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Disney Offers Students Chance of a Lifetime

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The Disney College Program has much to offer students around the world.

The Disney College Program has much to offer students around the world.

Photo contributed to "The Bear Facts" by Megan Bender

Photo contributed to "The Bear Facts" by Megan Bender

The Disney College Program has much to offer students around the world.

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Many people love the thought of going to Walt Disney Parks for vacation, but working there can also be a dream.

Disney has made it possible for college students to live that dream and work at Walt Disney World. This program is known as the Disney College Program (DCP). The processes can be long and strenuous, but completely worth it, according to the many students who have been a part of it. Megan Bender, a Florida Southwestern University Hospitality major, is one of these students. She recently worked as a custodian for the Magic Kingdom during the Fall 2014 program.

I applied because Disney is my favorite place in the entire world.”

— Megan Bender

 

“I applied because Disney is my favorite place in the entire world,” Bender said. “I’ve always wanted to know the secrets of Disney World. Also, my best friend did the program and she said participating in the program was the best decision she had ever made.”

Students may apply for the program by logging onto http://cp.disneycareers.com/en/default/ and clicking on APPLY NOW. Once the student has applied and qualified as a potential candidate, he or she will have to eventually participate in a phone interview, where a DCP representative will ask a series of questions to get to know the applicant better.

LCM Assistant Principal Ryan DuBose is familiar with the process through his older and younger brothers, who both participated in the program. His advice to students applying is to be very upbeat, energized and friendly when participating in the phone interview.

The internship lasts for one semester and applicants can choose from the fall or spring program. The fall program runs from August to January and the spring program starts in January and lasts until May. However, there are extensions offered for both of these, where students may work through the summer as well as the rest of the semester or work for the full year.

For those who have participated in the program, there have been numerous benefits, aside from gaining valuable work experience.

“My favorite part of the job was the people I met,” Bender said. “I met my closest friends from the job. I also liked how much guest interaction I got as a custodian. Whenever guests had questions, they would go straight to a custodial member. It was really nice being able to help people in need.”

For Bender, her daily routine varied on a day-to-day basis. She would leave an hour or two early in order to beat the Disney traffic and find parking so she could ride the “WestClock” bus. WestClock is the bus that takes Magic Kingdom cast members from the cast parking (behind the park) to the “Utilidors” to clock in and start their day. The Utilidors are the tunnels that run underneath the Magic Kingdom.

The friends you meet will change your life forever.”

— Megan Bender

“Once I changed into my costume and clocked into my CDS (Cast Deployment System), I would get my assignment and start making magic for millions of people,” Bender said.

Disney is known to entertain people from all around the world, so there are many students from other counties who work in this program.

“Some of the benefits of the program are making magic for families from around the world,” she said. “You meet some incredible people while working at Disney. Another benefit is knowing/ living with people from around the world. You learn about so many different cultures, from the people you work with to the roommates you have. The most amazing benefit you have while being a cast member is being able to see all the secrets Disney has to offer and how they make everything so magical.”

One thing Bender learned while being a DCP was how to be independent. She said she learned how to be on her own and discovered that she enjoyed doing so. She also liked being able to live with people whom she had never met before.

“Being a part of the Disney College Program was the most amazing and unique experience I’ve ever done,” she said. “Being able to wake up and go ride Tower of Terror whenever you please never got old. The friends you meet, the bonds you have with people, the memories you make, will change your life forever.”

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