The Disney College Program (DCP) application process can seem a little daunting. You have to fill out the application, pass the web-based interview, then pass the phone interview. Each step of the process tells Disney something very specific about you and what you will bring to the company if you are selected for the program.
After going through this process myself and having friends who have experienced both success and failure in applying for the DCP, I’m going to offer you some tips for your application process.
The DCP isn’t for everyone. Do some soul-searching and make sure you’re 100 percent committed to moving to Florida or California for a semester to work full-time in a Disney park. Can you smile for hours at a time? If someone starts yelling at you because something happened that was out of your control, can you keep your cool? The application process, especially the web-based interview, will ask these kinds of questions to make sure you are ready for the pressure that comes with working for Disney.
Research! Read up on the different roles offered to college program participants. Explore blogs, vlogs and websites that talk about the DCP experience. This will help you decide if the program and its different roles are right for you. My favorite place to poke around for information was the DCP website itself.
If you make it to the phone interview, don’t be afraid to use the recruiter as a resource. Nothing is worse than being asked, “Do you have any questions for me?” and having no questions prepared. I asked my recruiter, “Did you do the Disney College Program?” Once she confirmed that she had, I asked, “Can you tell me about your experience? What advice do you have for me if I get in?” To be honest, most of my interview was my recruiter telling me about her experience and offering me advice. She even told me that one of her roommates attended the university I currently attend. Those kinds of connections can only be made if you’re curious about your recruiter and her Disney experience.
If you’re serious about wanting to participate in the DCP, don’t wait to apply! The sooner you apply, the more you show the recruiters that you’re really interested and the better the chance you will get the role you want. On the other hand, don’t rush your application. Yes, you want to submit it within the first few days, but make sure all of your previous experience is included and everything is spelled correctly. As the official Disney College Internships and Programs blog says, you should treat this like any other job application.
Just like the DCP itself isn’t for everyone, some roles aren’t for everyone. If you don’t think you can stomach cleaning toilets at Disney for a semester, don’t say you have “high interest” in becoming a custodian on the program. Some people say that you should say you have “high interest” for all roles to ensure you’ll get in. I disagree. I put “no interest” for a lot of roles I knew I would never be able to handle, and I got in just fine. Plus, if you do end up in a role you’re uncomfortable with, you won’t enjoy the program as much.
This tip is mostly regarding the phone interview. When the recruiter calls, don’t just tell her facts you think she wants to hear. Don’t be afraid to sound excited. Tell her stories. Are you passionate about being a Jungle Cruise Skipper because you had an amazing experience on that ride once? Tell the recruiter that story. If she asks about your experience enforcing a safety rule, tell her about the time you took your kid brother swimming and had to keep him out of the deep end. Try to be as confident and as comfortable as you can be with the recruiter. I tried to pretend that my recruiter was my favorite college professor, and I was just dropping by her office to talk to her.
Always, always say “thank you” anytime you talk to someone from Disney. Thank your recruiter during your phone interview, and send a follow-up “thank you” email to her the next day. It really goes a long way. Also, it doesn’t hurt to remember your recruiter even after you’ve been accepted. Send another email thanking her for giving you the opportunity. I even went as far as sending my recruiter a holiday card a year later.
Well, that’s all my advice. Remember, Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” It’s in your hands now! Apply today!
Here’s a list of some of my favorite application tips blogs and vlogs. Enjoy, and good luck!
Blog: Disney College Program: Applications and Acceptances
Blog: Application and Interviewing!
Vlog: Top 10 Tips For Applying to the Disney College Program
Blog: Disney College Program Tip #1: Web-Based Interview