Overview On Disney College Program Application And How It Works

Overview On Disney College Program Application And How It Works

In the United States, the Disney College Program is a highly sought-after paid college internship program. Hence, Disney College Program receives numerous applications.

The Disney College Program gives applicants a professional and educational experience that will stand out on their resume besides working with Disney.

It’s no surprise, however, that thousands of college students apply each year for the opportunity to add the DCP to their CV.

But, what exactly is the Disney College Program? How can you tell if you’d be a good match? In this article, we’ll answer these and other questions for you!

This article will give you a detailed description of the Disney College Program. It will also describe who it is for, who is qualified, how long it lasts, and what the rewards are.

Additionally, we will explain the Disney College Program’s three primary components. The three-pointers will help you figure out if the program is right for you.

This article will also walk you through the Disney College Program application process, as well as five pointers on how to make your application stand out.

What Is the Disney College Program?

The Disney College Program (DCP) is a paid college internship that takes place in the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, and the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, for a semester.

Students who apply and get accepted to this special internship program will work in Disney parks and resorts, take part in college-level coursework, and form friendships with students from around the world while living in company-sponsored lodging.

Who Is Qualified To Apply For Disney College Program as a College Student?

College students who are also citizens of the United States, permanent residents of the United States, or studying in the United States on an F-1 visa are eligible to apply.

By the time their program participation begins, all DCP applicants must be 18 years old. Such applicants must be in a college or university during the fall or spring semester prior to applying to the program in order to be considered.

The curriculum lasts at least one semester, although it can last anywhere between four and seven months.

Typically, applicants will not learn the length of their internship offer until they have formally asked them to take part in the DCP.

Why You Should Apply

Taking part in the Disney College Program has many advantages. Participants can network with industry experts, take career and personal development seminars, and improve problem-solving, teamwork, customer service, and communication skills.

What makes the DCP unique is that participants can complete an internship requirement while also enrolling in and paying for a full semester of online college courses. Paid internships that allow you to continue your education are scarce

The Three (3) Components Of The Disney College Program: Living, Learning, Earnin

Let’s inspect the three components of the Disney College Program now that you know the answer to the question, “What is the Disney College Program?” They are Living, Learning, and Earning. 

1. Living

The DCP’s “Living” component refers to program participants’ necessity to live in company-sponsored housing among people from all around the United States and the world. It’s a lot like living on a college campus in a dorm!

The DCP is to arrange on-site accommodations for its participants. They assign participants apartments and housemates based on their gender, with up to eight people sharing a unit. Participants in the Disney College Program must follow the Community Codes to guarantee their safety while living in Disney College Program housing. If you don’t, you can get kicked out of the program.

Both the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and the Disneyland Resort in California require program participants to pay a variety of fees to help defray the cost of their lodging.

Participants must pay a couple of one-time fees before beginning the program, as well as a continuing, weekly fee to cover the cost of accommodation once the program begins (similar to paying rent, basically). They withdraw the weekly housing charges straight from members’ DCP salaries before they receive them for the benefit of convenience.

The cost of housing varies according to the Disney resort they assign a participant to. Following is a breakdown of the fees that participants must pay once they accept an offer to join at either resort location:

College Program Location: Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, FL

Fee Type

Fee Amount

One Time or Recurring?


Program Participation Fee


One-time (before beginning the program)


Housing Fee


One-time (before beginning the program)


Weekly Housing Payment

Ranges from $114 to $205, depending on type and size of apartment

Recurring (weekly for the duration of the program)


College Program Location: Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA

Program Participation Fee


One-time (before beginning the program)


Security Deposit


One-time (before beginning the program)


Housing and Administration Fee


One-time (before beginning the program)


Weekly Housing Payment

Ranges from $160 to $180 per week, depending on the size of the apartment and max occupancy

Recurring (weekly for the duration of the program)


Now that you’re aware of all the prices you must pay before and during the Disney College Program. Know that even if they accept you, they won’t officially reserve your position until you’ve paid the required one-time housing payments in one lump sum.

2. Learning

The DCP’s “Learning” section refers to the “uniquely Disney” educational offerings and experiences that program participants can partake in. Also, the learning possibilities they offer differ between the Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort, much as they do with the Living component. The Disney Internship Program requires students to take part in classes.

The Disney Onsite Resident Management System, or DORMS, publishes course options via an online course catalog. They organize courses by title, type, date, time, hours (the number of hours the course will last), and registration date. They allocate a “type” to each of the course offerings. The two main kinds of courses in the DCP are “Exploring Disney” and “Career Connection.”

Courses and activities under “Exploring Disney” demonstrate how Disney conducts business in a range of areas. These classes include seminars on various components of the Disney business, stand-alone sessions on various aspects of Disney’s operations, and opportunities to learn about the administration and design of Disney’s parks and resorts.

The design “Career Connection” learning sessions to assist participants in the development of their career paths. “Conversations With,” “Career Insights,” and “Career + Life Preparation” are the three categories of Career Connection classes. In the “Conversations With” series, guest speakers discuss employment prospects at Disney. “Career Insights” and “Career + Life Preparation” are two of the topics covered.

Finally, DCP’s includes an optional Study Hall program. Study Hall is a service that allows program participants to complete homework for any online courses they are taking through their institution or university at a set time each week. (It’s essentially the same as a study hall period from high school!) Study Hall requires program participants to register online in order to be given time off from DCP employment in order to take advantage of this opportunity.

3. Earning

“Earning” is the last component of the Disney College Program. Participants in the Disney College Program get paid an hourly wage for their work in the Disney parks and resorts because it is a paid internship.

They inform candidates for the program of their specific pay rate when they are offered a position, but according to the program’s application webpage, this price ranges from $12 to $15 per hour, depending on the role they offer them.

Operations, Entertainment, Lodging, Food & Beverage, Retail/Sales, or Recreation may be assigned to DCP participants. They refer to participants as “cast members” while working in one of these locations, and they will dedicate their time to serving park and resort guests and ensuring they have a spectacular experience.

Flexibility is crucial to having a positive experience while working in the program. They may require participants to work inside, outside, or both. They must be available for full-time or part-time employment, and it may require them to work during the day, evening (even after midnight! ), weekends, and holidays. The DCP program may not be the ideal choice for you if you don’t mind having a flexible or rotational work schedule.

Applicants to the program have the option of indicating a specific position they would like to play while working at the parks and resorts when applying. However, this is not a guarantee that they will assign them to this function. Regardless of the precise role provided to an applicant, all program participants have to improve their communication and problem-solving skills while also increasing their confidence and self-reliance.

3 Tips to Decide If the Disney College Program Is Right for You

You’ve undoubtedly figured out that the Disney College Program requires a significant time commitment, so how do you know if this internship program is right for you? Below are three suggestions to assist you in making your decision.

1. Consider The Workload

The Disney College Program does not follow the traditional 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday work schedule. Participants in the DCP must be available to work late at night (often very late!), on weekends, and even during the holidays. However, you won’t know when you’ll be working until you arrive at the internship, which can be a little unsettling.

Remember that, besides a hard work schedule, the Disney College Program requires you to enroll in university classes while doing your onsite internship. When you add in the obligation to attend DCP-sponsored classes, you’ve got a very full plate.

Despite the tough schedule, former DCP participants have found the program to be extremely beneficial.

It’s critical that you consider what you want from an internship before applying to the DCP program. You’ll have a better DCP experience if you’re eager for the challenge of a tough work schedule!

2. Consider The Geography

Florida or California (or both!) may be a long trip from home for some applicants. The Disney College Program expects you will be onsite for the internship for three to seven months, which can be a long time away from family, friends, and familiar surroundings.

Brien, a DCP alumnus, urges future applicants, especially those from other countries, to consider hard about whether they’re ready to be so far away from home.

If you’re interested in putting your independence and self-sufficiency to the test a few states (or a whole ocean) away from home, the Disney College Program might be for you!

3. Think About Your Future

That the Disney College Program offers particular classes to help participants learn how to pursue their desired career is one of the program’s biggest advantages. However, it’s vital to note that over half of the DCPcourses are Disney-specific: they’re all about the Walt Disney Company’s history and operations.

The prospect of receiving a behind-the-scenes peek at one of the world’s most successful companies may enthrall many applicants, but others may want to seek an internship that is more focused on their potential professional field. Whatever you choose, it’s critical to understand that they primarily focused this internship on Disney from the start.

Guide To The Disney College Program Application Process

You’ll need to work on your application if you’ve decided the Disney College Program is worth a chance. They conduct the Disney College Program application online, but it may also require a series of interviews.

Applicants must meet the following criteria in order to be considered for the Disney College Program:

You must be currently enrolled in an accredited program or institution and have completed at least one semester OR you must have graduated within the previous 12 months.

If applicable, meet any university-specific admissions requirements.

By the start date of the program, you must be at least 18 years old.

Be a citizen of the United States, a legal resident, or have unrestricted work authorization.

There are a few further restrictions on eligibility. For example, if you recently graduated from high school and have college credit through a dual enrollment program, you are not (yet!) eligible for the DCP.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can apply for the Disney College Program online. Applicants must give information about their schooling, employment experience, college academic schedule, and availability for work. Applicants must also state why they are applying to the DCP, the roles they are interested in, and which park site they are applying for (Orlando, California, or both).

During the application process, the Disney College Program does not ask applicants to submit a traditional résumé or cover letter. However, applicants may be required to take part in an interview procedure. Because there aren’t any set of interview schedules, you’ll have to wait to find out if you’ve progressed to the next level of the application process.

When you must submit, your application depends on which session you are applying for. These dates are subject to change throughout the year, so check the Disney College Program website for the most up-to-date information. If you’re trying to plan, except that the application deadline is at least three months before the program’s start date.

For each session, the timeframes for notifying applicants of the final decision on their application vary. There is no specific notification day or period; they make acceptance decisions and deliver notifications to applicants individually. During the two to three months following their application submission, applicants should check their email and their Disney College Program dashboard periodically for news of the decision on their application.

They also intrigue many applicants by the acceptance rate for the Disney College Program. Every year, thousands of people apply to DCP, but they only accept about 20% of them. That implies you should put your best effort into your application and interview, which we’ll discuss next!

5 Tips for a Stellar Disney College Program Application

Because the Disney College Program is so competitive, your application must stand out. Look at our top five suggestions for making your DCP application the best it can be!

1. Make Sure You Meet Your School’s Criteria

Various universities may have special eligibility requirements for applying to the DCP. For example, some schools may require you to have completed a certain number of course hours before you can apply.

To save time and avoid heartache, speak with your academic advisor to find out what these eligibility criteria are and ensure that you meet them before submitting your DCP application. Remember that not all institutions have additional application criteria, and not all additional qualifying requirements are the same.

The moral of the story is that if you’re interested in applying for the DCP, find out as soon as possible what your school’s qualifying requirements are. That way, you’ll be able to do everything possible to ensure that you meet the requirements before applying.

2. Know Your DCP – Why?

The DCP application requires you to explain why you choose to apply to the program and what factors influenced your decision. They will choose these three items from a list provided as part of the DCP application. The reasons you choose will reveal something about who you are and what sort of Disney employee you might be, so think carefully about which ones are the most authentic for you.

If you’re requested to complete a DCP interview, you can use your three “whys” to help you prepare for it. DCP interviewers will almost certainly ask you to expound on the reasons you chose on your DCP application. You’ll come out as honest, serious, and authentic if you walk into an interview, having contemplated your reasons for wanting a DCP internship.

3. Choose The Right Roles For You

On the DCP application, they also ask applicants to select their preferred “Roles.” They classify these positions into various categories based on the labor performed at the resorts and parks, which includes a list of “high need” positions.

You should select roles you would work in as an intern at DCP while filling out this section of the application. Some applicants may believe that selecting roles from the “high need” list will boost their chances of being selected.

However, expressing what you believe the DCP wants to hear isn’t always the best way to get into the program. It’s more crucial to choose roles in which you’d be truly passionate about serving. Remember that the application also includes an interview section. Interviewers are likely to notice if you’ve picked roles that are a good fit for your interests and skills rather soon.

4. Flexibility

It’s crucial to keep an open mind throughout the Disney College Program application process. Of course, you’ll be asked to choose your preferred internship location, role, and housing on the application, but no applicant can expect to get their first choice.

If you’re willing to work in a role or in a location that isn’t your first choice, your adaptability may impress the interviewers and consider you for a DCP internship! Working in theme parks and resorts might be a little chaotic. If you get the internship, you’ll have to be adaptable—your work and class schedules will almost certainly be unconventional!

5. Get Read To Interview

You probably know that they invite certain applicants to an interview if the DCP wants them to continue with the application process. In fact, the process includes two interviews: a web interview and, if everything goes well, a follow-up phone interview.

If you get to the interview stage of the procedure, you’ll want to be ready to dazzle. This is your opportunity to show potential interviewers who you are beyond the application, so practicing interview questions and thinking through responses is a fantastic approach to get ready for the interview. The key to a good interview process is preparation!


1. Disney College Program Roles

Working on one of the following positions: Dish-up/Presenter, Greeter, Runner, Food Preparation, and Drink/Beverage Pourer.

Answering Guest questions.

Taking and assembling Guest orders.

Serving salads, entrees, and beverages.

Stocking and replenishing food.

2. Disney College Program Benefits

Extra benefits include:

Exclusive sneak previews of new attractions, parks, and resorts.

Access to Mickey’s Retreat.

Opportunities to participate in unique holiday celebrations.

Credit Union Membership.

Wellness Programs.

On-site Health Fairs and Seminars.

Life-Management Services.

Clubs, instructional programs, and sports leagues

3. Disney College Program Acceptance Rate

There is no exact amount but almost 12,000 students are used to applying to each program as well as about 20% get accepted.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Will I have a personal interview?

No. There are just two steps in the application process.

2. Is this a paid internship?

Yes, you pay for an internship.

3. Do I need a car?

No, you don’t need a car and wouldn’t need any vehicle for that matter while you participate in the Disney College Program, however, you may find it helpful or useful to get a car for yourself.

4. Will I receive credit?

That is entirely left for you. In order to receive credit, you are asked to participate in an internship.

5. Will I be a full-time student while in the College Internship Program?

This is dependent on you earning credit, even though it isn’t wise counsel.


Although the Disney Program is fantastic, they do not guarantee you to find a post that is directly related to your eventual profession. Instead, consider job shadowing if you’re searching for more career-specific opportunities to assist you to move from college to the field.

Unfortunately, the Disney College Program is only open to students enrolled in college. However, you could want to apply to a pre-college summer program, which helps high school kids learn more about their future job options


Overview On Disney College Program Application And How It Works


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