I never imagined how stressful, draining, and honestly hectic applying for the Disney College Program would be. After hearing about the program in Fall of 2015 and then researching it all of Summer 2016 I thought I had it down and knew exactly what would go down. I was wrong. In today’s post I’m covering what I feel I didn’t hear much about in my research and that is what you need to start looking into pre-applying.
Know your course requirements
After joining the Facebook page I can’t tell you how many people applied for the program and got accepted only to find out that because of their major requirements they couldn’t take the semester off to participate in the program. These people were mostly in health related majors that keep them on a particular track, but it definitely depends on your university what majors have expected courses. Definitely reach out to your advisor to make sure that you can take a semester off without it harming your place within a program or major at your university.
Start putting money aside for the DORMS fee
Personally, I’m in the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World and the fees after being accepted to confirm my spot was about $400. This fee covers your first and last weeks rent for the program along with several other little things. Once you’ve gotten your acceptance letter, you have 7 days to accept and get this fee paid, so it’s definitely important to make sure that you have the money.
Talk to an internship advisor or your advisor
At my university we actually have a coordinator that oversees people taking a semester off to pursue co-ops and internships. She gave me tons of valuable information including the fact that my university has a place holder class for people participating in the DCP so that you don’t lose your spot to enroll for classes. I’ve heard from others that their advisors had never even heard of the DCP and didn’t know what to recommend themselves, so it might be something you have to do a bit of research on prior to your appointment. And from all the stories I’ve heard of advisors not being supportive of pursuing the program, they aren’t the ones deciding what you do with your future. It’s all up to you and it’s your college career. I promise you can do as you please and you don’t need to let them get to you.
Know why you want to do the program
Whether it’s because you want the resume builder, your position relates back to your major, you want to put off adulthood for another semester, or you simply need to get away from school for a bit, know your reasoning behind pursing the program. Personally, I think my reason for doing the program is a mix of everything I listed plus the fact that I absolutely love the Disney brand (marketing major and marketing nerd right here) and can’t wait to be able to say that I’ve had the magical opportunity of working for Disney in the parks.
Talk to your parents/guardian
My mom always jokes why she didn’t put two and two together when I mentioned being upset about being too tall to be a Disney Princess when I came home for Thanksgiving break Fall 2015. She always says she should have known something was up because typically when I talk about something it’s been swirling around in my mind and I am up to something. My parents were definitely people who I had to talk to about pursuing the program and taking a semester off. Thankfully, they were super supportive and encouraged me through the madness that is the DCP application process.
Think about your method of transportation to Disney
Take into consideration what method of travel you will use to get to Disney. Orlando has lots of buses available and there is a grocery store within walking distance from several of the apartment complexes. Even then, you could decide that you prefer to have your car with you. Just keep in mind how long a car drive would be verses flying.
Take a deep breath before applying
No one knows what Disney’s method is to selecting people to be a part of the program. I’ve seen people who have a 4.0, three internships, and jobs at pretty good places not get past the application. While it is discouraging and it’s okay to be upset about it for a while, remember that there is no method to the madness and you can always apply again next semester.
Don’t tell everyone that you are applying
I made the mistake of letting basically everyone know that I had applied for the DCP. I know, it’s bad luck, but if you know me you know that if I’m researching something, pursuing something, etc. it’s the only thing I talk about, which is exactly what happened with Disney. And if you do decide to tell everyone be prepared that you will have to tell them about the results you get whether you are accepted or rejected.
Start saving money for the program
Going to Disney, especially going to Disney for such a long period of time, will be expensive. Make sure that you sit down and think about how to want to budget your money. Do you want a Universal pass? How much merch do you want to buy with your 40% if you arrive in the Spring? Are there any restaurants you want to book? Just make sure that you have a game plan to make your budget around.
Don’t get your heart set on one role
It’s a bit confusing to understand Disney’s method behind hiring. The two roles I was interviewed for wasn’t the role I ended up with even though all of the blogs said if they interviewed you for it, that would be your job. If you want to go to Disney for the DCP, keep your mind open to the possibility of being accepted for almost any role.
And that is what I wish I would have known before applying for the Disney College Program. If you have applied before, what would you add to this list? If you are going through the application process right now or planning on applying, what did you learn from this post? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!