Saturday, December 5, 2009

Welcome To Our Family Time

If it were possible to be fired for being a bad blogger I would have been fired a long time ago. The lack of updates comes down to this: Life has been crazy busy with the change over of jobs, school coming to an end, the holidays, church and spending time with my loved ones! To keep everyone up to date on what's been going on I have two long blog entries for you! The Disney update & the Life In General update.

World of Disney
As the days are flying by in a warp speed blur, my arrival at Disneyland's gates is now only 30 days away. Crazy, right? I think I'm still in denial that I am finally moving out. The thought of going out into the world entirely on my own for more than 3 days at a time is terrifying. Just as soon as I try taking my mind off of it, I wind up with e-mails in my inbox from Disney. Don't get me wrong, I am WAY excited, but at the same time it still feels very bittersweet. My family members get sad whenever I bring the subject up, so that does not help! =)

The e-mails are coming in rapid fire these days. At first it was one e-mail every two weeks or so, now the e-mails are every 3 to 4 days. Here's a rundown on the different e-mails I have received to date!

Welcome- Just a welcome to the family type e-mail. No new info, just rehashing of old information!

"Dear Kira,
We are so excited to have you as part of the Disney College Program Class of 2010! To prepare for your arrival, we're going to be sending you some e-mails that contain valuable information. Be sure to read them and check out the Web site at to keep you in-the-know about your upcoming experience. We hope you're getting excited and can't wait to see you here! "

The Disney Look-A reminder about how I will have to conform to the 'Disney Look' guidelines while participating in the program. It included a cute little video discussing what we can and can't wear and how we should wear our hair, jewelry etc.. This part is tough for a lot of people who don't like to go with the typical, conservative American business woman or man look in their lives. I don't mind it, although I wish they would allow Cast Members an opportunity to dress a little more fashionable than they do right now. Here's a peek at what you would have to look like if you were a Disney Cast Member:

Having a Natural Hair Style and Color.
If hair color is changed, it must be natural-looking. If hair is highlighted, the highlights must be very subtle, well-blended with the rest of the hair and distributed evenly over the entire head. If highlights are not well-blended, if "roots" are visible or if the overall style or color does not appear natural, it will not meet the Disney Look guidelines. It will be your responsibility to change the color and/or style before beginning work.

Facial Hair
For gentlemen, being clean shaven and fully within the guidelines regarding facial hair.

Body Piercing
Removing all body piercings (including cartilage piercings and tongue rings).

If you have tattoos that will not be covered by your costume (i.e. on you hand, wrist, neck, etc.), you will be required to purchase makeup designed for tattoo coverage and use this makeup at all times to cover your tattoo.

Room mate Connection- A message that included information on how we can request our room mates prior to our arrival at Disney! In order to request room mates (if you have chosen room mates via Facebook groups or other ways), you and your room mates all have to be arriving and departing on the same date, be the same gender, and all either be over 21 or under 21. That means no co-ed and those over the age of 21 can not room or live with those under 21 for obvious reasons. I have found two other girls via facebook to room with! One is from New Orleans & the other from Laguna Beach. Both girls have worked with Disney in the past and are pretty serious about the program, they're not there to screw around and get kicked out. That was my only requirement for anyone rooming with me! We are still on the look out for one last room mate though!

***Update: As of Friday Dec. 11, I am officially room mates with the two girls I mentioned above. We were unable to find a 4th room mate by the deadline, so unless Disney places us with a random 4th person, we will all be sharing a 1 bedroom apartment. I'm fine with that, I'll probably hardly be around the apartment much anyways!

Living Experience- A rundown and reminder about how I will be signing my life (& paycheck) away to Disney. It includes a look at the 'fee' requirements and an agreement that CP's have to sign during the on-boarding process!

Securing Renter's Insurance- Some suggestions about how we should find and get renter's insurance before our arrival. Renter's Insurance is actually mandatory to have for the DLR program. I haven't heard of participant's for the Walt Disney World program having to go through this process!

Background and On-Boarding Paperwork- Two .pdf files of paperwork that I have to fill out and submit to Disney by monday dec. 14th via fax. It helps speed up the process so that the CPers don't have to wait for background checks to go through the day of check-in.

Fuel Up- An overview on parking terms and agreements for the city of Anaheim. *Yawn*

Education Information- a lot of people have asked me what kind of classes Disney offers and what I'll be taking while I'm there. This e-mail covered the information for classes that Disney will be offering while I'm in the program, all information that can also be found on their website. Here is the information for those that remain curious =)

There are two collegiate courses offered:

Corporate Analysis-This course provides an organizational exploration of The Walt Disney Company and covers a variety of topics including its corporate history, structure, governance, performance and culture. In addition, students will learn more about our Company's concepts around innovation & technology, globalization, history & heritage, community responsibility and diversity & inclusion

Marketing You-Through participation in this course, students learn how to market their skills of communication, customer service, problem solving, conflict resolution, decision-making, self-management and creative thinking. Key elements include the development of a career focus and a personal marketing plan that encompasses the creation of a cover letter, résumé and networking strategy. The students will also learn interviewing and negotiation techniques.

(Both of these courses sound really good and I can not decide which to take, I'm leaning more towards marketing you though!)

Professional Development Study courses:

The Business of Show Business-Participants will have the opportunity to explore how specific organizational units are managed and "world-class" Guest Service provides magical memories.
Topics include but are not limited to:
Theme Park Operations
Lodging Management
Food and Beverage Management
Human Resources

Leadership Speaker Series-a lecture series which will provide Disney College Program Cast Members with the opportunity to gain insight from executives at the Disneyland® Resort (Vice Presidents and Senior Directors) from a variety of lines of business. All sessions will feature Disneyland Executives speaking about their roles and how they manage their careers. Participants will:
gain valuable career management pointers and advice
listen to personal and professional stories
learn about each leader’s individual career path
engage in question and answer sessions

There are also Academic Field Experiences that college programmers can sign up to attend throughout the program. The field experiences are tours and behind the scenes looks at different locations/attractions at the Disneyland Resort, as well as tours at places like the BURBANK STUDIOS and WALT'S APARTMENT.

Can we all guess what I'll be signing up for and doing the most on my program? lol!

So that is all what's new in the world of the Disney College Program. Quite a bit of information, isn't it? But really it isn't complicated!

I'm excited and apprehensive at the same time. I can't explain it! There is so much to get done in the next 30 days, but all I want to do is take a breath, sit back and enjoy everything that's going on in my life right now. Christmas is right around the corner and I haven't even had the chance to really go shopping for gifts!

As soon as I get the chance I'll publish my life in general update, I promise!

I hope the holiday season is going well for everyone. Remember in all of this chaos to take a few moments and take the opportunity to appreciate all that you have to be thankful for in life, even the small things =) Put on some Christmas music, sip a cup of hot coco and enjoy it. The season will be over again before we know it!

much love

Monday, November 9, 2009

Pretty Paper Boxes Tied With Bows

Christmas is coming up soon, which means moving away soon after, and ever since I found out that I would be moving to Anaheim I've been trying to think of what things I will need for the apartment. This has been a very daunting task.

As of right now, I don't own very much other than the clothes, movies, jewelry and books in my room. I DO own my own mickey mouse toaster, dvd player & TV though! So... over the past 6 years I haven't been very good at collecting things that I will need when I move out. The easiest way to collect all of these things is to put them on my christmas wish list this year. I mean really...who else do you know that would get SUPER excited to find a CROCKPOT under the tree? A SEWING KIT in their stocking? Not very many people that's for sure lol!

Below are two different lists, the first is a list of what is being provided in the apartment by Disney, the second is my wish list. The wish list keeps growing as I think of more and more everyday things that I'll need to survive and make my apartment feel a little more like home. Then again, if I wind up not getting anything off the list and in turn I get to spend loads of time with the ones I love most for Christmas you won't hear any complaints from me! =)

Things Provided:

Dresser & Mirror
Twin Beds

Dining Room & Kitchen
Table with 4 chairs
Pots & Pans
Mixing Bowl set
Measuring cups & cutting board
Can Opener
Cutting Knife
Tea Kettle
Serving Spoons
Cookie Sheets
Dinner Plates
Cereal Bowls
Drinking Glasses
Coffee Cups
Eating Utensils

Shower Curtain & Wastebaskets

Living Room
End Table

Refrigerator with ice maker
Stove & Oven
Washer & Dryer combination

Things I Need:
Mattress Topper (Memory Foam or Down Alternative)-Twin
Bed Risers
Under Bed Storage
Down-Alternative comforter in Blue (not bright), Black or White-Twin or Full
First-Aid/Emergency Kit
Basic Sewing Kit
Cheese Grater
Casserole Baking Dishes
George Forman Grill (Small)
Crock Pot (4 qt.)
Iron & Table Top Ironing Board
Small counter top spice rack
Cleaning Supplies (possibly a swiffer/broom/mop as well) I hear muffles of laughter coming from my family right now, most of my list consists of kitchen and cooking items. Moving out does crazy things to you and I fully intend on cooking as much as I can while I'm away. I don't want to live on top ramen and microwave meals for the next year or more. So if your considering contributing to my cooking attempts *bats eyelashes* =) , I would prefer the items to be in black and stainless steel. The kitchen in the apartment is very earthy toned with black and stainless steel appliances, so my inner color coordination obsession simply can not handle mismatched kitchen items.

Humor me here alright? ;)

Speaking of Christmas & lists, the greatest time of year is right around the corner! I need to start working on my shopping list for all my family members. So what's on YOUR Christmas wish list this year?

Monday, October 26, 2009

My farewell letter to the Guard

I wanted to share this letter with you all. I announced my departure from the Tahquitz Colorguard today to the band director and my girls. After a LONGGGGG wait, I feel a bit relieved now that it's over with. I didn't announce it earlier to them because I wanted to make sure everything was solid and set in stone before I did. I don't think I've ever heard a room full of teenage girls be so quiet or seen as many tears as I did today. Broke my heart =(

I hope my girls realize how important they are to me and had it not been the experience I gained from working as their instructor I probably wouldn't have made it into the college program. I gained so many life lessons that helped me grow and learn professionally and personally, I can not thank them enough. Anyways here is the letter I wrote to them, it came straight from the heart and I cried my eyes out while writing it. Grab some might need it ;)

To all of my guard girls,

I wanted to take a moment to let you know, that it is with great sorrow that I will be leaving my position as your Color Guard Instructor at the end of December. I received an exciting offer for an Internship and position in the Disney College Program in Anaheim, CA. This position will help me further my education in college as well as provide me the opportunity to build a career within the Walt Disney Company.

I truly cherish every moment throughout the time that I have worked with you ladies. All of the laughter, tears of joy and dedication that you all brought to the team have made my experience a journey that I will never forget. You all have taught me so many valuable lessons in life; lessons that will help give me the confidence to take on the new challenges I face in the future. I am extremely proud to call Tahquitz Color Guard my team. Even though I will no longer be around to instruct, please know that you all will always be in my heart and mind.

Each one of you holds such a special talent and passion for this sport, I hope that you find it within you to continue on with the program and help take it to new heights. Color Guard is an experience you won’t find anywhere else. It is a place to build teamwork and leadership skills, make friends that will last a lifetime, and allow a place for you to PROUD of all that you have achieved. Don’t let this opportunity go!

From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate all that you have done for the program and hope that you will trek on to be the amazing and successful team that I know you are. Without your help, I would not be able to stand here today and say that my time with the program has been a triumph and major accomplishment for Tahquitz High School history. If there is ever a time that you are in need of guidance or support, I am only a phone call away. I wish you all the very best of luck in the future. Just remember, a dream is a wish your heart makes. Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow will come shining through.

Sincerely your #1 Fan,

Coach Kira

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ohh, That CLOCK!

"What a killjoy. I HEAR YOU, come on, get up you say! Time to start another day!"
Halloween is just around the corner. Where has the time gone? Next thing I know we will be packing up all of my things and checking in at Disney. Last saturday I paid off the some $800+ housing & program fee. You could say it was my first taste of the real world. That fee included first months rent, security deposit & the program fee that helps pay for housing events. Now that it's paid off, I am BROKE.
It's just under one month since I found out that I was accepted into the College Program, and its been almost two months since I actually applied. A little bit of the excitement has worn off. Don't get me wrong, I'm still SUPER excited to be going, but parts of my heart are just a bit sad as I count down the days until move.
I know, it's not like I'm moving to, as Jason said, Bangor, Maine. Anaheim is only a little over an hour away. While I'll have plenty of family and friends making day trips to visit me, it just won't be the same. But it feels like I'm leaving behind the only life I've ever known. Technically I am.
I was born and raised in Hemet. Hemet has been my home for 24 years, some of my good friends are still living here and a majority of my family lives here. When I leave in January I won't have much more time to spend with my brother before he leaves for the Navy in March. That makes me sad, as well as leaving behind all those fun filled days and nights I spent going on spontaneous adventures with my friends. There isn't much to do in Hemet and its amazing the things we all found to entertain ourselves with over the years. Not to mention that I am leaving behind my colorguard team, a wonderful group of kids that I've all 'adopted' as my own. So much laughter and memories are involved in this little town.
Of course I will meet new friends and have new adventures, but I don't think anything will ever top all of the time I've spent at home with my hometown friends and family. I was so eager to leave this town all the time and now I'm beginning to wonder why I ever wanted to leave in the first place. I'm already home sick just thinking about it!
What I am excited about though is getting to experience a new city, living on my own, working in the happiest place on earth and making dreams come true every day. I was checking out Anaheim's website and was making a mental list of things I want to do while I'm there. Going to sporting events like Angels & Ducks games, shopping in Gardenwalk, visiting the nearby beach, and just checking out the general happenings of the city are on the must-do list.
As the clock keeps ticking I'm finding myself busier and busier everyday. I should be starting back at the Disney Store soon for seasonal, which means school 4 days a week + 2 jobs, one in town one out of town. Temporary insanity is the only way to explain it. Althou I am excited to see and work with all of my Disney girls again. I've missed them. The money I earn at the Store goes straight into my 'emergency' fund for Anaheim living.
Groceries and gas will be taking their toll on my paychecks that will already be reduced by weekly rent, so I'm trying to save up as much as possible before I go.
I'll be requesting an area of the parks to work in next week. With the program you can't requst to work in certain stores or on certain rides, but you CAN request a certain area of the parks to work in. With Disney there are never any promises that they can fullfil your request though. But it's worth a shot! I won't find out what attraction/land/park I'll be calling home until check-in day! There's so many different and fun places that I would LOVE to work in at the parks, I just can't pick one. What do you suggest? If you got the chance to work in Attractions the parks where would YOU want to work? Help me decide! Leave me a comment with your answer =)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Yes, you read that right! I WAS ACCEPTED! I will be joining the Disneyland Resort Cast in January as an ATTRACTIONS hostess! I've known about it since this past Wednesday when Disney called me to tell me I was accepted, but I wanted to wait until I had something to show for it!


Monday, October 5, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Interview Experience

My phone interview for the College Program was Friday August 28 shortly after 6pm. I had prepared myself all summer long for this interview, I DID NOT want to mess it up. I researched online Disney forums for advice and information about what kinds of questions they asked and I took THREE pages of notes for myself. I was prepared to answer any questions regarding my top 3 role choices (Atmosphere Character, Character Attendant & Entertainment Costuming), as well as answers for the basic job interview type questions.

I was nervous all day long, there is something about auditioning and interviewing for the Mouse that ALWAYS throws all my confidence out the window. My stomach was in knots and I was fidgety. I had worked myself up so bad that my voice was cracking when I spoke, making me sound like I had the worst case of a cold ever. I tried taking deep breaths to calm myself down but they proved to be little help. My interviewer (who was extremely nice) was about 15 minutes late in calling me, which only made my nerves worse. Finally the call came through, I answered and the interviewer apologized for being late. She explained that she had just arrived at work and was running a little behind.

She informed me that the interview would take in between 15 to 20 minutes. The actual time on my interview ended up being just over 28 minutes long. I think that was only because I rattled on so much. I couldn't leave any stone unturned, this was my only chance to shine! I started out by answering her questions about which college I was enrolled in, my past work experience, confirming I was over 18, confirmed that I wanted housing and why I wanted to be a part of the program. Although my voice was still shaky I was starting to feel a little more confident in my answers. I shared the story with her about when I was young how I always told everyone that I wanted to be 'Michael Eisner' when I grew up, not knowing what his real job title was CEO. All I knew was that he ran Disney and that he got to introduce the Disney movies every week on the Wonderful World of Disney, I wanted that job! The interviewer got a little giggle out of that one.

But of course this wouldn't be a true Kira adventure without some sort of snag. She asked me for my top 3 role choices, so I started naming them off. All of my choices were entertainment positions. She politely informed me that because the Disneyland program was so small that the Entertainment division is NOT hiring college program applicants this time around. The sound of DOOM came crashing down on me. My entire 3 pages of notes I had prepared covered everything about the entertainment roles, but provided me with not one back up plan. I started to freak out inside. She asked me what my other 3 options would be so I fumbled for a few seconds...I had no idea what I wanted. I figured this was the end for me. After a minute or so I ended up choosing Attractions, Guest Relations and Photopass (with the interviewers help of course).

Later I convinced myself that these 3 roles weren't such bad choices after all. Even if it meant that I would spend my semester in the janitorial division scrubbing toilets and picking up trash, I would have done it for the chance to be in the program. I listened intently to every question she asked about these new roles and had to stop and think a few times about how I could bring my past experience into play to give my answers some sort of substance and be more than just a simple yes/no answer. I was only asked one question about Photopass, so obviously I wasn't going to be chosen for that. That left me with Attractions and Guest Services. The one question that I felt pretty stupid over was "Why do you want to work attractions?". I was unprepared, so I BS'ed my way through an answer in an attempt to make it sound great. I don't even remember what all I said now, but I do know that I was embarrassed.

The interviewer hopped around with questions for both the Attractions and Guest Relations roles, so it kept me on my toes. Some of the questions asked were:
Describe your idea of perfect weather
Can you work indoors and outdoors
Can you stand long periods of time
Give an example of when you provided outstanding guest service
Can you handle large amounts of cash
Do you prefer to work alone or in a team environment
Can you memorize spiels
Are you comfortable speaking in front of large crowds
Can you remain calm in emergency situations *said yes, then was asked to give an example of why I thought so*
A question somewhere along the lines about how comfortable I was with information about the resort. I followed it with an answer about how all my friends and family turn to me as their personal tour guide when it comes to Disneyland resort.
How I handle stressful situations/negative customers
How comfortable I am with arriving at solutions quickly when problems with guests arise
What is the most rewarding thing about my current job

There were so many questions that I can't remember all of them. I was also asked a little bit about my time at the Disney Store. Most of my answers truly came from my past experience with working at the store and working as the color guard instructor. I made the interviewer aware of my experience with handling issues between teenage girls and upset parents on a weekly basis, how I worked to build the color guard program on my own from scratch and how successful it had become, plus all of the fun times I had working at the Disney Store and how I loved all of the guest interaction I had. The interview ended with a reminder that I would hear back in 4 to 6 weeks on Disney's decision to accept me into the program or not. I thanked the interviewer for her time and went on my way.

Over all, I felt it went decent. It could have probably gone better had I not been so nervous the ENTIRE time and if I had been prepared for questions about my newly chosen roles. I did fumble and mumble over some words and often had some long winded answers followed with some even longer examples. I definitely wasn't very "cut to the chase" about it at all.

But the worst of it was over. Now all there was left to do was wait...and wait...and wait some more to hear back from Disney.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

But The Waiting Makes Me Curious...

It is now time to start counting down the hours to my phone interview, which is scheduled for Friday August 28 @ 4:30pm.

Just getting to this portion of the application wasn't all easy sailing though. When I last left the blog world I was excited about applying that day. Well, I did, but Disney didn't seem to think so.

Long story short there was a MAJOR glitch in the system for the Disneyland Resort College Program applications and I have a feeling I was the one that discovered this wonderful time consuming glitch as when I contacted disney no one I talked too understood what was going on or why it was happening.

Everything was going great as I logged in, pulled up my application (which apparently was still on file from the last time I applied), made a few minor changes and resubmitted it. Then onto the next step which was the Web based interview. Now you HAVE to pass this web interview in order to move on to the next step which is the phone interview. I logged out as the website told me to do then clicked on "Web Interview" just refreshed the application page. Ok...try again? I clicked OVER and OVER and OVER and even tried from different computers in the house. All of it ended in the same result. I couldn't get access to the web interview. At this point it was past 4pm pacific time and that meant the Disney Offices were closed. So I waited until tuesday morning, tried again to no avail and gave up, so it was time to call Disney.

The woman on the phone had no idea how to help me and said she would forward my issue to IT and they would contact me shortly. So a few hours go by and I hear nothing. I start to panic because I had yet to hear from them about the issue and it was nearing office closing time. I called AGAIN, got another cast member on the phone (this one wasn't too nice =( ) and she noticed that I had already called earlier and I told her yes and that I had not heard back from anyone yet. So I hung up with her and it wasn't two minutes later that I got a phone call from a much nicer CM by the name of Linda (she was awesome!). I explained what was happening again to her we tried to work it out via troubleshooting and still had no luck. On Disney's end everything about my application was saying "incomplete" and on my end I couldn't get ANYWHERE to complete it! After the phone call, I received an email from her telling me that she heard back from DLR IT Department and that they were working quickly to resolve the issue.

I woke up this morning and signed on, all prepared to have the same issue reoccur, but was pleased when I saw that the DLR application page HAD been updated, now complete with full instructions & a working link for the application.

I clicked on the almighty Web Interview button and ALAS it WORKED. I took a few deep breaths, gathered my thoughts, remained calm and began the interview. I flew through it rather quickly but was worried if I had scored high enough to make it through to the phone interview. Once I was completed I received a screen telling me that I had completed the interview and that the next step was to schedule the phone interview. I PASSED. I was on the phone with Disney Recruitment no more than 2 minutes later with my phone interview all scheduled and ready to go!

I even checked my email account after all that went down to find an awesome e-mail from Disney about the issue!

"Thank you for your interest in the Disney College Program at the Disneyland Resort.

Over the past few days, our application system has experienced intermittent technical challenges. We believe that you may have been impacted by some of these system difficulties. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused you.

Your application & role checklist have been received and you are ready to proceed to the Web-based Interview.

Again we apologize for the delay you may have experienced with your application."

There you have it, Disney Magic at it's finest folks! Never one to let customers or possible future employees down =)

All that's left to do is complete the phone interview and wait for a Accepted or Rejected from Disney.

Be paitent is very good advice...

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm late, I'm late!

Applications & the e-presentation for the DCP were posted online this past friday! That means it's time for college students around the world to start applying for the program!

I got all in a tizzy getting ready to apply on friday, but in all of my excitement I managed to remember ONE minor detail. I last applied for the program in late March and on the website they request that you apply only ONCE every SIX months. Enter panic mode...oh no does this mean I have to wait until almost october to apply? What if that makes me miss audition dates? If I applied in March that means I'm only on month 5...wait make that *counts on fingers*, yes 5 months! I can wait one month can't I? But what if my job options fill up quickly and what if it means I have tougher competition the longer I wait?!

You can share in the sense of frustration can't you? It was the weekend of frets, worries and nightmares. I tried calling the DCP call center on Friday but by the time I called it was too late and there was no one in the office. Thus the wait began. I watched all three presentations (Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World, & Disney Careerstart) several times this weekend to help pass the time. Just a little over an hour ago I called up Disney once more, already fearing the fact that I was going to get a reply that told me I would have to wait another month to enter my application again.

A peppy, happy cast member answered the phone on the other line. I explained my situation and told the CM that although I GOT to the phone interview last time, I didn't get any further than question two before I was denied for not being enrolled in classes at the time of the interview. She informed me that, TECHNICALLY, because I hadn't formally completed the interview it was just as if I hadn't even applied! PRAISE THE DISNEY GODS THAT BE! I was eternally grateful for the news and the cast member was equally excited for me. She also made sure to make me aware of the new "extra step" that is required in the application process.

The program applicants for Walt Disney World now have to pass an online interview of sorts (this has been the policy for Disneyland Resorts all along). This online interview/questionaire is causing a bad buzz among the WDW applicants. Many people are not passing the online portion, therefor they are not being granted the phone interview. I thanked her for the information but told her I was applying for the DLR now WDW and that I was familiar with this simple process! She wished me luck and I skipped off to my car in the college parking lot knowing that I get to begin my journey!

So NOW that the application has been available for a few days I am a few days behind my own mental schedule. I originally was planning on applying the very day that the applications were posted, but today is better than any day! I'll now be spending my afternoon watching the e-presentation (again) and applying!


Friday, August 21, 2009

The Magic of the Disney College Program

"What is the Disney College Program?"

I've been asked this question so many times in the past four months that I quit keeping track. Before April of this year, I had NO idea what the DCP was. I've spent nearly my entire summer researching the program, doing everything from reading first hand experiences on discussion boards to watching vlogs on youtube from future, past & present CPers (College Programmers).

In a nutshell, the Disney College Program is a paid internship that offers personal and professional development classes by Disney, while gaining first hand work experience at the Disneyland Resort. The program started out in Walt Disney World in the 1980's but eventually opened its doors at the Disneyland Resort right here in Southern California. The program in Anaheim is much smaller then that of it's sister in Orlando, which makes getting in slightly more competitive and challenging.

There are three main components of the program which include "Living, Earning & Learning".

Housing is an option in the program where students can pay weekly to live in fully furnished apartments among 2-7 other room mates that are also in the program. In Anaheim, the furnishings includes the basic furniture found in a household including kitchen utensils and a washer/dryer in each apartment.

All of the participants in the program WILL receive pay based on the role (job) they are accepted in to. Role options include: Attractions, Costuming, Disney Desk, Quick/Full Service Food & Beverage, Guest Relations & Services, Character Performer, Retail etc...

Credit for college can be given to the student taking Disney courses if the college they are currently attending chooses to give them the credit. If obtaining credit through the current college is not an option there is ONE college that I know of that accepts it. Santa Ana Community College gives credit to students enrolled in the Anaheim program through a program called Mickey SAC. Once the courses have been completed & credit applied, students will receive a Certificate in Entertainment Management from SACC.

Once the program is completed, graduates of the program will be given the opportunity to apply for over 300 Professional Internships throughout all different branches of the Walt Disney Co.

If you are interested in the Disney College Program check out their website.

Why do I want to do the program?
Simply put, I would really enjoy taking a career path in the Walt Disney Co. and could possibly see myself working for the company in the long run. Those that know me fairly well are completely aware of how much I love Disney. I have auditioned several times for the park to no avail, particularly because of how extremely competitive the Entertainment roles are at the parks. I worked for The Disney Store in Temecula for just under two years, and loved NEARLY every moment of it. Ultimately the bills for gas, car maintenance and the low hours were killing me financially so I reluctantly quit. I still miss my co-workers, the work atmosphere and getting to take part in "creating the magic" everyday.

There are many other perks in the program that draw me in as well. Getting out of Hemet is a major one for me, as well as being able to live on my own, FINALLY =). Meeting new friends (!!) and getting the chance to network with Disney Executives is another big one for me. PLUS, why would I ever pass up the chance to work at Disneyland, my home away from home?! If so much of my money already goes into the company I may as well just work there! Of course there's those little things like Cast Member Discounts and Free Entry into the parks calling my name too ;)

If I get accepted for the Spring 2010 I would move to Anaheim in January 2010 and either extend the program come August 2010 for another 'semester' or apply for a Professional Internship. So come along with me on this roller coaster journey as I try to make it to Disney!
Nothing is impossible, just simply impassable!
See ya real soon