Being a part of the Disney College Program is a dream for many college students. It's a chance to work at the Disney parks while earning college credit, and if you're a Disney fan, it seriously doesn't get much better than that. But how exactly do you apply? Good news: it's actually really simple. The slightly bummer news? Because they receive so many applications, their acceptance rate is low. But that doesn't mean you aren't exactly what they're looking for in their next cast member! Here's what to expect.
Although this program is designed for college students specifically, the application process is more reminiscent of a job interview instead of an academic one. And whether you're hoping to work as Tinkerbell or sell merchandise, Disney has the same "a smile goes a long way" standards, which is something to keep in mind during the entire process. The three steps to getting accepted to their college program are the application, the web questionnaire, and the telephone interview.
- You must be enrolled in and actively taking classes at an accredited university. The program substitutes a full semester of college and is not a deferment. If you are an incoming freshmen, you'll need to hold off for a while, because you must finish at least one full semester of college before applying. But don't worry if you're a bit behind either, because recent graduates can also join within 12 months of graduating!
- Anyone joining needs to be 18 by the time they enter.
- Check your college for requirements with studying off campus. Factors like GPA, grade level, or number of credit hours can impact if a college approves your eligibility.
- You're authorized to work. Although this seems like a given, there are a few steps for international students to check out.
The first application is pretty standard to most any job. The online form asks basic questions about education and employment history, but it also lists all of the available roles at the parks, which range from lifeguards and ride operators to food servers and custodians. It encourages you to only apply for roles you're most comfortable with, because it's a myth that your chance of acceptance is raised if you check off everything. Pick something you have an interest and experience in. For example, if you take photography classes, you may want to check out the passport photographer position.
If you pass the first round, a web interview will be sent via email, which is a multiple choice questionnaire. The questions rotate, and the Disney programs website actually discourages people from rehearsing their answers because they're looking for honest and truthful responses. Remain consistent and authentic! For a bit more context, there are hypothetical scenarios about guest experiences, ranges of measurement for your work ethic and passion, ratings of importance, etc.
The last stage is the phone interview. If you've made it all the way to this point, congrats! Just make sure to keep your excitement, because the recruiters are looking for enthusiasm, and they'll be able to hear it in your voice. Similarly to the web interview, you don't want to sound scripted or fake. It's always important to come prepared for an interview, but there is a fine line between readiness and inauthenticity. Questions center around the possible roles, the applicant's skill set, and passion for the company. Here is the place to flex personality, sense of humor (but not too distractedly), and a love for the Disney magic. And don't be afraid to ask questions! You want to make sure you have all the correct information.