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 marks one year since my first blog post on this blog (You can read it by clicking the link below). I had a few blogs before this one, but this is the only one that's grown and the only one I've really stuck with. Because of this blog, I've learned a lot about blogging, and that it's something I really love doing, it also relaxes me a lot. Looking back to my older blogs, my first posts on this blog, and mostly how much I've learned the last 5 months of blogging, there's a lot of things I wish I'd known since the beginning. I wanted to share those things with you today.
1. There are good and bad ways to find photos to use.
You have to be very careful when you use photos on your blog, especially when they're not yours. You can get in a lot of trouble for using photos that belong to other people. Here are some things you can do to avoid this issue without having to buy photos.
A question I commonly see on the Facebook groups is "what bank should I switch to?" as well as questions about direct deposit, what banks are nearby, and more. In this post I will address which banks are nearby, alternatives to using physical ATMs and bank branches, and what you'll need to do to get direct deposit.
What banks are nearby?
If you're limited to the bus route, there aren't a lof of options for banks, only two actually. Chase bank has a partnership with Disney so there are many of them in the area, and it's probably the best solution for you. Also, Disney has it's own credit union called Partners, and they have branches in backstage areas, so that makes them very easy to use. If you happen to have a car, there is also a Bank of America nearby. I don't think you need to have one of these banks, though, there are other alternatives to having a physical branch location, or even ATM nearby.
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.
During my Disney College Program last spring I lived in a 6 person 2 bedroom apartment in Chatham for the first 3 months and a 3 person 1 bedroom in Chatham for the last month. Both those apartments are triple occupancy, which means there are 3 people in one or more bedroom. Other triple occupancy apartments include commons 3 person 1 bedroom, commons 5 person 2 bedroom, patterson 3 person 1 bedroom, and patterson 5 person 2 bedroom. Vista Way has no triple occupancy apartments. The thing most poeple dislike about triple occupancy apartments is that they have a bunk bed, each room with 3 people in it has one single bed and one bunk bed (five person apartments have one triple occupancy room and a regular double occupancy room with two single beds). I loved my triple occupancy apartments, and I wanted to share some reasons why so that you can consider them too!
1. The Price Is Right
Different size apartmetns in different complexes are all different prices, and triple occupancy apartments are the cheaptest! That was my main reason for wanting a triple occupancy apartment last year. The 6 person, 2 bedroom apartment in Chatham is the only apartment still under $100/week!
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.
Whether you're visiting the parks as a guest or just enjoying the parks on your day off as a cast member, dressing up for the parks is half the fun!
T-shirts are the easiest way to show off your Disney side. You can buy them anywhere, at the Disney Parks, online, Disney Stores, other stores, you can also buy unique and customized ones on Etsy, or even make your own! My favorite is my classic Mickey Mouse t-shirt, but I also love my star wars one and my many many DCP t-shirts.
I flew to my first DCP last spring, and it's looking like I'll be flying again this year. Last year, I did a lot of research, and figured a lot of things out. I learned more about the best way to do that while I worked at Disney, and since then I've moved across the country by plane twice, learning from my mistakes each time. I have a few tips with you to help you plan to fly to Disney for this magical experience!
Tip 1: Research the best times to book and fly
I highly encourage you to do some research on your own, Google and Pinterest have helped me a lot in searching for useful information about this. There are thousands of travel blogs that want to help you book the cheapest flight! If you're not going to do any of your own research, here are the two points I've found in my research: 1. Book your flight on a Tuesday 6-8 weeks before your flight, this is when they're at their cheapest. 2. Compare different times of day and days of week (if you can). Flights late at night, early in the morning, and in the middle of the week are usually the cheapest, Saturday flights are also cheaper than Friday, Sunday, or Monday flights.
One of the perks of the Spring DCP is that you have Christmas right before your program. One of the hard things about that is that you end up with more stuff to try to pack. The idea of gifting experiences rather than material things is not new, but in this post, I'm going to share some ideas that are CP specific.
While CPs get into Disney parks for free, Orlando has many more theme parks to offer, and many College Programmers like to visit them on their days off. Most of these parks offer annual passes for fairly affordable prices (compare to Disney). The most popular ones are Universal Orlando and SeaWorld.
I recommend gift cards to Disney, Walmart, and Publix. If you don't like giving gift cards, like my family, there are ways to make it more personal. If you've been to central Florida, give a gift card to your favorite local restaurant, store, etc. Or, you could include a little note to ensure the recipient of your gift card is used for fun, write things like "buy something to decorate your apartment" or "use this gift card to enjoy a character breakfast" or something else like that. Another great idea is to get a $30 Disney gift card and a note saying it should be used on The Kitchen Sink Sundae at Beaches and Cream (this is something many CPs want to do).
The key to a good housing experience has very little to do with which apartment you get, and almost completely to do with your roommates. Even the best roommates can have issues, but the best way to avoid that is clear communication and boundaries. The best way to do that is to start your semester with a roommate meeting. The first week, before Traditions, is a great time to do that, you'll have plenty of free time to do that! This post will walk you through a roommate meeting plan that is sure to start you off on the right foot with your roommates!
Start your roommate meeting on the right foot, by loving one another with roommate gifts! Plan ahead of time, to do roommate gifts, so you can make or buy them ahead of time (have a plan of what to do if you have extra roommates too). Need some ideas?