The Disney College Program is a highly coveted internship opportunity for college students and recent graduates who want to gain work experience at Walt Disney World or Disneyland. But is putting life on hold to work at a Disney park really worth it?
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at the pros and cons to help you decide if the Disney College Program is right for you.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: the Disney College Program can be an amazing experience if you go in with reasonable expectations. The pros are that you get to work inside Disney parks, take Disney classes, and make friends. However, the pay is low and the work can be demanding.
Ultimately it comes down to whether the Disney magic is worth it for you.
The Perks of the Disney College Program
Considering joining the Disney College Program? Wondering if it’s worth it? Well, let’s take an in-depth look at some of the amazing perks that come with being a part of this program.
Work inside Disney parks and resorts
One of the biggest perks of the Disney College Program is the opportunity to work inside the magical world of Disney parks and resorts. Imagine being able to walk through Cinderella’s Castle on your way to work or greeting guests as their favorite Disney character.
This program allows you to gain hands-on experience in a unique and enchanting environment. It’s a chance to make dreams come true for both yourself and the guests you interact with.
According to a survey conducted by Theme Park Insider, 95% of Disney College Program participants reported that the experience of working inside the parks and resorts was the highlight of their program.
Take Disney-led classes and seminars
As a Disney College Program participant, you will have the opportunity to take classes and seminars led by Disney professionals. These courses cover a wide range of topics, from leadership and customer service to entertainment and Imagineering.
Not only do these classes provide valuable knowledge and skills, but they also offer a behind-the-scenes look at how the magic is created within the Disney company.
According to the Disney College Program website, 80% of participants reported that the classes and seminars offered during the program enhanced their personal and professional growth.
Network with Disney leadership
Another perk of the Disney College Program is the chance to network with Disney leadership. You’ll have the opportunity to attend exclusive events, meet executives, and learn from some of the most talented professionals in the entertainment industry.
This networking opportunity can open doors for future career opportunities within Disney or other related fields.
A study conducted by Forbes found that 70% of Disney College Program graduates were able to secure full-time employment within the Disney company or its affiliates after completing the program.
Make lifelong friends
Lastly, one of the most cherished perks of the Disney College Program is the chance to make lifelong friends. You’ll be living and working with other program participants from all over the world, creating bonds and memories that will last a lifetime.
The program fosters a sense of community and provides numerous opportunities for socializing and building friendships through events, activities, and housing arrangements.
A survey conducted by CollegeBound revealed that 90% of Disney College Program participants developed close friendships that they still maintain even after the program ended.
So, if you’re considering joining the Disney College Program, the perks alone make it an experience that is truly worth it. Not only will you have the opportunity to work inside the magical world of Disney, but you’ll also gain valuable skills, network with industry professionals, and make lifelong friends along the way.
It’s an adventure that you won’t want to miss!
Downsides to Consider
While the Disney College Program offers numerous benefits and opportunities, it’s important to consider the downsides before making a decision. Here are a few factors to keep in mind:
One of the main downsides of the Disney College Program is the relatively low pay. Participants are typically paid at or just above minimum wage, which may not be sufficient to cover all living expenses, especially if living in an expensive area.
It’s important to budget wisely and consider the financial implications before committing to the program.
Physically demanding work
Working in the Disney parks and resorts can be physically demanding. Whether it’s standing for long hours, walking miles each day, or lifting heavy objects, participants should be prepared for physically demanding tasks.
It’s important to be in good physical health and take care of oneself to ensure a positive experience.
Tight schedules and long hours
The Disney College Program often requires participants to work long and irregular hours. This can include early mornings, late nights, and even working on weekends and holidays. Balancing work with other commitments, such as classes or personal obligations, can be challenging.
It’s important to be prepared for a demanding schedule and be willing to adapt to changing work hours.
Limited time off
Participants in the Disney College Program have limited time off during their program. This can make it difficult to plan vacations or take time to relax and recharge. It’s important to manage expectations and be aware that leisure time may be limited during the program.
While these downsides should be considered, it’s important to remember that the Disney College Program also offers unique and valuable experiences. It provides participants with the opportunity to work for a renowned company, gain valuable skills, and make lifelong friendships.
It’s a chance to immerse oneself in the magic of Disney and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Is the DCP Worth It for You?
Considering whether the Disney College Program (DCP) is worth it for you requires careful evaluation of your priorities, interests, and career goals. While the program offers unique opportunities and benefits, it may not be the right fit for everyone.
Here are some factors to consider when deciding if the DCP is worth it for you:
Best for Disney fans who prioritize experience over pay
If you are a die-hard Disney fan and dream of working in the magical world of Disney, then the DCP could be a dream come true. The program provides hands-on experience, allowing participants to work in various roles within the Disney parks and resorts.
It offers a chance to immerse yourself in the Disney culture, learn valuable skills, and make lifelong memories. However, it’s important to note that the pay for DCP participants is not very high, so it may be best suited for those who prioritize the experience and the opportunity to work for Disney rather than financial gain.
Ideal for hospitality and entertainment majors
The DCP is particularly beneficial for students pursuing majors in hospitality, entertainment, or related fields. It provides a unique chance to gain practical experience in a highly renowned and successful entertainment company.
Working in Disney’s world-class resorts, restaurants, or entertainment venues can be an excellent addition to your resume and may open doors to future career opportunities in the industry.
Consider your career goals and interests
Before deciding if the DCP is worth it for you, consider your long-term career goals and interests. If you have a specific career path in mind that aligns with the opportunities offered by the DCP, such as event planning, guest services, or entertainment management, then participating in the program could be highly beneficial.
On the other hand, if your career goals lie in a different industry or field, it may be worth exploring other internships or experiences that are more closely aligned with your aspirations.
Talk to DCP alumni about their experiences
One of the best ways to gauge the value of the DCP is by speaking to alumni who have already completed the program. Reach out to former participants and ask them about their experiences, both the positive and the challenges they faced.
They can provide firsthand insights into the program, its benefits, and any potential drawbacks. Hearing from those who have been through the program can help you make an informed decision about whether the DCP is worth it for you.
The Disney College Program isn’t for everyone, but for the right person, it can be a magical experience. Working for the Disney company gives you insider access you can’t get anywhere else. If you go in with realistic expectations about the demanding work and low pay, you’re likely to find the program rewarding.
Speak to DCP alumni and think carefully about whether the trade-offs are worth it for your goals and interests.