by Blake Taylor

There’s just something about entering the cafeteria and seeing purple Disney flyers on every single table that makes me smile.  The flyers—a notable step up in paper quality than most organization ads seen around campus—were there to get the word out about Disney’s upcoming visit to my school.  Cast Members and Campus Representatives would be recruiting students for the Disney College Program (DCP), the paid internship opportunity that temporarily employs college students in a role at Disneyland or Walt Disney World.  And the flyers were on every single table in the entire cafeteria.  That’s pretty cool.

Growing up in a household where Disney accounts for the majority of family entertainment bonding, the DCP was always at the back of my mind when thinking about my plans for the future, particularly as college grew closer.  Recently I looked into the Program a little further by visiting its official website and watching a few participants’ YouTube vlogs, and I knew that it was something I was definitely interested in applying for.  So when I began to see hints of Disney all over my college campus advertising that the Mouse’s friends would be coming to town, I didn’t want to miss their presentation.

I expected an info presentation to be something I would have to seek out myself, not something that would be heavily marketed.  I was surprised—but in retrospect, since it’s Disney, I really shouldn’t have been—at the amount of advertising implemented around campus for the presentation.  I guess the mindset I had before was that so many students apply to the Program that Disney wouldn’t want to openly ask for hoards of additional applications.  However, the presence of such marketing around the entire school in the week leading up to the presentation really made me realize that, just as with anything they do, the Disney Difference would be put to use to let students know about the great opportunities that the DCP offer.  It made me feel that they really did need us and valued our participation.

There were posters in hallways, the aforementioned flyers on cafeteria tables, sidewalk chalk art, and, my favorite, an information table in the Student Union, complete with Cast Members present with some portable background music—meaning I intentionally went back to that area later to study just so that I could listen to the music some more.  It reminded me that whether it’s something as major as a new theme park attraction or as (seemingly) minor as a presentation to college students, Disney is going to be the best at what they do, and I can truly say in an unbiased way that I haven’t seen any function on campus be as significantly promoted as Disney’s visit.

Upon arrival, the Disney Difference was again present in full force, with balloons and Cast Members outside the building where the presentation took place (as it was in a sort of obscure location), as well as in the hallway leading to the meeting room so that everyone interested would be able to find it.

The presentation, which lasted about 45 minutes, mostly elaborated on much of what is said on the DCP official website, but it was of course great to see the whole Program explained in full, straight from the horse’s (mouse’s?) mouth.  It clarified a lot questions I had, misconceptions I had heard, and overall provided a pretty complete rundown of the basics of what the Program entails.  The vibe I got in the room was that many kids weren’t aware of what a top-notch opportunity Disney provided through these internships until the presentation, and came away from it with the notion that it could not only be a fun experience, but also an excellent stepping stone toward their career path, regardless of whether their intended career was Disney-centric or not.

Given limited resources, the presentation of course wasn’t too extravagant compared to the regular “shows” we’re used to seeing from Disney, so that means no characters or songs or things like that, but I don’t think people expected that anyway.  You’re there to receive information—but, again, since this is Disney, you’re going to get that information in the most efficient and entertaining way possible.  At no point did I feel bored or check my watch.  In fact, being a Disney fan, there were several moments during the presentation (particularly during the video segments) when I had the urge to immediately lift up the “rock on” hand gesture—though I restrained myself.  (As a side note, I also always want to do that after the final drum boom of “The Circle of Life.” Anyway.)

If you have the opportunity, I would definitely encourage students to attend Disney’s presentation when and if it is offered at your school.  There are multiple times scheduled in case class gets in the way of attending.  Whether you haven’t the slightest clue what the Disney College Program is about, or you think you already have the rundown, you’ll be glad you attended the DCP’s on-campus info session.  Besides, in the middle of the hustle and bustle of college life, it’s nice to have a little sampling of Disney magic.

 

Bonus tip!: After the presentation, text your family telling them that Mickey Mouse was there (he isn’t). Then wait for the phone call later to hear how your mom hooted and hollered around her whole office telling them that Mickey Mouse was at her son’s school.

 

Blake is a college student focusing on Creative Writing and Media Studies. He enjoys making his family of six watch the parade on Main Street and then sprint to Frontierland in time to see it again. You can follow Blake’s random Disney ramblings on Twitter at @blakeonline, or at BlakeOnline.com.

3 Responses to "Recruiting Magic: When the Disney College Program Visits Campus"

  1. Dusten says:

    They were offering this program at my college (SIU) 15 years ago and my wife remembers going to a DCP presentation about the same time at her college (ISU). She remembers the videos they showed portrayed it as a real party atmosphere which wasn’t her thing in college. My sister had a friend come back completely different from DCP, not in a good way, although she did get a job with Carnival after college. A co-worker here also recalls lots of partying, but once again you get to put Disney on your resume regardless so it’s something positive for the rest of your life. This experience is largely what you make of it, meaning if you take it seriously you can probably stay in Florida and work for Disney. You can also have a good time and return to college with great stories that you will still be telling your children years later. Have Fun!>)

  2. I actually attended the college I recently graduated from partly because I knew this program would be offered, but when the time came, I never went for it. I regret it, but it’s nice to read about it anyway!

  3. Sarah says:

    I’m one of the campus reps at your school, Blake! I recognized our bulletin board and chalking immediately! SO happy you enjoy our efforts and presence at App! Awesome blog post.

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