The Disney College Program Returns to Walt Disney World Resort

From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Kaitlyn Woollen

The Disney College Program has offered many college students the opportunity to be a part of a unique experience and diverse community since 1981 and has exponentially grown in popularity over the years. With thousands of participants bringing such special talents and skills to The Walt Disney Company, we are thrilled to welcome back the Disney College Program.

This past month, we had the chance to talk to these incredible students on the return of the program to get their thoughts and feedback on working at Walt Disney World Resort:

  • What do you think of the Disney College Program so far?

How do you measure what you imagined to actually having it? There’s nothing to say beyond just that I am grateful to be here. I am taking every day as it comes, so it feels magical.

  • What do you find unique about the Disney College Program?

It invites college students to go beyond the classroom and we get to experience the world after graduation. I was able to study abroad and work in different places like New York and London, so I was able to have that work experience. Now that I’m here, it gives me the opportunity to see what I enjoy and react to situations to get more of that real-world experience. I think this is really great for college students who are still trying to figure out what they want to do in life. This program gives you a more concrete idea, especially since we get to network with so many different people.

  • What inspired you to share your experience on social media?

I started my YouTube and Instagram channels because I didn’t see anyone that looked like me or see that representation as intensely. I wanted to be that representation and inspiration for others. Plus, I went to school for film so that interest was already innately there. I also obsessively researched what the Disney College Program experience was like and how people felt about it. I want people to see that there’s a lot to experience and I want to be able to share it. I wanted the inside scoop, so I make videos as they interest me that I hope interest others. This is a great time to have magic and give it back, and I want to give as much of it back as possible.

Cast Member, Mikey

Mikey, Magic Kingdom Parking

  • How does it feel to be a part of the Disney College Program?

It feels so great to be here, especially after my program last year was canceled due to COVID. I feel like I appreciate being here ten times more. When I first heard I was able to do parking as my role, I didn’t know what to expect, but now that I’m here I love it so much and every guest interaction is very memorable. Because guests are not inside the park yet, everything is so unexpected and that makes it so great. It also feels great to be here because I came with people I knew from home. Having them here has given me more confidence to go out and meet other people. I know I’ll always have them by my side.

  • How are you liking your role so far and working for The Walt Disney Company?

My role has been awesome, I’ve loved every second of it. Working for Disney has been an amazing opportunity and I’m very very happy to be here. Parking isn’t necessarily what you would associate with Disney Parks, but we get to do so much for our guests when they first arrive. It’s nice to see the work and effort my team have put into this job when guests first arrive. We all have one common goal: to get guests into the Park as fast and safely as they can so they can begin their Disney trip.

  • If you could describe the Disney College Program in one word, what would it be?

If I could describe The Disney College Program in one word, I would use astounding. I’m from Arizona, so moving all the way across the country to Florida was a big lifestyle change for me, but I’m thankful I made the move because I would have never met the people I have so far and never would have had this job experience. Everything is still so new and surreal—I’m so thankful for this opportunity.

Cast Member, Tailei

Tailei, Disney Springs Merchandise

  • Why did you want to join the Disney College Program?

I basically grew up going to Disney and from a very young age, I knew I wanted to work for the company. Because of social media, I discovered this program and it’s been a dream of mine ever since to be a part of The Disney College Program, so I am very excited I am finally here.

  • What are you most excited for during your Disney College Program?

I’m excited to observe and learn, to see the operations and how Disney works behind the scenes. It’s been really interesting to see everything from a different perspective. I’ve been wanting to get into hospitality and communications, so working in a merchandise role I’m in the perfect position to learn and grow.

  • What do you find unique about the Disney College Program?

Not only do you have a paid internship with one of the most respected companies in the world, but you also get to live in Flamingo Crossings, the newest housing complex. You make can make friends very easily and hang out at the pool or community center. It’s an amazing complex all around, they’ve done an amazing job!

The magic is within these college program participants as they embark on this new journey with The Walt Disney Company. Spreading a bit of pixie dust wherever they can, these students are optimistic and proud to be making magic—whether it be their first program or third. We are excited to see where this journey will lead each student and look forward to hearing and featuring more of our college program participants.

For more on The Disney College Program returning, read about Disney College Program Recruiter, Sherrell, and his time as a College Program participant himself and his continued journey at The Walt Disney Company.

We want to spotlight more our best cast—that’s YOU! Search for #DisneyCastLife on socials and for fun GIPHY stickers to feature on your posts.

Questions on how to apply and be a part of The Disney College Program, visit the official Disney Programs site to get more details.

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