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College Program vs. working in the summer

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  • College Program vs. working in the summer

    Hi all! I'm a senior in high school graduating in June. In the fall I will be attending the University of South Carolina and majoring in Pharmacy. Like all things, this could change...

    I've heard that it's possible to join the College Program basically no matter what major you're in, but I'm curious to know if that's true. Also, is it hard to keep up your course credits and grades while working in the more demanding areas of study? I'd LOVE to join the College Program, but I really don't know what it would be like, or even how difficult it is to join. Has anyone here ever done it, and can you shed any light on the process?

    Additionally, I wanted to ask about the "summer job" at WDW. Is Disney still known for hiring young people for the summer, knowing that they will be going back to school in August? And is it very difficult to get a job working in the parks? I would love to do this (I think) but I'm not sure how possible it would be for me. My grandparents live a solid hour and a half from WDW, but depending on whether or not I keep a job in college I may be able to share an apartment with some friends or something.

    Anyway, I'm just curious to hear other peoples' experiences, whether you were in/are in/know someone in the College Program, or just a college-age student working at WDW. Thanks!!

  • #2
    Re: College Program vs. working in the summer

    I've done the CP before (6 times, in fact) and I highly support the program. I didn't find it hard doing both school and the CP
    Many as a kid (1986-1998)Aug 1998- Port OrleansMarch 2003- Jr Band Trip (offsite)Aug 2003- Port OrleansJan 12-Aug 5, 2005- CP (CS)Jan 1-5, 2006- AS Sports (solo)May 24, 2006-Jan 5, 2007- CP (CS)Jan 31-Feb 3, 2007- offsite (solo)March 1-3, 2007- Dad+ Me (offsite)May 16-Aug 10, 2007- CP (CS) Aug 10-12, 2007- GF/P&PMay 21- Aug 15, 2008- CP (PC)Aug 15-18, 2008- AKL!!Mar 25-29, 2009 (offsite)Aug 10, 2009-Jan 2, 2010- CP (CS)Jan 3-May 14, 2010- CP (CS)Feb 12-16, 2012: DCL DreamOct 20-27, 2012: DCL Fantasy (Eastern)Sept 8-12, 2013: DCL Dream Jan 20-24, 2014: DCL Magic

    CP #1: 1/12/05-8/5/05: MK merchandise and parades
    CP #2: 5/24/06 to 1/5/07: character attendant!!
    CP #3: 5/16/07-8/10/07: Epcot WS Custodial/seasonal CA
    CP #4: 5/21/08-7/5/08: Casey's (QSFB); 7/6/08-8/15/08: character attendant
    CP #5: 8/10/09-1/2/10: Toy Story Mania attractions
    CP #6: 1/3/10-5/14/10: Great Movie Ride attractions
    FT: 5/16/10~
    Montclair State Campus Rep- Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009


    • #3
      Re: College Program vs. working in the summer

      I did the CP last spring. Your major does not matter, as long as you are currently enrolled in college courses, you are eligible to apply. To apply, you first go through a web-based interview. If you pass that, you then schedule a phone interview. Sometime after the phone interview you'll find out if you are accepted (it could be a quick process, other times you wait a long time before hearing a response).

      I took three college classes while doing the CP and kept up fine. You do work a lot of hours though. It was a great experience & I miss it everyday. Go for it if you have the chance.

      When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.
      -Walt Disney


      • #4
        Re: College Program vs. working in the summer

        Hi Emma,

        I know I'm a little late, but I hope this helps. I did an extended program from June 2010 till January 2011 in the Icon area of Hollywood Studios. So everything on the right side of Hollywood Boulevard including Crossroads and "The Hat."

        First, I can not stress enough, if you have even the slightest desire to do the College Program. DO IT! Like everything else Disney does, the experience is like non other. If you decide you don't like it, you can leave at anytime and really haven't lost anything.

        Now with that, there are a few thing to think about. I did my program after I had already graduated. I applied my last semester and started about three weeks after graduation. So I can't really comment on balancing a class workload with work. But what I do know is the managers are usually very accommodating to school schedules, and won't work you more than you can handle. There is a lot of down time, so I doubt you will have any problem with that.

        One thing to remember with becoming a CP is there is very little cost to you. The only required expense is getting to and from Florida. After that rent is taken out of your check, and what you make is enough for food and a little fun on the side. If you have any other bills or bring a car, those expenses will still be on you obviously. I did not have a car during my program and made it fine, but I would suggest a car if at all possible.

        On the other side is working in the parks over the summer. Im going to assume you have already moved there and have a job. Over the Summer months the parks can be open very late. Driving an hour and half back home at 10 at night after working in the hot sun all day will be the last thing you want to do. Disney is usually very accommodating with schedules, but they can never guarantee anything.

        Either way you decide, it's going to be an experience you will never forget, and I wish you all the luck in the world.

        I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions.