Disney College Program
Walt Disney World and Disneyland host the Disney College Program, designed to give students living, learning and earning experience.
For four to seven months, accepted students live in Disney-sanctioned housing, earning a pay of $9.50 to $12.20 an hour. During this time of employment, accepted students can take collegiate, seminar or self-paced offered courses to help gain additional experience.
There are currently two terms available to apply for. The fall term covers August to January, and the fall advantage term is May to January. For the fall program, applicants are required to stay in the Walt Disney World-sanctioned housing, with cost ranging between $93 and $124 per week with an initial processing fee of $350.
The Disneyland housing costs $149.50 a week and has an initial cost of $902.50, but $200 of the initial payment is for security in case of housing damages and will be returned upon apartment inspection and check out.
Participants are required to provide their own housing and transportation for the fall advantage program.
“I want to be an event planner for Disney so (the Disney College Program) would be the perfect opportunity to make connections with people in the industry,” said Rachel Boulware, sophomore communication studies major. “Sadly, I would not take the internship because I do not want to take a semester off from Cal Baptist. But I would love to look into a summer program with Disney if they provide that.”
During the period of time applicants are working with Disney, they may take academic courses that could satisfy university requirements. The Disneyland programs require academic participation, while Walt Disney World requires participants to satisfy any requirements set by their respective schools.
Walt Disney World offers a range of collegiate courses ranging from “Corporate Analysis” to “Marketing You” that are 11 weeks long. Their “Exploration” series are four to eight weeks long and are highly interactive, as applicants learn about key area operations at Disney resorts.
The Disney College Program is considered a paid internship and applicants will be expected to work a full-time schedule, including days, nights, weekends and holidays. Applicants are able to choose from over 20 different positions. These positions can be in operations, such as park greeter or convention guide, lodging, food and beverage, retail/sales such as vacation planner or recreation as a lifeguard.
“If I wasn’t a nursing major I would have considered the program,” said Katelyn Meitter, senior nursing major. “I hear the program looks good on a resume for public relations majors since it teaches hospitality, but as a nursing major there is no real benefit.”
With a full-time job earning $9.50 to $12.20 an hour for four to seven months, the average applicant will have earned between $4,100 and $12,250 due to the disparity of months and earnings.