What They Don’t Tell You About The Disney College Program

If you look up the ‘Disney College Program,’ you’ll get the basic run down. It’s a paid internship at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. or the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA. for 5-7 months, depending on when your program starts/ends. You can be cast in one of several roles including merchandise, custodial, food and beverage, attractions, boutique host/hostess and entertainment. You can even take classes for college credit and attend seminars to improve your networking skills or to learn more about Disney history.

But the websites, pamphlets, newsletters, various blog sites and information sessions don’t even begin to scratch the surface of what the Disney College Program truly is.

They don’t tell you that the first week is just as emotional as your last week.

They don’t tell you that going to Casting makes you feel like every dream you’ve ever had is finally coming true.

They don’t tell you that waiting for your Cast Member ID is torture. (I wanna be where the people are…and all of the people are at Disney and I can’t get in yet.)

They don’t tell you that Traditions will fill your heart with so much love for The Walt Disney Company.

They don’t tell you that the first time you walk into Magic Kingdom as a Cast Member you will feel like you’re finally home.

They don’t tell you that life is the bubbles those first few days when it’s nothing but going to the parks and waiting for training to start.

They don’t tell you that you will most likely come home from your first day of training crying to your roommates because it’s all so overwhelming and new and confusing.

They don’t tell you that the first few weeks of work are the hardest.

They don’t tell you that it gets easier.

They don’t tell you that being a CP means, essentialy, being a ‘closing person’ for 98% of your program, except for those really rare occasions where you get an opening shift and get out of work when there’s still sunlight. (Cherish those moments)

They don’t tell you that those nights where you work until 1am are the nights where you bond with your fellow cast members the most, especially other college program participants.

They don’t tell you that this is where you’ll make friends for life.

They don’t tell you that closing shifts almost always end with a trip to Steak ‘N’ Shake, IHop, Denny’s, McDonald’s or Taco Bell with your coworkers.

They don’t tell you that Trails End is literally the best place to get breakfast on property because 1) ALL YOU CAN EAT and 2) $13. (Those CM perks though)

They don’t tell you that time goes by a lot faster than you think, and suddenly you wake up and you only have a few weeks left to do everything you didn’t do the previous 4 months.

They don’t tell you that exploring the parks on your days off is awesome…but that you should venture out of Disney sometimes, too. (Beaches are only an hour/two hours away, and it’s nice to visit other theme parks even if you’re the biggest Disney fan out there–Universal and Busch Gardens are pretty fun.)

They don’t tell you that Wishes will always give you chills.

They don’t tell you that going to House of Blues is a must, at least once. (Except now you must be 21+ to get in; sorry young padawans)

They don’t tell you that work will be difficult some days but that your friends at work will always make it better.

They don’t tell you that you’ll develop a crush or two, and sometimes it’ll work out and sometimes it won’t.

They don’t tell you that your friends, though, will become the backbone of your program. You will literally spend night and day with them, whether they’re your roommates or coworkers.

They don’t tell you that everyone you work with becomes your second family, and that, if you’re lucky, they’ll always be there for you.

They don’t tell you that you will want every piece of Disney merchandise ever created, ears and light sabers included.

They don’t tell you that Transtar is a NIGHTMARE. (If you have a car, you are blessed. If you have friends with cars, you are blessed. If you don’t have either…make some friends really fast or may the odds be ever in your favor.)

They don’t tell you that meeting your favorite characters over and over again will never get old.

They don’t tell you that being The Rebel Spy is life changing.

They don’t tell you that going to the parks alone can be really nice sometimes. Therapeutic, even.

They don’t tell you that the parks are really amazing photography subjects and that taking a picture of the same thing is worth doing because no two pictures ever look the same. (And that’s why I have a million pictures of Cinderella Castle, various firework shows, Festival of Fantasy, Spaceship Earth, and the Hollywood Tower Hotel.)

They don’t tell you that getting pixie dust is always the answer to any problem. (But be warned; you will be permanently pixie dusted for life. That glitter is hard to get out.)

They don’t tell you that playing in the parks when it’s raining is actually the best because as long as you have a poncho, you’re golden. (Besides, we all know it rains for like, .5 seconds when it rains in Florida, anyway.)

They don’t tell you that a mental breakdown is possible and highly likely, because the stress can get to you. But that’s okay; it happens to the best of us.

They don’t tell you that you get homesick even though you’re having the time of your life.

They don’t tell you that you’ll make some mistakes, but it’s part of growing up.

They don’t tell you that the program will make you a better person.

They don’t tell you that closing a park is the best thing ever (because who doesn’t want pictures on an empty main street?)

They don’t tell you that you’ll memorize the words/lyrics to things like Festival of Fantasy, Celebrate the Magic, Wishes, Tower of Terror and The Haunted Mansion…or maybe that’s just me?

They don’t tell you that you’ll meet people from all over the country and world and catch the travel bug. (Because making friends from all over means not having to pay for a hotel when you travel, which is perfect.)

They don’t tell you that even though you’re the one who is supposed to be making magic, the guests will surprise you some days by making magic for you, whether it be getting a hug from a little princess or getting told that you made a whole family’s vacation by being so engaging and kind to them.

They don’t tell you that graduating from the program is bittersweet.

They don’t tell you that the last week is the hardest and that there is no way to prepare for it.

They don’t tell you that the last few shifts you work with everyone will be emotional.

They don’t tell you that you’ll cry pretty much every day that week. And yes, even when you think you’ve cried all the tears you can cry, you cry some more.

They don’t tell you that the last night of work is filled with hugs, plenty of pictures and promising to keep in touch. (And seriously, keep in touch. You’ll regret it if you don’t.)

They don’t tell you that the last time you visit each park will be hard because you can’t imagine a life where getting up in the morning and deciding to go ride Tower of Terror before work is not a thing.

They don’t tell you to take an obnoxious amount of pictures. Yes, it’s wonderful to live in the moment, but it’s also wonderful to have something to look at once your program ends to remember the amazing time you had.

They don’t tell you that the last time you go to Magic Kingdom with everyone will be the worst night you’ve ever spent in Magic Kingdom.

They don’t tell you that you’ll hold onto your friends for dear life as Celebrate the Magic starts.

They don’t tell you that trying to sing along to Wishes and bawl your eyes out at the same time will result in the saddest, but sweetest, eruption of giggles ever.

They don’t tell you that throwing your graduation ears into the air and trying to get a picture of it is actually kinda extremely difficult but also makes for some of the funniest fail pictures ever.

They don’t tell you that the moment you say goodbye, you’re already wishing you could hit the rewind button and start all over again.

And, lastly, they don’t tell you that this is a once in a lifetime experience, and that no matter what happens, it’s one of the best journeys you will ever go on. So cherish every moment, live in the present, be prepared to lose sleep, go on adventures, step out of your comfort zone, make connections and dare to dream ❤

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182 thoughts on “What They Don’t Tell You About The Disney College Program

    1. I loved this! I tried to apply but they aren’t accepting applications right now. What is your best advice on when to apply and how to get into the program?

      1. Hi, Madison!

        I plan on doing a Q&A type of post about the DCP, so I’ll go into it a little more in depth on there, but basically you can apply during two points of the year: February-April (give or take) for Fall/Fall Advantage and August-October (give or take) for Spring/Spring Advantage.

      2. I applied for the Fall program back in January, so the Spring program should start accepting applications right around fall as well. If you go to my search bar on the right hand side of the main page, you can search for my Disney College Program blogs. I have a blog about the application process and another one for the phone interview. My best advice would be to be honest, and apply early! Also, do your research! 🙂

    1. I’m applying to DCP for spring 2016 as well! I can already feel the emotions building! I’m so excited! This program still seems so fabulous after weighing the pros and cons.

  1. This made me cry. My program starts in August and I absolutely can not wait to be there and start making memories. Thank you for writing this!

    1. I hope you have the most wonderful program! Thank you for reading; it means the absolute world to me. And just so you know, I’d like to do a DCP Q&A post so if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

  2. This was so perfect! I finished my DCP in January 2014 and now I am applying for a PI because I miss it so much! ❤

  3. Waah! I did the college program Fall ’99 and this still held true for me way back then. Except Fantasmic. That’s where I worked and I still know all the words (we just came back from WDW 3 weeks ago and I’m having serious withdrawals!). Great post!

    1. You worked Fantasmic?! That is AMAZING! You must have the best stories from your program! Thank you so much for reading and for sharing just a portion of your experience with me; it’s so wonderful to know that my post evoked the same feelings from you even though your program was so long ago. ❤

      1. Yep quickservice up at the top. Before they took credit cards and dining plans. Pretty basic! I feel like there is so much more to learn and navigate now. It was awesome. Also interesting to think about how social media has changed the experience/relationships. When I left CP, you had to call or email to stay in touch!

      2. Oh there is so much more now! I am in merchandise and things change every day it seems like! And yes, social media has definitely changed the experience and how to maintain our relationships after we leave! (Although there are a few really good friends that I do call often because nothing really beats hearing their voice!)

  4. Awesome.
    I did WDWCP 26(!) years ago, and this post made me get all tingly all these years later. I have a couple to add–

    They don’t tell you that it may be life changing.

    They don’t tell you that 20-something years later you may chase down that ONE romantic interest that “got away”…and live happily ever after.

    They don’t tell you that it may motivate you to find a way to have a successful career within a short drive of the parks.

    And lastly–they don’t tell you that it may create a life-long love affair with a certain Mouse!

    1. WOW! 26 years ago, that’s incredible! What was your role?
      And the things you added brought me to tears. I am so happy you were able to reconnect with the “one that got away” and get your fairytale ending. That is so magical. It sounds like the program truly did change your life 🙂

      1. TPP:
        My role is long gone–once upon a time, there were double decker OmniBuses that circled World ShowCase. Usually 3 at a time, with stops in Norway, Italy, France, and Canada.
        That was my CP role! Challenging but fun–driving a standard-shift bus through lots of people while giving a live spiel.
        It’s where I met the love of my life, though, and had countless adventures!

  5. They don’t tell you that you may stick around after graduation and keep working for the Mouse.

    They don’t tell you that even though you may have gone to school for one thing (music for me), you’ll feel a strong connection to the Hospitality industry.

    They also don’t tell you that you may never feel at home outside of the industry until you go back to work in it wherever you are in the world.

    I’m a three time participant (technically speaking, Spring 2006, Fall Adv 2008 and extended to Spring 2009 with a different position), and I will NEVER forget any of those moments as long as I live. I still tell stories to this day about the parade where we got absolutely DUMPED ON because “sudden afternoon rain shower / thunderstorm”, and even though the dancers and most of the parade performers were able to seek shelter underground or in their floats, good ol’ Mickey and Minnie gave the BEST performance I have ever seen on that first parade float (back during Celebrate a Dream Come True). Or stories about my Full Time adventures as a Monorail Pilot.

    When I moved home, I desperately tried to get back into the music scene to no avail, feeling empty with every different job I took, at least that was until I started back in hotels on the far East side of Madison, WI. Now I’m working at an independent hotel in downtown Madison, and I’ve never been happier (save for my Coordinator shifts though in Rails, which were so much fun). Disney really helps to build your character, however animated it may be, and helps to build your confidence. I’m so happy to hear a fellow alum who has enjoyed her program, and I hope you continue to Celebrate the Magic, for years and years to come!

    -Scott
    WDW CP Alum
    Spring 2006 – DisneyQuest Attractions
    Fall Adv 2008 – MK Parking and Auto Plaza
    Spring 2009 – Main Street Operations

    1. Absolutely inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with me and anyone else who takes the time to read it.

      They don’t tell you that completing a program means gaining access into the most magical family on the Earth. ❤

  6. I did my DCP in 2012 and this brought back all the feels! 😭 only people who have been there can fully relate to what it’s like. Thanks for sharing!

  7. What a wonderful read.
    I was on the college program in the Fall of 1989 and only the second program to live in Vista Wayi it was common back then to mix the domestic and international students so it was a great opportunity to learn the cultures of others from different countries.
    My best friends on the program were from places in the USA that I had never visited and learned that people from Alabama don’t really go square dancing ever Friday night, people from Nebraka aren’t milking cows every morning and people from New York are some of the nicest people in the country (even though they do talk funny). I felt more comfortable with the new friends that I made at Disney then I did with the friends that I had at college.
    I remember that last week that you were referring to and it still brings back some tears for me, but now they are all happy tears. Most of us are getting ready to turn 50 in the next few years and thanks to social media we are able to keep in touch and share our lives with each other. We have seen each other over the years, we saw each other’s children grow up on Facebook and some of us even have grandkids now.
    We will always have that special bond that comes from the Magic that Disney creates by bringing together people that were all destined to meet one day because of their common interests and passion to help others which is part of the Disney Culture. It was so powerful for me that I wound up making it my first career and spent ten wonderful years working for Disney. It also brought me to Florida which is a state that I love but would not have moved to if it weren’t for Disney.
    Dreams really do come true and they start on the first day that you meet your new roommates and they will never end.

    1. Thank you so much. And your comment was beautifully put! They say that this is where your journey begins and whether you stay with Disney or not, the college program truly does open up doors and help you find yourself and the path you’re meant to be on. I’m so happy to hear that your college program experience was a positive one and that you got so much out of it.

  8. Great job on this post! It resonates with all of us CP alumni. I met my wife, some of my best friends and made some of my most treasured memories on the program. It is amazing how despite different roles and different years so much of what you wrote was true during my program and remains true today.

    1. Thank you so much! I have also met some of my best friends on this program and the memories we’ve made together are absolutely priceless. I’m so happy that my post resonated with you and with other CP alumni and it has served as a way for all of us to connect!

  9. I was CP in Spring 1987 back when it only lasted a semester and we lived in Snow White Village. Thanks so much for sharing. Your piece brought me to tears. You brought back so many memories: walking down Main Street USA after park closing to take Lost & Found to City Hall; days off spent riding Thunder, Mansion and Pirates over and over and over and over; still being awed by the utilidors; a road trip with three other CPers to Key West; driving to Daytona at 3 a.m. and sitting on the beach to watch the sun rise; loves found and lost, etc. And yes, I do still remember the theme song from the “15 Years of Magic” parade as well as the entire soundtrack for Haunted Mansion.
    Karen Klein (aka mansiongal)

    1. Snow White Village? That sounds pretty awesome! And wow, I kind of want to drive to Daytona to watch the sun rise now! It sounds like you had a wonderful program and I am so happy that my post brought you back to your college program days 🙂

  10. I didn’t get late shift more than other shifts, and the after work place was usually Jungle Jim’s (or Perkins) but otherwise– YES! I still live in the past…… I went directly from GMR CP into Opening Cast Legend of the Lion King and Wicked Queen from Snow White. I just didn’t want to leave. But alas, I had to return to college to finish my degree. After leaving Fl, My dorm room looked like Walt threw up in it. Disney stuff— EVERYWHERE!!!

    1. You are so lucky you didn’t get more late shifts than early shifts; our sleep schedules are so out of whack! And I bet those roles were incredibly fun! I’m sure my room will look quite magical when I get back home haha

  11. Ohhh…reading this was so fun! and makes me sad that I was never a CP or CM. I wish I could do it now! But, being 40, married, not in college, have a 16 and 13 yr old AND live in Wisconsin doesn’t help!

  12. This is SO spot on! I did Spring Advantage 2011 and worked outdoor foods in MK. I still get teary eyed when I hear the music from Wishes or smell popcorn. 🙂 Also, I saw in your About section that you want to do Social/Marketing for Disney someday! I work in a Social/Marketing position and recently heard @HaggertyVilla speak. He was so inspiring and had such great insight into how Disney’s international social team works. I definitely recommend following him on twitter if you don’t already!

    1. Thank you! Ah, yes, if you worked in MK then Wishes and the smell of popcorn must really bring back wonderful memories! And where do you work, if you don’t mind my asking? And I just followed him!

  13. Even I am not part of the program, but I feel almost the same as I am from outside the country and temporarily working at WDW for 10 months. As I am already at home and looking back to the time when I was there,actually miss those time so much. Thank you for sharing this amazing article. I think every CP and CM should read this 🙂

  14. You forgot the bad parts though.

    You’ll be broke as crap, living on ramen, pasta and cereal.
    Underappreciated and hated by all full/part time workers while being stereotyped in every way.
    Face drama worse than that of your high school cafeteria.
    Stranded if you have no car or waste hours on the awful bus system.
    Gain no experience toward your actual career whatsoever.
    Or worse, leave your college to make a life working in the parks.

    1. Yes, there are some not so magical parts about the program (I did actually list a few), but some of what you said also depends on if you make the most of your program or not.
      I was not under appreciated/hated by ALL full time/part time workers. In fact, the majority of them loved me and we have become quite close.
      If you know how to network/take advantage of networking opportunities, you can actually gain experience toward your actual career.
      And if you leave college to make a life working in the parks, that’s your choice. I am going back to school to finish my degree so that I can potentially return to Disney working in a department that directly relates to my degree.
      It’s all about perspective, in my opinion.

      1. Well said, ThemeParkPrincess. I was a CR on Friendship Boats for 16 years. I have advised more than one CP to finish their education so that their opportunities will be greatly expanded. As far as being liked/disliked, it very much up to you. If you have a positive attitude, are responsible for your actions, and are teachable, you shouldn’t have any problems. I’m glad that you enjoyed your CP experience. You’ve given great advice, and are on your way to a productive adulthood.

  15. My son is graduating high school next year and wants to become an animator. Will this program help him? What exactly is it for other than a truely amazing experience. Can it help further his future career plans?

    1. This program, while there is no role that will directly help him in becoming an animator, will help open doors for him. Having the Disney College Program on your resume gives you a leg up on the competition; after all, he would have experience working for a Fortune 500 company! And being a CP alumni allows you to apply for professional internships with Disney that no one else can apply for. In addition, there are networking workshops/opportunities throughout the program–he would just have to be very proactive!

  16. This was awesome to read. I arrive September 8th and it cannot come fast enough! Thanks for giving your perspective and giving me new things to look forward too!

    1. I am so happy that you’re getting more excited! I plan on doing a ‘not so obvious’ DCP bucket list filled with things that you may not think to do but that are totally worth doing, so check back for that to get you even MORE excited 😉 ❤

  17. Or that 15 years after your CP ends, you may end up going to WDW on vacation with one of your lifelong friends made working there and getting to experience the joy of your children and their children experiencing disney together for the first time!

  18. Awe! Way to sum it all up! Very accurate and very heartwarming! My program was tough but I can relate to all these points!

  19. What a wonderful essay. It moved me and even tho was nvr an Cm im an AP leaving infl. Been to wdw 100s of times and i still get emotional about things here.
    What a special experience you have shared! Thank you. The magic lives in what you left behind and in your heart.
    2nd stAr on the right and straight on til. morning.

    Never forget the way…..

    Cc

  20. I was a CP in 2004…11 years ago!! I miss it everyday and everything in this post holds true! (at least what was around 11 years ago) we had Dattco busses…and you are right!! AWFUL! I made lifelong friends that I visit and talk to all the time and Facebook just started to become popular after i came home from the program and thank goodness for it, cause even though I haven’t seen some since leaving the program, but we are able to keep in touch and see what everyone is up to and it still feels like yesterday we met. I am lucky enough to be in CT and still working with the Walt Disney Company and am able to go back every year. and with every visit and CP i run into and strick a conversation with makes me do nothing but SMILE! 2004 -2005 (i extended my 8 month program in Frontierland/Liberty Square Merch to 12 months with 3 of my closest friends I met and worked with) was the absolute hands down best year of my life!!! THank you so much for this post, I got emotional reading it…in a magical way!

    1. Thank you SO much for reading and for taking the time to comment! I am so happy it made you emotional…in a magical way! It sounds like your CP was definitely a wonderful experience.

  21. I’ve done the CP twice, and I agree with all the points you made. In my opinion, I can’t recommend the program to anyone under the age of 21. However, I think waiting to go until after one has graduated college is a good time to go as well; if not the best. I’m fortunate for the time I spent working at Disney World, it helped launch my career working in hospitality along the Vegas strip. Get a unionized hotel job in Vegas, and you’ll be making more than double hourly what you made working at a Disney Park. Best of luck to everyone wanting to do the College Program!

    1. I have a lot of friends who are here and just graduated in December! I personally have a year left, but doing this program has opened a lot of doors for me and has given me an idea of what I’d like to do after I graduate, so for that I am forever grateful. But I wouldn’t not recommend it to people under 21! I think it forces people to grow up a little, whether they make a few mistakes and then grow up or just grow up right away. But it may be a little less…fun…being under 21, haha!

  22. This was a great read and extremely accurate! Yesterday marked 1 year since my check-in day and I still remember riding on that TranStar bus to Casting, counting down the seconds before crossing under the Disney sign for the first time as a cast member, wondering how I went from volunteering at an ice cream shop to working in the most magical place on earth. This post definitely brought back ALL the feels. Also, you have a unique flow to your writing style that makes it that much more enjoyable! I’m also a huge roller coaster enthusiast/theme park junkie and love to write. I thought it was cool how we had that in common! If you’d like, you could check out a few of the stories from by Fall Advantage 2014 program at dcpmemories.wix.com/dcpm. It’s a work in progress. Best wishes – Josh

  23. Loved reading this; I did the program back in 2004 and had an amazing time! In fact, my Vista Way roommate will be officiating my upcoming wedding this August!

  24. Thank you so much for posting this! Ive been debating whether or not I should do it and reading your article made me want to even more!

  25. I worked for Disney for 13 years and saw many a college program cast member come and go through the years (I worked Entertainment). I can only imagine what you guys go through. Thankfully, through social media, I’ve managed to keep in touch with the majority of the people I worked with and currently possess an annual pass and share the experience with my 7 yr old daughter, who loves Disney (although, I think she’s leaning a little more towards Universal now as she gets older). Anyways, good insight and a great synopsis of what they don’t tell you. You even didn’t sully it with the other ‘dirty’ laundry they don’t tell you like how little you actually make after they take out what you owe them (I actually knew people that ended up OWING Disney money in their paychecks).

    Great job of writing!

    1. I am so jealous you were an Entertainment Cast Member! That is awesome. But I’m sure it’s so wonderful to share the magic with your daughter now! (Even if she is leaning a little more toward Universal–I think she’ll come back around with time!) And haha, I did avoid SOME ‘dirty’ laundry, and I also know people who ended up owing money too. As some of say, it’s the happiest and most broke you’ll ever be! But thank you for the kind words and for taking the time to read my post. I greatly appreciate it!

  26. I was just commenting to some of my DCP friends that I can’t believe it has been 20 years since we left (spring program 1995). My memories of Vista Way, the reservation center, Pleasure Island, and wandering around the tunnels just because we could will never go away. I’m a hotel controller now, and I am eternally thankful to have the DCP on my resume, it has opened many doors for me. You brought tears to my eyes thinking of those days. We worked hard and played harder. I remember walking through the tunnels after Traditions and thinking that I was finally home. I had one semester of college left when I was there and went home for that, and I will always regret not going back. I have a couple of lifelong friends out of my roommates, and a love of Disney that I will never outgrow. For those of you considering it, DO IT. You will never regret it!

    1. Wow. I hope that in 20 years I’m talking to the friends I’ve made about how I can’t believe it’s been 20 years for us! Thank you so much for reading and it brings me such joy to know that my post brought back such wonderful memories. ❤

  27. Typical disney CP program blog. I’m sure it was all roses, lilacs, unicorn tails, gumdrops, and rainbows.
    I’m glad your three time participation was wonderful! 🙂 YAY.

    1. Former College Student,
      Nowhere did I say, or imply, that it was all roses, lilacs, unicorn tails, gumdrops or rainbows. Not every day has been easy. Not every day has been fun. And that’s life; you take the good with the bad. What I DID imply, however, is that this experience is what you make it, and if I came away with a positive experience, despite the hardships, then yes, that is what I’m going to write about. But perhaps you should read the post a little more closely, as not everything I listed was rainbows and butterflies and sunshine. But yes, my participation has been a wonderful, eye-opening, life changing experience, and I hope that anyone who does the program has a similar experience. And if not, I hope they have the power and drive to change it to make it a positive one.

  28. Even 26 years later (Fall of 1989) all of these ring so true. My CP BFFs & I all read this together, cried & realize we can’t turn back the clock & do it again. But, we’re all hoping our kids do. Plus, we decided we must have a reunion trip; so we owe you our thanks for writing & posting this!

    1. Ah! Yes! Plan that reunion trip! I am so happy you all read this post and that it rang true! Please let me know when you decide to have your trip–it would be such an honor to meet all of you!!

    1. That is one of the best compliments I have ever received, and I am so honored that you think that! I do have to return back to school to finish my degree, but I’d love to come back to the company once I have graduated! Thank you again; your kind words honestly mean so much to me.

  29. oh gosh, thank you for writing this! i did my dcp during fall 2012 in animal kingdom merchandise. my only trip to magic kingdom was when i was little and only remember getting off of space mountain & crying. so i considered my college program my first trip to the other three parks, obviously, but to magic kingdom as well! and it was an incredible experience. i always think how the best decision i’ve ever made was to go and my biggest regret was not extending. i’m so happy you mentioned getting pixie dusted as it’s one of my favorite things to do and i thought i was the only one!! i had roommate issues but when i moved into a new apartment, i lived with princesses which was amazing because characters have always been more important to me than attractions. i’m now a part time cast member at disneyland, working merchandise in tomorrowland, and i’m so happy to be back with the company!! i plan on never leaving!

    1. Oh my gosh, thank YOU for reading it! Girl, I LOVE getting pixie dusted! I literally do it every time I go to Magic Kingdom! I’m so happy you got to experience Disney for the first time on your program and that you’re back with the company, in DISNEYLAND no less! Congratulations on all of your accomplishments ❤

  30. Dear Theme Park Princess,

    As one who was there at the beginning in 1980, thank you for your thoughts and comments. It is amazing that 35 years later it is still a positive experience.

    Big Thunder

  31. We’ve been friends with CPs for years and one thing I cannot stress enough is that no matter what Disney tells you about how great the transportation is, BRING YOUR OWN CAR! I REPEAT: BRING YOUR OWN CAR! Transportation isn’t always the most reliable way to get around. Plus, you’ll be really popular if you can take your friends off property sometimes or take yourself shopping.

  32. This gave me a big smile. I didn’t even hear about the DCP until I was out of college, and I don’t think it would have ever worked out for me in college due to scholarships and marriage and stuff like that…but I still can’t help but think that it sounds like the coolest season of life, ever!

  33. Loved reading this. I was a snowbird seasonal for 12 years and some of my favorite memories were of working with the college kids. I still keep in touch with some of them. I am 77 years old and wish I could go back. But I have lots of pictures and tons of memories.

  34. Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post
    reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this.
    I will forward this page to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read.
    Many thanks for sharing!

    1. I was click this link from my friend homepage. I’m preparing the first interview of this program next month for go to disney next year 2016. Hope I can come back and tell you that what they don’t tell me. Thanks for your sharing, its make me inspiration. 🙂

  35. I absolutely loved reading this, I am leaving in just a few weeks for the DCP, and could not be more excited! Thank you for sharing your experience!

  36. I just stumbled on this blog post of yours while doing some googling about the DCP and you nearly made me cry! I’m finishing up my last year in college and plan on applying for the Fall. You just made me so incredibly excited for it, and I was already pretty excited! Sounds like you had an absolute blast! 🙂

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