Tuesday, September 13, 2016

7 Things to Consider Before Applying to the Disney College Program

The Disney College Program is every college-age Disney lover's dream. You get to work in Walt Disney World or Disneyland for an extended amount of time all while having fun.  I was lucky enough to participate in this for the 2015 Fall Program at Walt Disney World.  Even though I felt prepared and I thought I knew what I was getting myself into, there were still many things that came to my surprise.  The Disney College Program was one of the greatest opportunity I've had in my life and I would do it again in a heartbeat, but sadly, it is not for everyone.  Here are a few things to think about if you want to apply for the Disney College Program.

1. You are going to have to work:  CPs tend to have a reputation for being lazy since they're only temporary, and others might think CPs are just there to have fun and slack off.  You will work five out of the seven days of the week, for at least 30 hours a week.  Although the majority of your time will be spent working, you will have a lot of time to go to the parks and explore.  Just remember to put your best foot forward and work hard!

2.  It might conflict with your college plan:  If you have a major that has a strict plan or if you really don't want to stay at school for an extra semester or two, then you might want to rethink your undergraduate plan and figure out if you can fit the DCP into it.  Talking to your advisor to work something out and talking to DCP alumni to get advice will definitely help. If you can't do the DCP while in college, you are still able to do it the semester after you graduate because when you apply, you're technically still in school!

3.  It costs money:  The DCP isn't cheap.  It isn't entirely expensive, per se, but you will have to spend some money for it.  Once you get accepted, there are a few fees that total up to be a couple hundred dollars.  Plus, there is the money you will have to spend to move to Florida or California.  It's important to figure out a good budget and talk to your parents about it.  If it isn't in your cards this semester because of money, don't give up!

4. You will be away from family:  And depending on where you live/go to school, you'll be far away.  If you participate in the Fall College Programs especially, then you will miss some major holidays:  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.  I'm not going to lie, it was a little hard to be so far away from family during the holidays, but I got through it.  People manage, but if you get homesick easily, think about how you can cope with it if you do decide to apply.

5.  You will not be living alone:  The Disney College Program provides housing for all CPs.  You could be placed in an apartment that ranges from four to eight people.  You do get to fill out a preference list, but certain apartments fill up fast and you might not get any of your top choices.  If you have a hard time sharing a room with one or two other people, figure out a plan so you can be comfortable.

6. You might not get the role you love:  If you are only applying for the DCP because you are determined to have a certain role, then you might be disappointed.  Disney does take your preferences into consideration, but they place you where they need you.  I was in Quick Service Food and Beverage, and that was last on my list, but because I had experience in it, that's where they placed me.  Ultimately, you need to be okay with the possibility of not having your dream job.

7. Every day is not magical:  I repeat:  every day is not magical.  Even though you're working in the most magical and happiest of places on Earth, there will be days where you want to quit.  Guests will yell at you, you will get frustrated, you will feel defeated.  I can attest that numerous CPs have quit and gone home within the first month of their program because they realized it wasn't for them and it wasn't as fun as they thought it would be.  This is the most important thing to understand if you want to apply to the DCP, but keep this in mind:  Every day is not magical, but you can find the magic in every day.

So there's seven tips I have for anyone thinking about applying for the Disney College Program!  If you guys liked this article, or want me to post more Disney-related things whether that is about planning a vacation or best places to eat or more DCP- related tips, COMMENT BELOW! And have a magical day!

Quote of the day:  "All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walter Elias Disney 

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