I’ve been going to Disney pretty much since I was born. My parents became part of the Disney Vacation club when I was little and our trips to Disney ranged from at least once a year to three times a year on occasion. I’ve done Disney World, Disneyland, the Disney Cruise Line, and Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. I grew up watching all the Disney Classics, and still do. So needless to say I was raised loving Disney and my love only grew each year. But one of the best experiences I’ve ever done with Disney was their College Program.
In January 2010 I became a Disney Cast Member as part of the Disney College Program. I had talked to Cast Members in the past and they recommended it and also knew someone from high school who had done it. I did my research, which conveniently enough was all online at http://cp.disneycareers.com/en/default/ and decided that it was definitely for me. I had the choice between Disney World and Disneyland and opted for Disney World because I knew it better. The next choice was what job I would like.
For those of you that don’t know, the Disney College Program is a paid internship that you could also take college courses at. You just have to have gone to college for at least one semester and you can still go up to six months after you graduate. Many colleges will give you credit for the classes you take or at least the internship part. You are housed off property but part of your paycheck automatically pays for the housing. If have the choice on if you would like to bring a car with you or not, otherwise they provide buses for transportation. Like any other internship you have to apply, and you have a phone interview. If you apply for a dancing, acting, or character part you also have to go to an audition. The jobs you can apply for range dramatically from characters, to attraction attendants, to janitorial staff. You get to choose how long you want to do the program from a few months to six months and there is the opportunity to extend your stay while you are down there.
I applied to become an attractions attendant. I had my phone interview and a few weeks later I got an envelope in the mail with my acceptance into the Program. So I packed up my car and headed to Disney were I would be living and working for the next few months. When I arrived I got to go into the Casting Building, that’s right across from Downtown Disney. I went through the same process that all the full time Cast Members do, going over rules and regulations, as well as learning the famous Disney Point. I also learned which attractions I would be working at. Since I was an elementary education major they thought that Fantasyland would be the best spot for me and they were absolutely right.
Doing the Disney College Program and becoming a Disney Cast Member was one of the greatest things I’ve ever done. People ask me a lot if it’s ruined the magic and I always answer the same way, absolutely not. Disney is still a magical place for me and I look forward to go back time and again, regardless of what I’ve been a part of and seen behind the scenes.
So if you’re a Disney Fanatic or you just want to see Disney in a whole new light take a look at becoming a Disney Cast Member, either as part of the College Program, as a Seasonal Cast Member, or Full Time or Part Time Cast Member. Have some faith, trust, and pixie dust and spread the magic everyday!
Jess was born and raised on Long Island, New York but once college began so did her adventures. She’s lived in Florida, Wisconsin, and now South Carolina. Her family is part of the Disney Vacation Club and has been visiting since she was a little girl, and continuously goes every year. Besides being a big Disney fan she has also been a Disney Cast Member working in Magic Kingdom, and she counts it as one of the most magical experiences. She worked with everyone’s favorite elephant Dumbo, Cinderella’s Carousel, and Mickey’s Philharmagic. Jess has also visited Disneyland, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, and gone on two Disney Cruises. She has so many great memories from Disney besides running half marathons and 5ks, birthday parties, and family reunions. If asked where she would want to go it is almost always Disney, and when asked why, it is almost always because she can eat awesome gluten free food! And it doesn’t hurt that there is always faith, trust, and pixie dust with magic in the air!