Making Magic: 8 Reasons You Should Do The Disney College Program

There are so many reasons to do the Disney College Program! The Disney College Program is a paid internship for students located in Florida’s Walt Disney World and California’s Disneyland. I was a participant of the 2019 Spring Advantage Program in Florida’s Walt Disney World. Which means I lived and worked in Disney for six months! This is a little of my story and some reasons you should do the Disney College Program.

August 7th, 2019
“And so, our journey comes to an end. But yours continues on. Grab hold of your dreams and make them come true. For you are the key to unlocking your own magic. Now go. Let your dreams guide you. Reach out and find your Happily Ever After.” As the lights on Cinderella’s castle grew dim, those words played for thousands of guests to hear. However, as I listened it felt as if they spoke directly to me and tears streamed down my face carrying every emotion I was feeling. For the last six months, I had been living my dream. That night as Disney’s Happily Ever After firework spectacular came to an end so did my Disney College Program. After months of the purest joy, self-discovery, magic, hard-work, a little bit of homesickness and countless memories I would be saying goodbye to the best time of my life. I had tried to prepare myself for the heartache I’d feel at that moment but I was unable to picture just how painful and bittersweet it truly was. As I looked around at the incredible people who had become so important to me, my head played hundreds of cherished memories in which the Disney College Program provided for me. While I reminisced, I realized that despite the pain I was feeling I would gladly do it all over again without any hesitation.“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”. This quote could not be more true for my experience with the Disney College Program. I lived my dream. I hope this article helps others reach out and discover this same dream. With that being said, here are eight of the many reasons you should do the Disney College Program.

1. Make Magic

As a cast member, you get the opportunity to make magic for guests every day. Families, friends, and individuals all take trips to Disney to celebrate nearly every type of occasion. While on the Disney College Program, you’re able to create happiness for these guests, helping them make memories that will last a lifetime.

In addition to making magic for guests, you will experience the magic they make for you. Children will come up to you and ask for your autograph or give you a mickey sticker, parents will thank you for being part of the magic and you will feel the purest happiness knowing you were part of such a wonderful moment.

Outdoor Vending Cast Member

2. Enhance Your Resume

Having the Walt Disney Company in your work experience vastly enhances your resume. The Walt Disney Company is a renowned global industry which has a selective hiring process and is known for its exceptional customer service. In addition to gaining work experience, you have the ability to network with your leaders, coordinators, and other program participants.

Becoming A Cast Member

3. Create Lifelong Friendships

There are so many amazing memories and experiences that I have from my time in the Disney College Program. But by far the best thing that came from my program is the friends that I made. Your friends will become your family and will make Disney feel like home.

Even after your program the friends you’ve made will always be in your life and will continue to make it better every day. Even if you don’t get to see them as much as you would like, the bonds and memories you share will last a lifetime.

Disney College Program Graduation

4. Explore Florida / California

Either program you do; Anaheim, California’s Disneyland or Orlando, Florida’s Walt Disney World you will be able to explore outside of the parks in your free time. Try new coffee houses and ice cream parlors, explore downtown and take day trips to the nearby beaches on your days off. Experience the many things to do outside of the world of Disney and get to know your new home! Living in a new place is a constant adventure. If you take advantage of everything the area has to offer, I can promise you will never be bored.

Florida Beach

5. Live On Your Own; Be Independent

For the program, you can choose to live in Disney-housing or find your own place. Either way, it may likely be many participants’ first time living on their own away from their parents or out of their college dorm room. This major life change creates an environment for independence and self-growth.

If you chose to live in Disney-housing your rent will be taken out of your paycheck every week. I believe this makes it easier to budget and therefore is a nice way to ease into the “adult life” the program creates for you. The Disney College Program allows you to become a better version of yourself as you live and grow in a life that will often feel like a dream.

Orlando Beach Sign

6. Receive Internship Credit

Depending on your school, you could receive internship credit for participating in the Disney College Program. After getting accepted to the program, you should speak to your advisor about the opportunities your school offers. Some of these options could include doing a Co-Op or getting the internship approved to count for elective credits. In addition to possible internship credits, you can choose to take online classes through your university.

WDW Name-tag

7. Cast Exclusive Benefits

As a Disney Cast Member, you receive many ‘perks’. The biggest advantage of working for Disney is getting into the parks for free! You may also earn a select number of complimentary park tickets for friends or family. In addition to park access, you receive discounts on merchandise and dining as well as select activities.

Magic Backstage is a company that creates magical moments for cast members. All Disney cast members can enter a lottery-style drawing to win experiences such as a backstage tour of your favorite ride, a cast member exclusive movie premiere or a stay in Cinderella’s castle.

Lion King Cast Member Preview

8. Live in Disney!

For many people going to Disney is a once in a lifetime trip. It truly is the most magical place on earth and you will be right in the middle of it all. On your program, you will be in the parks both as a guest and a cast member countless times.

You will live in a place where everyone can be the hero of their own story, you never have to grow up, magic and make-believe come alive, and happiness is everywhere. Apply to the Disney College Program to realize your dreams and live in the fairytale.

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