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ith many newly graduated high school seniors headed off to college, they will be making important decisions related to their majors. Whether they are undeclared or fully committed, new college students need to know there are wonderful opportunities available through the Disney Company. I have conducted many lectures in my college classrooms, including showing countless videos of the Disney College Program and Disney Professional Internship Program. So, what are these programs; how does one become a part of these programs; and what does one do once they’re accepted? Glad you asked!

Whenever we visit the “Happiest Place on Earth” we love to meet (aka – interview) cast members who are interns or who are part of the Disney College Program(CP). In our many trips to WDW, we have met countless Disney College Program members. We have interviewed CP cast members at Port Orleans French Quarter Resort setting up the outdoor movie and helping children (and adults) roast marshmallows, as well as a CP driving the raft on our trip over to Tom Sawyer’s Island. Those are just a few…we have met too many to mention each one! They all say the same thing…”I love working for Disney, and once I’m out of college, I’m going to continue to work for Disney!”

The Disney College Program offers college students wonderful opportunities. Not only do they get to work at “The Happiest Place on Earth,” but they get to meet, work, and live with people from all over the world. Disney provides housing for CP cast members and deducts the housing expenses out of their pay check. In addition, CPs can earn college credit while they work for Disney. Most CP cast members work in traditional jobs at the resorts and parks (life guards, ride attendants, food service, children’s activities, etc.). The Disney College Program is available at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland! You can apply for the Disney College Program after your first semester in college, but you must be enrolled in college to be a part of the program. If you’re eager to find out more, there are so many videos on YouTube showcasing the life of a CP. You can find out more by following the link at the end of this post.

Being accepted into the Disney Professional Internship program is a little harder than the College Program. Last summer when we decided to take the train ride over to Conservation Station at the Animal Kingdom, we ventured inside the building to look at all the cool educational “stuff.” I started talking to one of the cast members (Cassie) who was measuring food for the animals. I had to ask, “Are you a part of the Disney College Program?” She said she was part of the Disney Professional Internship Program…and she gave me permission to include her photo in my blog. :0)

As with all Disney cast members, she was extremely nice and extremely knowledgeable in her job. She had just graduated from Penn State and she told me only 4 applicants out of 600 actually get into the program! Her job as an intern at the Animal Kingdom was to help feed all the birds at the park. Fun job! She measures the food until 4 pm every day, and the zoo keepers then distribute the food to the birds throughout the park. She said if there is a storm they stay in the building with the supplies so they can feed the animals. She also told me she will go to veterinarian school once her internship is over. We met another college intern working at The Seas with Nemo and Friends. She had a similar background as Cassie and also had plans to attend veterinarian school. The professional internship program at Disney is “top notch.” It requires a lot of hard work and is a little more difficult than becoming a CP cast member.

Either way, college students can’t loose when choosing to become a part of one of these programs. Although many teachers, parents, and Disney fans may not be interested in these wonderful programs (or qualified), their students/children might! It is never too early to start planning for the future, because these programs are extremely popular and competitive. It would be smart to make plans early to apply and watch YouTube videos on how others were accepted into one of these programs. Although teachers may have very young students not ready for college, I envision teachers using the information from these programs as part of their career day, teaching children about jobs and careers, motivation for college, and so much more! If you’re headed to college or know someone who is, think about Disney as an option. You won’t regret it!!

To find out more about these wonderful programs please follow the links below.

Disney College Program

Disney Professional Internship