So you are thinking about applying to the Disney College Program? I can understand why, they advertise it as the dream internship. Work in the parks, live in Disney world, cast member discounts, you meet the friends of your life and free access into the parks. Who wouldn't want to apply for it?
It's surprising how many participants get termed (Disney's term for fired) their first few weeks of the program. They mostly look forward to the all the fun, people and parties the program has to offer and forget that this is ultimately a job. It's important to remember all the guidelines and respect them, take responsibility and work hard to have a successful college program.
1. Disney housing will NOT permit underage drinking. There are no warnings. If you got caught with drinking or holding alcohol under 21, you will be termed and sent home the next morning. There are so many participants that didn't take this rule seriously, and found out the hard way that Disney means it. There is no tolerance,. Simply put: if you don't want to want to get termed and you are underage, stay sober.
2. Play hooky and and go to the parks... #termed. Yes, Disney understands that things happen and people get sick. If you decide to go play in the parks and skip work for a day.... Then it's a problem. Disney doesn't have tolerance for bailing on work to go have fun in the parks. Disney hired you to fill your role as a hardworking and intelligent individual. They want you to show that side of you before you clock in and after you click out. Be responsible.
3. Also... Ever hear of the point system? Every time you call-out of work, you get a point on your record card. If you are late (even if it's only by a minute late) you get half a point. three points in a row within 30 days, you get a reprimand. If you manage to get four reprimands, you are termed. Obviously things happen and you have to use them sometimes. Communicate with your managers and use your call-outs wisely.
4. The complexes do have curfews.If you live in Disney housing, you cannot be in another complex between 2am-7am. If you get caught in a complex you don't live in between that time period, you are termed and sent home the next morning. Sounds extreme? A little. But Disney is very big on safety (one of their catch phrases during training is "SafeD begins with me", if that doesn't say enough). I don't blame them, being responsible for so many college kids every year, and seeing how the people before them acted, of course they will have extreme rules. But all-and-all it's meant to keep us safe.
5. You will work. A lot. Yes, surprise, you could have 40+ hour weeks. We often got the nickname of CPs (Closing Persons). Unless you are the lucky ones who somehow manage to get out of work at a reasonable hour, be prepared to come back home from work at 12am, 3am, even 4am. It's a lot of hard work and shouldn't be underestimated.
6. No second jobs allowed.Not really a problem for most people, because I think most participants assume that most their time will be occupied with long shifts at Disney, but I've seen people get termed for having second jobs. If you are in need for extra money, just pick up more shifts!
7.Discounts must be paid in your name.If you use a credit card with a different name to pay for anything with your cast member discounts, you get termed. So your friend really wants that Alex and Ani bracelet with your discount? You can still give them that discount, but payments must be in your name with your cards.
Is the college program a lot of work? Yes. It will drain you physically, mentally, and emotionally. You will work harder than you ever have before, with a lot of rules that you'll have to obey. But the overall experience is incredible and completely unforgettable. You will meet the most amazing friends from all over, open a door to a world of opportunity and you will have time for some fun. The program was the best four months of my life, and I would recommend it to anyone interested. Just remember, good things don't come easy. Work hard, Play hard.