The Disney College Program totally changed my life! And now I want it to change yours too! Today I'm checking in for my second Disney College Program, and I am SOOOOOO excited! A week ago, Disney opened up applications for the Fall Disney College Program, I plan to extend through the fall, and I want you to join me! Why should you do the Disney College Program?
You'll make amazing friends!
I've made a lot of wonderful friends in my lifetime, but the friends I made during my Disney College Program are some of the best, and everyone I know says that! I made friends that support me in my faith, my daily life, and in my career. Often, when I move someplace new I lose touch with many of my friends, these friends are so faithful to maintain our friendship, we talk every day!
You'll learn a lot about your career!
When I started the Disney College Program I was an education major, but still very undecided on how I wanted to go with that, having changed the details of that degree three times. I didn't like my job experience in schools, but loved my job experience at a coffee shop where I got to talk to and take care of customers every day. I always swore I'd never pursue a business degree, but after my Disney College Program I decided to change my degree to Hospitality and Tourism. I realized that there was a job that linked my love of child-like fun and caring for people.
Applications for the Fall 2017 season opened at the beginning of this week, but now you're wondering how to get a leg up on the competition. Thousands of students apply for the program, but only 10-25% (rough estimate, depending on the season and hiring needs) of those are accepted. With so many people applying, how can you make your application stand out from the rest? Today I have 3 tips to help your application stand out and increase your chances of being accepted.
1. Put high interest in the high need and high volume roles.
On the application, it first asks you about your interest in high need roles, and then asks you to mark which other roles your interested in. The high need roles are the ones they REALLY NEED participants for. High volume roles aren't listed as such on the application, but some roles like merch, attractions, and character performer do hire a significant number of college program participants compared to other roles. On the other side of it, if you put high interest in all the hard to get roles like Boutique, Front Desk, bus greeter, bell services etc. it will really hurt your chances because between those four roles combined don't hire as many people as quick service by itself. If you'd LOVE to be a Fairy Godmother in Training (BBB) list that as high interest, but list some of the more common roles too, it'll really help you! Custodial was my first choice for my program, and I'm convinced that's why I was accepted!
Today's role spotlight is a look into the life of an attractions host. Particiapants placed in attractions can be stationed at a ride area, as a park greeter (Read more about that here.), or as parade audience control. Attractions hosts work in all 4 parks as well as Disney Springs. Today's post features the experiences of 4 attractions hostesses: Megan worked Agent P's World Showcase Adventure, Sarah worked Peter Pan's Flight and It's a Small World, Molly worked Parade Audience Control on Main Street, and my sweet friend from my program, Amber-Lynn, worked Spaceship Earth.
Megan: Agent P's World Showcase Adventure (Epcot)
Program: Fall 2015
Other Locations: American Garden Theater
Role Description: I handed out phones to secret agents so they could save the world! I also park cleared at the end of the day to make sure there were no guests left in the park. At the American Garden Theater, I helped with making sure the food and wine performances went smoothly.
Training: I had a few days of on the job training and then an assessment
Hours: 30/week, 6 hour shifts with 2 15 minute breaks
Likes: I loved it! I really liked all of the guest interaction
Dislikes: Park clearing wasn't my favorite but I loved the role anyway!
Favorite Memory: My favorite stories all have to do with park clearing or New Years. I loved the crowd and doing crowd control, and many of my stories have to do with that. I have too many to pick just one!
Last week I posted my "5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging" and promised you an opportunity this week. I'm looking for guest blog posts! This is a great opportunity to get more exposure for your post and mine. This opportunity will stay open all the time, but I'd love to get some of the posts in and scheduled before I start my program in 28 days. Keep reading to find out more about this cool opportunity.
This opportunity is open to bloggers, vloggers, and store owners. It's also open to current particiapants, as well as program hopefuls and alumni. Bloggers, just write a post like you would for your own post, and I'll make sure to include links back to your site. Vloggers, just choose one of your vlogs that you'd like to share and I'll post it, you can also include some written content or infographics if you like, or you can write a traditional blog post if you want. Store owners, just write a traditional blog post, and I'll make sure to include info linking it back to your store.
This is my sixth post in my role overview series, to read the rest click here. Housekeeping is listed as a high need in the Spring 2017 application. High need roles mean you have a high chance of getting accepted for them because they need a lot of them, it also means you will work lots of other CPs. To read more about high need roles click here.
Today's Interview is with Victoria, a housekeeper at the Yacht and Beach Club resort for the Spring Advantage 2016 Program. She didn't share a picture, but in most locations, including the Yacht and Beach Club, resort custodians wear the same costumes as housekeepers, that's why you're seeing a picture of me in my costume.
How would you describe your role?
"I worked eight hour shifts that included me cleaning 16 rooms a day. I usually worked 40 hours a week. Working at Beach Club as a "Mousekeeper" was a love-hate, bitter-sweet experience. If you aren't aware, housekeeping is a very physical, highly active role. I think the advantages included how friendly my co-cast members and how helping they truly were. Especially, since they were so use to seeing us Disney College Programmers come and go. In a day, I would wake up between 5:30-6:00am, I would grab breakfast, meet up with my best friend then she would drop me off at my location. I'd go to costuming (which was located inside the break room) and change quickly so I could clock in at 7:45am. I'd go to "break-out" where all the Housekeepers would get there boards for the day. I'll be honest, it was the hardest job I've ever held but it was also the most rewarding, too! It couldn't be too bad because I just accepted this role to do it again! Also, I don't want to get you future "mousekeepers" too excited but there is something called ADO and it's your best friend!"
Lifeguard is one of the most common roles for CPs and on the newest version of the DCP application it's listed as a "high need" role. (Read more about high need roles here.) Two Spring 2016 alumni, both named Morgan, shared their experiences for you!
Morgan: Typhoon Lagoon and Caribbean Beach Resort
Where did you work?
Typhoon Lagoon and Caribbean Beach Resort
How would you describe your role?
Overall, it's a ton of walking and standing in the sun. Not a lot of guest interaction but there is some. There is also a lot of yelling at guests because they can't follow simple rules (I enjoyed this because I have little patience for stupidity lol probably shouldn't have worked at Disney because of that). Working in a resort and at park are two completely different worlds. At the resort I jumped in nearly once a day while at typhoon it varied from no jumps for days to multiple jumps a day.
What did your training look like?
3 days of Ellis training then 2 days of location training. Ellis training makes guarding seem a lot more dramatic than it is.
How many hours you were scheduled per week?
It varied because hours changed with the season and the location. At CBR my hours ranged from 8hr-12 and if there was in service it could be longer. At typhoon the hours were typically around 8 but if there was an event it could be up to 12 or as low as 4. One day though I would like 16 hours. Per week, at CBR it was always under 40. At typhoon it was understaffed so it was always between 40 - 60 hours. A lot of overtime was nice money wise but I had no free time.
How long were your shifts?
30 min - 15 min
What did you like about your role and locations?
The people were nice and the bus ride was short.
What did you dislike about your role and locations?
Parents don't watch their kids who can't swim so a lot of the times you jump in and the parents have no idea. Creepy guys ask for mouth to mouth all the time.
After seeing people print all the pages from the DCP website, I thought I'd create a handy guide that's easy to print and interactive. The guide provides info to help you with applications, what to do after you've been accepted, and even worksheets to help you through the first few weeks of the program.
How can I get this download?
You can get the download by joining my mailing list, you can do such at the top or bottom of any page of my site, including the end of this post. You can also visit my "Printable Guide" page for more info. As soon as you finish all the steps in subscribing to my email list (there's a confirmation email you need to open) you'll be directed to the page to download the guide and give feedback. If you ever lose it, all posts I send to my subscribers have a link to that page at the bottom.
Thinking about my second Disney College Program, Park Greeter, which is a sub-part of attractions (you'll be accepted as attractions and placed as a park greeter once you arrive and check in). Here's what Kelsey has to say about her experience as park greeter!
When did you do your program?
What was your home location?
Did you work any other locations?
How would you explain your role?
Park greeters are stationed at the entrance of each park, guarding the touch points that the guests use to enter the park. Our job was to "be the gate" and only let in guests who had valid ticket admission. It was also our responsibility to verify resort reservations for entrance into extra magic hours, and to make sure that guests didn't leave the park with alcohol or our rented strollers/ecv's. When I was there, our roles also included doing "finales" at the end of the night, in which we would clear the park at the end of the night, but I've heard that park greeters at DHS no longer have that responsibility.
Quick Service Food and Beverage is probably the most common role among College Program participants. The application lists custodial, housekeeping, lifeguards, and quick service as high need roles. Out of these, Disney in general hires more quick service hosts than the other roles, so they hire the most CPs in this position. That's a huge perk for this job as well, you'll likely be working with other CPs and it makes it a lot easier to pick up, trade, and give away shifts. As a Quick Service host you could be placed in Outdoor Vending (food carts and stands), a Quick Service Restaurant (QSR), or in a resort food court; however you can pick up shifts in any of them even if that's not the place you usually work. Four alumni have partnered with me to be able to provide you more info on the role.
Who They Are:
Lyndsie: ODV, Epcot World Showcase, Spring Advantage 2015
Kaitlin: QSR, Pinocchio Village Haus, Spring 2015
Sami: QSR, Sunset Ranch Market, Spring 2016
Taylor: Resorts, Saratoga Springs, Spring 2015
"Every day that I worked I was either on the register, filling orders by filling drinks, making ice cream, croissant doughnuts, hot dogs, or chicken nuggets & fries, or I was cooking. At the end of the day we had to clean everything as well." (ODV, Lyndsie)
"I was trained in seven different quick service locations in Hollywood Studios, serving anything from barbecue to pizza to ice cream. It was split up into two different locations on my schedule, Sunset Market and Sunset Boulevard - if you were scheduled for Market, you'd go back and forth between two locations (or just stay at one location), and if you were scheduled for Boulevard, there were five quick service locations I could have been at, though it wasn't likely I'd be at all five throughout a shift, more like one to three a day. Though some quick service locations only allow you at the front or the back, I did everything from cooking hamburgers in the oven to being at the register to bussing tables to doing the drink orders to giving out the trays of food to guests." (QSR, Sami)
After you accept your offer for the Disney College Program, you'll need to talk to your school. There are three main topics to bring up with your academic adviser: Internship Credit, School Requirements, and Financial Aid. This post will walk you through questions to ask in each of these topics.
Internship & Class Credit
Will I be able to get internship credit for the program?
How do I get this to count for internship credit?
What extra work will I have to do to get internship credit? (ex. logging hours, blogging, review from employer, etc.)
Does my major require internship credit? How much?
Will I be able to get credit for any classes offered through the program?
Will these classes count toward my degree?
If I decide to do a professional internship later, can I get credit for that?
Do I need to pay for internship credit hours?
Things to Mention:
DCP website for educators (disneyeducationconnection.com)
ACE accreditation (learn what this means so you can tell your advisor)
School's internship requirements (look them up and familiarize yourself with them before your meeting.)