WDW College Program

Tuesday, November 16, 2004 7:30 PM
About a week and half ago, I applied for the opportunity to live down in Orlando for a semester of school. With the internship, I'd live down there January - May, work at one of the parks for $6.25 an hour, and take 1 or 2 classes for credit.

Well, today, I got my acceptance letter. They have accepted me into the program with my job being in Operations. Meaning, I could be working on an attraction, theater shows, FASTPASS, parking greeter, Toll Plaza, or Park Greeter.

My parents know about the program but yet to learn that I've been accepted. I'll hopefully get in contact with them shortly.

I just wanted to get everyone's opinion on such an opportunity. I think it would be great to get away from Virginia and move to Florida for five months! It would definitely be a change in weather! I want to hear people's opinions and if they would accept if it was offered to them. I'm currently in my Freshman year, my first semester.

Thanks for your input!
Jeremy Davis

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Tuesday, November 16, 2004 8:25 PM
Hey, thats really, really awesome! How did you get into that program, is there anywhere that I could go to read about it?

Congragulations again, it'll be awesome!

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Tuesday, November 16, 2004 8:39 PM
I too was accepted to the college program as an cast member in park operations... except my school is on quarters so i dont move down till april
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Tuesday, November 16, 2004 8:39 PM
it's funny that you mention WDWCP...I also just applied and got the job! I think it's gonna be a blast...I am gonna be working as a lifeguard at one of the pools or the waterparks. It would be interesting to know if anyone on the forums has particpated in the past! See you in January RCTFan!
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Tuesday, November 16, 2004 8:53 PM
Congrats to all of you that got accepted!

I am alumni from Spring Advantage 2003 (Jan - Aug) You are in for a fantastic experience!

There are lots of websites dedicated to the program that should help give you a general idea as to what to expect.

I am currently a seasonal cast member, so I am down there during school breaks so maybe Ill see you during the summer! If you have any questions ask away, or you can visit my website which is a scrapbook of my experiences!

Good luck!

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Tuesday, November 16, 2004 9:27 PM
I was too accepted. However, as I am a mechanical engineer, I did not feel it was well-suited to me, although that is due in part to the fact that I am a freshman. I just didn't feel it calling to me in the areas of my study.
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Tuesday, November 16, 2004 9:32 PM
My friend's sister did it. Apparently it's very fun.
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Tuesday, November 16, 2004 9:43 PM
Yeah I too am participating in the program Spring 2005. I got my acceptance letter about a week and a half ago. I will be a Merchandise Cast member.

It's good to hear that most people that have done it think it is a great experience. Because you never know how exactly everything is going to be until you have done it. So it's encouraging to hear good things about it.

Rollerfreak8, you have to be in college in order to participate in the program. Disney Recruiters come to a TON of colleges every semester to give presentations and interview potential cast members. You can find out more information at www.wdwcollegeprogram.com. *** Edited 11/17/2004 3:11:20 AM UTC by Scream Machine***

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Tuesday, November 16, 2004 10:40 PM
I was going to do it this year, but I thought that I read somewhere that you must be at least a Sophomore. I am only a freshman. I to am a mechanical engineering major, and am not sure if this would help my major/career. Maybe next year.
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Tuesday, November 16, 2004 11:00 PM
I don't think this is necessarily what you would be looking for as a ME. However, if you just want to get a foot in the door at Disney, then I suppose it wouldn't be a bad job. For the first poster, if this is your first semester, do you really think it is a good idea to take off your second semester of college? I would wait a little bit longer and get some more college credit built up before doing this.
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Tuesday, November 16, 2004 11:52 PM
Hey! Congrats! I did the College Program.. Spring '03. Was a great experience and I was lucky enough to get 12 credits for doing so. You will learn more living and dealing with guests that you would 10 years in a classroom. I worked front desk at the Grand Floridian so it was difficult.. but you learn from the good and bad days!

My roommate has a great page about the program.. here's the address: http://www.glennwinters.com/wdwcollege/

It's a great experience.. I work at Islands of Adventure now and am going home to PA to finish up my last year of college and hopefully make a career up at Hersheypark!

DragsterForce, even if it doesnt have to do anything with what your studying.. you'll still learn so much that you can use in other parts of your life and hey.. Walt Disney World on a resume?

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Wednesday, November 17, 2004 12:57 AM
I too am an ME...a graduating one at that. I had the same doubts about the college program, but I figure that having Disney on the resume can't be all that bad. I was also told that as a participant I will be assigned a mentor...and I was told that I can request an Imagineer mentor. I really am just hoping for a way to put my foot in the door at the house of mouse.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2004 8:02 AM
I'm going to show my age a little here but I think I can offer some good insight.

I did the WDW College Program in the Fall/Winter of 1992. I was an attractions host and found out when I arrived that I was assigned to the Jungle Cruise.

The job itself is not unlike any other job in the amusement park business. The difference, of course, is that you are at the grand daddy of them all.

You won't make money. Infact, I left Orlando in debt because I had bad spending habits at places like Pleasure Island. But, I wasn't in it for the money.

If you take the business seminars seriously you will learn a lot. Anyone who will work in customer service at some time in their lives will get great insight from a recognized leader in the field. And, of course, you all will do some type of customer service in your lives.

You'll get out of the program what you put into it. If you just go to work and then go home and party there is nothing wrong with that. I chose to meet with professionals at WDW whenever I got the chance, shadow managers, etc. I also chose to explore the entire property. You will probably never stay in all of the hotels at WDW but I visited them all and got to know the area well.

My friend was hired when I was and he was put into Custodial. He was apprehensive about "cleaning toilets" at first but I am certain he had a better "job" than I did. I was tied down to that ride every day, every hour whereas he worked all over the park. He worked some 3rd shifts where he got to go into lots of unique areas like cleaning the stage at the Hall of Presidents (had his picture taken with Nixon) and going onto the top of Space Mountain.

What will it do for your future? Well, I can assure you that Walt Disney World on your resume is an interesting conversation starter. I have had several interviews over the years where they were predominantly asking me questions about Disney. Disney's reputation in customer service speaks for itself.

There is no doubt in my mind that I got my first job mainly because Disney stood out on my resume. Subsequent jobs during my career have drawn on that experience.

Finally, you meet some great people from all over the world. On my first night at Vista Way (then the only housing area) I played waterpolo with kids from Morocco, Norway and Spain.

There are down sides, like in any job. Some kids complain of not getting enough hours. It was never a problem for me. Housing is expensive (but far better quality than dorm rooms). Overall I would recommend the College Program to anyone who has a chance to do it and I hope my kids get a chance to work there some day.

*Edited for grammar so I wouldn't look like a complete moron. *** Edited 11/17/2004 4:02:07 PM UTC by wahoo skipper***

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Wednesday, November 17, 2004 10:11 AM
Very well said Wahoo.

On a side note to the Mechanical Engineer, a term on the College Program as an attractions host can lead to an Advanced Internship in your field which generally leads to a full time job. Disney employs everything from Electric Linesmen to Janitors to Doctors and nurses.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2004 3:32 PM
Well said Skipper. I too am an alumnus of the college program. I did my program Spring 2004. I worked as an attractions host at the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. I had the time of my life and its an experience I will never forget.

You will get out of it whatever you put into it. Get a mentor, go to a few seminars, attend the networking fairs, take a class or two...heck, attend a few pin trading parties (you'll meet a lot of weird people at those). Networking...Network...Network. The people you meet are more than happy to help you out, you just have to help yourself first. Afterall, you don't want the entire semester to be a big waste.

There will also be times when you hate your job (no matter where you work). But just think,"Right now, my friends back at home are sitting in calculus class and I'm at Disney World." That was always more than enough to get me going for the day.

Also, if you enjoyed being a "CP", you may be interested in representing Disney as a campus representative at your university. It's really fun and its a great way to keep your feet in the door without having to go to Florida to keep your seasonal status (for operations, you have to work at least once every 6 months!). Plus, your ID gives you free admission to all Florida Disney parks. Woo hoo...December 11.

Basically, what it all boils down to is that you should go down to Florida with an open mind and be willing to explore new options because the right opportunity just might find you. *** Edited 11/17/2004 9:17:36 PM UTC by vdude02***

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Wednesday, November 17, 2004 4:42 PM
I'm in college right now and currently paying $12,000 a year for tuition and room. How much does this program cost... what do you have to pay? I really want to do this but I'm currently in a ton of debt and am taking out student loans.

Thanks!

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Wednesday, November 17, 2004 4:52 PM
It doesn't "cost" anything. In theory you should be able to cover the cost of your housing and food with your paychecks. I believe you are supposed to get a minimum of 30 hours per week. I always got as many hours as I wanted but there are much more College Programmers now than when I was there.

But, as I said earlier, if you are trying to make money then WDW isn't the place to do that. In fact, a full time job isn't a huge moneymaker at WDW unless you really climb into administration. That is no easy task when there are 60,000 plus employees in the company in Florida alone that all would like career advancement too.

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Thursday, November 18, 2004 12:04 PM
Congratulations to all accepted!

Do you all know if you are taking classes at community college or at UCF hospitality campus? If you guys need some showing around or whatever, drop me a line when you get out here!

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Thursday, November 18, 2004 4:11 PM
I was in it waaaaaaaaaaay back in 1990. Like wahoo said, you'll get out of the program what you put into it. For me, I didn't enjoy it that much or get that much from it, but I think that was just my naivete' and very poor finances at the time.
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Friday, November 19, 2004 2:26 AM
1990 whoa...at least you were in Vista...I know some people that did the program when they were still using Snow White's Village over on Seven Dwarfs Lane.
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