The Disney College Program allows students currently enrolled in an accredited university to take part in educational and business opportunities at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida or Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.
Through the Disney College Program, students have the opportunity to learn alongside industry professionals and become part of a tradition of Disney excellence for up to seven months. Students learn firsthand how Disney does business by giving them internships within the parks or resorts.
Disney is known as one of the world’s most profitable companies. The strict requirements placed on employees helps Disney deliver unparalleled service to guests around the world.
“I decided to do the Disney College Program because I wanted to step out of my comfort zone, meet new people, take a chance and develop professional skills,” said Ashley Calandra, a Disney College Program alumna.
Before being accepted into the program, there are three steps an applicant must follow: Send in an application, take an online assessment and partake in a phone interview.
Once accepted, students will have the opportunity to live with other Disney College Program students from around the world while working in the parks and resorts.
“I worked at Hollywood Studios at Sunset Ranch Market,” said Calandra. “My role was quick service food and beverage. I took orders, handled cash, greeted guests and made magical moments.”
Students participating in the program get the benefits of being a cast member and receiving discounts at select Walt Disney World and Disneyland dining, merchandise and recreation locations. Along with the cast member benefits, students get real industry experience in fields from dance and performance to actual technical production.
Calandra said one of the most rewarding parts of the program is watching children interact with beloved characters.
“I was standing in line to meet Mickey Mouse. The little boy in line was autistic and the parents had little expectations for him,” said Calandra. “The boy greeted Mickey Mouse with a hug and a warm smile. Seeing the two interact was pure magic.”
The Disney College Program gives students a hands-on learning approach in the real business world by being a part of the Disney legacy. Many Disney College Program alumni have chosen to continue working with Disney because of their time during the program.