As many of you know, I was down in Florida working at Walt Disney World for the first half of 2019. I am now back home in Boston and adjusting to life away from Disney. It’s a weird feeling because I was so ready to come home but there are a lot of things I really miss about being down there. I get a lot of questions about my DCP and I really wanted to share all of my thoughts with you guys! I had a lot of great moments and a few regrets but overall a good experience!
What is the Disney College Program?
The Disney College Program (DCP) is a paid internship for college students. They are eligible to live in housing provided by Disney (rent is taken out of your paychecks every week) and you get cast member perks like getting into the parks for free and discounts at many restaurants and merchandise. However, don’t just assume it’s a vacation. You WILL work, and you’ll work a lot. While down there I was making $10 an hour but I think it’s now $11 an hour. The roles vary from attractions to food and beverage to custodial. You can rank your choices but ultimately Disney will pick where you work. The program is available for the Spring and Fall semesters but some will have the opportunity to extend their program into the summer.
What Did I Actually Do?
So I worked in attractions and I was assigned Fantasyland West in Magic Kingdom a week before heading down there. Fantasyland West is broken down into three sections which includes Small World & Peter Pan, Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel, Mickey’s Philharmagic & Princess Fairytale Hall, & Winnie The Pooh and The Teacups. They don’t tell you your exact location until you are in orientation or “Discovery Day” as many people call it. On Discovery Day I was waiting around to find out where I’d be working and was praying to not get Small World/Peter Pan and luckily I was put at the Philhar complex! I worked at PFH, Philhar and the Carrousel! Basically I let people into the attractions, scanned fast passes, moved strollers, ran the carrousel or the show! There was a lot of different positions that we rotated into throughout the day!
What Was My Living Situation Like?
So if you choose to live in DCP Housing there are four complexes you can rank! You’re not always guaranteed what you want but they try to make it work. I lived in Patterson Court in a three bedroom three bathroom with five other girls. I’m really lucky because I went down with one of my friends from home so we shared a room and my other four roommates were the very best people! I didn’t mind my apartment at all. Patterson is pretty nice and we had an amazing view of the pool! The only downside was sharing one refrigerator with six people. It got cramped and a lot of food went bad because we could never tell what was in there lol. We also didn’t have a bus that picked us up to bring us to work from there so we had to walk to a different housing complex but it was like a 4 minute walk so it wasn’t bad at all. I wouldn’t change anything about my housing situation! I lived with some of the greatest people I’ve ever met!
What’s the Worst Part About Working For Disney?
So, like any job, there are a lot of pros and cons. I’d say working for Disney can be such a wonderful experience but it’s all what you make of it. In the beginning I absolutely LOVED my job and thought I would stay forever. Over time though, I started not loving it as much. Working in Magic Kingdom means working extremely late nights because the park is open so late. There were days I wouldn’t get home until 4am. I would get bored at night because our area would slow down but we were still open. Guests can be pretty mean and they do NOT like it when we shift their strollers. I did not like getting yelled at for things I had no control over (the weather, a ride I didn’t even work at being closed, etc). I tried not to let it bother me most days, because it’s bound to happen. But there were sometimes where guests were so rude to me that I would consider quitting on the spot lol.
What’s the Best Part About Working For Disney?
I know I said that the guests can be the worst part but they’re also the BEST part. Witnessing magic through their eyes was such a blessing! Getting hugged because you let someone into fast pass or for just being nice. I loved interacting with everyone I met. I also LOVED my fellow cast members. My Philhar friends became family! I looked forward to working just so I could hang out with them! I also loved watching Happily Ever After every single night! And getting to go to the parks for free wasn’t so bad either!!
I wont lie, I have a few. I wish I didn’t rush the last month or so of the program. I was so ready to go home (I was exhausted and the heat was killing me). It was a tough last month but I wish I spent more time with my friends and less time napping lol. I also really, really wish I got to accomplish more on my DCP Bucket List. I didn’t get to do the Wild Africa Trek which was the ONE thing I really wanted to do but just couldn’t afford.
Overall, doing the Disney College Program was such a wonderful thing. I would probably never go back and work for them, but I’m so blessed to have had the opportunity to work for such a well-known company. I think I finally came into my own after being so far away from home and I’m a much different person now. I’m more confident and not afraid to speak my mind. I’m more comfortable around people and I’m able to brush of mean things said to me. I just don’t have the energy to care! I’m a lot happier and I met some of the most amazing people all thanks to the DCP. I’ll forever be grateful for this experience but I think Disney is going to be just a vacation from now on!