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Old 07-18-2013, 10:51 AM   #1
Mahwah
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Disney college program horror stories

My daughter and her Disney college program roommate are having second thoughts about doing the program. They arrive on August 19th and are getting really nervous...thinking of not doing it! I told her this is only for a semester and she will be home Jan. 3rd. She really needs this for one of her internships. She said she knows of a girl who got to Disney in May and is already home! I did tell her that just because other people have had bad experiences doesn't mean she will! She has also heard some positive stories too. She went to high school with a girl that did the Disney college program and absolutely loved it!
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:17 AM   #2
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My daughter and her Disney college program roommate are having second thoughts about doing the program. They arrive on August 19th and are getting really nervous...thinking of not doing it! I told her this is only for a semester and she will be home Jan. 3rd. She really needs this for one of her internships. She said she knows of a girl who got to Disney in May and is already home! I did tell her that just because other people have had bad experiences doesn't mean she will! She has also heard some positive stories too. She went to high school with a girl that did the Disney college program and absolutely loved it!
I only know of one friend who left DCP but it was her 2nd internship & only reason she left was because she was bipolar & off her meds....

The program is different for everyone. It is all about how you make of it. I still have a lot of lifelong friends I met there. I'd hate for her to regret this. What role did she get?
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:32 AM   #3
Mahwah
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I only know of one friend who left DCP but it was her 2nd internship & only reason she left was because she was bipolar & off her meds....

The program is different for everyone. It is all about how you make of it. I still have a lot of lifelong friends I met there. I'd hate for her to regret this. What role did she get?
She got attractions! I hope she will have lifelong friends too!
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:36 AM   #4
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It really just depends on what attitude she goes in with. It is definitely a job. I think a lot of kids go down expecting to play around for 6 months and are shocked when they are actually expected to work really hard. However, it can also be the most rewarding thing you ever do (it was for me). You have so many opportunities to impact peoples vacations in a positive way, no matter WHAT your job is.

I would also fully recommend her joining the facebook groups and meeting potential roommates ahead of time...then when it's time to check in everyone needs to be there together in order to live together. I hear of many people having bad roommates and I think a lot of it could be avoided if they worked to find roommates beforehand. I personally am still best friends with all three of my roommates from my program.

Also, it sounds like common sense, but DON'T BREAK RULES. It is not worth it. People break rules, get termed, and then come home and complain about how awful it was. If you aren't 21, don't drink. If you call in sick to work, don't go into the parks with your ID. If you aren't supposed to have guests past 2 AM, just don't do it. It's not that hard but many college kids think they are too smart to get caught or they are above the law. Not so, and Disney has been dealing with kids in this capacity for years. It's not worth the risk of getting caught. This also plays into roommate finding. All my roommates and I discussed things like this on facebook beforehand and we all agreed that we weren't going to break the rules and risk getting not only ourselves, but each other, in trouble. If your daughter is over 21, I would recommend she live in non-wellness housing, simply because if she lives in wellness housing and anyone in her apartment is caught with alcohol, they can all be termed.

That last paragraph may have sounded kind of scary, but honestly it isn't hard to have a great time. Just keep in mind that Disney is a business and they have expectations for their employees! But if she goes in with a good attitude and willingness to work and a drive to network with her superiors, she will probably have an awesome time. I know I did. Out of my 6 "best friends" from my program, 3 work there full time and 2 are seasonal. Only me and one other girl are no longer employed by Disney, and I personally am trying desperately to get RE-employed by them in a "big girl" job. That is definitely a testament to the company.
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:24 PM   #5
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Absolutely, don't break the rules. Disney is not a helicopter parent - they expect college students to step up to the plate. They definitely will not baby them. You need to be there when when you are supposed to be there - not even a couple minute late; late is late. You can't call out - not unless you are incredibly sick. I know my daughter went to work sick on more than one occasion. (And, I have seen many Disney Cast Members working when they were sick.) You only get so many call outs and then you are OUT. Under age alcohol is a big deal and so is having somebody in your apartment after the curfew time. Yes, my daughter saw several people dismissed and sent home and you don't want that on your resume.

Basically, you are expected to work just other Disney Cast Members. All in all, my daughter loved it and didn't want to come home when her program was over, but she needed to finish college. She made many friends when she still keeps in touch with and sees.
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:50 AM   #6
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Before my S23 did the program (when he was 20/21) he had his fears too.
Here's our conversion:
Me: "If you do it and hate it, you'll regret it for a semester"
Him: "If I don't do it, I'll regret it for a lifetime"


Some bad roommates, some great roommates, some bad co-workers, some great co-workers. IMHO: It's great experience. Bored? Go to the parks? Which one? Whichever you want.
Great on the resume, Best credentials for a Disney Fortune100 professional internship.
He plans to go back as a professional intern in HR in a year. Already has his manager's recommendations set up.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:03 AM   #7
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She should not really focus on horror stories she hears. These are told by people who got kicked out or are exaggerated. There are some stories about guest interactions which can be bad and some managers may not be great, but on the whole it is a great experience. IF she goes in with excitement and is ready to work then she will have the best time ever. IF she breaks the rules or is not prepared to work then she will have a less than awesome experience. Everyone has a bad day once in awhile, but its alot better to have a bad day at Walt Disney World.
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:17 PM   #8
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The program is like a roller coaster. It has its highs and lows, its bad days and good days. Usually the horror stories come from those that got termed or self termed because they thought this going to be one big vacation and were not happy with having to work 35+ hours a week. To not do the program after being accepted I think would be a mistake. You get to meet and work with some amazing people from all around the world. You get to experience things that you would NEVER be able to as a guest. Not to mention, adding Disney to your resume is INVALUABLE. My first job interview after my first program all the hiring manager wanted to do was talk about Disney and hired me on the spot. This program can be so much fun if go in with the right mindset and know that it's not all fun and games, but also some hard work.
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:54 PM   #9
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I did the College Program Spring 2012 and extended through the summer (I ended up being there January-August), and then converted to seasonal in my role (Custodial). I absolutely loved it. The first thing you have to remember is the horror stories are often exaggerated. The biggest point for staying and following through with the program is that you will have worked at a Fortune 100 company before you even graduate. I've gotten jobs post program that never even looked at me before. And plus, if you want to end up with working for Disney for life (what they call a lifer) managers are there for you and will recommend you for roles/positions.

Also, remember this is a job. It's all about expectations. You aren't going down for an 8 month vacation. You will work crazy hours. You will be moved from opening to close sometimes. It's exhausting, but you will learn so much. I have a network of lifelong friends that share my love of Disney. They are all over the globe, but they will always be there for me. Always.
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:17 PM   #10
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My daughter has loved being in the program - Spring '13. She extended to Aug. 2nd and recently extended again until Jan. 3rd. She works at AK at Kilimanjaro Safaris. She has made many friends and is especially close to two co-workers. I got the pleasure of seeing the three of them in action during a visit in June and you would think they have known each other for years. She was home this weekend for her brother's wedding and could hardly wait to get back - and she is working 45 hours this week! My daughter has nothing but good stories - well maybe a couple of not so good stories about hard to deal with guests - but all in all, this has been a once in a lifetime experience for her. Definitely encourage your daughter to do this. The time will fly by.
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:45 PM   #11
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could hardly wait to get back - and she is working 45 hours this week!
45? When I was at Safaris, that would've been considered a slow week. We averaged about 60 during the summer. Kids these days have it so easy!
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:12 AM   #12
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45? When I was at Safaris, that would've been considered a slow week. We averaged about 60 during the summer. Kids these days have it so easy!
She might have worked around 60 hours during the time around Easter, but nothing close to that this summer. And she has had two days off every week since she has been there. She extended until January and the thing she is excited about is how early safaris closes.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:37 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mahwah View Post
My daughter and her Disney college program roommate are having second thoughts about doing the program. They arrive on August 19th and are getting really nervous...thinking of not doing it! I told her this is only for a semester and she will be home Jan. 3rd. She really needs this for one of her internships. She said she knows of a girl who got to Disney in May and is already home! I did tell her that just because other people have had bad experiences doesn't mean she will! She has also heard some positive stories too. She went to high school with a girl that did the Disney college program and absolutely loved it!
My son was there from May to January last year and loved it.

My daughter left in May this year - and - my only fear is she won't ever come home to finish college.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:23 PM   #14
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Spring advantage 2011 alumni here, custodian in world showcase. Let me just start by saying I loved my program. There were some hard times, but I had so much fun being a part of the magic, and I learned a lot about myself. I even learned that hospitality is what I really wanted to do, and now have a full time job in the field

I graduated college December of 2012, but if I hadn't had to come back for college I never would have left Disney.
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:30 PM   #15
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i feel the same, i will be arriving to do the DCP soon and i have heard tons of horror stories of people getting termed. I understand the drinking and the breaking rules but what i am most nervous about is the stories of getting termed for things people didnt do, or didnt mean to do.

One story was a guy was sleeping and his roommates threw a party with alcohol and everyone was termed including the guy who was asleep who diddnt even drink any alcohol.

Another was of a girl who was termed after a guest hugged her.

another was a guy went into a closet, diddnt turn the lights on and when the manager saw him walk out, accused him of sleeping in the closet and termed him

I understand rules but some of these things i cannot understand.


Basically i want to have an amazing program, i plan to follow all the rules and pray i dont get termed.
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