So you want to apply to the Disney College Program? Easy! In this blog I’ll outline for you the sections of the application, how to best word your job experience and skills, and, to top it off, I’ll debunk the rumors about how to rank the roles you’re interested in to optimize your experience throughout the whole interview process and, hopefully, your time working for the Mouse!
So first thing’s first, when you click on the job posting it will take you to this screen which outlines the job description, basic qualifications applicants must meet, and the starting salary range ( $10.00 – $12.31 per hour), which could vary based on what role you end up in. There’s also a bold, red line that states that the Disney College Program does NOT include the culinary program. So for all you culinary students wanting to work your food magic in Walt Disney World or Disneyland, this is not the application for you. This will give you more information on the Culinary Program. So if you’re ready to apply, go ahead and click that big green “Apply” button at the very bottom of the page, and let’s get this thing started!
The first section of the application is where they ask for all of your personal information. If you’ve already applied before, most of this is saved in their system, so you just have to review it to make sure it’s all accurate. Super simple, right? In this section they’re also going to ask you about your education history; where you’ve attended college, the years you attended, your area of study, what year you’re in, and your GPA. Then they ask for your work experience (up to 5 of the most recent), and this is where it’s important that you are deliberate in how you word your responsibilities and skills in each job…
Pro Tip: When writing the skills each experience required, go through the Role Descriptions and use keywords from those descriptions to describe your skills. Be deliberate in how you use the keywords in your skills, but don’t lie about it. This won’t be the first time I say this in this post: never lie on your application or in your interviews about what you’ve done and/or what you’re willing to do. It’s better to be 100% honest about yourself and your experience and face the potential of not getting in, than to lie about it, be accepted, and end up in a role that you hate. Trust me. When I applied and filled out my skills I went through all of the roles to make sure I covered everything that I truly had experience with, but I focused on the roles that I have the most interest in. Be thorough, you don’t want to accidentally leave something important out!
After this section they’re going to ask some eligibility questions (are you 18 years of age or older, are you a current participant in the DCP, are you currently enrolled in an accredited institution, what school are you currently enrolled in), a few “Self ID” questions (are you a current or former employee of the Walt Disney Company, how did you hear about the DCP, are you or have you been a member of the military, gender, race), and which programs you’re interested in (Walt Disney World or Disneyland or both).
This is what the first section of the WDW section looks like, and what I’ll be discussing in this post. I didn’t apply for the Disneyland program, so I can’t go over the specifics, but I would assume it looks the same. Last year they had us rank every single role, so I was surprised this year to see that they had Custodial, Housekeeping, Lifeguard, and QSFB as the only initial roles to rank. They set it up this way due to the fact that these are the roles with the most open positions and the most need. Be honest. Unless you really don’t care what role you get, don’t put “High Interest” for every one just because you’re desperate to get in to the program. If none of the high-need roles suit your fancy, fear not. After this section they give you a list of the rest of the roles, and you can check off which ones you’re interested in and rank them.
These are almost all of them. I think I checked off all but 3-4 roles. Since these were roles I selected myself, they’re all Moderate-High Interest, none were Low Interest, and, since I chose them, none were No Interest. Pretty self-explanatory. Again: Do. Not. Lie. Unless you’re open to any role they’re willing to give you, be honest about what you’re willing to do. If you really don’t want to be working one-on-one with kids your whole program, but put High Interest for Children’s Activities and end up in that role, you’re likely going to have an awful program. It’s better to be honest about what you want and not be accepted, than to lie and hate your experience. I know I’m being repetitive, but you would be amazed at how many posts I’ve seen on the DCP Facebook page where people say they’re checking off High Interest on everything just to maximize their chances of being accepted.
This section is the last that requires introspection and careful consideration. After you complete ranking your roles they have a section with some “Additional Questions” (can you prove your legal right to work in the U.S., are you able to work Sun-Sat, days and nights, holidays, and overtime, what area of concentration most closely aligns with your major, are you receptive to the starting pay rate, what is your primary program of interest (Florida or California), have you lived independently), and if you speak any languages other than English, and what your proficiency is. After answering those questions you’re finished! The last screen has all of your answers listed and you have the opportunity to edit or change anything before you sign your name and submit the application.
Ta da! Super straightforward, right? Shortly after you submit the application you should receive an email that thanks you for applying and states the very final day to hear from them. This year it’s November 18th. Your dashboard will have your application status, which at this point should say “Open.” It took me about 20-30 minutes to receive the email inviting me to take the Web Based Interview, but I saw “Action Required” on my dashboard before I got the email. With applications only just opening this week the servers are super busy, so just be patient and try not to freak out too much. If anything ever looks glaringly wrong you can always contact Disney themselves and inquire. The contact information is always at the bottom of communications you receive from them.
Be on the lookout for my next post, where I’ll outline the Web Based Interview and share some helpful tips and tricks to make sure you ace it and move on to the final step: the Phone Interview!
Until next time, have a magical day, and I’ll see ya real soon! ºoº