If you’re a college student who dreams of working at Walt Disney World or Disneyland, the Disney College Program can give you a sense of what that is like. The application process is now open for fall programs.
The next Disney College Program terms are Fall (August through January) and Fall Advantage (May through January). There also are Spring sessions. However, there is not a summer-only program for first-time participants. Because of the high demand, those spots are reserved for DCP alumni, who will be contacted directly.
This unique five- to seven-month program allows participants to network with leaders, take part in personal and career development classes, and build transferable skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, guest service and effective communication.
To be eligible to apply for the Disney College Program, there are four basic requirements:
** Students must be currently enrolled and taking classes at an accredited program or institution and have completed at least one semester OR have graduated within the past six months.
** Meet any school requirements for participation.
** Be at least 18 years of age by the time the program begins.
** Possess unrestricted work authorization. According to the Disney College Program website, this typically means international students must be studying on an F-1 or J-1 visa.
Students who are accepted into the program can expect to earn $10 to $12.75 per hour, based upon the roles they are selected to perform. Participants may also be eligible for premium pay in select roles and will learn their exact rate of pay upon receiving an invitation.
There are expenses, too, of course. At Walt Disney World, those invited to participate in the program must pay a one-time non-refundable $225 Program Assessment Fee that helps support the events and activities scheduled in the housing complexes throughout the program. They also pay a non-refundable $130 Housing and Administration Fee, which will be applied to the participant’s housing costs during the first week of the program.
Disney assigns housing for its college interns. Participants pay between $103 to $200 per week depending on the size of the apartment and which apartment complex a participant is assigned to live in during his or her program. Apartments have two to four bedrooms (with two or three participants in each bedroom). This cost includes all utilities, such as electricity, cable hookup, waste disposal and local phone service; as well as the various resort-style amenities featured at each complex.
At Disneyland, participants must pay $902.50 at the time of their acceptance. That amount covers the first four weeks of housing fee payments ($598) plus the Program Assessment Fee ($100) and Security Deposit ($200). “The security deposit is fully refundable upon successful completion of the housing component of the Disney College Program and a successful apartment inspection upon check out,” according to the program website.
Housing rates are $149.50 per week and apartments may be studio, one- or two-bedroom (with up to three participants in each bedroom). This cost also includes all utilities, such as the ones mentioned above.
Candidates will receive updates regarding the status of their applications. According to the Disney Internships & Programs Communications Team, the email could be a request to begin the interview process, a reminder that The Walt Disney Company has their application and they may still be asked to interview, or notification that they are no longer being considered. Those who want to be considered for character performers will need to attend an audition, which may take place before interviews or offers have been extended.