"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