DCPers have a lot of different roles open to them for their internship. Maybe it’s just luck, but it seems to us that most DCPers get assigned to just the right role for them. It’s rare that we saw a role mismatch.
We were lucky to both be assigned merchandise roles for our internships…one of us at Downtown Disney, one at Discovery Island in the Animal Kingdom. We loved it!
Disney College Program participants work in more than 20 different positions at WDW and DL:
Operations cast members help ensure our guests have enjoyable experiences while visiting our theme parks and/or the Downtown Disney area. Whether directing vehicles in the parking lot, advising guests on which ticket packages to purchase, operating our rides/shows/attractions, or ensuring guest areas are clean and show ready, Operations cast members have a direct impact on our guests’ experiences.
Roles in this area include: Attractions, Custodial, Hopper, PhotoPass Photographer, Main Entrance Operations, Park Greeter, and Transportation.
Lodging cast members help ensure guests have a memorable stay at our world-class resorts, whether through an expedient check-in process, a clean and well-maintained guest room, or assistance with transporting luggage.
Roles in this area include: Bell Services Dispatch/Greeter, Concierge, Hospitality, Disney Desk, Front Desk and Guest Services, and Housekeeping.
Food & Beverage
With more than 300 food and beverage locations throughout our parks and resorts in Florida and California, Food & Beverage makes up an important part of our guests’ experiences. Food & Beverage cast members in these areas provide guests with memorable dining experiences from outdoor vending to counter service to signature restaurants.
Roles in this area include: Quick-Service Food & Beverage (QSFB), Full-Service Food & Beverage, Custodial Busser, Food & Beverage Food Cart Cashier, and Food Prep.
Cast members in retail/sales areas help guests have enjoyable vacation experiences, whether selling ticket packages, magically transforming little girls into princesses at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, or helping guests find the perfect mementos of their vacations in our various merchandise locations.
Roles in this area include: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique/Pirate League, Merchandise, Retail Sales Clerk, and Vacation Planner.
Whether at our water parks, resort swimming pools, golf and mini golf courses, children’s activity centers, or guest arcades, Recreation cast members help our guests enjoy their vacations.
Roles in this area include: Lifeguard and Recreation.
Entertainment cast members help create and maintain the show, whether through performing in our various parades and shows, facilitating character meet & greets, or supporting our performers and other cast members through supplying/maintaining costumes.
Here’s our thoughts on some of the roles we’ve known DCP interns to work at:
1. Merchandise Roles, aka, the Cast Members who stock the shelves. We loved merchandise, especially since our roles were inside in the air conditioning and we only rotated out to carts for brief periods. At DAK, one of Caroline’s rotations was to Baby Care…six hours of watching Disney movies of her choice in air conditioning! We consider this to be one of the best DCP internships offered.
2. Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique Stylist. We know several “Fairy Godmothers in Training” and not only are they wonderful make-up artists, they are great women. They spend their days transforming little girls into princess and little boys into pirates. Fun!
Here’s a Magical Moment story from one of our CM friends:
“This morning I took my little princess over to the Castle wishing well to make a wish. After her wish, she told me that she wished for a new daddy for her mom because her daddy died 2 years ago. I gave her a hug. Then this fairy Godmother went to the back and totally lost it.”
3. Disney Princess Roles. Glamor roles!! We would see various Disney Princesses in the cafeteria in partial costume and you would be surprised at how different they look without their make-up and/or wigs on! Good working conditions, generally 45 minutes on, then a 15 minute break for rest and touchups. And, in the summer, extra cool off periods! Guests love you!
4. Disney Character Roles. We think all the character roles are special. What a great gig! Caroline had a friend who ‘was friends with’ a Chip character. Ah, the guest stories they tell!
5. Attraction Attendants. We think the CM staffing the continuous loading rides like the doom buggies at the Haunted Mansion or shells at the Little Mermaid ride have sweet roles. They are in the air conditioning all day and they get to walk continuously at the job. Great way to lose weight! It’s like being paid to exercise.
The Tougher/More Demanding Roles:
- Parking Lot Attendants. Probably the hardest, most physically demanding role in all of DWD. Saving grace: It rains/thunders almost every afternoon during the long, hot summer. Attendants get to go to their break room and rest/cool off while waiting out the storms.
- Custodial. We saw a horse urinate on Main Street USA and within 3 minutes, a CM custodian was there on her hands and knees wiping it up (Code U). Yikes!
- Housekeeping. A lot of lifting, vacuuming, cleaning. But, you’re in air conditioning, out of the weather.
- Food Service. Very quick pace EVERYWHERE.
- QSFB. Being outside staffing a snack/drink cart all day is tough. It’s hot and there’s little shade.
Other Cool CM Roles (not open to DCPers):
1. Pyrotechnics Expert for any DWD property fireworks. Disney is the largest consumer of pyrotechnics in the world. At DWD, there are typically 3-4 fireworks shows A NIGHT! Magic Kingdom has “Wishes”, Epcot has “Illuminations”, Hollywood Studios has “Fantasmic!”. Each and every fireworks show is dazzling, best of its kind, if not a one-of-a-kind fireworks show. And, they do it EVERY NIGHT!
2. Disney Imagineers – These are the rock stars at Disney who dream all this stuff up…designing the structures, decor, landscaping and food to serve around Africa and Asia in Animal Kingdom. Designing all the new “Frozen” stuff at Hollywood Studios. Designing and illustrating all the t-shirts, coffee mugs and other paraphernalia people peruse and buy in the many stores in the parks and resorts.
Fun fact – did you know that Disney Imagineers are required to live in the culture they’re tasked with rendering in a park? For instance, the team that designed Africa in Animal Kingdom were required to live in Africa for 3 years immersing themselves in the culture so that they could create the most authentic experience imaginable for the Animal Kingdom. Talk about an all-expenses-paid, extended vacation to an exotic locale!
3. Tinkerbell Zip Liner in Magic Kingdom’s Nightly Show – Wishes. Best view in the park, zipping high above crowds as they gasp in delight as you fly from Cinderella Castle to Tomorrowland! Plus your outfit lights up!
4. Street Performer in any of the Parks. Dancing! Singing! Great costumes!!
5. Cast Members who feed the animals at Animal Kingdom. Caroline did a backstage tour of DAK and got to see the animals in their nightly holding/feeding pens and saw how they were positively trained with food treats. Both of us have stayed several nights at Animal Kingdom Lodge and seen them feed the animals in the morning. Talk about pampered animals! And they seem to love their CM handlers.
Read more about other cool roles at DWD: http://www.disneyfanatic.com/12-coolest-jobs-disney-world/
Two Girls and a Mouse Tale
by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins
Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???
We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.
We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.
Book link on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale