and just have a fun time. This is the place to do all that! Plus I got to adventure around the parks for free on my days off and when I wasn’t working on that day. That was a perk that I enjoyed!
  • SAFETY. Disney gives you an apartment to live in with others in three different locations. You can choose to live with one, three, five, or seven others in your apartment. And there is security at each place, that if you need them, they come to your apartment or where ever you are to service what you need. I did need them once or twice and they came to help, which was great. Made me feel safe living under Disney’s watch. Everyone is friendly and helpful.
  • PERKS! Yes, there are perks when working for Disney! Great perks and that I used when I was working there. I, alone, got a discount on resorts and the merchandise. When it came to tickets, I got money off, but I am not sure if they changed that over the past nine years. One of the months I was working, Disney allowed cast members FREE access to the water parks which were both fun. And there was a special store where cast members could pick up Disney items that guests couldn’t get at the Disney Institute!
  • GET TO SEE THE OTHER SIDE! I was o.k. with seeing the other side (behind the scenes), maybe it was because I had worked at a theme park before. But going behind and learning about Disney and why things where done the why they were, didn’t take away the magic. For some, it might make them wish, they didn’t see certain things behind the scene, but I seemed ok, and when I was up on the second level on Magic Kingdom, I was in the magic!
  • GREAT ON YOUR RESUME. I have to say that after I got home, any place I interviewed for a job asked me about Disney World. It’s a big name to have on your resume and looks good there! Sometimes I wish I would have stayed at WDW longer when Disney asked me too.
  • CAN ALWAYS GO BACK…once you worked for the MOUSE, and you ended your internship in great standing with the company, then you can go back and work summers. I left with GREAT Standing and still have the form that they gave me about my performance working at WDW. It’s like getting A’s on a report card, you feel great after!
  • LIVING…you live with others from around the USA. Plus you get to meet cast members for other countries that live in another section of the Disney grounds. They have a computer lab, tennis courts, basketball courts, pools and much more. Everything you need to enjoy yourself while you are working at WDW. I never really felt home sick, well, not to often. There was so much to do!
  • WORKING AROUND THE WORLD…even though you are given a place to work and job to do most of the time. There are times when they will ask you to adventure someplace else on Disney property. So you can see other jobs at WDW. I worked mostly at Liberty Square, but I got to work at Splash Mountain once which was so much fun! There was also a time I worked on Main Street USA.
  • FUN PARTIES. When you work at the parks, they hold fun get-togethers for cast members. I have got to play in Space Mountain Arcade where we didn’t have to pay for any of the games. We played for three hours and never had to pay once! I also got my award that night for being a great cast member. I think I even left with tears in my eyes.
  • GRADUATION! That was my favorite and I’ll remember it always. Mickey and the gang come out dancing and singing on stage.  The characters then came over to talk and take pictures with all the WDW College Program cast members. We got our WDW Mickey Ears caps to wear and then we got to take pictures with all the characters after. I loved it!

Plus making new friends…three of the girls I had roomed with at Disney, I still talk with over the years. So, you will make friends that you will keep for a long, long time!

Disney CP Graduation Photo with Friends

So, want to have a fun, safe, challenging internship…this could be for you! It doesn’t matter your age….you just got to be in college to try for the program. Plus a perk is that you can take classes at WDW and have them transferred back to your college. Have a Magical Day!

One comment

  1. I also worked for The Mouse through the College Program, at Hollywood & Vine. In addition to all the wonderful perks you mention, I was encouraged to shadow different jobs/careers throughout the parks. As I was finishing college and preparing to enter graduate school, these experiences helped me refine and clarify my future choices. As a college professor, I encourage all of my students to attend the Disney College Day and consider working at WDW College Program, no matter their career destination. Thanks for a great reminder of a wonderful experience.

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