Some thoughts and advice about the DCP internship program:
1. The Disney College Program is unlike any other internship out there. There won’t be any easy work days, sitting around an air conditioned office, making coffee runs for the boss, photocopying papers, or having “downtime” on the job. You are working a full time job and it will be the hardest, most demanding job that you will ever have!
2. You’re not here to make money! We cannot stress this enough. You will be paid minimum wage (currently $7.93/hr. in Florida) during this internship. Disney tells you that from the moment that you are offered a role. Whether you accept or decline the internship is up to you. You choose to make minimum wage, so don’t complain about it once you’ve accepted your position. If you come to the program broke, you won’t last for the entire internship. Save every penny you can before arrival day! Hit up everyone in your family and extended family to sponsor you! Sell some of your stuff on ebay to make money before you arrive. Do whatever it takes to have enough money to complete the program!
3. Bring your car. Less than half the CP interns have a car at the Disney World program. While you will have free bus transportation to work, it takes forever, especially around any holiday, however minor. A 20 minute ride to work by car can easily take over an hour by bus, even more if there is traffic, a bus breakdown (common) or the buses are running full. Going anywhere – to Walmart, Publix, the mall, the movies – most certainly requires a car to get there. Everything is spread out in Florida. Plus, offering friends rides home from work after a long day is a surefire way to make lasting friends with your CP coworkers. 🙂
4. It’s not about the job, but the people you work with. There will be days when your legs ache or your back hurts and you’ll think about using one of your work “points” (demerits). But, then you’ll think about how miserable you are when people call out, and you’ll realize you can’t do that to your CP friends, especially on a holiday weekend.
5. After a few months of working at Disney, you can’t go anywhere and not expect the best customer service ever. Because we’ve been taught what real customer service is and how to make guests feel special, CPs literally will judge all customer service against the Disney gold standard (Four Keys) and find all of it lacking. An amazing number of people in customer service have what I call a “DMV” attitude…they could not care less about you or why you are in their restaurant or store. Rudeness abounds outside of the Magic that is Disney.
6. Go to all the DCP events! Disney hosts monthly housing events for the CPs, mainly at Chatham Manor. Free food, great DJs, and Disney characters show up for the meet & greet. Many times the characters are dressed in costumes that you don’t see them wearing in the Parks. How cool is that? Go to the Winter Dance at the Contemporary, say yes to DCP invitations to beta anything new at the Parks, go to all the private CP’s only parties at the Parks. You’ll be glad you did!!
7. Make the most of your time, because it all goes by too quickly! Make a Disney “must do” bucket list, go to all four parks in one day, meet as many characters as possible, say yes to friends invitations to dinner even though you’re tired, go to every holiday party, any special events, eat at at least a few Disney restaurants, stay at a deluxe Disney hotel at least once during your CP time, do everything you can. Once you’re home, you will only regret the things you didn’t do!
8. Take as many photos as possible and blog about your adventures to family and friends back home! Your time as a DCP intern will pass so quickly, the next thing you know, you will be standing in front of the Castle watching Wishes fireworks with your CP coworkers for the last time soaking in every last moment of fun with them. There will be tears in your eyes realizing that the next time you’re there, it will be as a guest and not a Disney cast member!
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