Monday, January 17, 2011

Disney College Program: My Final Thoughts

This past fall as some of you know I participated in the Disney College Program. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience and I will never regret doing it. I was a Skipper on the Jungle Cruise in the Magic Kingdom. I absolutely loved where I worked and the people I worked with.... most of the time that is. Like any other internship this is a job, and you will be working very long hours most of the time. You will also work holidays and weekends... yes I know it sucks. I worked Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years while on my program, but in the end it was all worth it. Being a Cast Member makes you part of the magic of The Walt Disney World Resort, and it is our job as Cast Members to make dreams come true for both the young and old.

Being a Cast Member mean that the perks are pretty awesome. First and foremost, you get to go to Disney World for FREE! And during my program they were having a special promotion that we got to go to the water parks for free too. As a castmember, you also get merchandise discounts, hotel discount, cruise line discounts, and ticket discounts. During the Christmas holiday our cast member discount was raised to 50% off, which was pretty awesome because it applied to all Disney merchandise except for movies and CD's.

Now I will warn you, the housing situation seems great but as one of my friends so adequately put it, she "hates Price Management and their stupid apartments... they can take their stupid rules and shove it where the sun don't shine". The company that manages the apartment complexes absolutely blows. The rules are ridiculous, the security guys are assholes, and if you break a housing rule you can be terminated from the program. The housing is the biggest bad mark on the program in my eyes. I would recommend living in Patterson or Chatham, stay away from Vista. Patterson is the newest complex and where I spent my program. DO NOT LIVE IN A 3 OR 4 BEDROOM APARTMENT because it is 2 people per room meaning there will be 8 people max in an apartment. Though this sounds fun.... you will have no space in your kitchen for anything. I lived in a 3 bedroom so there were 6 of us, and well there was never any space in the fridge at all. Plus 6 girls in one apartment.... no bueno.

Despite the lousy housing situation, I would recommend this program to anyone. I have loved Disney since the very first time I went there when I was 4 years old and I love it even more now that I have been a Cast Member. If you have worries about seeing the backstage stuff and it ruining the magic, don't worry, being a part of the magic is such a rewarding experience. So if you have ever wondered if the Disney College Program is right for you, I say do it. You only live once and to have an opportunity like this is, in my eyes, a dream come true.

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