In this post, I want to share my personal experience with applying for the Disney College Program, in case anyone is interested in applying (DO IT) or is just curious about the process. So let’s get started!
Once upon a time, I went to the Disney College Program website and entered my email address for updates on when applications would be available. Once applications were released, I was notified (although the Facebook groups I joined alerted me first!). I applied on the first day applications were available, which was on a Wednesday. Will this increase your chances? Maybe, but I also know students who applied later than I did were accepted too.
The first step in the application process is an online application where you are required to fill out basic information about yourself. In this application, you are also asked to rank the different roles as High Interest, Moderate Interest, Low Interest, and No Interest. I highly recommend doing in-depth research on the different roles and ranking them before you begin the application. I definitely chose more High Interest than anything else because the more roles you are willing to do, the better your chances of being accepted.
Web Interview- 8/20
After I completed the application, I was invited to complete a web-based interview. This is a timed, multiple choice questionnaire about things like integrity, obeying authorities, working with others, and handling difficult situations. Once it’s over, you find out right away if you make it to the phone interview. Not everyone is invited to do a web-based interview or a phone interview.
Phone Interview- 8/24
Much to my relief, I made it to the phone interview, which I scheduled for the Sunday after I began my application. This was also the first day of the phone interviews.
I did lots of research on this and prepared notes for what I thought I would be asked. On the first page (pictured below), I included a space to write the interviewers name since I wanted to make a point of calling her by name (that’s impressive!). I also wrote notes to my basic questions like:
Why do you want to work at Disney?
Why do you want to do the program?
What makes you a good candidate?
I also wrote words such as dream, wish, happiness, and family so I would remember to incorporate them in my answers.
The next three pages were notes on my top three role choices (Character Attendant, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Hostess, and Attractions) and why I thought I would be good for them. I also included answers to questions relating to each role.
For Character Attendant:
How would I handle a guest’s violent/inappropriate behavior towards a character?
How would I handle a child who was afraid to meet a character?
What would I say to a guest waiting in line when the characters had to leave for break?
How would I explain why the characters don’t talk?
The last page of notes were questions I had for my interviewer. During this part of the interview, we also discussed the character auditions.
How did you get started working for Disney? Did you do the college program?
Will I still be eligible to take classes even though I will be done with college?
Will my pay rate be listed when I find out if I’m accepted?
How many people apply and how many are accepted?
When can I expect to find out?
I did Disney nails for good luck!
Was I prepared for the interview? Not exactly. I had spent hours preparing, but the questions were very different than what I had researched, and people on the Facebook groups had the same complaint.
I was not asked what my top three roles were, as I had greatly anticipated. I was asked how I thought the program would help me advance in my professional goals, if I had ever had roommates before, how I handled roommate conflicts, how long I had been in college, how many times I had been to DisneyWorld, what I liked about it, if I preferred a fast paced vs. slow paced work environment, to describe the busiest work day I’ve had in past jobs, how I served customers when it was busy, the length of the longest shift I had worked, how I would approach guests, to describe an instance where I handled an emergency, and of course, if I had any tattoos or piercings.
Although I was told that I wouldn’t find out until mid-November, I received my acceptance email on Friday September 12! I was so upset because I saw that others on the Facebook groups were accepted sooner. I thought I would never be chosen. However, I was offered a role in Quick Service Food & Beverage (QSFB), and I had a week to look over the offer and decide whether I would accept.
Why do I think I got QSFB?
I’m not sure. I tried to emphasize the Character Attendant, BBB Hostess, and Attractions roles, even though I was not asked my top three choices during the interview. I was asked a lot of questions about my past jobs at JCPenney and Coldstone Creamery. I had also put Character Performer as a High Interest role, and my interviewer asked if I was going to auditions. Later, a friend who has done the program told me they probably assumed I would become a character, which is why they gave me QSFB.
I took the entire week to think about whether it was the right career decision and to see if it would work out financially. My parents helped me a lot with budgeting (thank goodness!), and by the next Thursday, I was feeling pretty sure I wanted to do this. At the same time, I had lots of fears. What if this is a mistake? What if I won’t be able to handle the adjustment to living with so many people, so far from home? What if I don’t like my job? I remember praying about it all day (as I had all week), and I asked God to give me a sign that I was supposed to do it because I knew I wanted to, but I didn’t want to unless God said YES. I also knew that fear doesn’t come from God so if I had confirmation from Him, I wouldn’t have to be afraid.
So as I was walking down the hall, I saw this sign hanging outside someone’s door:
This could not have been worded more perfectly. I mean, let it go– how magical is that?!
Now with 65 days until check-in, I am writing my bucket list, bonding with my awesome roommates, keeping a list of things to pack, watching vlogs, and dreaming about the day my Disney life will begin!
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below, and I would be happy to answer them.
Have a magical day!