In the Spring of 2018 I participated in the Disney College Program.
Everyone’s first question when I say that is “So… were you a character?” And to that, unfortunately, I have to say no, I am NOT that talented. The Disney College Program is an internship experience where students get to move to Orlando, Florida or Anaheim, California for an entire 16-week semester and work with The Walt Disney Company in one of their theme parks or resorts. This gives students the unique opportunity to become familiar with the Operations division of a major Fortune 500 company. To get this opportunity I had to go through a multi-step interview process where they asked questions gauging my guest interaction skills, my problem-solving abilities, and other attributes I may need if I were offered the position… and then they said alright you’ll hear back in at max TWO MONTHS (to this day I think the waiting was the worst part of the entire experience). But one day in September I got offered a position as an Attractions Cast Member! This basically meant I would be working one of the rides but I would not know more details until January when I was a week from moving to Florida. Needless to say, I was over the moon discovering the program I had planned my entire college career around was going to happen and it got even better when I discovered that one of my fellow Tri Deltas had also been accepted and was going to go through this amazing experience with me!
When January finally rolled around I packed up my car and moved down to Florida. When I arrived I moved into my Disney Housing apartment where I would be living with FIVE other girls. It was a lot of change, but I was so excited to see what was in store for me. Later that week I got my work assignment and discovered I would be located at the Tomorrowland Speedway in the Magic Kingdom. Working at Speedway was the epitome of “work hard, play harder”. Between the long hours, the endless amounts of angry guests, the full days spent in the Florida sun, and the fumes from the exhaust of the cars it can be difficult for some people to see why I enjoyed this program so much. I found this love in the light in the people I worked with who were endlessly encouraging while sharing in the experience with me. Inside jokes were formed instantly and I was welcomed into a community of other college students with connections that are still hard to explain to my friends at home. I made it through the hardest days with every little girl dressed as a princess who blushed when I called her by the name of the princess she was dressed as, every person who when I asked them if they had met Mickey Mouse yet told me the story of their first time meeting him, and every person who took the time to thank me for showing them the service Disney was so well-known for around the world.
Participating in the Disney College Program was the experience of a lifetime and every day I feel blessed I got to move 20 hours away and grow so much and create magic. I made friends from all around the nation and the world and would not trade a single memory for anything. I highly suggest the Disney College Program to anyone who is considering it (you can even do it the year after graduation if you’re in denial of growing up). Applications for the Disney College Program Spring of 2020 are open TODAY (!!!) Follow this link to their website to start your greatest adventure.