Over the years I have been asked SO many questions about my experience as an entertainment intern on the Disney College Program in 2012! So today, in honor of Animal Kingdoms birthday (Earth Day) I am telling ALL on what it’s really like working for the mouse!
Application Process: If you’ve heard anything about the CP (college program) you know the application process is long & super competitive. I have many friends who applied 3-4 different years and never got in, as well as some who were accepted on their 2nd or 3rd attempt. It is NOT easy to get in, and it has only gotten more difficult as its popularity has grown over the last few years, which means more and more applicants to compete with. You start out the process with a web-based interview, which in total takes about 45 minutes to complete. If you pass the online interview, you will then get an email invitation to schedule a telephone interview. This is really your chance to sell yourself as an intern. Its very important to be yourself, talk about all of your experiences & interests, as well as your love for the company. After your phone interview, you wait. It can take up to a few months to hear back, but fingers crossed you get an acceptance & program offer email! In your offer letter, Disney will offer you the role they feel best suits you (i.e entertainment, attractions, merchandising, etc.)
Arrival & Training: When you check-in for your program, you will receive your keys and apartment assignment. You will also be given a guide and a schedule for your first few days on Disney property. This will include when your training will start, and when you will attend the “Traditions” course every cast member takes on their very first day. In the class, interns learn all about how the company was created and how Walt Disney designed it to be one-of-a-kind. At this point, the duration of your training over the first few weeks is designed specifically for your role!
Entertainment Cast- Character Attendant: I spent my 7 month program on the Entertainment Cast as a Character Attendant, and I wouldn’t have changed my role for the world! Most of my training took place at Epcot, where I spent my first day on stage with Belle, Peter Pan & Snow White! Talk about a great first day at work! 🙂 One of my favorite things about being in entertainment at Walt Disney World, is that we were the only cast members who were trained to work at all 4 parks! To break it down for you, the Entertainment Cast is made of up Character Attendants, Performers, and Photo Pass Photographers. While I was based in Animal Kingdom, and scheduled there weekly, I could also trade or pick up shifts with other attendants at other parks! I loved having the opportunity to work at as many different locations & with as many different characters as I wanted! Over the course of my program I got to host meet-and-greets with my favorites at Animal Kingdom including: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, Dug & Russell, Br’er Bear & Br’er Rabbit, Thumper & Miss Bunny, Pocahontas & Meeko, Terk, Baloo & King Louie, Pooh Bear, Tigger and Eeyore! Towards the end of my program I also picked up a shift at Hollywood Studios with Mike & Sully from Monsters Inc! My all-time favorite shift I ever picked up has to be the day I spent at Epcot in China with Mulan! She was my favorite to work with!
Real Talk: So, as you can tell I had a pretty amazing internship… but it wasn’t all perfect all the time. Making Disney magic sometimes 12-13 hours a day in the Florida sun/humidity/rain is HARD! There were so many days I came back to my apartment, showered and immediately collapsed into bed. I never knew the meaning of exhaustion before working for Disney. In peak seasons (i.e spring break, holidays) they ask that interns work 6 days a week, and longer hours. Just imagine standing outside in 90% humidity, 90 degrees, with the 2:00 pm rain cloud that always managed to make an appearance. Trust me there will 100% be days when you cannot keep your eyes open… but there will also be days when you watch someone meet Mickey for the first time and know that you helped make that happen! So if for some reason you’re on the fence about it….
DO IT: I cannot even begin to explain to you how much I have taken away from my program! I have friends that live all over the world, and have gained experiences that are invaluable! Every single job interview I’ve been on has started off with, “Wow I see you worked for Disney, what was that like?!” One of my mangers even told me months later that she hired me because I worked for Disney & she knew how incredible their customer service training is. This internship opportunity will open so many doors for you, trust me… the work is worth having it on your resume.
As you can tell, I absolutely recommend the Disney College Program to college students & recent graduates! I promise you will have the time of your life! If you have questions about the program or you’re an alumni too, let me know!
As always, thanks for stopping by!!